The following timeline gives an outline of the major events in
Julius Caesar life. If you want greater details regarding him it is worth
reading his Gallic wars - written in a very straightforward way and tells you a
lot about him and his approach. Caesar's War Commentaries
100BC - This is quite likely Julius Caesar's
date of birth although the year 102BC is also possible. Caius Julius Caesar was born of a noble family: the Gens
Julia. In this year General Marius defeated the Germanic tribes of Cimbri
and Teutones who were threatening to invade northern Italy.
91-88BC - Rome's social struggles
88BC - First war against Mithridates
13th Jan 86 AD - General Marius has taken control of Rome by
force but then dies a natural death. His ally Cinna is Consul.
85BC - Julius Caesar marries Cinna's daughter Cornelia.
82BC - General Sulla, sworn adversary of Marius and Cinna takes
power by force. Caesar is proscribed and condemned to death as a supporter
of Marius and Cinna but later pardoned thanks to intercession of friends.
His daughter Julia is born (later in life she was wedded to General Pompey
for political reasons).
78BC - Caesar takes part in the war against the Mediterranean
pirates. General Sulla dies.
74BC - Second Mithridatic war
71BC - The Gladiator Spartacus is betrayed by pirates and defeated
70BC - Caesar holds the position of Questor in Spain. Pompey and
Crassus are Consuls in Rome.
67BC - Caesar marries Pompea having been left a widower by
Cornelia. General Pompey inflicts a devastating and final defeat on the
65BC - Caesar is Aedile.
63BC - Caesar is made Pontifex Maximus - a religious position which
at that time was largely a honorific title. Cicero is Consul and averts the
Catiline conspiracy. Octavian is born - future adoptive son of Caesar and
first emperor of Rome known as Augustus Caesar.
62BC - Caesar repudiates his wife Pompea after she is involved in a
marital scandal which doesn't befit their public position. Caesar is given
the position of Praetor.
61BC - Caesar barely manages to abate his creditors thanks to the
aid of his rich friend Crassus. Caesar is sent to Spain.
60BC - First Triumvirate: Caesar, Pompey and Crassus.
59BC - Caesar is made Consul and obtains the military command in
Gaul he desired. He marries his daughter Julia to his co-ruler Pompey.
58BC - Caesar wins war against the Helvetii (today's Switzerland)
and then forces germanic tribes back across the Rhine.
57BC - Caesar wins war against the Belgi (region between
Switzerland and the Channel, to the north of Paris)
56BC - Caesar wins war against the Veneti in Armorica (westernmost
France). The Triumvirate is reconfirmed as is Julius Caesar's military
command in Gaul. Crassus and Pompey become consuls and take military command
of Syria and Spain.
55BC - Julius Caesar builds his amazing bridge across the Rhine in
record time. War against the Sicambri. First incursion into Britannia
54BC - More significant campaign against the Brittons with as many
as 800 ships carrying five legions and four thousand horsemen. His victory
wasn't definitive as he was forced back to hold a grip on Gaul.
53BC - Crassus dies in battle against the Parthians & the
equilibrium of the Triumvirate is broken, setting the stage for a power
struggle between Caesar and Pompey. The death of Caesar's daughter Julia who
had been wedded to Pompey makes confrontation almost inevitable.
52BC - Uprisings in Gaul & Caesar's famous siege of Alise (Alesia).
15km of fortified double ramparts were built around the city to siege whilst
at the same time being sieged by the Gauls coming in aid of Vercingetorix.
Roman victory against all odds.
51BC - Caesar writes his De Bello Gallico (Commentaries of his War
in Gaul) praised even by his opponent Cicero for his ability as a writer.
The 7 books have remained a landmark through the ages.
50BC - Caesar's political enemies in Rome are capitalising on the
futility of the campaign against the Brittons and getting the better of
Caesar's supporters. Pompey is convinced into joining Caesar's opposition
(the Optimates - Conservative party). Caesar demands an extention of his
mandate and nomination as Consul.
11th January 49BC - All attempts at reconciliation
between the opposition in Rome and Caesar in Gaul fail. Caesar refuses to
depose arms and together with his legions crosses the small river Rubicon
into Italy, against Pompey. "The die is cast" - "Alea Jacta
49-48BC - Pompey leaves Rome for the Italian port of Brindisi in
time to rally in Greece with his army: three hundred ships, plenty of
supplies and something in the region of 50,000 men.
Caesar makes for Rome and then on to Spain in order to fight one of Pompey's
factions. Having ensured food supplies to Rome through Sicily, Caesar takes
control of the greater part of Spain within two months. Caesar showed great
leniency towards Pompey's Spanish legions and demanded they disband and
choose to make their way back to Italy or follow him.
On the way back to Rome Caesar gives the final coup-de-grace to the siege
of Marseilles (Massillia). Caesar has himself elected Consul in Rome.
Caesar makes for Greece in chase of his great adversary Pompey with some
thirty thousand men - a net disadvantage.
After a few tentative skirmishes the first military encounter of
significance is at Durazzo. Pompey has the better, Caesar is forced to
retreat and Pompey's caution means he fails to capitalise on his advantage.
Caesar is aware of his luck.
48BC - Caesar's complete victory over Pompey at Pharsalia (Eastern
side of Greece). Pompey escapes for seven weeks to Egypt where he is
treacherously killed by the Pharoah Ptolemy 14th who wanted to ingratiate
Caesar. Plutarch tells us that Caesar was horrified and wept at the sight of
Pompey's head. Caesar risks his life several times whilst taking Alexandria.
He places Cleopatra on the throne of Egypt. Love trip with Cleo down the
Caesar returns to Rome and is named dictator for life (Dictator Perpetuo),
Consul for 5 years and Tribune for life.
47BC - Mithridates' son Farnax, king of the Bosphorus wages war.
Caesar wins the war in a lightning 5 days. "Veni Vidi Vici" -
"I Came, I Saw, I Conquered". It is unclear where exactly these
words come from, whether in a letter or possibly displayed during his
46BC - Final defeat of Pompey's allies in northern Africa. Cato
commits suicide rather than having to live under dictatorship.
45BC - Caesar defeats Pompey's son in Spain and obtains the title
of "imperator" from the Senate. He sets about making order in the
public estate. He reforms the calendar, begins great urban projects and
adopts Octavian as his son and heir.
15th March 44BC - The ides of March - Julius Caesar's life
is ended at the feet of the statue of Pompey by Cassius, Brutus and other
Republicans in the Senate.