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(Gaius) Julius Caesar

Caesar, (Gaius) Julius (c.100–44 B.C.), Roman general, politician, and writer. Although a member of the ancient patrician Julian clan, he supported the antisenatorial party. His early career through various public offices won him popularity, and in 60 B.C. he formed the First Triumvirate with Pompey, who supplied the army, and Marcus Licinius Crassus, who provided the money. With Caesar as consul they succeeded in controlling Roman politics. Caesar's successful Gallic Wars (58–51 B.C.) gained him great esteem and a loyal and well- trained army. After the death of Crassus, Pompey tried to force Caesar to lay down his command, but in 49 B.C. Caesar crossed the Rubicon River (the boundary between Caesar's Gaúl and Rome), and civil war began. Pompey was finally defeated at Pharsalus in 48 B.C., and by 45 B.C. Caesar had secured the defeat of all the Pompeian forces. In 44 B.C. he was made dictator for life, but on the Ides of March (March 15) he was murdered.

See also: Rome, Ancient.

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