Augustus And The Use Of Propaganda

 It is often said that history is written by the victors, and the quote could not be more appropriate than for Augustus. He is often called the ?restorer of the Republic’ by contemporary and ancient time historians. Being a major influence on his life, Augustus was inspired by Caesar practices and propaganda works.

He took those propaganda lessons and perfected them. The unprecedented age of peace and stability that Augustus brought, known as the Pax Romana or Roman Peace, did not occur naturally. He was able to maintain control of not only the common people but of the government and other political rivals. The written word was perhaps the most useful tool at his disposal and he used it to manipulate events to tell the story from his perspective and ensured that this perspective would be considered historical fact. When studying propaganda in the age of Augustus, it is crucial to mention Augustus’ own literary works, The Deeds of the Divine Augustus. The document was written by Augustus himself and meant to be seen and read by as many people as possible. The document t summarizes Augustus’ image and deeds to the people of Rome. He never tells any outright lies, but does manipulate the light in which certain historical events are presented. The document was written shortly before Augustus’ death, meaning that it had no immediate impact in his life.

Nonetheless, it is still important in how it shaped his legacy and still serves as evidence for his political propaganda machine. One of the less discussed aspects of Augustus’ propaganda is in the name ?Augustus’ itself, that is not a name, but rather a title. Augustus included the moment he was bestowed the title in his own literary work The Deeds of the Divine Augustus: In my sixth and seventh consulates, after putting out the civil war I handed over the state from my power to the dominion of the senate and Roman people. And for this merit of mine, by a senate decree, I was called Augustus 

After that time, I exceeded all in influence, but I had no greater power than the others who were colleagues with me in each magistracy. When analyzing Augustus’ words, it is clear that he understood the significance of what had just occurred. This single verse simultaneously displays Augustus’ power and authority while also carefully ?clarifying’ that Augustus was no more powerful than any other magistrate. Even though this was not the reality, it served its purpose. It portrayed the image that Augustus wished to present to the people. The nuanced propaganda depicted the inaccurate idea that the Republic still existed and that the power ultimately rested with the people. Augustus says he had no greater power than the others [senators and statesmen] who were colleagues with him, which was simply not true. Augustus had learned from Julius Caesar’s the importance of propaganda, but also not to commit the same mistake as Caesar did. He knew he could not allow himself to be declared sole ruler of the Republic as Caesar did prior to his assassination. F Furthermore, another telling example of the image he wishes to portray is in the first verse, A copy below of the deeds of the divine Augustus, by which he subjected the whole wide earth to the rule of the Roman people, and of the money which he spent for the state and Roman people From the very beginning we see reference to his public image, Augustus’ the Divine. The Res Gestae is filled with many other indications of his legality and importance to Rome.

In the first paragraph, Augustus states: on my own initiative and at my own expense, I raised an army with which I set free the state, which was oppressed by the domination of a faction. Here we see that it was Augustus that saved Rome from those who would bring her to ruin. Augustus also shows his dominance in military affairs as well. Throughout the document there are numerous mentions of Augustus conquests, I drove the men who slaughtered my father into exile with a legal order, punishing their crime, and afterwards, when they waged war on the state, I conquered them in two battles. Here, Augustus simultaneously establishes the criminal nature of Caesar’s assassins while also establishing his military superiority when he claims he won the battle against them twice. Importantly, in the 5th paragraph, Augustus establishes and emphasizes that he had no desire for dictatorship when he says, When the dictatorship was offered to me, both in my presence and my absence, by the people and SenateI did not accept itWhen the annual and perpetual consulate was then again offered to me, I did not accept it. Augustus is telling the people of Rome that he declined an offer of dictatorship twice, both publicly privately.

As mentioned above, he knew the dangers of calling himself the only ruler and used all his skills to remove the idea from the people of the Republic. Augustus devotion to propaganda is visible also in Suetonius writings, in his writing The life of Augustus he mentions that From early youth, he devoted himself eagerly and with utmost diligence to oratory and liberal studies In fact, he never afterwards spoke in the Senate, or to the people or the soldiers, except in a studied and written address, although he did not lack the gift of speaking offhand without preparation. Augustus’ dedication to written words, in a period when not many could read, is a testament of his grand vision of control of the then present and future historical record. In Suetonius writing we also read,

Moreover, to avoid the danger of forgetting what he was to sayhe adopted the practice of reading everything from a manuscript. Even his conversations with individuals and the more important of those with his own wife Livia, he always wrote out and read from a note-book, for fear of saying too much or too little if he spoke offhand. The desire to control all aspects of his image stretched into his intimate relationship with close friends and his own wife. Furthermore, being aware of the fact that not many could read his writing, he used the ones that could as magnifiers that would spread his word, as Suetonius writes, He wrote numerous works of various kinds in prose, some of which he read to a group of his intimate friends, as others did in a lecture-room; for example, his “Reply to Brutus on Cato. Although these encounters were considered informal and intimate, they served their purpose in the propaganda machine that Augustus’ bulletproofed. Augustus’ dedicated a lot of time to writing, especially during his later years, most of it was about his life but he also tried to write a tragedy. In Suetonius Life of Augustus he writes that He also wrote “Exhortations to Philosophy” and some volumes of an Autobiography, giving an account of his life in thirteen books up to the time of the Cantabrian war, but no farther. Thirteen books dedicated to his life show, written during his later years show that Augustus’ wan not only interested in the control that the propaganda provided. He wanted to be immortalized in the image of his choice.

In conclusion, Augustus is remembered as arguably the greatest leader in Rome’s history. His accomplishments as a leader are well known amongst contemporary Romans and historians alike. Bringing his writing into historical context and facts, it is clear that some of his deeds and character may be exaggerated. But, Augustus did bring an unprecedented era of peace to the Mediterranean world that helped ensure the longevity of the Roman empire. Nonetheless, when studying such an important figure it is important not to fall prey to Augustus’ propaganda itself.

Fall of the Roman Empire

The city of Rome, which became a capital of one of the largest empires in the history of Europe if not the world, is in central Italy, along the Tiber River, about 15 miles from the Tyrrhenian sea. Surrounded by the fertile land of the plain of Latium, the tiny village that became Rome was originally settled on the eastern bank of the Tiber, nestled between seven hills. The Capitoline Hill is northwest of the Palatine Hill, which is roughly in the central part of the city, The Aventine Hill,which is south of the palatin, lies to the west of the caelian, the southeastern hill that begins the chain of hills that stretch north the esquiline, viminal, and quirinal.

Another hill, the janiculum, which lies west of the Tiber, was one of the earliest defenses against Rome’s etruscan neighbors.

Augustus inaugurated a period of government called the principate during which the Roman Empire greatly expanded, and despite assassination, corruption, and frequent war, the principate survived until the third century. The death of the Emperor commodus ushered in a new civil war, one that only ended with seven emperors. When the last them, Severus Alexander, died in 235, Rome was plunged into the Roman Civil Wars of 235-284, a period characterized by barracks emperors, few of whom ruled very long. Order returned with the Dominate. The term applied to the next system of government, which began with the Emperor Diocletian. Emperors of the Dominate did not look republican ideas for legitimacy but to religion and new relationship with deity. This not only removed the need for a republican ideas for legitimacy but religion and a new relationship with deity. This not only removed the need for a republican facade, which characterized the principate, but also removed the Roman Army, which had long thought of itself as a kingmaker. In 284 CE, Diocletian reorganized the empire and established regional capitals to make imperial authority present where needed. The tetrarchy, or rule by four men, helped strengthen the internal and external security of the empire, but when Diocletian retired, civil war began once again.

