|History Fair Extension Plan
Theme: Turning Points In History: People, Places, and Ideas
Project Outlines and Title
Team Member(s) Betsy G, Cindy D., and Diana R.
Check all to make sure your team meets the requirements
No more than 3 people to a team
Only 1 person to a team if you choose to do a paper
Research Students – may only work with other students in their Research Class (same period and roster)
Non Research Students – may only work with other non-Research students in their World Studies class (same period and teacher)
You must be able to meet and collaborate with your team members outside of school/class
Topic: The Assassination of Julius Caesar
Type of Project: Paper (solo) Exhibit Documentary Performance
Working Title (your title should make some reference to this year’s theme, Turning Points in History)
Caesar’s Death: A Turning Point in the Fall of the Roman Republic
Cindy D., Diana R., and Betsy G.
November 5, 2012
HH World Studies / Goggins
Research Question: To what extent was the assassination of Julius Caesar a turning point for the Roman Republic?
Thesis Statement: The assassination of Julius Caesar was a turning point in the Fall of the Roman Republic because it forced the abandonment of Republican laws and principles by plunging Rome into years of civil war.
Julius Caesar’s assassination is, to this day, a very memorable moment in Roman and world history. On March 15th, 44BC, famously known as the Ides of March, Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by numerous Roman Senators. Many historians mark this as a turning point in Roman History because before this Rome had been a Republic, but in the aftermath of the assassination Rome will became an empire under Caesar’s heir, Octavian. This change in government may not have happened without Caesar’s violent murder. This drastic change of political systems impacted not only the Romans themselves, but all of the parts of the world that were then, or would ever be, ruled by Rome.
This topic would be considered a Turning Point in History because the assassination of Julius Caesar is a single cataclysmic event that aided in the transition from a Roman Republic to an Empire. The reasons behind this event reflect the ways in which the government of Rome itself was changing at that time. Julius Caesar had seized more power than anyone in the Roman world to that point. However, he had made attempts to do so within the Roman Republican system. Many senators feared that if left in power, Caesar would challenge their authority. His assassination was an attempt by Roman Senators to save themselves, and the Republic itself. Instead, they made a martyr of Caesar and allowed his successors to violently seize power in retaliation.
There is a lot of information out there on Julius Caesar and his death. There are numerous books and websites, such as Peter Franklin’s The Roman Republic. There are also several Classical History journals which focus specifically on ancient history topics like this. These sources can be found online using journal databases. Many are accessible only by going to the local Chicago Public Library.
This History Fair project will be presented in the form of a paper. There are many different characters involved in, and multiple historical perspectives on the assassination of Julius Caesar. Only a paper can clearly and efficiently address this topic, and organize the multiple perspectives. This will be a strong paper because it will incorporate the work of many historians and try to make sense of all of the years of scholarship on this topic.
Augustus. “Res Gestae: The Deeds of the Divine Augustus.” Ancient History Sourcebook. Fordham University. (accessed 11 October 2012).
Although translated by later historians, this work is based on an original account of Caesar Augustus of his own accomplishments. It was written to be displayed on the walls of his mausoleum. In it he recounts events that led to his reign, including his defeat of Julius Caesar’s assassins.
Lucan, Civil War. Translated by Susan H. Braund. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Lucan was a Roman author, from an elite family who wrote his Civil War about the war between Caesar and Pompey nearly a century after the fall of the Roman Empire. In this work, he presents the horrors of the war and its lasting destruction on Rome.
Plutarch. "The Assassination of Julius Caesar, from Marcus Brutus." John Dryden, translator. Ancient History Sourcebook. Fordham University. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/plutarch-caesar.asp (accessed October 16, 2012).
Plutarch was a Roman historian, living in Greece, who wrote about the lives of famous figures from antiquity. In this excerpt from Plutarch’s, Lives, he recounts the events leading up to and following the assassination of Julius Caesar. In particular he highlights the motives of famous senators and their reactions to the event.
Sallust. “Life in the Late Roman Republic.” Ancient History Sourcebook. Fordham University. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/63sallust.asp (accessed 15 October 2012).
Sallust was a Roman author who lived in the first century BC, as the Roman Empire itself was crumbling. In this passage, “Life in the Late Roman Republic,” he recounts the events in the Conspiracy of Catiline, a major scandal in 63 BC. Through his account he reveals many of the excesses and corruption characteristic of life and politics in late Republican Rome.
