Caesar's Civil War
The Great Roman Civil War known as Caesar's Civil War, was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire. It began as a series of political and military confrontations, between Julius Caesar, his political supporters, his legions, against the Optimates, the politically conservative and traditionalist faction of the Roman Senate, who were supported by Pompey and his legions. Prior to the war, Caesar had served for eight years in the Gallic Wars, he and Pompey had, along with Marcus Licinius Crassus, established the First Triumvirate, through which they shared power over Rome. Caesar soon emerged as a champion of the common people, advocated a variety of reforms; the Senate, fearful of Caesar, demanded. Caesar refused, instead marched his army on Rome, which no Roman general was permitted to do. Pompey organized an army in the south of Italy to meet Caesar; the war was a four-year-long politico-military struggle, fought in Italy, Greece, Egypt and Hispania.
Pompey defeated Caesar in 48 BC at the Battle of Dyrrhachium, but was himself defeated much more decisively at the Battle of Pharsalus. The Optimates under Marcus Junius Brutus and Cicero surrendered after the battle, while others, including those under Cato the Younger and Metellus Scipio fought on. Pompey was killed upon arrival. Scipio was defeated in 46 BC at the Battle of Thapsus in North Africa, he and Cato committed suicide shortly after the battle. The following year, Caesar defeated the last of the Optimates in the Battle of Munda and became Dictator perpetuo of Rome; the changes to Roman government concomitant to the war eliminated the political traditions of the Roman Republic and led to the Roman Empire. Caesar's Civil War resulted from the long political subversion of the Roman Government's institutions, begun with the career of Tiberius Gracchus, continuing with the Marian reforms of the legions, the bloody dictatorship of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, completed by the First Triumvirate over Rome.
The First Triumvirate, comprising Julius Caesar and Pompey, ascended to power with Caesar's election as consul, in 59 BC. The First Triumvirate was unofficial, a political alliance the substance of, Pompey's military might, Caesar's political influence, Crassus' money; the alliance was further consolidated by Pompey's marriage to Julia, daughter of Caesar, in 59 BC. At the conclusion of Caesar's first consulship, the Senate tasked him with watching over the Roman forests; this job, specially created by his Senate enemies, was meant to occupy him without giving him command of armies, or garnering him wealth and fame. Caesar, with the help of Pompey and Crassus, evaded the Senate's decrees by legislation passed through the popular assemblies. By these acts, Caesar was promoted to Roman Governor of Cisalpine Gaul. Transalpine Gaul was added later; the various governorships gave Caesar command of an army of four legions. The term of his proconsulship, thus his immunity from prosecution, was set at five years, rather than the customary one year.
His term was extended by another five years. During this ten-year period, Caesar used his military forces to conquer Gaul and invade Britain, without explicit authorisation by the Senate. In 52 BC, at the First Triumvirate's end, the Roman Senate supported Pompey as sole consul. Knowing he hoped to become consul when his governorship expired, the Senate, politically fearful of him, ordered he resign command of his army. In December of 50 BC, Caesar wrote to the Senate agreeing to resign his military command if Pompey followed suit. Offended, the Senate demanded he disband his army, or be declared an enemy of the people: an illegal political bill, for he was entitled to keep his army until his term expired. A secondary reason for Caesar's immediate desire for another consulship was to delay the inevitable senatorial prosecutions awaiting him upon retirement as governor of Illyricum and Gaul; these potential prosecutions were based upon alleged irregularities that occurred in his consulship and war crimes committed in his Gallic campaigns.