Romans thought that it much faster to go to sea to land, most Romans traveling long distances went by ship. There were no passenger vessels, so if if one wished to travel was concerned with the food supply of Rome, these large freighters were the ships that passengers would travel on. Because of the harshness and unpredictability of winter storms at sea, ships mainly sailed in the summer. A few traveled in the spring and fall, but very few would risk sailing in the spring and fall, but very few would risk sailing in the winter, when storms were most frequent. Most ships clung to the coast noth so that they could quickly seek shelter and because there were no reliable means of navigating across the open sea. The tendency of ships to stay close to shore made them vulnerable to a different menace/pirates.

Just as bandits roamed the countryside, for the most of Roman history, pirates ruled the seas. The shore hugging nature of ancient sailing made it easy for greedy or desperate men to watch for such ships and, when they were sighted they would dash out to sea and seize them. They often killed the crew or sold them into slavery and stole the goods to be sold later. If pirates captured a wealthy or important person, they would hold him or her for ransom. In some coastal areas of the Mediterranean, piracy was a way of life. The most infamous area was along the coast of Asia Minor in a region called Cilica. Piracy was most rampant in periods when central authority was weakest. The Late Republic was one of the worse times, pirates gangs attained the power of small kingdoms.

No one was safe from them, as illustrated by the fact that when Julius Caesar was young he was captured by pirates who held him for ransom. However, he was insulted that his captors asked for only 20 talents of ransom when Caesar thought that he was worth at least 50. He told his captors that as a result of this offence, he would have them all crucified. As soon as his ransom was paid and he was released, he gathered together some ships and soldiers, tracked down the pirates, and as he said he would had them all crucified. Eventually piracy became so severe piracy became so severe that the Romans had to act. In 67 BCE, a special law called the Lex Gabinia was passed, giving the general Pompey the Great and extraordinary command. He was awarded absolute power over the entire Mediterranean Sea as well as along the coasts to a distance of 50 miles in land. He was given 20 legions and 270 ships, and he was ordered to solve the pirate problem. He divided the sea into 13 regions and set up blockades so that no one could pass from one region to another. He then began at one end of the Mediterranean and swept across it, capturing and destroying all the pirates strongholds on the coasts while driving the fleets ahead of him. Ian only three months, pompey succeeded in purging the Mediterranean of piracy. Piracy naturally came back, but after the establishment of Rome naval bases, it was never as much of a threat as it had been during the Late Republic.

Ancient Rome and Greece


  • 1 What importance did the Battles of Marathon and Salamis, and the Punic Wars have for Ancient Greece and Rome?
    • 1.1 Ancient Greece:
    • 1.2 Ancient Rome:
    • 1.3 Government ( Greece ):
    • 1.4 Military ( Greece ):
    • 1.5 Culture/religion ( Greece ):
    • 1.6 Government (Rome):
    • 1.7 Military ( Rome ):
    • 1.8 Economy ( Rome ):
    • 1.9 Julius Caesar and Octavian
    • 1.10 Culture/religion ( Rome ):

What importance did the Battles of Marathon and Salamis, and the Punic Wars have for Ancient Greece and Rome?

Ancient Greece:

The battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC during the first Persian invasion on Greece. Citizens of Athens and citizens of Plataea revolted against the Persian army. The battle was a very big victory for the Greeks.

From this victory, they gained confidence in their defense system and a new battle tactic called phalanx. The phalanx tactic is when a group of people comes closer together in a line formation. In this battle, the Greeks were armored with shields and were able to make a wall to protect themselves using the phalanx tactic.

In 480 BC, the Persian Army took their second attempt on invading Greece. In order to defeat the Persians, the Greek city-states came together to fight as one. Because of the Greeks success, they brought an end to the Persian wars and saved Greece from being invaded by the Persians. Their victory supports and shows that their defense and strategies surpass the Persians defenses. The Greeks had gained a position of power, success, recognition, and respect. Because of all of this, the battle of marathon and salamis is still known today as one of the greatest wars in history. After the Persians were defeated, Greece was left alone for good. This led to the assemblage of Athens and the start of the golden age and the Delian League.

Ancient Rome:

The Punic wars occurred between 264 BC and 146 BC. The three wars were fought by Rome and Carthage and Rome won all three. The first battle was fought over the control of the islands Sicily and Corsica and ended with Rome taking control over both islands. Sicily became Rome’s first overseas province, which made it easier for them to travel to and from other cities and countries when trading. This increased their empire and trading routes. When fighting in the first war Rome had an army with very little experience but was able to prove how strong they were, which gave them power. Because of their little experience, the Roman navy benefited from all the wars in gaining combat experience on sea and skills on training. After the Punic wars, the Romans were supplied with wealth because Carthage was forced to pay a large war debt to Rome in silver. Their wealth led to increasing and continuation of their empire. After Rome defeated Carthage, they became the dominant power in the Mediterranean Region. When Carthage lost, they were put to an end, leaving Rome to have control over Spain. The main reason the three wars were fought was for the control over sea trade and when Rome defeated the Carthage, they gained control over it.

2. What were the major contributions of Ancient Greece and Rome to modern Western society? Please be specific and organize your response into the following categories:

Government ( Greece ):

Direct democracy was first introduced in Greece. Direct democracy is a form of government in which citizens rule and not representatives. This democracy started in Athens and is now a Athens legacy. The modern trial by jury was originally started in Ancient Athens. The jurors were all Athenian citizens and had to be over 30 years of age. In the United States, we have narrowed down the number of jurors to just 12 on the court. Today, in the united states we use a democratic system called representative democracy, which is when citizens vote on who make the decisions in a country. Democracy in Greece was successful because of the things Pericles did. He increased the amount of public officials who were paid, which meant anyone could serve if they were elected by the lot. Although the United States uses a different kind of democracy than what Greece used, the idea of democracy all started in Greece and spread out into the western civilizations as time passed by to become what it is today. The reason why that was able to happen was because their democracy was successful.

Military ( Greece ):

The Ancient Greece army was a very strong army. One of the major contributions from the Greek military was technology. With Greek being the first to use technology during warfare and combat, they are the reason why we have advanced technology in military’s today. One of the technologies invented was the catapults and giant siege engines. Today, our military’s have been inspired and advanced these technologies to the ones used today. The Greek military also contributed their tactics and formations. Alexander the Great was the king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and the one to invent the first formations during a battle. One of these tactics includes the phalanx formation. Because of this tactic Greece gained victory over Anatolia and Gaugamela, which ended the Persia’s power In the battles Greek and Roman armies wore similar armor. Greek soldiers wore square breastplate on their torso. Romans only wore one greave on their left leg, Greeks wore greaves on both legs. Greaves are metal armor worn to protect the legs. As with technology, armor has also been advanced to protect soldiers from greater threats such as bombs. Greaves have been improved to protect the legs from explosive devices.

