Julius Caesar's use of amicitia to advance his politcal career

Essay by smoking_alcoHigh School, 12th gradeA, August 2004

download word file, 7 pages 4.5

Downloaded 33 times

The period 78 - 28 BC saw the emergence of powerful individuals in what was characterised as a significant turning point in the history of ancient Rome - the fall of the Roman republic. However there is one particular individual who should be mentioned for his political career was instrumental in establishing this downfall. Although Julius Caesar is most famously known noted for his ability as a general, his life in politics reflected his clever and astute qualities characterised by his political friendships - amicitia - to advance his career.

The sources, when describing Caesar's career directly associate his climb up the cursus honorum with his use of amicitia. But before Caesar was even quaestor, he was already establishing himself as a political force to be considered - his manoeuvering early in his career setting a pretext for what was to come.

One of Caesar's first significant moves was in his support of Pompey's extraordinary commands, namely the Lex Gabinia and Lex Manilia, in 67 and 66 respectively.

Earlier in 70, Pompey and Crassus had restored the powers of the tribunes and at the same time won power by promising drastic reform of the senatorial juries, which had proved to be extremely corrupt. So in saying this, since the power for the moment was with Pompey, Caesar had done the right thing in supporting him, and in addition to this would have been aware of the future possibilities of using a tribune to promote his own career. Modern historian Christian Meier concurs with this view saying "...in any case it was important that he should put himself in good standing with Pompey. If he ever wished to pit himself against the Senate majority, Pompey would be a natural ally". Gelzer too agrees that this was an important tactical move...