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Thread: Caesar

  1. #1

    Default Caesar

    Hey y'all just wondering, in my school were doing the shakespere play caeser. I was wondering what do u think would have happened to the roman empire if brutes didn't kill ceaser. Srry bout spelling
    Last edited by jnabb22; 03-18-2009 at 11:27.
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  2. #2
    Slixpoitation Member A Very Super Market's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caesar

    Oh good god.

    I suggest, that instead of making us work very, very, hard to give a rather unclear answer (Since that is what you'll get), go to your library, or at least search it up on google.

    Even from the start, there will be conflicting views. You should know that Caesar was killed (mostly) due to fears that he would make himself king. What if he didn't? Some would argue that. And others would argue otherwise. I would like to know if your teacher actually seriously gave you such an assignment, because historical what-if situations are completely ambiguous.
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  3. #3
    CAIVS CAESAR Member Mulceber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caesar

    Difficult to say. At that point, it seems unlikely that Caesar would have ever restored the Republic. He held the senate in a state of some contempt. More than likely, if he hadn't been assassinated, he would have died of old age, at which point his will would have been read, and Octavian would have been his heir. I think if that had happened, the transition of power would likely have been smoother, since Caesar would have had more time to acclimate the Roman people to 1-man rule and so the series of civil wars would likely have been shorter, if not nonexistant.

    Also, just a word of advice - I would basically ignore everything Shakespeare has to say on Roman history. He's not a historian and is more looking to entertain an audience/give them something to think about. Many of his details are wrong. If you want a good account of what happened, I would suggest either reading Suetonius or Plutarch's Life of Caesar or, better yet, take out a biography - I recommend either Meier or Goldsworthy. -M
    Last edited by Mulceber; 03-18-2009 at 04:01.
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    Guest Aemilius Paulus's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: Caesar

    It is true, hypothesising what-ifs takes imagination and spontaneity, not so much history knowledge. It is running around in a room, blindfolded. I see little reason to continue this discussion (although it is probably going to do so).

    However, one certain effect of Caesar's survival would have been the grandiose Parthian expedition he was planning for the summer. Who knows what he could have done there... True, holding on to that territory would have been difficult, but suppose that Caesar was genius enough to do that an to defeat the Parthian mounted armies. If he subdued that region, then Rome would have been so radically changed, without its main arch-nemesis.

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    Tribunus Plebis Member Gaius Scribonius Curio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caesar

    I'd echo what has already been said. It is impossible to know what would have happened. To say anything at all would be conjecture. Would he have restored the Republic, or ruled as Dictator for the rest of his life? Would Octavian even have been his heir, or would he have become disillusioned, died, would caesar have conceived a son?

    With regards to the Parthian expedition AP, I agree that he could certainly have defeated many Parthian armies, I mean Venitidius did so not too long after his death, but as to whether he could have conquered... Again it's one of history's great mysteries.
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    Member Member Macilrille's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caesar

    Personally I think Caesar's military genius coupled with a mixture of ruthless extermination of opposition tempered by good treatment of collaborators would have taken and held Parthia.

    BUT, counterfactual history is a minefield, in order to look at the "what-ifs" you need a great deal of knowledge of what actually happened, and the factors that made them happen as well as those that did not make something else happen. It is a field of experts and was very popular 10 years ago, then died out. It is nothing but an amusing trifle, moot points. Notice that academics no longer write it seriously, I never did, nor saw it as a field to nurture (I am a cynic), rather a blind alley or amusing field for fiction.

    Anyway, if you teacher wants you to write counterfactual history he is demanding much (too much IMO) of you. I suggest you do as you have agreed to by installing EB, read lots of history (in vooks) and seek enlightenment.
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    πολέμαρχος Member Apázlinemjó's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caesar

    Parthia -> Sarmatians -> Attacking the Germans from the East

    That means he would have conquered the whole "civilised" world for Rome in one campaign becoming a second Alexander with that. Since there was nothing to conquer in Africa, only the desert, and Alexander was already at the Indus the "edge of the known world" so there was nothing to conquer there.

    But who knows and there is no "If" in history acctually.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Caesar

    Whenever a thread starts with this kind of post, it is usually worth checking the posting history of the perpetrator.

