Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder was a Roman author and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, friend of emperor Vespasian. Spending most of his spare time studying and investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field, Pliny wrote the encyclopedic Naturalis Historia, which became an editorial model for encyclopedias, his nephew, Pliny the Younger, wrote of him in a letter to the historian Tacitus: For my part I deem those blessed to whom, by favour of the gods, it has been granted either to do what is worth writing of, or to write what is worth reading. In the latter number will be my uncle, of your compositions. Pliny the Younger refers to Tacitus’s reliance upon his uncle's book, the History of the German Wars. Pliny the Elder died in AD 79 in Stabiae while attempting the rescue of a friend and his family by ship from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which had destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum; the wind caused by the sixth and largest pyroclastic surge of the volcano’s eruption did not allow his ship to leave port, Pliny died during that event.
Pliny's dates are pinned to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and a statement of his nephew that he died in his 56th year, which would put his birth in AD 23 or 24. Pliny was the son of an equestrian, Gaius Plinius Celer, his wife, Marcella. Neither the younger nor the elder Pliny mention the names, their ultimate source is a fragmentary inscription found in a field in Verona and recorded by the 16th-century Augustinian monk Onofrio Panvinio at Verona. The form is an elegy; the most accepted reconstruction is PLINIVS SECVNDVS AVGV. LERI. PATRI. MATRI. MARCELLAE. TESTAMENTO FIERI IVSSOThe Vs represent Us, it should say "Plinius Secundus augur ordered this to be made as a testament to his father ler and his mother Marcella"The actual words are fragmentary. The reading of the inscription depends on the reconstruction, but in all cases the names come through. Whether he was an augur and whether she was named Grania Marcella are less certain. Jean Hardouin presents a statement from an unknown source that he claims was ancient, that Pliny was from Verona and that his parents were Celer and Marcella.
Hardouin cites the conterraneity of Catullus. How the inscription got to Verona is unknown, but it could have arrived by dispersal of property from Pliny the Younger's Tuscan estate at Colle Plinio, north of Città di Castello, identified for certain by his initials in the roof tiles, he kept statues of his ancestors there. Pliny the Elder was born at Como, not at Verona: it is only as a native of old Gallia Transpadana that he calls Catullus of Verona his conterraneus, or fellow-countryman, not his municeps, or fellow-townsman. A statue of Pliny on the façade of the Duomo of Como celebrates him as a native son, he had a sister, who married into the Caecilii and was the mother of his nephew, Pliny the Younger, whose letters describe his work and study regimen in detail. In one of his letters to Tacitus, Pliny the Younger details how his uncle's breakfasts would be light and simple following the customs of our forefathers; this shows that Pliny the Younger wanted it to be conveyed that Pliny the Elder was a "good Roman", which means that he maintained the customs of the great Roman forefathers.
This statement would have pleased Tacitus. Two inscriptions identifying the hometown of Pliny the Younger as Como take precedence over the Verona theory. One commemorates the younger's career as the imperial magistrate and details his considerable charitable and municipal expenses on behalf of the people of Como. Another identifies his father Lucius' village as Fecchio near Como. Therefore, Plinia was a local girl and Pliny the Elder, her brother, was from Como. Gaius was a member of the Plinia gens: the insubric root Plina still persists, with rhotacism, in the local surname "Prina", he did not take his father's cognomen, but assumed his own, Secundus. As his adopted son took the same cognomen, Pliny founded the Plinii Secundi; the family was prosperous. No earlier instances of the Plinii are known. In 59 BC, only about 82 years before Pliny's birth, Julius Caesar founded Novum Comum as a colonia to secure the region against the Alpine tribes, whom he had been unable to defeat, he imported a population of 4,500 from other provinces to be placed in Comasco and 500 aristocratic Greeks to found Novum Comum itself.
