These are some notes I jotted while reading C. Suetonius Tranquillus, The Lives of the Caesars. This entry includes my observations from Chapters 1-44 from his writings on Julius Caesar. If there is something you found to be important from this section that you’d like to bring to my attention please leave a comment
– Caesar’s father died when he was sixteen years old.
– First wife: Cornelia
– First daughter: Julia (Chapter 1)
– First military campaign: Asia (Chapter 2)
– Elected military tribune (Chapter 5)
– Caesar stated in a eulogy for his aunt (mother’s sister) that her mother was the descent of kings and her father was the descendent of immortal gods.
– Cornelia died and Julius married Pompeia. He divorced her accusing her of having been “debauched” by Publius Clodius. (Chapter 6)
– Caesar sighed deeply upon seeing a statue of Alexander the Great in the temple of Hercules when he realized that at his age Alexander had conquered the world.
– Caesar dreamt that he had slept with his mother. It was interpreted as a good omen that he would “possess universal empire,” because the “mother” was the earth, the parent of all humanity. (Chapter 7)
– Considering Julius’ demise it is intriguing to read that it was suspected that he was part of a plot with Marcus Crassus and other to murder as many senators as possible in order to move Crassus into the office of dictator.
– Caesar obtained aedileship. (Chapter 9)
– Caesar was chosen praetor. (Chapter 14)
– Caesar remarried again: Calpurnia. (Chapter 21)
– Caesar was very successful in his campaigns in Gaul. Also, he attacked the Britons. (Chapter 25)
– Caesar’s mother, daughter, and granddaughter all died while he was away leading these military campaigns.
– The military campaigns gave Julius much wealth, so he began to purchase the favor of the people of Rome with it. (Chapter 26)
– In order to maintain alliance with Pompey he offered him his daughter, Octavia. (Chapter 27)
– The consul Claudius Marcellus motioned to the senate to end Caesar’s wars and to prohibit anyone not present from being a candidate for consul. Pompey’s law had allowed an exception for Julius. (Chapter 28)
– A variety of related events lead Caesar to threaten war, civil war. (Chapter 30)
– Caesar delayed briefly before crossing the Rubicon, which signified a departure from his territory closing in on Rome. This would equate to war. (Chapter 31)
– Caesar chose to cross the Rubicon. (Chapter 32)
– Caesar advanced toward Rome, then began to engage Pompey in battle (Chapter 34)
– When Caesar commanded a battle he did not lose. There were a couple of close battles: Dyrrachium and Spain. (Chapter 36)
– Caesar’s many victories led to a tablet being carried before him with the famous slogan veni, vidi, vici. (Chapter 37)
– Caesar won the affection of the people by giving them food, festivals, land, etc. (Chapter 38)
– Caesar worked with Sosigenes to create the Julian calendar. (Chapter 40)
– Caesar adopted the title “dictator.” (Chapter 41)
– The temple of Mars was built with more grandeur than any other structure in Rome. This is not surprising since Mars is the god of war. (Chapter 44)