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    Default Re: Caesar


  10. #10

    Default Re: Caesar

    we dont have to write anything on it, i was just wondering what u guys would say. besides i love creating these kinds of threads there fun to see how they play out. =)
    darn where did my signature go

  11. #11
    Member Member Africanvs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caesar

    I completely agree with most of the previous posters in the sense that it is impossible to make conjecture, considering that all events are tied together, cause and effect, etc. However, I don't see anything wrong with wondering what would have happened if history were it to have gone in a different direction. Afterall, when we play a game of EB, that is exactly what we are doing, creating an alternate history, unless you are the type to use force diplomacy to recreate history as it happened. As far as Caesar, I find it hard to believe that he would have restored the republic. He thought Sulla was a fool for giving up power when he had it, and most of the decisions in Caesar's life were made to reach his desired end. Many Romans before him set the stage for his asscension to power, and he knew exactly what he was doing. The fact is that the Roman system was broken and incapable of fixing itself, and Caesar knew, just as well as Octavian after him, that it took one man to rule. Just as Rome had always fallen upon one man to rule as a dictator in an emergency. Had Caesar lived, I believe his rule would have been more or less benevolent as far as the people were concerned. He would have no doubt made several of the reforms that Octavian ended up making. Like Octavian, Caesar was a skilled politician, but he also had the benefit of being a great general as well, which means he would have no doubt campaigned and continued to add to the new empire. Of course who knows? He may have also gone the way of Hamilcar and drowned in a river while on campaign.
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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caesar

    I dunno, he'd either die and people would have fought over his corpse or someone else would have killed him and people would have fought over his corpse. Which isn't too unlike the fighting over his corpse that actually happened... twice.

    Its not like Rome wasn't going that way anyways.
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  13. #13
    Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ Member Fluvius Camillus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caesar

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemilius Paulus View Post
    It is true, hypothesising what-ifs takes imagination and spontaneity, not so much history knowledge. It is running around in a room, blindfolded. I see little reason to continue this discussion (although it is probably going to do so).

    However, one certain effect of Caesar's survival would have been the grandiose Parthian expedition he was planning for the summer. Who knows what he could have done there... True, holding on to that territory would have been difficult, but suppose that Caesar was genius enough to do that an to defeat the Parthian mounted armies. If he subdued that region, then Rome would have been so radically changed, without its main arch-nemesis.
    It looked like there was a curse on that campaign, crassus died there, caesar didnt go. I read about every emperor and each emperor that went to conquer Parthia/ Sassanid Persia turned around at Ctesiphon or died (few exceptions). If people conquered some futher, a next retarded emperor would lose it. I particularly hate the emperor Flavius Jovian, he made peace with persia by giving away all provinces east of Syria.

    People or Roman Emperors who campaigned east:
    Crassus - Dead
    Caesar - Died before start
    Trajan - All the way to Susa
    Generals of Lucius Verus - Ctesiphon
    Septimius Severus - Ctesiphon
    Caracalla - Media
    Macrinus - Defeated at Nisibis
    Alexander Severus - Mesopotamia
    Gordian III - Killed while tried to campaign
    Valerianus - Captured by Persians
    Claudius II Gothicus - Died by disease on the way to the east
    Aurelianus - tried to campaign east, a traitor convinced the praetorians to kill him.
    Probus - abandoned and killed by troops
    Carus - Conquered Ctesiphon, suddenly found dead in his tent
    Galerius - Captured Mesopotamia
    Constantine the Great - Gathered troops for great Persian campaign, died before start
    Julianus Apostata - Conquered Ctesiphon but killed by javelin

    What if the Romans also reached the Indus...
    Last edited by Fluvius Camillus; 03-18-2009 at 19:44.
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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caesar

    A face full of Elephants probably.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Caesar

    BTW, Caesar had a son, Ptolemy Caesar.
    Who knows what would have happened if he recognized Cleopatra's son as his heir?
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  16. #16
    Legatvs Member SwissBarbar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caesar

    he'd been killed even earlier
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Caesar

    Maybe but then Octavian would have been in a trickier situation...
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  18. #18
    Member Member Macilrille's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caesar

    He would probably have emulated his Great-uncle anyway, few things checked an ambitious Roman in the late Republic. I paste again...

    Pasted from "When was Rome doomed"-thread where I originally posted it.

    End of Res Publica Romana is something I have just done a lot of research in and can say for certain what caused, but remember that the end of The Republic was not the end of Rome.

    Rome's constitution was made for a city state, like hundreds of others around the Med at this time. It could not cope with empire.

    Problem was by and large the senate.

    Manpower in Italy and thus the potential pool of recruits for the lćegions was dwindling, badly because the smallholders were away warring all the time. Before they had been able to war some months, then return to their farms, Cincinnatus is an example in point. As Rome gained overseas provinces it had to keep soldiers in the field year-round and they could thus not till their land. This went fallow and was to some extent taken over by magnates who tilled it using slaves. Not the Latifundia system, this was not invented yet, nor did smallholders ever disappear entirely from Italy as some ancient writers ascertain in their rethorics. For they recognised the problem as well.