The community was thus multi-ethnic and the Plinies could have come from anywhere. No record of any ethnic distinctions in Pliny's time is apparent; the population prided themselves on being Roman citizens. Pliny the Elder had no children. In his will, he adopted his nephew; the adoption is called a "testamental adoption" by writers on the topic, who assert that it applied to the name change only, but Roman jurisprudence recognizes no such category. Pliny the Younger thus became the adopted son of Pliny the Elder after the latter's death. Fo
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Northern European origin identified by their use of the Germanic languages. Their history stretches from the 2nd millennium BCE up to the present day. Proto-Germanic peoples are believed to have emerged during the Nordic Bronze Age, which developed out of the Battle Axe culture in southern Scandinavia. During the Iron Age various Germanic tribes began a southward expansion at the expense of Celtic peoples, which led to centuries of sporadic violent conflict with ancient Rome, it is from Roman authors. The decisive victory of Arminius at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE is believed to have prevented the eventual Romanization of the Germanic peoples, has therefore been considered a turning point in world history. Germanic tribes settled the entire Roman frontier along the Rhine and the Danube, some established close relations with the Romans serving as royal tutors and mercenaries, sometimes rising to the highest offices in the Roman military.
Meanwhile, Germanic tribes expanded into Eastern Europe, where the Goths subdued the local Iranian nomads and came to dominate the Pontic Steppe launching sea expeditions into the Balkans and Anatolia as far as Cyprus. The westward expansion of the Huns into Europe in the late 4th century CE pushed many Germanic tribes into the Western Roman Empire, their vacated lands were filled by Slavs. Much of these territories were reclaimed in following centuries. Other tribes became known as the Anglo-Saxons. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, a series of Germanic kingdoms emerged, of which, Francia gained a dominant position; this kingdom formed the Holy Roman Empire under the leadership of Charlemagne, recognized by Pope Leo III in 800 CE. Meanwhile, North Germanic seafarers referred to as Vikings, embarked on a massive expansion which led to the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy, Kievan Rus' and their settlement of the British Isles and the North Atlantic Ocean as far as North America.
With the North Germanic abandonment of their native religion in the 11th century, nearly all Germanic peoples had been converted to Christianity. In about 222 BCE, the first use of the Latin term "Germani" appears in the Fasti Capitolini inscription de Galleis Insvbribvs et Germ; this may be referring to Gaul or related people. The term Germani shows up again written by Poseidonios, but is a quotation inserted by the author Athenaios who wrote much later. Somewhat the first surviving detailed discussions of Germani and Germania are those of Julius Caesar, whose memoirs are based on first-hand experience. From Caesar's perspective, Germania was a geographical area of land on the east bank of the Rhine opposite Gaul, which Caesar left outside direct Roman control; this word provides the etymological origin of the modern concept of "Germanic" languages and Germany as a geographical abstraction. For some classical authors Germania included regions of Sarmatia, as well as an area under Roman control on the west bank of the Rhine.
Additionally, in the south there were Celtic peoples still living east of the Rhine and north of the Alps. Caesar and others noted differences of culture which could be found on the east of the Rhine, but the theme of all these cultural references was that this was a wild and dangerous region, less civilized than Gaul, a place that required additional military vigilance. Caesar used the term Germani for a specific tribal grouping in northeastern Belgic Gaul, west of the Rhine, the largest part of whom were the Eburones, he made clear. These are the so-called Germani Cisrhenani, whom Caesar believed to be related to the peoples east of the Rhine, descended from immigrants into Gaul. Tacitus suggests that this was the original meaning of the word "Germani" – as the name of a single tribal nation west of the Rhine, ancestral to the Tungri, not the name of a whole race as it came to mean, he suggested that two large Belgic tribes neighbouring Caesar's Germani, the Nervii and the Treveri, liked to call themselves Germanic in his time, in order not to be associated with Gaulish indolence.
