Caesar or Nothing Characters
by Pío Baroja

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Caesar or Nothing Characters

(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

Caesar Moncada

Caesar Moncada (SEH-sahr mohn-KAH-dah), who has a highwayman and a cardinal among his ancestors. He turns his back on the Church to become a financial dictator. He adopts the Borgia motto: “Caesar or Nothing.” He turns out to be nothing.

Cardinal Fort

Cardinal Fort, formerly Father Vicente de Valencia. He is Caesar’s uncle.


Laura, Caesar’s sister, who becomes the Marchesa of Vaccarone and a social leader of Rome.

The Abbé Preciozi

The Abbé Preciozi (preh-see-OH-see), who is sent as Caesar’s adviser by Cardinal Fort.

Father Miró

Father Miró (mee-ROH-) and

Father Herreros

Father Herreros (eh-RREH-rohs), two priests who might have helped Caesar’s scheming if Cardinal Fort had not stopped them.

Archibald Marchmont

Archibald Marchmont, who is in love with Laura.

Susanna Marchmont

Susanna Marchmont, his wife, who takes a trip with Caesar as Caesar’s wife.


Kennedy, an Englishman who tells Caesar about Roman history and the Borgias.

Countess Brenda

Countess Brenda, an important member of Roman society with whom Caesar has an affair.

Senator Calixto

Senator Calixto, a political leader of Zamora who offers to put Caesar’s name on the ballot whenever he returns to Spain. Don Calixto is Amparo’s uncle.

Don Platón Peribáñez

Don Platón Peribáñez (plah-TOHN peh-ree-BAHN-yehs) and

Antonio San Román

Antonio San Román (sahn rroh-MAHN), political figures in the district of Castro Duro.

Father Martín Lafuerza

Father Martín Lafuerza (mahr-TEEN lah-FWEHR-sah), another local vote-getter and an opponent of Caesar.

Ignacio Alzugaray

Ignacio Alzugaray (ahl-sew-GAHR-ay), Caesar’s school friend.

Carlos Yarza

Carlos Yarza (KAHR-lohs YAHR-sah), a Paris bank employee who interests Caesar in speculation.

García Padilla

García Padilla (gahr-SEE-ah pah-DEE-yah), a political opponent beaten by Caesar in the first campaign. By fraudulent practices, he defeats Caesar in the next election.


Driveller, a ruffian hired by Father Martin to browbeat Caesar’s followers.

The Cub-Slut

The Cub-Slut, a female member of the local underworld who warns Caesar of an attempt on his life.


Lengthy, the son of the Cub-Slut. He is killed by Driveller in a political row.


Gaffer, one of Caesar’s followers, attacked by Driveller.


Amparo (ahm-PAH-roh), the niece of Don Calixto; she marries Caesar, after some uncertainty.