Culture/religion ( Greece ):

The culture in the main Greek city of egypt was a cultural blend of Egyptian, Persian, and Indian influences. This was known as the Hellenistic culture. People throughout the city states communicated with the popular language that was spoken called Koine.Their religion was called Hellenic polytheists. Greeks worshipped their Greek Gods and goddesses. Part of their culture that was big was recognizing and dedicating their greek goddesses. Citizens of Alexandria built museums, temples, and sculptures that were dedicated to their greek goddesses to show their honor. Philosophy was also a big part in their culture. The first lighthouse in the world was invented in the Greek city state of Alexandria. In Alexandria, there were many scholars that contributed to the scientific knowledge in the west. Aristarchus was an astronomer who he estimated the size of the sun. Eratosthenes was an astronomer, mathematician, a poet, and a historian. What he achieved was estimating the size of the earth using geometry. Both of them were scholars from Alexandria and answered many peoples beliefs about the world. Euclid was a mathematician that wrote about geometry propositions and proofs, which has influenced us a lot because it is what we are taught in school. Archimedes was also a mathematician, but he estimated the value of pi. With all of these people in their civilization, the citizens from Alexandria were able to conquer inventing many things and influenced many things to the western civilizations. Lastly, the Greeks invented drama and it was a big part in their culture. They performed two styles called comedy and drama. They contributed theatre, costumes, and masks as entertainment to the western civilizations.

Government (Rome):

Since the first century Rome had always had a balanced government. Their government was once government by nobles, the people, or a king. The government in the U.S today consists of democracy, which shows that the Romans government tactics influenced us today and still is. After the last king of Rome,Tarquin the Proud was driven from power in 509 B.C, the Romans wanted to never be ruled by a king again, so they established a republic. A republic is the form of government in which citizens have the right to vote on their leaders. This influenced western civilizations because it showed that government being runned by a king doesn’t work out. In the Rome government, there are two officials called consuls. Consuls directed government, were elected for one year, and could veto other decisions. In civilizations today, those people are known as the president. When in crisis, there usually was a dictator that was chosen by the consul and elected by the senate. In western civilization there have been dictators in the past, because of the Rome empire. Another part of Rome’s government was the senate’s. Senates have legislative and administrative functions in the republic. This is something we also use in today’s government structure. One of their greatest contributions to the western civilization is the law. When the Roman empire started to grow, Romans started to believe that laws should be fair and equal to everyone. Judges soon started to recognize and learn the principles of justice. Examples of laws that were originally from Rome are, believing that a person is innocent until proven guilty and any law that is proved to be unfair can be taken down. Ancient Rome also formed the law code much like the one used in the present time in many countries. The Roman empire installed many legal systems in european countries and have now influenced other countries like the united states.

Military ( Rome ):

During the battles, the roman army separated into legions, which are now called troops or regiments. Separating wasn’t a thing soldiers would do because they believed they could be defeated when their army wasn’t all in one area, but this is why the Romans rose to such success. By conquering central Italy, the Etruscans, Greek city states, and defeating the carthage in the punic wars, they influenced western civilizations on seperating into legions. The romans had organizational ability and a strong knowledge of construction that they were known for. They were acknowledged for taking other civilizations ideas, especially Greeks and modifying and transmitting them throughout the west. Without the Roman army’s help, the Greeks inventions wouldn’t have made it to the west and inspired other countries or us today.

Economy ( Rome ):

Ancient Rome was a agrian and slave based economy. Enslaved people took up one third of the Roman empire’s population. Children who were born into slaves were considered slaves and because of the law slaves were property to their owner. This part of their economy contributed a lot to the U.S civilization in a horrific way from the 1619s to 1865 because slavery also played a big part in the U.S economy back then. Agriculture and trade played a big part in their economic wealth. In Rome there was a system that helped farmers out with taxes and gave the government a great amount of free crops that was enough to feed the soldiers. They did this because they needed to increase productivity. The reason why increasing productivity was so important in Rome was because, it helped them increase their empire. Egypt, Sicily and Tunisia in North Africa were the main grain trading points for Rome. Later on the production and transportation of foods influenced the trading industry and led to many more tradings between other countries as well. Another big part of their industry was mining, which provided stones for the big building projects and metals for tools used in wars. Because of trading and Rome’s control over the mediterranean sea, they were able to make trading easier and more successful for them. Their trade roots went from regions to regions and even went deeper into africa and asia. They were able to trade for silver, gold, metal, iron, lead, and many more. These resources helped them make mint coins, tools, weapons, armor, jewelry, and art. The Romans trading routes offered a layout on how trading could fuel diplomacy between nearby regions. Which is an economic principle at play thats apart of the North Atlantic Trade Organization or NATO. All of this influenced western civilizations in developing trading routes that are still in use today and trading with other countries for resources. Which is why we have most of the resources we use today. As the Roman empire grew, expanding their boundaries caused many problems. There was a gap between rich and poor and many enslaved people were working in estates. This made it hard for small farmer to compete and led to them selling their land and losing their jobs and homes. Tiberius and Gaius were brothers who tried to help the poor, but ended up dying because of the enemies who disagreed with them. This was something that did not work for the Romans.

During the third A.D, Rome became very weak. Tribes outside the empire and pirates on the Mediterranean Sea disrupted trade, which decreased their resources in new sources. The economy then fell. They faced inflation, had problems in agriculture as well, and faced a deadly diseases that made their population decrease. WIth all of this happening, the military also becomes weak. This is an example of why expanding your empire is going to come with consequences., especially if it’s ruled by one man. This is something west civilizations try to avoid happening to them because it obviously didn’t work out well for Rome at this period. In A.D. 284, Diocletian rose to power and became the new emperor. He restored and brought power back to the empire. He split the empire into the west and East, took East as his, and gave the West to a coworker. He then became ill and civil war broke out again. Once again, this did not influence the western civilizations.

Julius Caesar and Octavian

This is when Julius Caesar rose to power and was elected to be consul. Caesar fought alongside his soldiers, which is why he had their loyalty. Because of his success many people were happy about caesar and his actions, but a man named Pompey feared him and his goal. Caesar then defeated Pompey and his army and became dictator for life. Caesar granted Roman citizenship to many people, expanded the senate, and built buildings to give the poor a home. Many senators didn’t agree with his beliefs so, he was murdered by a group of senators. After his murder, The roman empire fell apart. This is another example on what did not work for the Romans. After many violence and battles, Octavian became ruler of Rome and brought the Pax Romana to the Roman empire. Octavian accomplished working on public buildings, creating a system of government, tax collections, and much more. After he died, Rome was able to stay stable because of the government he structured. Octavion contributed to many western civilizations because of these things.

The Romans were known for building strong and big structures, buildings, and more. They invented concrete, which is really huge in construction today. They used bricks and glass to build beautiful structures that are still popular till this day. Romans also invented aqueducts and sewers. Both of these things are used in western civilizations and are a necessary part of our civilizations. Therefore the Romans contributed structures that is used for water delivery and drainage of sewer. In the 18th century, the United States had a Roman revival, which is why many of our buildings have Roman features built into them. Lastly, Romans also built very strong roads throughout their empire that were connected. They built their roads with stone, concrete, and sand. This contributed transportation and safety to western civilizations. Roads are a huge thing in our modern society and plays a very big part in our everyday life.

Culture/religion ( Rome ):

In Rome, they believed in gods and goddesses. They gave names to powerful gods and goddesses and would honor them through rituals. I don’t think this contributed much to western civilizations, but i do believe it contributed to our learning because greek mythology is something we learn in school.

In Rome, their language was Latin. The roman alphabet was based on the greek alphabet. Romans studied literature in Greek and when their empire started to grow, the latin language spread out throughout the west. As time passed, their latin evolved into the Romance Languages. The latin language became the main language in the west and this is why many countries started off speaking latin. Because of countries in the west speaking it informally, they all ended up being different languages that originated all from one place. In the U.S, we don’t speak latin, but there are many latin words developed into our vocabulary and that is because the Romans influenced western civilizations, even non romance languages. Although Romans have influenced the civilizations in many ways, they couldn’t have done it without the Greeks.

