What makes Julius Caesar historically significant?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Julius Caesar was a Roman leader of amazing physical and mental energy who possessed unmatched military power.  Caesar's conquest of Gaul in 51 B.C. extended Rome's territory to the English Channel.  He  was the first Roman general to build a bridge across the Rhine River; he also conducted the first invasion of Britain. Caesar and Pompey Marcus Licinius Crassus formed a powerful political alliance known as the First Triumvirate that dominated politics in Rome for years. Later, elected as one of the two consuls who headed the Roman government, a term of office that began in 59 B. C., and Caesar's career stemmed from this Consulship; he effected many political reforms of Roman government and society.

However, Caesar and Pompey's relationship deteriorated and political realignments in Rome led to conflict between the two leaders.  When Pompey took up the cause of the Senate, its members ordered Caesar to stand trial in Rome for sundry charges.  With his legions, Caesar, having learned of this decision, marched from Gaul to Italy.  After his crossing of the Rubicon in 49 B.C., a civil war was sparked; from this war, Caesar rose to become the uncontested leader of the Roman world.

Absolutely brillant in so many facets, Caesar dazzled his contemporaries, and historians continue to be fascinated by him because of this amazing military acumen as well as his impressive political power.

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