Who in modern politics or leadership can you compare to Julius Caesar?

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The answer to this question depends, of course, on how recent a period of time we would restrict ourselves to in looking for a Caesar-like leader. If by "modern times" we mean our immediate, present-day political world of the early twenty-first century, then we're extremely limited in the candidates available...

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The answer to this question depends, of course, on how recent a period of time we would restrict ourselves to in looking for a Caesar-like leader. If by "modern times" we mean our immediate, present-day political world of the early twenty-first century, then we're extremely limited in the candidates available to fulfill this comparison. Caesar was a man who presided over a transition from the Roman Republic to the beginnings of an imperial state at a time of crisis, all with the purported rationale of preventing Rome from descending into chaos. He was then assassinated because others believed he had gone too far and that the changes he had made would result in the very outcome Caesar supposedly wanted to prevent: the destruction of the Roman state. No leader today is genuinely like Caesar with regard to the actions he carried out or the circumstances surrounding them.

Nevertheless, if forced to pick someone from the late twentieth- and early twenty-first century, I would say the only political leader who might resemble Caesar in some sense is Vladimir Putin, though the comparison is unfair to Caesar. Putin rose to power at a time when post-Soviet Russia was going through a severe economic crisis. Russia had never been a democracy or a democratic republic, but in the first few years after the Communists were expelled in 1991, there was at least a degree of freedom in Russia—imperfect but genuine—that had not existed during the Soviet period. After his appointment by Boris Yeltsin as his successor, Putin consolidated power for himself, moved against the so-called "oligarchs" and confiscated their wealth, and clamped down on freedom of speech and the political opposition, such as it was. He also prosecuted a brutal war in Chechnya and now has the obvious intention of regaining territories previously part of the Russian and Soviet empires.

Putin's aggrandizement of personal power and his military exploits and intentions are somewhat analogous to Caesar's actions, but the other details of Putin's rise to power and the history of the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia do not correspond to Caesar and the last period of the Roman Republic. For all his faults, Caesar was nonetheless a brilliant statesman and military strategist, a charismatic leader, and a gifted writer. His actions (and those of his grand-nephew and successor Octavian/Augustus), dictatorial as they were, can be said to have laid the foundations of modern Europe and the entire Western world. It's extremely unlikely that Putin, an ex-KGB officer and would-be totalitarian leader, will ever have the achievements of Julius Caesar.

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I do not think that you can compare Julius Caesar to anyone in modern politics.  He was a successful general who managed to invade Britain and Gaul.  This involved a great deal of strategic thinking and the ability to manage logistics in order to keep his troops fed and equipped.  Caesar also wrote a history of the conquest of Gaul, which was still being used by academics centuries later.  Caesar survived a severe civil war which placed him at the head of the government.  He was known for his oratorical skill at a time when one could not rely on cameras to make oneself look presentable.  He provided housing for his soldiers and relief for the poor.  When he assumed total power over the Roman government, he became the most powerful man in the West's only superpower.  There is no one that can be easily compared to Julius Caesar because he combined military, scholastic, and political achievement in one person.  I do not see anyone who could potentially measure up to that standard today.  

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