As the Roman empire started to grow, so did a new religion called christianity. Jesus first followers were jews, but after he died, they created the new religion christianity that slowly spread through Roman Empire. By the late A.D century there were millions of christians in the Roman Empire. Many people were attracted to this religion because it embraced all people, gave hope to the powerless, offered a relationship with a loving god, and promised an eternal life after death. The first Pope in Roman empire was a man named Peter. The Romans religion contributes to us because christianity has massively spread out into other western civilizations and is still the world’s greatest and popular religion. We also get our calendar from the Romans because they invented it because of jesus’s birth. The Romans called their holidays Holy Days, which is where we get the word Holiday from.

In the second century B.C, Romans conquered Greek and they inhabited their ways of architecture, literature, and philosophy. The culture of Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman created a new culture called Greco-Roman culture. The Romans took in the greeks ways and created their own things such as mosaics, bas-relief, and paintings. This influenced western civilizations because it showed others how to do different kinds of art, which could also be used for trading.

Although, The Romans were very inspired by the Greeks on many things, they created their own things as well. Both of these empires did great contributions to western civilizations. The world would be very different and we wouldn’t have things we have now if it weren’t for Ancient Rome and Greece.

Powerful Ancient Civilization – Rome

Ancient Rome was an powerful ancient civilization that ruled Europe for 1,000 years. It’s also one of the most prosperous empires in the world. It created many inventions that we still use to this day. The Roman empire began in 753 BC and lasted for 507 years. Most of ancient Rome’s culture spread throughout Western Europe. Ancient Rome comes from the city of Rome which is also the capital city in Italy.

Rome first grew as republic but later became into an empire. There was no leader in the beginning it just started mostly with early emperors. First it was just under control of the Kings of Rome. The first king of Rome who found the city of Rome in 753 BC was Romulus. In Roman Republic the government was run with consuls. Every year, the citizens of rome would elect two consuls that will have to work together for a one year term. Roman Republic started to end in 59 BC. Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, and Marcus Licinius Crassus originally ruled Rome and had an agreement to work together.

When Crassus died in the battle of Carrhae in 53 BC Pompey turned against Caesar and they became rivals which caused the alliance/agreement between them to break. In 52 BCE Caesar went away leading his army in the winter going to Cisalpine Gaul. During the year 52 Pompey had also been elected to be the only consul. Caesar wanted to be consul in the year 48 but he knew his enemies in the Senate would arrest him. In 48 BC The Battle of Pharsalus (Roman Civil War) broke out between Pompey and Caesar. Caesar ended up winning and becoming the most powerful dictator in Rome. Later, Caesar’s enemies assassinated him in 44 BC.

Later Augustus was born Gaius Octavius in 63 BC. His uncle Julius Caesar died and Augustus was named as Octavius/Octavian was named as his heir. He fought to avenge his uncle. In the Battle of Actium (31 BC) he defeated Antony and Cleopatra. Instead of becoming a dictator like Caesar, instead he bring peace and prosperity to Rome for 40 years. Ancient Rome was always under civil wars which stopped its peace so he ended all the civil wars (especially the one between Populares and Optimates.) He also changed the way Rome was governed. He made a series of laws between 30 BC and 2 BC which turned Roman republic into Roman empire.

The world gained a lot of things from the Roman Empire, but in my opinion the MOST important thing they introduced to us was fast food, (Fast food like burgers.) They also created the language Latin. This made a impact on words in Britain and lots of modern words. The Roman empire also advanced architecture we use today. Romans built in stone and in straight lines. I wonder how it would be today without Roman’s creations. They’re also famous for making pasta!!

HEY YOU! (Mr Escarge) did you know that modern Rome has 280 fountains and 900 churches? Also, women in ancient Rome dyed their hair with beech wood ashes and goat fat (the colors they mostly did were red and blond.) You know how ancient Rome created pasta? Today they have a whole museum based on pasta!

In conclusion, ancient Rome was an influential, and impressive empire. It brought lots of wonderful inventions to the modern world. Ancient Rome was such a fast growing successful empire and its fascinating inventions spread out all through the world (especially the western world). I learned a lot about this ancient empire (although we already covered a lot about it last year.)

Julius Caesar: Effective Leader

Many businessmen, historians, military personal, etc all have created lists of who they believe to be great leaders. One man appears on more than one of those list: Julius Caesar. He was truly an effective leader. An effective leader must be a communicator, a planner, confident, yet humble, knowledgeable, and much more. Caesar planned to get to the top of the political system in Rome. To do that, he would have to climb many steps to get there. In 80 B. C. E. , he joined the staff of the governor Asia. He was sent on a diplomatic mission to Nicomedes IV of Bithynia to raise a fleet. It was rumored that he had a love affair with Nicomedes, however that could have just been a rumor started by Caesar’s enemies. Years later, in 74 B. C. E. , Mithradates of Pontus attacked the Roman province of Asia and Caesar, wanting military glory, raised an army and went to Asia, which was illegal because you needed a commission from the Senate to lead an operation. He then defended several towns, allowing the Roman commander time to attack Pontus. Funding his quest on the political ladder, Caesar went bankrupt. The richest man in Rome, Crassus, paid Caesar’s debts. Crassus’s wealth would become the major fund behind Caesar’s extravagant lifestyle and the necessities to advance the political totem pole. When Caesar’s aunt Julia died, he decided to hold a large funeral for her. At the funeral , he made a long speech about Marius, who was married to Julia, and claimed descent from the fourth king of Rome and Venus. Soon after, he left for Spain where he began to quell an uprising among the local Spanish tribes. He proceeded to attack towns and the silver mine of Gallaecia. This Spanish War was where Caesar found he had a knack for military command. This war also taught him that war can be very profitable. It was here in Spain where he had a famous encounter with a statue of Alexander the Great. He proceeded to lament how he failed to perform some memorable act whereas Alexander ,at the age of 33, the same age Caesar was at this moment, conquered the whole known world. Caesar began forming an alliance with the Roman general Pompey the Great. Pompey fought wars in the east and the Senate was late in passing laws to organize the east. Caesar supported Pompey and would go on to form the First Triumvirate with Pompey and Crassus. The triumvirate was described by Livy as, “a conspiracy against the state by its three leading citizens”. Together they would rule Rome and all decisions would help all three members. In 58 B. C. E. , he became the governor of Cisalpine Gaul, Transalpine Gaul, and Illyricum. He originally wanted to conquer modern Romania, which was rich in metals, but saw the opportunity for conquest on glory in Gaul. He proceeded to conquer and subjugate the Gallic tribes. The conquest of Gaul meant that the Gauls could no longer attack Rome since in 387 B. C. E. , they ended up capturing the city of Rome and the Romans began a lifelong hatred of Gauls. When Caesar had power he had to organize Rome to ensure it’s stability. Caesar organized an army and defended Asia from an attack by Pontus. This gave the commander of the Roman army time to raise an army and attack Pontus. After crushing rebellions in Spain and Gaul, Caesar organized the provinces to make them stable. Caesar was so successful in organizing Gaul, that the Gauls would consider themselves Roman and was considered the most Roman province outside of Italy. In order to advance up the political ladder, Caesar organized a coalition between himself, Crassus, and Pompey called the First Triumvirate. All three men agreed that every decision made would have to benefit all three members. After being elected consul, Caesar organized a law that would give Pompey’s soldiers and the poor land in Italy. This appeased the mob and alleviated unemployment. Next he passed bills that prevented corruption by provincial governors. After the civil war he became dictator and organized Rome. He held triumphs which appeased the people of Rome. He encouraged education by granting doctors and teachers citizenship. He reformed the tax policy and reformed the calendar. Another of his reforms was to drains the marshes to create more land and granted full voting rights to those south of the Alps. Caesar often recruited effective workers and executives because to become the most powerful man in Rome, he had to create alliances with powerful men.