Caesar described this group of tribes both as Germani. Gauls are associated with Celtic languages, the term Germani is associated with Germanic languages, but Caesar did not discuss languages in detail; the geographer Ptolemy described the place where these people lived as Germania, which according to his accounts was bordered by the Rhine and Danube Rivers, but he circumscribed into Greater Germania an area which included Jutland and an enormous island known as Scandia. While saying that the Germani had ancestry across the Rhine, Caesar did not describe these tribes as recent immigrants, saying that they had defended themselves some generations earlier from the invading Cimbri and Teutones, it has been claimed, for example by Maurits Gysseling, that the place names of this region show evidence of an early presence of Germanic languages, as early as the 2nd century BCE. The Celtic culture and language were however influential als
The Chattuarii or Attoarii were a Germanic tribe of the Franks. They lived north of the Rhine in the area of the modern border between Germany and the Netherlands, but moved southwards in the 4th century, as a Frankish tribe living on both sides of the Rhine. According to Velleius Paterculus, in 4 AD, the emperor Tiberius crossed the Rhine, first attacking a tribe which commentators interpret variously as the Cananefates or Chamavi, both being in the area of the modern Netherlands the Chattuari, the Bructeri between Ems and Lippe, somewhere to the north of the modern Ruhr district in Germany; this implies. Strabo mentions the Chattuari as one of the non-nomadic northern Germanic tribes in a group along with the Cherusci, the Chatti, the Gamabrivii. Strabo notes them as one of the tribes who allied under the Cherusci and were made poor after being defeated by Germanicus, they appeared at his triumph in 17 AD along with the Caülci, Bructeri, Cherusci, Chatti and Tubattii. There is no consensus on any connection between the Chattuarii and either the similar-sounding Chatti or, less the Chasuarii, who both lived in a similar region of Germany, are mentioned in Roman era texts.
The Chattuari appear again in the historical record in the 4th century, living on the Rhine amongst the first tribes to be known as Franks. Ammianus Marcellinus reports that Emperor Julian, crossed the Rhine border from Xanten and......entered the district belonging to a Frank tribe, called the Attuarii, men of a turbulent character, who at that moment were licentiously plundering the districts of Gaul. He attacked them unexpectedly while they were apprehensive of no hostile measures, but were reposing in fancied security, relying on the ruggedness and difficulty of the roads which led into their country, which no prince within their recollection had penetrated; some of them were settled in France pagus attuariorum south of Langres in the 3rd century. Under the Franks, the name of the Chattuari was used for what became two early medieval gaus on either side of the ride, north of the Ripuarian Franks, whose capital was in Cologne; the eastern side, they were near the Ruhr river, across the Rhine they settled near the Niers river, between Maas and Rhine, where the Romans had much earlier settled the Germanic Cugerni.
This western gau is mentioned in the Treaty of Meerssen, in the year 870 AD. The Chattuarii may appear in the poem Beowulf as "Hetwaras" where they appear to form a league together with the Hugas and the Frisians to fight against a Geatish raiding force from Denmark; the Geats are defeated and their king Hygelac is killed, Beowulf alone escaping. According to Widsith, the Hætwera were ruled by Hun. List of ancient Germanic peoples
The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in an northerly direction through Germany and The Netherlands to the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and the Franco-German border flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and empties into the North Sea; the largest city on the Rhine is Cologne, with a population of more than 1,050,000 people. It is the second-longest river in Central and Western Europe, at about 1,230 km, with an average discharge of about 2,900 m3/s; the Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire and, since those days, the Rhine has been a vital and navigable waterway carrying trade and goods deep inland. Its importance as a waterway in the Holy Roman Empire is supported by the many castles and fortifications built along it. In the modern era, it has become a symbol of German nationalism.
Among the biggest and most important cities on the Rhine are Cologne, Düsseldorf, Rotterdam and Basel. The variants of the name of the Rhine in modern languages are all derived from the Gaulish name Rēnos, adapted in Roman-era geography as Greek Ῥῆνος, Latin Rhenus; the spelling with Rh- in English Rhine as well as in German Rhein and French Rhin is due to the influence of Greek orthography, while the vocalisation -i- is due to the Proto-Germanic adoption of the Gaulish name as *Rīnaz, via Old Frankish giving Old English Rín,Old High German Rīn, early Middle Dutch Rijn. The diphthong in modern German Rhein is a Central German development of the early modern period, the Alemannic name Rī retaining the older vocalism, as does Ripuarian Rhing, while Palatine has diphthongized Rhei, Rhoi. Spanish is with French in adopting the Germanic vocalism Rin-, while Italian and Portuguese retain the Latin Ren-; the Gaulish name Rēnos belongs to a class of river names built from the PIE root *rei- "to move, run" found in other names such as the Reno in Italy.
