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Caesar was born
into a noble family and his early career path was typical of a man of his class. After narrowly escaping execution under Sulla he fled Rome and served in the army. Upon the death of Sulla, he returned to Rome and became one of the leader of the popular party in Rome. A charismatic figure he became one of the best-known figures on the political scene. Caesar was able to enter into an informal political arrangement with Crassus and Pompey, known as the First Triumvirate. This was an agreement that allowed the three men to secure their political goals and to become the de-facto government of the Republic<ref> Goldsworthy, Anthony. Caesar: Life of a Colossus (Yale, Yale University Press, 2006), p. 61</ref>. Under this arrangement Caesar was able to secure election as consul and to become the commander of several legions. An inveterate gambler Caesar used a Germanic incursion into Gaul to intervene in that region. At the time Gaul covered most France and Belgium. Caesar in a ten-year campaign conquered this region and raided Germany and Britain. After the death of Crassus, the First Triumvirate broke down, at the same time the Senate threatened Caesar with prosecution<ref>Goldsworthy, p. 141</ref>. Caesar advanced on Rome, to secure his position and this led to a civil war between him and the Roman senate, whose army was commanded by Pompey the Great. Caesar defeated his enemies at Pharsalus (Greece), but this did not end the war. Mark Anthony ruled in Caesar’s name in Rome and Italy. The conflict continued to rage over the Mediterranean for several years. Caesar emerged victorious and by 44 BC after his decisive victory at the Battle of Mutina. By this time Caesar was the most powerful man in Rome. He had been elected by the Senate as dictator initially for five years, but later for life. This meant that along with the army under his control, he was granted extraordinary powers. His position it seemed was beyond challenge, but this was all to change on the Ides of March 44 BCE.
====The Assassination of Julius Caesar====
By March 44 BCE, it appears that there was an extensive conspiracy aimed at the removal of Caesar from power. The members of the conspiracy were all prominent Romans who were known to the great general<ref> Syme, Ronald, The Roman Revolution (Oxford, Oxford University, 2002), p 218</ref>. The sources on the assassination and the conspiracy are not contemporary and there are some contradictions in them. However, many of the facts of the assassination can be established with a great deal of certainty. The guiding spirit behind the conspiracy is believed to be Cassius, a leading Roman senator. The members of the plot called themselves the liberators, meaning the liberators. The plot involved luring Caesar to Pompey’s theatre where gladiatorial games were to be held in his honour. The Roman leader was notoriously reckless when it came to his personal security. He refused bodyguards and he declared that to live surrounded by guards was not a life he wanted. Caesar had only a few personal attendants who escorted him everywhere. On the Ides of March (the 15th of March) the gladiatorial games were staged. Caesar was expected to come, and he was the guest of honour. Typically, he was late, and this alarmed the conspirators. Then nominal leader of the conspirators was Brutus, who was well known to Caesar. It is alleged that the great Roman had been the lover of Brutus’ mother. Brutus had fought against Caesar at Pharsalus but had been pardoned. Despite this Brutus, agreed to lure Caesar to the theatre to ensure that the plan could be put in motion. He was successful, and he managed to persuade the, de-facto ruler of Rome to attend. As Caesar was entering the theatre where the games were to be held, one of the conspirators approached the leader. He pretended to hand a petition to Caesar. It appears that he was alone as he had left some servants behind in a rush to get to the theatre. More significantly the group had delayed Mark Anthony and he was not accompanying Caesar. This meant that Caesar was alone and virtually defenceless. One of the conspirators possible Casca according to the Greek historian Plutarch seized the toga of Caesar. This shocked him, because as he was dictator his person was sacrosanct. The group of conspirators then drew knives from their toga and proceeded to stab Caesar. It is estimated that up to fifty men, all members of the Roman senatorial order attacked him. Not all of them were able to get near the man they hated and who they believed was a threat to Rome. It was later revealed that Caesar had been stabbed over thirty times and that he died from blood loss. It is reported that his last words were ‘Et Tus Bruti’, meaning you too Brutus. It appears that he regarded Brutus as a kind of son<ref>Plutarch, Life of Julius Caesar, xxv </ref>. This is not stated in all of the sources. Several of the sources state that the great general died at the foot of a statue of his great enemy Pompey.