Synopsis I have always been interested with anything to do with Egypt, and thought that Cleopatra would be quite a fascinating topic to study. I was interested in learning more about her life and thought it would be a good topic to gain a better understanding of her. I thought the mystery of her death would be an interesting addition to this assignment. To do this I wanted to look at the details of Cleopatra’s life and what events led up to her death. The three main theories of Cleopatra’s death is suicide by snake bite, suicide by poison, and the possibility that she was murdered. I analysed this information, along with the information I had gathered about the background of her life and came to the conclusion that she either committed suicide by poison, or she was murdered. The information is too strong and believable for the poison suicide, however I personally think it is more believable that she was murdered, as people would have more to gain from this, rather than Cleopatra ending her own life over a broken heart. Who was Cleopatra, and how did she die? Queen Cleopatra of Egypt is the most well known of all the ancient Egyptian queens. She was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 69 B. C. during the reign of Ptolemy. Cleopatra was not Egyptian, but rather Macedonian, descended through a general of Alexander the Great. In 51 B. C. when Cleopatra was eighteen years of age, her father, Ptolemy Auletes, ruler of Egypt, died, leaving his kingdom and his will to Cleopatra, for her to become Egypt’s new queen. Little did they know she would be the last, after her mysterious death in 30 B. C. Cleopatra’s cause of death has presented many theories that have been contemplated for many years and continue to be to this day. The events of Cleopatra’s life have influenced these theories including her very special relationship with Marc Antony, which is to be believed the core motivation for two of the main theories. Suicide by snake bite is the first theory for the mysterious death of Queen Cleopatra, the second; suicide by poison and the third; murder. When Cleopatra took the throne, Egypt was in turmoil. There was a famine in the land, and the Roman Empire was growing larger and becoming a greater threat to Egypt. In 48 B. C. Cleopatra was removed from her position as queen because of her actions which displeased some of the more powerful court officials. She was overthrown by them in favour of her younger brother, whom they believed would be easier to influence, causing Cleopatra to flee the country. She did not return to Alexandria until Caesar arrived to obtain the country from her brother, Ptolemy in 48 B. C. She knew important meetings would be held about the country and did not want to be left out of anything, so she had herself smuggled in to meet Caesar wrapped up in a rug. It is thought that Cleopatra and Caesar fell in love at first sight and immediately became lovers. Caesar dethroned Ptolemy and placed Cleopatra on the throne as a puppet ruler for the country, and before long she became pregnant with their son. They traveled back to Rome together, where many disapproved of Caesar’s affection for her. When the Senate in Rome realized that Caesar was preparing to position himself as the new king, they had him assassinated on March 15, 44 B. C. Cleopatra was afraid for her life and that of her child, so she fled back to her home in Alexandria. When she returned, she had her brother Ptolemy XIV killed and regained the throne, making her four-year old son her coregent, always watching to seek the next man of power in Rome. In 41 B. C. , Mark Antony invited Cleopatra to Tarsus where they met and became lovers, despite his already existing wife. The two spent much time together and once Antony had finally divorced his wife, the Western part of the world had to acknowledge his relationship with Cleopatra. By doing this, he put himself at odds with the forces of Rome, and made himself the enemy of Octavian, the emperor. In 31 B. C. Octavian’s army defeated Antony in Greece. He sent for Cleopatra, but was lied to and told that she was dead. When he heard this news, he committed suicide with his own sword. Cleopatra eventually came to him before he died, and stayed with him during his final moments. After Antony’s death, Cleopatra was taken to Octavian, where she was told that she would be displayed as a slave to all of the countries that she had ruled over. This would bring her great suffering and humiliation so she had her servants bring her a poisonous asp hidden in a basket. Her religion believed that if one died by snake bite, they would become mmortal. She died on August 12, 30 B. C. , when she was only 39 years old. It has been documented that the snake bit Cleopatra on the arm, but there have also been reports that the snake bit her on the chest. This incident was followed with a note asking to be buried with Antony. However, this method of suicide has been believed to be unlikely because it has too many contradictions. According to previous accounts, this method did not seem to be in Cleopatra’s nature as she was portrayed as a smart, charismatic woman who had shown great strength and courage. This makes it hard to believe that Cleopatra would resort to a method of death that involved so much pain, instead of researching a quick and painless method. Along with this is the lack of evidence of a snake in the mausoleum and the temperature for August would have been to warm for a snake to be with her at her time of death. Although the theory of suicide by snake bite has been the most popular over time, there are too many contradictions and missing or incorrect components for this theory to be correct. The second theory for Cleopatra’s death is that she committed suicide by poisoning herself, again, because of the loss of Antony. It has been known that Cleopatra studied different poisons to find the most effective and it is said that she kept poison in a hollow comb in her hair. German historian, Christoph Schaefer believes that hemlock, combined with wolfsbane and opium, may have been the deadly combination that led to death of Queen Cleopatra, based on the materials that would have been available to her at that time. It also fits the profile as this would have been the smarter option, because it would have been quick and painless. The third theory is that Queen Cleopatra was murdered. A criminal profiler found that Cleopatra did not fit the normal profile for a suicide victim, no matter how much she may have loved Antony. Cleopatra was a strong woman, and had nothing to gain by dying, which made the two suicide theories unstable and unbelievable. These facts support the theory that Cleopatra may have been murdered. Cleopatra was the last Queen to rule before the Roman takeover. This was a time when it was common for rulers to be murdered. It has been speculated that Octavia sent men to kill Cleopatra and commanded them to make it look like a suicide. The fact that Cleopatra didn’t fit the profile for a suicide victim, combined with what could be gained from her death makes this theory more plausible. In addition to this, upon Cleopatra’s death, Octavia became the new pharaoh, which proves he had the motive to kill her. Cleopatra was a strong powerful, woman, who had an extremely eventful life, and a mysterious, puzzling death. There is no uncertainty that our historical knowledge of Cleopatra will continue to grow. So as we see the world and our association with bewildering situations continually change –the reputation and portrayal of Cleopatra will continue to develop, along with the many theories that give insight into her life and death. Bibliography https://heritage-key. com/blogs/ann/did-cleopatra-prefer-poison-suicide-snake * Informed me on how the snake bite theory could be proven wrong and good information on the poison theory. https://penelope. chicago. edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/miscellanea/cleopatra/rixens. html * This site had good visuals with a recreated image of the ‘death scene’. This provided some good information on the background with Antony and Octavia, as well as some details about the snake bite theory. https://www. kingtutshop. com/freeinfo/cleopatra. htm * This provided some good background information on Cleopatra, as well as some good information on the background of Cleopatra’s family. https://ancienthistory. about. com/od/cleopatra/a/Cleopatra. tm * This had some good information on Cleopatra’s relationship with Julius Caesar, and their first meeting, but did not help my investigation much. I was disappointed to find it did not have much information into the different death theories. MacDonald, F. (2003) Cleopatra: Queen of the Kings. Dorling Kindersley Ltd. Great Britain. * I found this book to have some quite good information about the three different death theories, I think this was a good help overall. It was set out nicely, visually as well.