Suetonius. “The Lives of the Caesars: The Deified Julius.” Ancient History Sourcebook. Fordham University. 1998. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/suetonius-julius.asp (accessed 7 November 2012).
Suetonius wrote a history of the lives of the first twelve Roman Emperors, from Julius Caesar to Domitian. Many later historians referred to his account of Julius Caesar’s life. It is significant that he includes Caesar in his history of other emperors.
Tacitus. “The End of the Republic.” Ancient History Sourcebook. Fordham University. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/tacitus-ann1a.asp (accessed 30 October 2012).
Tacitus was a Roman senator and historian who lived in the first century A.D. In his Annals he describes the Civil War that brought about the end of the Republic. In this he includes the actions of men like Sulla and Cinna who paved the way for Julius Caesar in many ways.
“Caesar’s Ghost and Other Momentous Deaths in History.” Dark History. Boston: Penguin Books, 2003. p. 65-80.
This book, Dark History, highlights some of the more gruesome events in history in detail. The author is unknown, but the book often refers to, and cites, it sources to demonstrate its reliability. In the chapter, “Caesar’s Ghost”, the unknown author talks about famous assassination and how they changed history. In particular, it describes how Caesar’s death was an important turning point for Roman Government, and forever overshadows the accomplishments of the Roman Republic.
Burnstein, Stanley M. “The Classics and the American Republic.” The History Teacher. Vol. 30, No. 1. November 1996. Pp. 29-44. Society for History Education. JSTOR.
Stanley M. Burnstein published this well-research article in The History Teacher journal. In this particular article he outlines the values of the Roman Republic, as they were taught in the 18th century, around the time of the American Revolution. In this article he refers to and cites many well-known authors who have done extensive work on the fall of the Roman Republic.
Bonta, Steve. “From Republic to Empire: the assassination of Julius Casesar hoped to restore the Roman Republic, but they instead set in motion events that encouraged the rise and triumph of despots worse than Caesar.” The New American. 24 January 2005. 35+. Student Resources in Context.
This article, retrieved from the database, Student Resources in Context, was originally published in The New American journal. It is part of a series on the rise and fall of the Roman Republic. In this particular installment, Bonta, outlines how the aftermath of Caesar’s death plunged Rome into violent civil war.
Craig, Albert, William A. Graham, Donald Kagan, Steven Ozment, Frank M. Turner. The Heritage of World Civilizations. Combined Fifth Edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2000.
All of the authors of this textbook are college professors, many of them from Yale University. This textbook covers World History from the dawn of civilization to the turn of the twentieth century. In the chapter on Ancient Rome it summarizes some of the conventional explanations for the assassination of Julius Caesar and the fall of the Roman Empire.
Franklin, Peter. The Roman Republic. Austin: Random House Press, 2001.
Peter Franklin is a Classics and History Professor at the University of Austin in Texas. His book is a broad overview of the entire Roman Republic.
McManus, Barbara. "Julius Caesar: Historical Background." VROMA. http://www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/caesar.html (accessed October 16, 2012).
VROMA is an online source for teaching and learning of Classics, created and organized by college professors thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It covers a variety of classical topics, including several overviews on the history of Rome. In particular, there is a valuable timeline for the life of Julius Caesar.
Millar, Fergus. “The Political Character of the Classic Roman Republic, 200-151 B.C.” The Journal of Roman Studies. Vol. 74 (1984) pp. 1-19. Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. JSTOR.
In this scholarly journal dedicated to the study of Rome, contributor Fergus Millar writes about the nature of politics in the Roman Republic. In particular he refers to reasons why Roman senators may have felt it necessary to kill Julius Caser.
Richards, Sweeny. Julius Caesar: Hero or Tyrant. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Sweeny Richards is a retired Cambridge Professor whose biography of Julius Caesar won the prestigious Berkshire Historical Book Award in 1999. This book is a comprehensive biography of the life and legacy of Julius Caesar. One chapter, “Et Tu Brute,” specifically discusses he assassination of Caesar.
"Roman Republic." Ancient History Encyclopedia. http://www.ancient.eu.com/Roman_Republic/ (accessed October 16, 2012).
The Ancient History Encyclopedia is an online resources dedicated to the study of Classics, which regularly uploads scholarly information and resources for teachers and students. It’s resources include an overview of the Roman Republic, it’s history, as especially the events surrounding the assassination of Julius Caesar.