Century global skills

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7. Era of Caesar

  • In the 70s B.C., Rome was a dangerous place where politicians and generals went to war to increase their power even as political order broke out in Rome. Some Romans tried to stop the chaos in Rome’s government. Cicero , a philosopher and gifted orator called on upper-class Romans to work together to make Roma a better place. He wanted to limit the power of generals and wanted the Romans to give more support to the Senate and to restore checks and balances on government but the government didn’t want change.

  • Julius Caesar: was a powerful general working to take over the government. Romans admired him for his bravery and skill in battle. His soldiers respected him for treating them well. His military success made him a key figure in Roman politics. He was an exceptional leader and speaker. Before he went to Gaul, he made an alliance with two of Rome’s most influential men, Pompey and Crassus. The partnership lasted 10 years but after his conquests in Gaul, his allies became jealous of his power and popularity that his allies turned against him. Caesar was ordered to give up his command but he refused and sent his troops back to Rome. A group of Senators attacked Caesar in the Senate and stabbed him to death. After Caesar’s assassination, two great generals emerged, Marc Antony and Caesar’s adopted son Octavian later called Augustus.

8. Augustus

  • Top priority for Antony and Octavian was punishing the men who killed Caesar. They set out an army to try to avenge Caesar’s death near Philippi in northern Greece in 42 B.C. After the battle of Philippi, Octavian returned to Italy and Antony went east to fight Rome’s enemies. Octavian became Rome’s sole ruler and almost gained nearly limitless power. In 27 B.C., Octavian announced that he was giving up his power to the Senate but in reality he kept all his power where Senate gave him the name Augustus which means, “revered one.”

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