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Caesar was born to a patrician Roman family who had once been very influential in the Republic. However, by the time of Caesar’s birth, their fortunes had declined and they were no longer particularly prominent.<ref> Freeman, Philip. [https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743289544/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0743289544&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=04b3744690637472a5e2eb2eb8dc57c6 Julius Caesar]. Simon and Schuster, 2008), p. 16</ref> We know little about Caesar's childhood, but during his teenage years Rome was unstable. Additionally, the death of his father left him somewhat unprotected.
A bloody civil war between Marius and Sulla forced Caesar to pick sides. Caesar sided with Marius, but when the war shifted in favor of Sulla, Caesar was forced to flee Rome and join the army to avoid execution. Caesar quickly rose through ranks of the army and distinguished himself. Upon the death of Sulla, he returned to Rome and became one of the leader of the popular party in Rome.