Julius Caesar’s Early Years w. Dr Richard Alston

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Julius Caesar is considered by many as a key individual that ended the Roman Republic. His life was complex, and in modern times, his legacy lives on in facets like the Month of “July”. Head of the Classics Department, Professor Richard Alston, Royal Holloway, University of London, joins the show again to discuss the early period of Julius Caesar’s life.

Professor Aston has appeared on the show in the past in the episodes:

Livia w. Dr Richard Alston (June 16, 2021)
Roman Republic to Empire w. Dr Richard Alston (May 23, 2021)
Life of Mark Antony w. Dr Richard Alston (May 4, 2021)

Some topics explored

  • What’s known about when and where he was born
  • What’s known about his parents
  • His sister Julia
  • His upbringing and education
  • Roman Republic appellations in this period
  • Julius Caesar’s writings: what he wrote about and his style of writing
  • Julius Caesar as an orator
  • Becoming a Consul in 59
  • His complex relationship with Cicero
  • Julius Caesar’s interactions with Sulla, including Sulla putting Caesar on a proscription list
  • His self-exile (after being put on Sulla’s proscription list), being removed in 80 BCE, and Caesar’s return to Rome in 78 BCE (after Sulla’s death)
  • The story about Julius Caesar coming across a statute of Alexander the Great
  • His being captured by pirates on his way back to Rome from exile, and what happened
  • His marriage to Cornelia (daughter of a prominent aristocrat)
  • After Cornelia died (69), his marriage to (67)
  • His affinity and purposeful public association to Gaius Marius
  • His father being a past governor of Syria
  • Caesar’s co-consul (59), Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, and their relations
  • Caesar’s two governor tenures in Hispania (the Italian Peninsula in this period)
  • The Conspiracy of Cataline, and Caesar’s populous position on the matter
  • Crassus & Pompey and the relationship between the three (also known informally as a Triumvirate)
  • His conquest in Gaul
  • The month of July being named after, and in honour, of Julius Caesar
  • The start of the Civil War (between the factions of Julius Caesar and Pompey) and the circumstances that surrounding its commencement

Listen to the episode

The episode can be streamed below and is also available on major podcast apps: Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Amazon Music.

Show Notes

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