Moreover, Caesar loyalists, the tribunes Mark Antony and Quintus Cassius Longinus, vetoed the bill, were expelled from the Senate. They joined Caesar, who had assembled his army, whom he asked for military support against the Senate. In 50 BC, at his Proconsular term's expiry, the Pompey-led Senate ordered Caesar's return to Rome and the disbanding of his army, forbade his standing for election in absentia for a second consulship. On January 10, 49 BC, commanding the Legio XIII Gemina, Caesar crossed the Rubicon River, the boundary between the province of Cisalpine Gaul to the north and Italy proper to the south; as crossing the Rubicon with an army was prohibited, lest a returning general attempt a coup d'etat, this triggered the ensuing civil war between Caesar and Pompey. The general population, who regarded Caesar as a hero, approved of his actions; the historical records differ about which decisive comment Caesar made on crossing the Rubicon: one report is Alea iacta est. Caesar's own acc
Assassination of Julius Caesar
The assassination of Caesar was the result of a conspiracy by many Roman senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, Marcus Junius Brutus. They stabbed Caesar to death in a location adjacent to the Theatre of Pompey on the Ides of March 15 March 44 BC. Caesar was the Dictator of the Roman Republic, having been declared dictator perpetuo by the Senate of the Roman Republic; this declaration made many senators fear that Caesar wanted to overthrow the Senate in favor of totalitarianism, as well as the fear that Caesar’s pro plebeian manifesto would endanger them financially. The conspirators were unable to restore the Roman Republic, the ramifications of the assassination led to the Liberators' civil war and to the Principate period of the Roman Empire. Biographers describe tension between Caesar and the Senate, his possible claims to the title of king; these events were the principal catalysts for Caesar's assassination. The Senate named Caesar dictator perpetuo. Roman mints produced a denarius coin with this title and his likeness on one side, with an image of the goddess Ceres and Caesar's title of Augur Pontifex Maximus on the reverse.
According to Cassius Dio, writing over 200 years a senatorial delegation went to inform Caesar of new honors they had bestowed upon him in 44 BC. Caesar received them while sitting in the Temple of Venus Genetrix, rather than rising to meet them. Suetonius wrote that Caesar failed to rise in the temple, either because he was restrained by Cornelius Balbus or that he balked at the suggestion he should rise. Suetonius gave the account of a crowd assembled to greet Caesar upon his return to Rome. A member of the crowd placed a laurel wreath on the statue of Caesar on the Rostra; the tribunes Gaius Epidius Marullus and Lucius Caesetius Flavus ordered that the wreath be removed as it was a symbol of Jupiter and royalty. Caesar had the tribunes removed from office through his official powers. According to Suetonius, Caesar was unable to dissociate himself from the royal title from this point forward. Suetonius gives the story that a crowd shouted to him rex, to which Caesar replied, "I am Caesar, not Rex".
At the festival of the Lupercalia, while he gave a speech from the Rostra, Mark Antony, elected co-consul with Caesar, attempted to place a crown on his head several times. Caesar put it aside to use as a sacrifice to Jupiter Optimus Maximus. Plutarch and Suetonius are similar in their depiction of these events, but Dio combines the stories, writing that the tribunes arrested the citizens who placed diadems or wreaths on statues of Caesar, he places the crowd shouting "rex" on the Alban Hill with the tribunes arresting a member of this crowd as well. The plebeian protested. Caesar brought the tribunes before the senate and put the matter to a vote, thereafter removing them from office and erasing their names from the records. Suetonius adds that Lucius Cotta proposed to the Senate that Caesar should be granted the title of "king", for it was prophesied that only a king would conquer Parthia. Caesar intended to invade Parthia, a task that gave considerable trouble to Mark Antony during the second triumvirate.
His many titles and honors from the Senate were merely honorary. Caesar continually strove for more power to govern, with as little dependence as possible on honorary titles or the Senate; the placating and ennobling of Caesar did not allay ultimate confrontation, as the Senate was still the authority granting Caesar his titles. Formal power resided in them. Brutus began to conspire against Caesar with his friend and brother-in-law Gaius Cassius Longinus and other men, calling themselves the Liberatores. Many plans were discussed by the group, as documented by Nicolaus of Damascus: The conspirators never met openly, but they assembled a few at a time in each other's homes. There were many discussions and proposals, as might be expected, while they investigated how and where to execute their design; some suggested that they should make the attempt along the Sacred Way, one of his favorite walks. Another idea was to do it at the elections, during which he had to cross a bridge to appoint the magistrates in the Campus Martius.