Julius Caesar’s contribution to the World

Some people argue that Caesar was a selfish power-hungry emperor while others believe he was an intelligent strategist who developed revolutionary ideas that are still used today. To investigate these claims, several topics will be researched including the details of his rule and the many changes he made to develop Rome into an empire. Some specific research topics include Caesar’s rise to power (The First Triumvirate), Caesar’s expansion of the Roman empire, the conversion of Rome from a republic into an empire, and Caesar’s reform for the city of Rome.

These topics will point out that even though the poorer classes idolized his many achievements, Caesar’s disregard for political procedures, powerful control of the military, and attempt to rule solely led to his untimely demise. The goal of the paper is to evaluate Caesar’s accomplishments and determine if he truly was a power-hungry ruler or an ambitious emperor who was too smart for his own good.

Caesar’s rise to power began on either the 12th or 13th of July 100 BC when he was born to Gaius Julius Caesar and Aurelia Cotta into the Julii family (Wheeler). The father and uncle of Julius had ties to the party of Marius which was known as the popular party (Taylor). At the age of 16, Julius became the head of his household when his father passed away. By this time, Caesar’s uncle had risen to power and was named the consul which gave him the ability to appoint Julius to the position of High Priest of Jupiter (Wheeler). This was Caesar’s first taste of a position of power, but he desired more and married into a noble family after divorcing his first wife in order to set himself in a position of higher status (Wheeler). Caesar’s uncle was overturned as emperor and Caesar was stripped of his position as the High Priest of Jupiter by Sulla who had become dictator of Rome following the defeat of the Marius at the Battle of Colline Gate because he was unwilling to divorce his new wife to marry someone in Sulla’s family (Taylor). This incident led to the fleeing of Caesar to the East where he joined the Roman army in Turkey. He received the Civic Crown in honor of his bravery in the Siege of Mytilene (Wheeler).

Caesar was then able to return to Rome following the death of Sulla in the year 78 BC, and he became a lawyer who was known for his ability to attack and defend in court (Wheeler). Caesar began his quick climb of the political ladder in 72 BC when he served as the military tribune for the year, and a quaestor in Spain, Rome following the death of his wife in 69 BC ( Wheeler). When Caesar returned from Spain, he married the granddaughter of Sulla and bribed his way into being elected Pontifex Maximus (Wheeler). Caesar later divorced this wife and was elected the governor of Spain which allowed him to create an unofficial alliance also known as the first triumvirate with Pompey and Crassus(Wheeler). This unofficial alliance was sealed when Caesar gave his daughter Julia to Pompey and was elected consul in the following year 59 BC (Wheeler). Through this election as consul, Caesar began to set the stage for his rise to power in the form of his Agrarian Bill which gave the wasteland in Italy to the soldiers and poor of Rome, gaining the support of the lower class and the soldiers. This election also set the stage for Caesar to become the governor of Roman Gaul in 58 BC (Wheeler). Caesar’s rise to power shows us the dedication and perseverance Caesar had to become something greater than what he was. We also see the abilities of Caesar in combat as he was awarded the Civic Crown and this set the stage for his success in his desire to expand the borders of Rome.

Caesar’s new position as the governor of the Roman Gaul led to his desire to expand his rule over more land and the people who inhabited these lands, so he set his sights on conquering all of Gaul which led to the Gallic Wars (Wheeler). Caesar was able to win battle after battle in the conquest of Gaul, and it wasn’t long before he was able to focus on other conquests such as extending the Roman territory deeper than ever into Germany beyond the Rhine (Wheeler). These conquests and victories groomed Caesar into a brilliant leader and strategist that would later go on to extend the empire of Rome to a magnitude greater than it had ever been before. The success that Caesar was having as a general led to unrest back home in Rome as Pompey was growing more wary of the power that Caesar was accumulating. Fights were constantly breaking out between supporters of Caesar and the supporters of Pompey, but Caesar was unaware of these events and continued to press on into Gaul in his conquest (Wheeler). As Caesar continued to extend the Roman territory into new provinces, it raised questions as to whether Caesar was fighting for his own power, or for the good of the Roman empire and the people that were in it.

This question is answered as Caesar, against the wishes of the Senate, crossed the Rubicon River. This action was very significant because it directly disobeyed the leaders in Rome and it was an act of war according to the law of the Roman Republic (Redonet). Why would Caesar choose to disobey a direct command and declare war? From the account of the historian Suetonius, it was stated that a man sent from the gods sounded a trumpet, and Caesar declared Take we the course which the signs of the gods and the false dealing of our foes point out. The die is cast (Redonet). This states that Caesar based his decision to declare war, disobey the Senate, and begin a civil war in Rome on this apparition sent from the gods. Caesar’s decision to directly disobey the law and Senate did, in fact, begin a war in Rome and began the end for the conquest of Gaul (Redonet). When Caesar subjugated Gaul, Rome gained a large increase in territory that protected it from invasions, but Caesar benefited from this victory the most in the form of war glory and Gallic gold that he used to pay off many Roman senators debt in exchange for their support (Redonet). This speaks volumes as to the man Caesar is. He disobeyed the law directly and began a war in the name of strengthening the power of Rome when the true intent was political gain and glory for himself. It shows that he was a superior war leader, but a corrupt individual with only the thirst for his own benefit. At the end of his conquest of Gaul, Pompey and his group of optimate allies obliged Caesar to give up his position as governor, dismantle his army, and lose his immunity that came with the position of governor (Redonet).

The end of the Gallic wars marked the beginning of Caesar’s ascent to rule over Rome and the conversion of Rome from a republic to an empire. Caesar, even though he had broken Roman law would not resign his position of power as governor and decided he would remain governor and run for reelection the following year. Pompey and the optimates were set on taking away the power Caesar had accumulated and looked to the Senate to dismantle his army and elect a new governor, but once word of this reached Caesar, he decided he must defend himself politically and through his military power (Redonet). This again shows Caesar’s direct disobedience of those in positions greater than his own, supporting the idea that he was merely looking out for his own gain. He resorted to bribery in the senate to avoid losing his power and position. After the deadline for Caesar to resign his position, Pompey began to take actions against Caesar such as tricking Caesar into sending a legion of troops to Italy where Pompey then took control of them (Redonet). This only angered Caesar and the rivalry between himself and Pompey only grew until an all-out war was on the brink of occurring (Redonet). The Senate voted that Caesar and Pompey both dismantle their armies at the same time, but secretly asked Pompey to act against Caesar in order to preserve the republic (Redonet).

The senate’s desire for Pompey to take action against Caesar while also declaring a mutual peace agreement take place was against the law. This shows that it was common practice to disobey the Roman law when it was seen as for the good of Rome. In Caesar’s eyes, he may have seen it as being for the good of the people when he previously crossed the Rubicon and broke the law, but this does show his corruption as a leader that he would break the law in order to achieve success. The Senate went on to vote to make Caesar a public enemy, but Mark Antony vetoed this action because he was Caesar’s ally (Redonet). The Senate continued their votings and decided that they needed to pull armies together in order to protect Rome from any attacks, and when Antony and Quintus Cassius attempted to combat this vote, they were forced to flee for their lives to Caesar in Gaul (Redonet). Caesar felt he had no choice but to use his loyal army in order to take power over Rome to avoid losing his own power and commenced his long war with Pompey and his many followers. Caesar’s struggle to end Pompey and his supporters brought him to Egypt where Pompey was killed by the Egyptian ruler Ptolemy XIII, and this is where Caesar helped Cleopatra VII, who would later play a role in Caesar’s ultimate demise, to win the civil war that was going on in Egypt (Redonet). Caesar was finally able to return to Rome after several more battles to defeat the remaining supporters of Pompey the Roman people had only one choice, to accept him as their powerful ruler (Hussein). Caesar went on to end the republic in Rome declared himself as dictator for life (Heather).