The grammatical gender of the Celtic name is masculine, the name remains masculine in German and French. The Old English river name was variously inflected as feminine; the length of the Rhine is conventionally measured in "Rhine-kilometers", a scale introduced in 1939 which runs from the Old Rhine Bridge at Constance to Hoek van Holland. The river is shortened from its natural course due to a number of canalisation projects completed in the 19th and 20th century; the "total length of the Rhine", to the inclusion of Lake Constance and the Alpine Rhine is more difficult to measure objectively. Its course is conventionally divided as follows: The Rhine carries its name without distinctive accessories only from the confluence of the Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein and Rein Posteriur/Hinterrhein next to Reichenau in Tamins. Above this point is the extensive catchment of the headwaters of the Rhine, it belongs exclusively to the Swiss canton of Graubünden, ranging from Saint-Gotthard Massif in the west via one valley lying in Ticino and Italy in the south to the Flüela Pass in the east.
Traditionally, Lake Toma near the Oberalp Pass in the Gotthard region is seen as the source of the Anterior Rhine and the Rhine as a whole. The Posterior Rhine rises in the Rheinwald below the Rheinwaldhorn; the source of the river is considered north of Lai da Tuma/Tomasee on Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein, although its southern tributary Rein da Medel is longer before its confluence with the Anterior Rhine near Disentis. The Anterior Rhine springs from Lai da Tuma/Tomasee, near the Oberalp Pass and passes the impressive Ruinaulta formed by the largest visible rock slide in the alps, the Flims Rockslide; the Posterior Rhine starts near the Rheinwaldhorn. One of its tributaries, the Reno di Lei, drains the Valle di Lei on politically Italian territory. After three main valleys separated by the two gorges and Viamala, it reaches Reichenau in Tamins; the Anterior Rhine arises from numerous source streams in the upper Surselva and flows in an easterly direction. One source is Lai da Tuma with the Rein da Tuma, indicated as source of the Rhine, flowing through it.
Into it flow tributaries from the south, some longer, some equal in length, such as the Rein da Medel, the Rein da Maighels, the Rein da Curnera. The Cadlimo Valley in the canton of Ticino is drained by the Reno di Medel, which crosses the geomorphologic Alpine main ridge from the south. All streams in the source area are sometimes captured and sent to storage reservoirs for the local hydro-electric power plants; the culminating point of the Anterior Rhine's drainage basin is the Piz Russein of the Tödi massif of the Glarus Alps at 3,613 metres above sea level. It starts with the creek Aua da Russein. In its lower course the Anterior Rhine flows through a gorge named Ruinaulta; the whole stretch of the Anterior Rhine to the Alpine Rhine confluence next to Reichen
The Chauci were an ancient Germanic tribe living in the low-lying region between the Rivers Ems and Elbe, on both sides of the Weser and ranging as far inland as the upper Weser. Along the coast they lived on artificial mounds called terpen, built high enough to remain dry during the highest tide. A dense population of Chauci lived further inland, they are presumed to have lived in a manner similar to the lives of the other Germanic peoples of the region, their ultimate origins are not well understood. In the Germanic pre-Migration Period the Chauci and the related Frisians and Angles inhabited the Continental European coast from the Zuyder Zee to south Jutland. All of these peoples shared a common material culture, so cannot be defined archaeologically; the Chauci centered on the Weser and Elbe, but in c. AD 58 they expanded westward to the River Ems by expelling the neighboring Ampsivarii, whereby they gained a border with the Frisians to the west; the Romans referred to the Chauci living between the Weser and Elbe as the'Greater Chauci' and those living between the Ems and Weser as the'Lesser Chauci'.
The Chauci entered the historical record in descriptions of them by classical Roman sources late in the 1st century BC in the context of Roman military campaigns and sea raiding. For the next 200 years the Chauci provided Roman auxiliaries through treaty obligations, but they appear in their own right in concert with other Germanic tribes, opposing the Romans. Accounts of wars therefore mention the Chauci on both sides of the conflict, though the actions of troops under treaty obligation were separate from the policies of the tribe; the Chauci lost their separate identity in the 3rd century when they merged with the Saxons, after which time they were considered to be Saxons. The circumstances of the merger are an unsettled issue of scholarly research; the Germans of the region were not hierarchical. This had been noted by Tacitus, for example when he mentioned the names of two kings of the 1st century Frisians and added that they were kings "as far as the Germans are under kings". Haywood says the Chauci were neither centralised nor stratified, though they became more so after 100 AD.