Someone proposed that they draw lots for some to push him from the bridge and others to run up and kill him. A third plan was to wait for a coming gladiatorial show; the advantage of that was. The majority opinion, favored killing him while he sat in the Senate, he would be there by himself, since only Senators were admitted, the conspirators could hide their daggers beneath their togas. This plan won the day. Nicolaus writes that in the days leading up to the assassination, Caesar was told by doctors and his wife, not to attend the Senate on the Ides for various reasons, including medical concerns and troubling dreams Calpurnia had:...his friends were alarmed at certain rumors and tried to stop him going to the senate-house, as did his doctors, for he was suffering from one of his occasional dizzy spells. His wife, Calpurnia, frightened by some visions in her dreams, clung to him and said that she would not let him go out that day, but Brutus, one of the conspirators, thought of as a firm friend, came up and said,'What is this, Caesar?
Are you a man to pay attention to a woman's dreams and the idle gossip of stupid men, to insult the Senate by not going out, although it has honored you and has been specially summoned by you? But listen to me, cast aside
De Bello Hispaniensi
De Bello Hispaniensi is a Latin work continuing Julius Caesar's commentaries, De Bello Gallico and De Bello Civili, its sequels by two different unknown authors De Bello Alexandrino and De Bello Africo. It details Caesar's campaigns on the Iberian Peninsula. De Bello Hispaniensi is preceded by De Bello Africo; these three works end the Caesarean corpus relating Caesar's civil war. Though collected and bound with Caesar's authentic writings, their authorship has been debated since antiquity. One plausible theory favors Hirtius as the author of De Bello Alexandrino, but due to considerable differences in style, scholarly consensus has ruled out Hirtius or Julius Caesar as the authors of the two last parts. It has been suggested that these were in fact rough drafts prepared at the request of Hirtius by two separate soldiers who fought in the respective campaign. Regarding De Bello Hispaniensi T. Rice Holmes writes: "Bellum Hispaniense is the worst book in Latin literature; the language is ungrammatical and unintelligible.
The copyists performed their tasks so ill that in the forty-two paragraphs there are twenty-one gaps and six hundred corrupt passages, which Mommsen and lesser men have striven with an industry worthy of a better cause to restore." About the author, A. G. Way ventures that "Macaulay's guess that he was some'sturdy old centurion who fought better than he wrote' is not far off the truth". Van Hooff, disagrees. At any rate, the work is interesting for the fact that it gives a contemporary view of Caesar not written by Caesar himself. Commentarii de Bello Gallico Commentarii de Bello Civili De Bello Alexandrino De Bello Africo Caesar's civil war for an account of the campaign Van Hooff, Anton J. L.. "The Caesar of the Bellum Hispaniense". Mnemosyne, Fourth Series, Vol. 27, Fasc. 2, pp. 123-138
The Roman Senate was a political institution in ancient Rome. It was one of the most enduring institutions in Roman history, being established in the first days of the city of Rome, it survived the overthrow of the kings in 509 BC, the fall of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC, the division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, the barbarian rule of Rome in the 5th, 6th, 7th centuries. During the days of the kingdom, it was little more than an advisory council to the king; the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, was overthrown following a coup d'état led by Lucius Junius Brutus, who founded the Roman Republic. During the early Republic, the Senate was politically weak, while the various executive magistrates were quite powerful. Since the transition from monarchy to constitutional rule was most gradual, it took several generations before the Senate was able to assert itself over the executive magistrates. By the middle Republic, the Senate had reached the apex of its republican power.
