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Julius Caesar: Roman Emperor, Migraineur

by Nancy Harris Bonk

Julius Caesar is a well known subject in many movies, plays, books, and poems; a subject who also had Migraines. Gaius Julius Caesar was born on July 12, 100 B.C.E. into a family with noble, patrician roots. Although not rich or influential, his familial heritage enabled him certain opportunities, education and offices. Gaius Julius, his father, held moderate political success and offices, passed away when Julius was 15. Julius then decided that moderate success wasn't for him. He set his sights high in the political arena and learned how to better himself in everything he did.

Caesar's first political move was to marry into a more well-known family and begin to build his political connections, some of whom were supporters of the opposition party. This put Caesar in much danger, and while on a military mission to Greece, he was kidnapped by pirates. While he was being held, the pirates treated him fairly well. But much to his chagrin, the ransom was much lower than he thought he was worth. He promised to track his captors down and kill them once he was released as an example to other pirates - a promise he made good on. While in the military, he learned how to be an excellent solider, fighting many battles. This is when he received his "koruna vita" or laurel wreath for valor.

Caesar continued to make strides in his military and political career, leading soldiers into many winning battles; some with swords, others with bribery. Having been installed as a competent ruler, he went to Rome and formed 'The First Triumvirate' (a group of three men who shared rule) and began some progressive legislation. Tax demands were terminated on farmers, land given to families with three or more children; he seemed to be meeting the needs of the people.

Julius Caesar was an extremely skilled political leader and military official during the ancient Roman times. During his rule, he altered the government of the day and supplemented land to Rome's control. His death (in 44 B.C.E.) cannot negate immense political and social changes that Rome endured through this period. 

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