Yorke, speaking of the 5th century, describes the'Continental Saxons' as having powerful local families and a dominant military leader. Writing in AD 79, Pliny the Elder said that the Germanic tribes were members of separate groups of people, suggesting a distinction among them, he said that the Chauci and Teutoni—the people from the River Ems through Jutland and for some distance inland—were members of a group called Ingaevones. Tacitus, writing in AD 98, described the inland, non-coastal Chauci homeland as immense, densely populated, well-stocked with horses, he was effusive in his praise of their character as a people, saying that they were the noblest of the Germans, preferring justice to violence, being neither aggressive nor predatory, but militarily capable and always prepared for war if the need arose. Pliny had described the Chauci who lived there, he said that they were "wretched natives" living on a barren coast in small cottages on hilltops, or on mounds of turf built high enough to stay dry during the highest tide.
They fished for food, unlike their neighbors they had no cattle, had nothing to drink except rainwater caught in ditches. They used a type of dried mud as fuel for heating, he mentioned their spirit of independence, saying that though they had nothing of value, they would resent any attempt to conquer them. The record is incomplete; the bulk of historical information about the Chauci is from the Annals of Tacitus, written in 117. Many parts of his works have not survived, including an entire section covering the years AD 38–46, as well as the years after AD 69; the earliest mention of the Chauci is from 12 BC and suggests that they were assisting other Germanic tribes in a war against the Romans. Drusus campaigned against those Germans along the lower Rhine, after devastating the lands west and north of the Rhine he won over the Frisians, he was in the process of attacking the Chauci. Drusus withdrew; the Germans under Arminius had destroyed 3 Roman legions under Varus at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9.
The Romans recoiled at first but Germanicus initiated destructive campaigns against those Germans whom the Romans blamed for their defeat. The Chauci were not among them, were said to have promised aid, were associated with the Romans in "military fellowship". However, in defeating Arminius' own tribe the Romans were unable to capture or kill Arminius, who escaped. There were Chauci among the Roman auxiliaries, they were rumored to have allowed the escape. In one of the campaigns a Roman fleet was broken up by a storm. Germanicus himself managed to survive by reaching the lands of the Chauci, who provided him with a safe haven. Germanicus campaigns had resulted in recovery of two of three Aquila lost in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest defeat. A parenthetical note concerns the Amps
Carini is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Palermo, Sicily, 21 kilometres by rail west-northwest of Palermo. It has a population of 37,752. On the coast are some ruins of the ancient Hyccara, the only Sican settlement on the coast, it was stormed and taken by the Athenians in 415 BC, the inhabitants, among them the famous courtesan Lais, sold as slaves. At Villagrazia Christian catacombs have been found; the first historical mention of a bishop of the see is in two letters of Pope Gregory the Great, in the 6th century, one addressed to Bonifacius of Reggio Calabria, the other to Barbarus of Carini. But many signs, including local catacombs, show that a Christian community existed at Carini from the 3rd century. A lead seal bears the name of a Felix, bishop of this see. One of Gregory the Great's letters show that the diocese was incorporated into that of Reggio Calabria in September 595, but by 602 it was again under its own bishop. A Bishop John of the see took part in a synod at Rome in 649.
The last testimony to its existence dates from the 8th century, the Muslim conquest of Sicily, which began in 827, brought it to an end as a residential bishopric. As a result, Carini/Hyccara/Hyccarum is today listed by the Catholic Church. Tourism is an important part Carini's economy. Carini's lure for tourists is based on shopping but on its possession of other ancient and modern attractions. Carini has one of the biggest shopping areas in Sicily called the Zona Industriale where more than ten big shopping centres can be found; the Zona Industriale attracts people from the surrounding areas and beyond during weekends and the summer season. Carini has two shopping malls, including one of sicily's largest, centro commerciale Poseidon; the other shopping mall is called Portobello - Le Gallerie del Risparmio. Carini Castle The building was erected in the late ninth and early twelfth century on a previous Arab construction, by the first Norman feudal lord Rodolfo Bonello, warrior in the retinue of Count Roger.