Caesar once named the ruler of Rome drastically reformed the city of Rome in several ways. The most well-known change that took place was Caesar’s rule as the only individual with power over Rome who was self-appointed, whereas, before Caesar, they had a republic with an appointed official to rule with a set of written laws that acted as a constitution. He created a lasting effect in Rome. The name Caesar became the new name for all of the new rulers after Caesar and even carried over into many cultures (Karpf). With his new power, Caesar began the practice of placing an image of himself on the coinage, a practice that is now very common in today’s world (Karpf). He also improved how the land and grain was distributed, often giving more to the poor and to the soldiers that fought for Rome (Redonet). He also established new forms of government across Italy, putting officials into power that he felt were fit to do the job (Redonet). Caesar’s actions pleased the commoners of Rome because he gave land, food, and entertainment to them, but the other political figures in Rome grew jealous of him and the power he now had. Caesar had grown comfortable in his position of power, and was unaware of the plot that was going on around him that included his most trusted friends including Marcus Brutus “”The Assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC. Caesar lay dying beneath the statue of Pompey, a legendary general, a man who served the people, a corrupt politician who used bribery, and a self-proclaimed ruler of Rome. With the many reforms that Caesar had begun to make, he had only had about a year before this assassination took place. The closest friends of Caesar, the men he trusted most had deemed it the best interest of Rome to end his life, an act that again supports the idea that Julius Caesar wasn’t the compassionate, caring leader he thought himself to be.

Julius Caesar was one of the most successful war generals in Roman history who was able to extend the borders of Rome further than they had ever been before, but his success as a general led to his ultimate demise. He was a man hungry for power, so hungry that he was willing to break the laws of his people and create wars that killed many citizens in his quest for his power. The power he held caused him to change the way Rome ran, taking away the voice of the people and replaced it with what he thought was in their best interest. Julius Caesar did leave a lasting impression on the world, but it was not all in a positive way. Overall, Caesar was a power-hungry ruler who held himself above the law and ultimately caused his own downfall.

Julius Caesar and Brutus

Most of the western world today has some form of idealism incorporated into it today. In America, it is in the form of the pursuit of happiness and the American dream. In many ways, idealism can be great for our world as well, but idealism has its inherent flaws that are tied to the very principles it is based upon.

In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare uses rhetoric, dramatic irony, and the characters of Cassius and Brutus to reveal with vivid strokes how idealism undermines our capacity to comprehend different outcomes and forces us down a path of societal distress.

Idealism limits our capability to think and therefore lowers our potential as human beings. Shakespeare effectively shows this through conversations between Cassius and Brutus. Brutus is the embodiment of idealism because of his patriotism for Rome and his belief in Rome and its people. Cassius, on the other hand, is cunning and is able to use this patriotism in that is in Brutus to further his own agenda and specific goals. “Men at some time are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves” (21). This illustrates how simple it was to convince Brutus to kill Caesar. All Cassius needed to do was touch upon Brutus’ ego every so slightly in order to promote thought that showed him a picture of a world where he, Brutus, was the ruler and how amazing that world could be for Rome. Cassius also cunningly puts forth the idea that we have control over our own fate, and if we want something we need to accomplish it ourselves. The fault is not in our stars, suggests that no one is born to rule, we need to earn that right which Caesar has not.

Brutus now could not look past this ideal world that he had created in his head and kept comparing it to the one with Caesar. He was debating whether or not to kill Caesar but not once did he reevaluate his position with Cassius that Caesar was ambitious. His ideal world limited the scope of his thinking an ultimately lead him to the killing of Caesar. “Like wrath in death and envy afterwards… Let us be sacrificers but not butchers, Caius.” (61) Brutus’ limited thought process is explicitly shown here as well, he is not able to see beyond the point that it would be wrong to kill Marc Antony simply because he was a close friend of Caesar. He saw that in his ideal world Marc Antony would not have to be killed, instead, Antony could play an instrumental part in convincing the Roman people that the killing of Caesar was necessary. But in reality, Brutus had been warned multiple times by Cassius that Marc Antony should be killed or at least not allowed to speak. Cassius tried to explain to Brutus that Marc Antony if allowed to speak to the Roman public, could wreak havoc to an already volatile situation but because of his strong ideals and beliefs, Brutus was left unmoved. This vividly illustrates that idealism can seriously hinder our abilities to think forward and significantly decreases our potential as human beings.

Idealism is easily manipulated to further one’s own agenda and self-centered views. With the objective of convincing a man to turn his back on his friend, Cassius focuses on two specific strategies. First to prompt Brutus’ sense of civic responsibility and to weaken Brutus’ devotion to Caesar. First, Cassius uses devices such as contradiction and dramatic comparisons. He points out Caesar’s shortcomings and contrasts him to fellow men, showing no difference between Caesar and ordinary men in comparison. This implies that Caesar is just as likely to become corrupted with power, despite him being treated as a god. One example of this is Cassius’ constant comparing Caesar with Brutus. “ “Brutus” and “Caesar”—what should be in that/ “Caesar”? Why should that name be sounded more than/ yours?”(23, Shakespeare). He forces Brutus to question whether such ordinary and weak men deserve to hold such power, well continually flattering Brutus. Once Brutus starts to believe that Caesar doesn’t actually have the kind of power that is implied, he starts thinking that Caesar is actually not fit to lead.

In reality, Cassius is jealous of Caesar’s power and even the close relationship that Brutus and Caesar have. Cassius always wanted to be part of Caesar’s inner circle and be part of the decision-making process as well, this never actually happened though and Cassius sought revenge in the form of breaking the relationship between Brutus and Caesar as well as seizing all of Caesar’s power. Cassius used Brutus to pursue his personal vendetta and Brutus has fallen into his trap. Cassius is aware that knowing the audience is essential to successfully persuading. When Brutus uses the word honor twice in eight lines, emphasizing the weight he places on honor. Cassius quickly takes advantage of this. “I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,/ As well as I do know your outward favor./ Well, honor is the subject of my story.”(19) He also emphasizes other words that Brutus resonates with, such as “free” and “Rome” as Brutus is a patriot and is willing to do anything for his country. In this way, Cassius is able to manipulate Brutus via his beliefs and is able to further his own agenda. When government officials have separate agendas, horrible consequences may ensue.

Although idealism can be a great force for change, it leads to too much change too quickly, which can effectively destroy a whole civilization. As we can see, after the murder of Julius Caesar the Roman civilization has been split up into two sides and has been pushed into a bloody war. To the idealist, reality can never be good enough, and this is the underlying problem we see with people today and especially with Brutus. “A man of such a feeble temper should / So get the start of the majestic world / And bear the palm alone.”(21) As Cassius explains that Caesar is weak and anyone can replace him, Brutus does not realize all the good Caesar has already done, he is not able to see past Cassius’ and figure out the real motivations Cassius has. Idealists are never content with what they have and will always look into a narrow scope of the future. This is precisely what happened with Brutus, he didn’t stop and think that during Caesar’s reign Rome had finally become powerful, prosperous and most of all stable. He only wanted to see Rome for what it could be and not what it is.

With hindsight, we know that the conspirators pushed for too many results too quickly, without the proper planning. The outcome expected by the idealist Brutus was far from the real outcome and goes to show how detrimental idealism can be.

