Was Julius Caesar a tyrant or a good leader?

Although he became the sole dictator of Rome in 46 BCE, Julius Caesar was a good leader rather than a tyrant. He expanded the Roman empire, increased Rome's prestige, and provided for the well-being of ordinary people. He was a responsible leader who did not wield his power at the expense of the well-being of his citizenry.

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Julius Caesar was a good leader even after he became Roman dictator.

Before he became all powerful, Caesar revealed himself to have extraordinary leadership capabilities. He was charismatic, able to bend those around him to his will, and an excellent orator. He was a brilliant military strategist and a bold...

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Julius Caesar was a good leader even after he became Roman dictator.

Before he became all powerful, Caesar revealed himself to have extraordinary leadership capabilities. He was charismatic, able to bend those around him to his will, and an excellent orator. He was a brilliant military strategist and a bold risk-taker. He earned the loyalty of those beneath him by making an effort with them—for example, learning the names of his soldiers and not exempting himself from the dirty work they were expected to do. His rise from a fairly obscure beginning to the Roman Senate was a significant achievement.

After a bold set of moves, Julius Caesar became the dictator of Rome for 10 years beginning in 46 BCE. However, rather than use his power for the enrichment of himself and his cronies or to persecute enemy groups, he used his position to help ordinary people. For example, he increased the size of the Roman Senate so that it would better represent the voice of the people (although he remained the decision maker). He arranged for regular grain distribution so that ordinary people would not go hungry. He expanded citizenship rights so that more people could become Romans, even in far-flung regions of the Empire. He also provided for a system of financial support for veterans of Roman campaigns.

Caesar was, overall, a good leader who expanded Rome's power and prestige while taking care of the needs of the average person (within the context of what was possible in the ancient world). Unfortunately, however, his dictatorship set the model for the hereditary emperors who would later assume power, often displaying stunningly poor leadership.

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History has come down firmly on both sides of this question for Gaius Julius Caesar. He was most certainly a formidable general and military leader, beloved by his troops. He came from a patrician family and was well-educated and well-read.

The issue of "tyrant" arises from the fears of a group of Roman aristocrats who firmly believed that Caesar's goal was to consolidate all power in Rome under himself. As depicted to some degree accurately in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," there was a group, exemplified by Brutus, who longed for the old days of "the republic," which they believed exemplified true Roman values. They did not want a king, or an emperor.

It's perhaps not unreasonable to assume that Julius Caesar did, in fact, want to consolidate power, since as a general, top-down leadership was his style, and it had proved effective and efficient. He did not seem to foresee that the consolidation of power into the hands of one person does lead to dictatorship and tyranny, as has been since been demonstrated time and time again by history. In his own world, the irony remains that after his death and a fierce civil war, the reign of the emperors began anyway.

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Julius Caesar was loved by the soldiers and the common people, but despised by the upper class for how he came to power. 

Julius Caesar was a brilliant military tactician and leader. He got along with almost everyone because he was a Patrician but did not come from a wealthy background. He had an ear for languages, which made it easier for him to interact with leaders from other countries—even those Rome was fighting or conquering. 

Caesar’s leadership style was to lead from the front. A good example of how much he was admired and respected The fact that he was so admired and respected is that he was able to get his army to march on Rome, which was illegal. It horrified the senators in power, especially Pompey. It showed them Caesar had more power than them, because he was backed by an army willing to do anything for him. Caesar’s army was loyal to Caesar. He made them a lot of money. In Ancient Rome, soldiers were paid partially in spoils. 

Caesar was an avid reader and a prolific writer. He had knowledge in a wide variety of fields, from geography to engineering, and was a skilled speaker. He could encourage and motivate his soldiers and (usually) convince the senate, too. A group of senators felt Caesar was gaining too much power, though. They decided to stop him by stabbing him 23 times on the senate floor.

A tyrant is someone who is exacting and only cares about himself. He exerts his will on others. Brutus called Caesar a tyrant, but the people of Rome and Caesar's soldiers do not seem to have agreed with him. For some time, the senate was mixed on the issue and unsure who should have power. Eventually, they sided with Antony and Octavius (Caesar's heir), who formed a second triumvirate with another of Caesar's lieutenants, Lepidus.

What Brutus really objected to was that Caesar came to power by driving Pompey out. Ancient Rome was not the stable, quaint republic Brutus imagined, though. It had faced violent upheaval and civil war for years through Gaius Marius, Sulla, and the first triumvirate (where Caesar shared power with Crassus and Pompey). The assassins were a little idealistic in calling Caesar the villain.

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