The excavations carried out during the recent restoration, both in the east and in the north, they have surfaced walls of earlier times to the Norman. The castle has a large courtyard, where there is the residential structure made in two elevations; the ground floor consists of: a room with a cross vault that contains a wall in stone, which served as the exterior wall. In this are visible windows and a pointed front door with splays of the old medieval structure. Outside the chapel, a portal giving access to the bastion, where the remains of a perimeter wall are visible; the second floor, reached by an outside stone staircase Billiemi, architect Matteo Carnalivari, comprises: the ballroom, classic example of fifteenth-century room with coffered wooden ceiling, fireplace adorned with the emblem of La Grua and large windows with leaning seats and from the sleeping area, composed of frescoed rooms, where you can admire a beautiful eighteenth-century decorated door that characterizes the alcove.
A small circular staircase leads while another adjoining rooms on the upper floors. From the west side there is access to an area called "Foresteria." A staircase leads to male. The continuous tower with a wooden gallery from which a mullioned window with the emblem of Abbate can observe the south side of the country; the Abbate family commanded the castle from 1283 to 1397 after Palmerio Abbate campaigned with Geovanni Procida during the War of the Sicilian Vespers. The castle was commanded by the La Grua Talamanca family. Here is the time to cruise with plumes ending with Billiemi stone. A scale, which no longer exists, allowing the output to the battlements of the tower. From a door, characterized by an arch lancet, you exit into a small terrace created, which allows to observe the city. Coastal Defensive Towers Torre Muzza, built in the seventeenth century and located on the coastal strip in Piraineto area; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Carini". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press; the Carini Exchange: Vital Records at the Wayback Machine
Gaius Julius Caesar, known by his nomen and cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician, military general, historian who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He wrote Latin prose. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed the First Triumvirate, a political alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years, their attempts to amass power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar rose to become one of the most powerful politicians in the Roman Republic through a number of his accomplishments, notably his victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC. During this time, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the English Channel and the Rhine River, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. Caesar's wars extended Rome's territory to past Gaul; these achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC.
With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Leaving his command in Gaul meant losing his immunity from being charged as a criminal for waging unsanctioned wars; as a result, Caesar found himself with no other options but to cross the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman Italy under arms. This began Caesar's civil war, his victory in the war put him in an unrivaled position of power and influence. After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar, he gave citizenship to many residents of far regions of the Roman Empire. He initiated land support for veterans, he centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic and was proclaimed "dictator for life", giving him additional authority. His populist and authoritarian reforms angered the elites. On the Ides of March, 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus and Decimus Junius Brutus, who stabbed him to death.
A new series of civil wars broke out and the constitutional government of the Republic was never restored. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian known as Augustus, rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, the era of the Roman Empire began. Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns and from other contemporary sources the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust; the biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources. Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history, his cognomen was subsequently adopted as a synonym for "Emperor". He has appeared in literary and artistic works, his political philosophy, known as Caesarism, inspired politicians into the modern era. Gaius Julius Caesar was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia, which claimed descent from Iulus, son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas the son of the goddess Venus.
The Julii were of Alban origin, mentioned as one of the leading Alban houses, which settled in Rome around the mid-7th century BC, after the destruction of Alba Longa. They were granted patrician status, along with other noble Alban families; the Julii existed at an early period at Bovillae, evidenced by a ancient inscription on an altar in the theatre of that town, which speaks of their offering sacrifices according to the lege Albana, or Alban rites. The cognomen "Caesar" originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor, born by Caesarean section; the Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations: that the first Caesar had a thick head of hair. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name. Despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesar's father called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia, his sister Julia, Caesar's aunt, married Gaius Marius, one of the most prominent figures in the Republic.
His mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesar's childhood. In 85 BC, Caesar's father died so Caesar was the head of the family at 16, his coming of age coincided with a civil war between his uncle Gaius Marius and his rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Both sides carried out bloody purges of their political opponents whenever they were in the ascendancy. Marius and his ally Lucius Cornelius Cinna were in control of the city when Caesar was nominated as the new Flamen Dialis, he was married to Cinna's daughter Cornelia. Following Sulla's final victory, Caesar's connections to the old regime made him a target for the new one, he was stripped of his inheritance, his wife's dowry, his priesthood, but he refused to divorce Cornelia and was forced to go into hiding. The threat against hi