    One of the Scipii (I forget which) considered proposing agrarian reform in 140 bc, but was dissuaded byt his friends. Thus Tiberius Gracchus was the one to propose it in 133 bc- and pay the price. It is important to note that he proposed it as a Plebejian Tribue and to the people, just as his brother Gaius did 10 years later when he continued and even radicalised Tiberius' policy of agrarian reform and curbing senatorial power. He too paid the price, but these two had taught the people that it had power. And at this point the Plebs of Rome was numerous and volatile- it would become worse. Note that the Senate (who would loose use of Ager Publicus) resisted agrarian reforms intensely, just as they did enfranchisment (? Giving citizenship) of Italy, leading to the Social War.

    Now to another, seemingly unrelated, subject. The Cursus Honorum, as Rome got more and more provinces and riches poured to Rome(Roman aristocrats) making a name for yourself- as was necessary in politics- became more and more expensive. Building projects, Gladiatorial games and free grain became a necessity. To name an example Caesar was deep in dept to Crassus from this. This means that the aristocrats greed became larger, they needed money if they were to make a name for themselves, and they could only pay back those debts by propraetorship or proconsulship, which would allow them to skim the incomes from the province. Even honest men were caught in this trap, for all of them had generations of great men and expectations on their shoulders, they HAD to climb Cursus Honorum and do great things. Competetion thus became more and more intense and ruthless, end more and more expencive. Catilinia was a point in case, he failed and was so indebted that he had basically no other choice then try a coup. Now, remember this if you please.

    Next step towards destruction was taken by Marius, he did not in fact professionalise the army as has been often ascertained, the average service time remained 6-7 years as it had been through all 2nd century BC. What he did was enroll everyone without considering the limits on income. Others had in fact done this to some extent, but he got a massive wave of volunteers who suddenly saw prospects for land when service was over. Rural Plebs, not urban, made up Marius' new army and indeed it was loyal only to him.

    This brings us to good old Sulla, senate gave him command against Mithidrates of Pontus, and he wanted it cause Asia was very rich- much loot- People gave command to Marius, so Sulla used his army, made on the new model and loyal only to him, to march on Rome itself!!! and enforce the Senate's decision.
    Marians took power while he was gone and repressed his followers and he exacted bloody revenge when he returned, with HIS army- loyal only to him, gained dictatorship, whith his army, gave them land and reformed some laws, etc. he then resigned and died.

    The one to learn all these lessons, about the power of the people and the power of a private army was Gaius Julius Caesar, intelligent and ambitious, he used all the lessons learned by looking at Gracchii, marius, Sulla, and he gained absolute power. The Republic was dead.

    But what killed it?

    As should be evident, the depletion of recruits caused by the Senate's reluctance to agrarian reform and enfranchisment of Italy led to the recruiting of private armies that were loyal only to their general as only he could reward them sufficiently with land. This was one "branch of the cause".

    Ambitious patricians had to spend more and more as the competetion in Cursus Honorum and provincial commands grew more intense. At the end people like Sulla and Caesar were willing to do anything, genocide, turning on Rome itself, proscriptions in Rome... to gain power, fame and a name. The Senate's stubborn resistance to reforms handed these ambitious men the ultimate tool, private armies, and with them, they killed Res Publica Romana.

    All of this, recruitment for legions and the Cursus Honorum, as well as the way conquered land was shared was part of the constitution of Rome, the CITY STATE constitution that could not cope with empire and the riches it brought while taking the soldiers from the land.

    Hope that helped.
    In case you wish to learn more and in more detail, here is some literature on the matter.

    Badian, E.: Roman Imperialism in The Late Republic, Oxford, 1968.
    Beard, Mary & Crawford, Michael: Rome in The Late Republic, London, 1999.
    (a) Brunt, Peter: Social Conflicts in the Roman Republic, London, 1971.
    (b): Italian Manpower, Oxford, 1971,


    Harris, W. V.: War and Imperialism in Republican Rome, 327- 70 BC, Oxford, 1979.


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  19. #19
    ETW Steam: Little Fox Member mini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caesar

    basically, if the senate had decided that land grants should come from the senate and NOT the general... private armies would not have existed, and caesar for example would have had a much harder time of it.
    Though he possessed great charisma, it's undoubtedly his openhandedness that guaranteed loyalty for a large part.

    If Caesar wouldn't have died, transition from republic to empire might have been easier and less bloody, and much that octavian is famed for, would be on caesars name.

    Imagine a Rome run by octavian while caesar campaigned... The world would have been quite different :)

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