Shakespeare is able to highlight the fact that if Brutus had listened to Cassius and his thorough analysis of what would happen if Marc Antony was allowed to speak to the Roman public, the conspirators would have prevailed. This was the turning point in the drama and emphasized the importance of cynicism in a person. At the end of Act 5, almost everyone is dead as a consequence of idealism and indecision between Brutus and Cassius. In theory, idealism is a great force for change in our modern world, where people are distressed by the status quo and need something to change. But the degree of idealism in our society is actually quite distressing. People need to be prepared for the future, a safe degree of idealism is essential but after that, it starts to hinder our ability to prepare ourselves for the future. There needs to be a delicate balance between idealism and cynicism in our lives in order to live an untroubled and comfortable life.

Oprah Winfrey’s eulogy to Rosa Parks and Brutus’s funeral speech to Caesar

In Oprah Winfrey’s eulogy to Rosa Parks and Brutus’s funeral speech to Caesar, the stylistic differences are evident. Though both speakers attempt to captivate their audiences with compelling speeches, Oprah Winfrey’s compassionate personality and ability to use rhetoric devices effectively prove her speech to have a greater impact on the audience than Brutus’s. When used correctly, rhetoric can have an immense impact on the effectiveness of a speech. By using pathos skillfully throughout her speech, Oprah successfully creates a warm, friendly atmosphere for her audience to be embraced in.

Numerous times in her speech, she thanks Rosa Parks for the advances she has made towards society. She builds upon this with a great amount of pathos, stating how much courage and selflessness Rosa had. Instead of mourning the death of Parks, Oprah skillfully shapes her speech to celebrate Rosa Parks’s success and achievements towards humanity. On the contrary, Brutus uses ethos and logos to reason with the crowd about killing their beloved Caesar. He tries to justify his murderous actions by saying he did what he did because Not that I didn’t love Caesar, but that I loved Rome more,.He reiterates the fact that he did what he did to benefit Rome. Brutus also tries to take the blame off himself throughout his entire speech by providing a rationale for each thing he says. This proves that Brutus’ purpose of giving his speech is to relieve himself of the blame and guilt that came along with killing Caesar, not to mourn him.. His speech does not demonstrate he feels guilt or even regret for killing Caesar.

Even his speech has bad intentions. Oprah’s speech was filled entirely with sorrow and emotion Because Brutus is a logical and rational-even stoic-man, he uses ethos and logos to try to gain credibility from his audience. However, in the end, raw emotion overpowers logic, proving that Oprah’s eulogy is more effective than Brutus’. Another reason why Oprah’s speech is so much more effective than the one Brutus gives is her personality and character. By opening with the line Reverend Braxton, family, friends, admirers, and this amazing choir, she captivates the audience just with the order of her words. She shows that she has respect for the people because she thinks of them first as family, second as friends, and lastly as admirers. Also, the tone she uses is very polite and humble, which makes the people feel not as subordinates, but as equal counterparts to her and aren’t threatened by her. Brutus, however, is not one to be known to respect or even interact with those lower in rank than him. He sets himself up for failure at the beginning of his speech, simply by stating his opening line.

He says Romans, countrymen, lovers, hear me for my cause,, immediately proving that he sees his audience first as Romans, second as countrymen, and lastly as friends. He unintentionally asserts his dominance right away, making the crowd feel less respected and therefore less trusting towards Brutus. His inability to be empathetic causes him to be unable to build an emotional bond with the audience, and therefore does not allow his speech to connect to the people as he had planned. Brutus’ ineptness towards the feelings of the audience results in his speech being a lot less effective than expected, especially when compared to Oprah’s skillfully delivered one. By tactfully utilizing rhetoric devices and incorporating different aspects of persuasion, Oprah and Brutus invoke different impressions on their audiences from their speeches. While trying to appeal to a crowds’ logical appeals may make sense in trying to persuade people to understand one’s actions, Oprah’s emotional appeals and comforting tone prove her speech to be more effective and compelling.

Idea of Betrayal in Williams Shakespeare’s Play Julius Caesar

As Brutus draws his blade preparing to stab Caesar, Caesar watches him with sunken eyes as his best friend betrays him. Caesar gasps in horror as the blade begins to slash into his torso. A big idea in Williams Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar is the idea of betrayal.

Manipulation, reputation, and power are all very popular themes within the two works. In both the play Julius Caesar and the movie The Ides of March, the writers address these topics and incorporate them in into the plot in their own ways. The Movie The Ides of March begins to briefly portray these big ideas and themes. The play Julius Caesar portrays these themes in a more in depth way while adding detailed dialogue to better display the big ideas.

The big idea of manipulation is displayed the strongest in both the play and the movie. The movie does the best with this subject matter. The Ides of March includes many examples of this theme. For example, Tom Duffy tries to persuade and manipulate Steven to drop out of Mike Morris’s campaign as he offers him a spot on Pullman’s campaign. Also, Steven’s friend and news reporter Ida manipulated Steven to get him to give her some campaign gossip for her news journal. Finally, Steven manipulated the governor, Mike Morris to hire him as the head campaign director and fire the current director as he had outed him for his meeting with Tom Duffy. The idea is not as detectable in the play as there is only one main example. That is when the conspirators that are plotting to kill Caesar and they persuade Brutus to join them in taking him down. They use Brutus because they know he is close to Caesar and he would be the easiest way to get to him.

The Second biggest idea is reputation. The movie also handles this topic better than the play. In the movie, Steven meets Tom Duffy at a disclosed location in efforts to hide the meeting from the press. If the press were to see him, he would be kicked off the campaign and people would think he was a traitor. Also, Molly the intern goes to Steven for help when she finds out she is pregnant. This is due to her family’s background as Catholics and they would disown her if they knew she was pregnant and or getting an abortion. Finally, when Steven blackmails the governor, the governor knows he has to kick Paul off the campaign. This is to prevent Steven from outing him for sleeping and impregnating the intern, Molly. If people found out about this incident, he would not get the majority vote nor would he become president. Like the movie, reputation is big in the play also. In the play, the idea of killing both Antony and Caesar is presented. The conspirators decide not to kill Antony due to the impression this will make on the common people. If they were to only kill Caesar for the good of Rome, they would understand. If they were to kill both Antony and Caesar, there would be too much bloodshed and the people would turn against the conspirators.

The last big idea presented in both works is power. There are great examples in both the story and the play, but as usual, the movie handles this theme the best. In both Julius Caesar and The Ides of March, the characters are all fighting for power and doing everything to get it. In the movie when Steven meets with Duffy, Paul finds out and tells Ida. Ida then uses her press power to exploit Steven and get him fired off the campaign. Next, Steven uses his position in the campaign to access the funds to pay for Molly’s abortion. He knew her situation could not gain attention nor would the governor want to clean up his own mess. Finally, Steven uses the suicide note Molly wrote as leverage to blackmail the governor. The note gave Steven the power he needed to gain a top spot in the campaign. The play uses Caesar as the main example of power. The conspirators take him down because the fear him gaining power. If he gained absolute power, Rome would turn into a dictatorship and the common people would be slaves under Caesar. The conspirators turn towards Brutus to get to Caesar knowing he had enough power and personal connection with him. Finally, the conspirators rise up against Caesar with their combined power and they assassinate him. This just shows the extent that they would go to prevent and gain power.

The movie and the book both portray these themes in their own ways. The movie has a more brief and implied way of explaining these points. Like every other movie, there was a lot of drama and scandalous events taking place. The play, since it is written, had a more in depth way of including the themes but there were only a few examples. The movie was more enjoyable and had more examples of the three big ideas. Overall, the movie did a better job at including manipulation, reputation, and power.