The late Republic saw a decline in the Senate's power, which began following the reforms of the tribunes Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus. After the transition of the Republic into the Principate, the Senate lost much of its political power as well as its prestige. Following the constitutional reforms of the Emperor Diocletian, the Senate became politically irrelevant; when the seat of government was transferred out of Rome, the Senate was reduced to a purely municipal body. This decline in status was reinforced when the emperor Constantine the Great created an additional senate in Constantinople. After Romulus Augustulus was deposed in 476 the Senate in the West functioned under the rule of Odovacer, 476–489 and during Ostrogothic rule, 489–535, it was restored after the reconquest of Italy by Justinian I. However, the Senate in Rome disappeared at some point after AD 603. Despite this, the title "senator" was still used well into the Middle Ages as a meaningless honorific. However, the Eastern Senate survived in Constantinople, until the ancient institution vanished there, c. 14th century.
The senate was a political institution in the ancient Roman Kingdom. The word senate derives from the Latin word senex, which means "old man"; the prehistoric Indo-Europeans who settled Italy in the centuries before the legendary founding of Rome in 753 BC were structured into tribal communities, these communities included an aristocratic board of tribal elders. The early Roman family was called a gens or "clan", each clan was an aggregation of families under a common living male patriarch, called a pater; when the early Roman gentes were aggregating to form a common community, the patres from the leading clans were selected for the confederated board of elders that would become the Roman senate. Over time, the patres came to recognize the need for a single leader, so they elected a king, vested in him their sovereign power; when the king died, that sovereign power reverted to the patres. The senate is said to have been created by Rome's first king, Romulus consisting of 100 men; the descendants of those 100 men subsequently became the patrician class.
Rome's fifth king, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, chose a further 100 senators. They were chosen from the minor leading families, were accordingly called the patres minorum gentium. Rome's seventh and final king, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, executed many of the leading men in the senate, did not replace them, thereby diminishing their number. However, in 509 BC Rome's first and third consuls, Lucius Junius Brutus and Publius Valerius Publicola chose from amongst the leading equites new men for the senate, these being called conscripti, thus increased the size of the senate to 300; the senate of the Roman Kingdom held three principal responsibilities: It functioned as the ultimate repository for the executive power, it served as the king's council, it functioned as a legislative body in concert with the people of Rome. During the years of the monarchy, the senate's most important function was to elect new kings. While the king was nominally elected by the people, it was the senate who chose each new king.
The period between the death of one king and the election of a new king was called the interregnum, during which time the Interrex nominated a candidate to replace the king. After the senate gave its initial approval to the nominee, he was formally elected by the people, received the senate's final approval. At least one king, Servius Tullius, was elected by the senate alone, not by the people; the senate's most significant task, outside regal elections, was to function as the king's council, while the king could ignore any advice it offered, its growing prestige helped make the advice that it offered difficult to ignore. Only the king could make new laws, although he involved both the senate and the curiate assembly in the process; when the Republic began, the Senate functioned as an advisory council. It consisted of 300–500 senators, who were patrician and served for life. Before long, plebeians were admitted, although they were denied the senior magistracies for a longer period. Senators were entitled to wear a toga with a broad purple stripe, maroon shoes, an iron ring.
The Senate of the Roman Republic passed decrees called senatus consulta, which in form constituted "advice" from the senate to a magistrate. While these decrees did not hold legal force, they were obeyed in practice. If a senatus consultum conflicted with a
The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin and Greek elements, visible in the Roman Pantheon, its political organisation was influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, judicial and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.
Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who sacked the city in 387 BC; the Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean; the Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world, it embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
At home, the Republic experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC; the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery caused three Servile Wars. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system.
Marius Sulla dominated in turn the Republic. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but turned against each other; the final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic. Since the foundation of Rome, its rulers had been monarchs, elected for life by the patrician noblemen who made up the Roman Senate; the last Roman king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. In the traditional histories, Tarquin was expelled in 509 because his son Sextus Tarquinius had raped the noblewoman Lucretia, who afterwards took her own life. Lucretia's father, her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Tarquin's nephew Lucius Junius Brutus mustered support from the Senate and army, forced Tarquin into exile in Etruria.
