Startling Facts About Julius Caesar
Uncover some startling facts about the powerful politician, emperor, and army general, Julius Caesar, who proclaimed, “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
Caesar was loved and admired by many; however, it is an undeniable fact that his enormous power also garnered much resentment from his fellow politicians. Much of Caesar’s life is known from his military campaigns and feats, as he is considered to be one of the greatest military commanders in history by many historians. Read on to find out some incredible facts about the Roman army general.
He wasn’t born by cesarean section
Gaius Julius Caesar was born on July 13, 100 B.C., but, contrary to popular belief, it is unlikely he was born by cesarean section. The story is reported to be incorrect for several reasons. C-sections were already performed in Rome at the time. For centuries, there was a law that required C-sections to be performed under certain circumstances, which was instated during the reign of Numa Pompilius, who ruled long before Caesar.
He was kidnaped by pirates
When Caesar was 25 years old, he had set out for the Aegean island of Rhodes from Rome. On his way, Caesar was kidnaped by pirates who demanded a ransom of 20 talents of silver. Apparently, Caesar laughed at their faces and told them they should demand 50. While his associates went to get the ransom, he was forced to wait in captivity. After the ransom was delivered, he was freed by the pirates. But Ceasar gathered a small group of soldiers, hunted the pirates down, executed them, and took his silver back.
He had a son with Cleopatra
In 48 B.C., Caesar went to Egypt to track down the Roman general Pompey, one of his rivals, and while there he met Cleopatra. Caesar and Cleopatra became romantically involved, and around 47 B.C., she gave birth to a baby boy, who came to be known as Ptolemy Caesar and was believed to be Caesar’s son.
Caesar was the first Roman to become sanctified
Upon Caesar’s death, a comet flashed in the sky, this made many Romans believe it was a symbol of Caesar’s divine ascension to heaven. Caesar was the first Roman to become deified in history, meaning that the Senate voted to decide that he should be considered divine and ascend to a god-like level.
He had three vives
Caesar was first married to Cornelia in 84 B.C. when he was a teenager. Caesar and Cornelia had a daughter together but she died in 69 BCE. In 67 BCE, he married Pompeia, who he later divorced. Julius Caesar then married Calpurnia in 59 BCE, and they remained together until his assassination.
Caesar did not know Brutus well
William Shakespeare’s play, ‘The Tragedy of Julius Caesar’, is set in 44 BCE. It explores and describes what led to the assassination of Caesar and the aftermath. One of the most famous quotes from the play, uttered by Caesar upon his death, is “et tu, Brute?” which translates to “and you, Brutus?” However, Caesar did not actually say that as he did not know Brutus particularly well.
This iconic Roman dictator was certainly a towering figure of ancient Rome and historians have wrestled over his legacy.