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1. Caius JULIUS CÆSAR lived at a time remarkable for some of those great events which must always be deemed worthy of memory, in the history of states and empires. His age was famous for that military skill by which Rome was enabled to obtain its superiority over other nations, and to enlarge its conquests. Among its heroes whose actions are recorded with admiration, there was no one to whom he can be considered as inferior. His life and actions commence a new period in the history of that state over which he obtained the supreme rule, changing its constitution from a republic to that form of military despotism, which was continued till towards the latter end of the fifth century, when its glory was entirely extinguished.

2. The birth of this extraordinary man took place ninety-nine years before the Christian era, or 655 from the foundation of Rome (B.C. 753) by Romulus. His birthday was in that month of the year called by the Romans Quinctilis,—the same that has been since named



after him July, or in the Latin language Julius. Tradition traced his family to the line of Æneas, the hero of Virgil, whose son Iulus, or Julus, escaping with him from the flames of Troy, settled in Alba ; and in the time of Tullus Hostilius migrated to Rome. From the time of the Punic war (B.C. 264), the ancestors of Cæsar had been distinguished by holding public offices. From his youth he was animated with a strong passion for glory, and his whole life was devoted to the object of obtaining it, and of thus acquiring a supremacy in the state. This dignity, he was destined at length to secure, by his great talents and military

3. It was necessary for every Roman who aimed at distinction, to pass through the several stages of official rank which led to the consular dignity--the highest which the state then allowed. A view of the progress of Cæsar through these gradations, will afford an adequate idea of the steps by which every great man in that community obtained his promotion to the office of Consul. The first and lowest degree which Cæsar took in the path of promotion was that of a military or legionary tribune (B.c. 11); a post, however, which then gave its possessor less power than such officers enjoyed before the time of Sylla, who abridged it of some of those functions by which it had been accustomed to control the proceedings of the senators. His next advance was to become a Quæstor (B.C. 70), or collector of the public revenues. Through this he proceeded, at the end of five years, to take the office of an Ædile (B.C. 65), to whom belonged the care of the public buildings, and the management of the public spectacles, or games aeted in the theatre. Not long after this time he secured his election to the dignity of Pontifex Maximus (B.C. 63), which was one held by the possessor for life. It placed under his directions, not only matters pertaining to the public bridges (as the original title imports), but, what was of far more consequence, it gave him the supreme charge of the temples of the gods, and the regulation of the ceremonials of the national religion. Another important step in advancement was the office of Prætor or prefect, who was the chief magistrate in the city of Rome (B.C. 62). This was necessarily followed after a year's service by that of proconsul, or an allotment of a province with a military command.

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