The Hamartia Of Julius Caesar And His Quest For Power

1628 words - 7 pages

Even as a young man, Julius Caesar idolized power, leadership, and politics. Early in his quest for power Caesar was a student of the great Crassus. Eventually and gradually, Caesar built his own power, and than he made an alliance with Pompey and Crassus known as the first triumvirate. Later on, Caesar ended up more powerful then the other two men and became the last man standing. Julius Caesar started to take part in many small leadership positions, which eventually led to Caesar’s establishing the trust of society and the eventual reign of Julius Caesar. Caesar’s rise as a political leader and politician was blemished with a fatal flaw in his character known as hamartia. Caesar’s hamartia was his pride, arrogance and individual quest for power, self-superiority and use of popularist tactics to further own political gains. On the one hand, it led to political and military leadership as well as to democratic and popularist tactics to advance his career as a politician and ruler of Rome. On the other hand, Caesar’s hamartia fostered many enemies for him politically, who ultimately conspired against him, thus causing his death.
Hamartia was the driving force behind Caesar’s rise in politics, his first consulship, and the formation of the first triumvirate early in his career. However, he demonstrated many admirable qualities in battle as was evident in his first campaign under Minucius Thermus when he was rewarded the “civic-crown” for saving the life of a fellow-soldier (Encyclopedia Britannica 938). Upon returning to Rome after Sulla’s death, Caesar worked towards gaining the respect of the people in Rome and proving his right to be their leader by exposing both the corruption of two senatorial governors and the senatorial tribunals (Encyclopedia Britannica 938). In addition, he ensured the support of the people by giving colonials citizenship and rewarding proconsuls with money for getting rid of corruption (N.S. Gill The First Triumvirate and Julius Caesar). Caesar recognized that in order to advance politically he needed to overcome the oligarchy established by the senate (Julius Caesar 91). In order to do this, he formed a coalition with Pompey and Crassus, thus forming the first triumvirate, a three man alliance to rule the Republic of Rome.
Caesar’s drive for personal entitlement led to the conquest at Gaul -- a major genocide for non-Roman tribes. Caesar’s conquering Gaul was based on a spur of the moment action for his own personal gain. His reason for exploring was to beat Pompey and to show Rome who their leader should be. He reached a new height for Rome by finding the “Legendary edges of the Earth”. His personal goals basically for the nation of Rome. His tactics for capturing Gaul were trickery and eventually massive genocide that should be frowned upon. His persona during the capturing was Machiavellian. The bridge incidents besides being glorious to Rome, were horrific to those of other civilizations (Lendering The conquest...

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