Julius Caesar



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Early political career to 60 BC

Past HSC question 2008
Question 24 (a) Describe Julius Caesar’s early political career to 60 BC. (10 marks)

73 Pontifex
72 Military Tribune
69 Quaestor in Spain.
67 Only member of the senate to speak in favour of the Gabinian law.
66 Spoke in favour of the Manilian law (with Cicero).
65 Aedile. Spent lavishly to provide games.
63 Spoke in senate against the execution of the Catilinarian conspirators.
63 Pontifex Maximus
62 Bona Dea scandal. Divorced his wife but refused to give evidence against her in Clodius' trial. (Note that Cicero was the prosecutor of Clodius, and that Caesar, during his consulship in 59, assisted Clodius to become a plebeian through his position as Pontifex Maximus.)

"However, it would be false to image that in these years political ambition was Caesar's sole interest. His contemporaries saw him rather as a man possessed by a wild extravagance, a prey to expensive tastes which grossly exceeded his means. The rumour was circulating that his debts were approaching eight million denarii. In optimate circles it was expected that he would come to a bad end, and he was not regarded as a serious political opponent! ... as late as 59 it was said that he bought Servilia, the mother of his future murderer Brutus, a pearl costing 1½ million denarii."
Gelzer p.30