The Senate agreed to abolish kingship. Most of the king's former functions were transferred to two consuls, who were elected to office for a term of one year; each consul had the capacity to act as a check on his colleague, if necessary through the same power of veto that the kings had held. If a consul abused his powers in office, he could be prosecuted. Brutus and Collatinus became Republican Rome's first consuls. Despite Collatinus' role in the creation of the Republic, he belonged to the same family as the former king, was forced to abdicate his office and leave Rome, he was replaced as co-consul by Publius Valerius Publicola. Most modern scholarship describes these events as the quasi-mythological detailing of an aristocratic coup within Tarquin's own family, not a popular revolution, they fit a narrative of a personal vengeance against a tyrant leading to his overthrow, common among Greek cities and theorised by Aristotle
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website
Ides of March
The Ides of March was a day in the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15 March. It was marked by several religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts. In 44 BC, it became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar which made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history; the Romans did not number days of a month from the first to the last day. Instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones, the Ides, the Kalends; the Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon, reflecting the lunar origin of the Roman calendar. In the earliest calendar, the Ides of March would have been the first full moon of the new year; the Ides of each month were sacred to the Romans' supreme deity. The Flamen Dialis, Jupiter's high priest, led the "Ides sheep" in procession along the Via Sacra to the arx, where it was sacrificed. In addition to the monthly sacrifice, the Ides of March was the occasion of the Feast of Anna Perenna, a goddess of the year whose festival concluded the ceremonies of the new year.
The day was enthusiastically celebrated among the common people with picnics and revelry. One source from late antiquity places the Mamuralia on the Ides of March; this observance, which has aspects of scapegoat or ancient Greek pharmakos ritual, involved beating an old man dressed in animal skins and driving him from the city. The ritual may have been a new year festival representing the expulsion of the old year. In the Imperial period, the Ides began a "holy week" of festivals celebrating Cybele and Attis, being the day Canna intrat, when Attis was born and found among the reeds of a Phrygian river, he was discovered by shepherds or the goddess Cybele, known as the Magna Mater. A week on 22 March, the solemn commemoration of Arbor intrat commemorated the death of Attis under a pine tree. A college of priests, the dendrophoroi annually cut down a tree, hung from it an image of Attis, carried it to the temple of the Magna Mater with lamentations; the day was formalized as part of the official Roman calendar under Claudius.
A three-day period of mourning followed, culminating with celebrating the rebirth of Attis on 25 March, the date of the vernal equinox on the Julian calendar. In modern times, the Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. Caesar was stabbed to death at a meeting of the Senate; as many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius, were involved. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The Ides of March are come", implying that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Aye, Caesar; this meeting is famously dramatised in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March." The Roman biographer Suetonius identifies the "seer" as a haruspex named Spurinna. Caesar's death was a closing event in the crisis of the Roman Republic, triggered the civil war that would result in the rise to sole power of his adopted heir Octavian.
Writing under Augustus, Ovid portrays the murder as a sacrilege, since Caesar was the Pontifex Maximus of Rome and a priest of Vesta. On the fourth anniversary of Caesar's death in 40 BC, after achieving a victory at the siege of Perugia, Octavian executed 300 senators and knights who had fought against him under Lucius Antonius, the brother of Mark Antony; the executions were one of a series of actions taken by Octavian to avenge Caesar's death. Suetonius and the historian Cassius Dio characterised the slaughter as a religious sacrifice, noting that it occurred on the Ides of March at the new altar to the deified Julius. Julius Caesar, a play by William Shakespeare The Ides of March, a novel by Thornton Wilder Plutarch, The Parallel Lives, The Life of Julius Caesar Nicolaus of Damascus, Life of Augustus