Julius Caesar Leadership
Julius Caesar (100-44 BC)
Roman leader who conquered Gaul (France), Germany and Britain.
Murdered by a group of conspirators on the Ides of March (March 15). The month of his son’s
birth was re-named Julius (July in English).
Caesar (pictured right) changed the Roman calendar into a 365 day year, the basis of our modern Gregorian
For more detail
The Assassination of Julius
Caesar in the History Highlights section.
Why was he a great
He was immensely popular with the middle and lower classes, because he:
He was a highly egotistical lover of power, who was the first living Roman to appear on a coin
and became a dictator for life in 45BC, ending the democratic Roman Republic.
This is why his friend, Brutus (pictured right), helped to kill him.
In 49 BC he crossed the river Rubicon into Italy, so invading it and starting a civil war,
which he eventually won.
“The die is cast”, he said, as he crossed the river.
4. Military genius
He was one of the greatest military leaders ever, successfully fighting in any terrain and
He made the best possible use of his superb infantry, cavalry and artillery.
His army’s engineering skills (building fantastic roads) and speed were legendary. It
marched as many as 40 miles a day, when 20 was considered phenomenal.
Belgium was the only country to give him much resistance.
He conquered Pharnaces in Asia Minor (now Turkey) in just five days in 47 BC, prompting
him to say, “Veni, vidi, vici” (Latin for “I came, I saw, I conquered).
5. Great troops
He inspired his troops (like those pictured right) through:
6. Character and
The Roman writer, Cicero (pictured right), thought that he
was an extraordinary man: “calm, kind, clever, forward-looking and fair”.
Caesar was largely a self-made man without the privileges of great wealth and an aristocratic family.
He trained as a lawyer before joining the army and was a great speaker, travelling to Rhodes in 75 BC to study
philosophy and oratory under Cicero’s teacher.
He also won over his rivals by pardoning them.
7. Tough and
He had to fight for power and resolutely held on to it in the face of constant
opposition and intrigue, culminating in the plot to kill him.
He was also ruthless in politics and war. After defeating the last city in Gaul by siege, he cut off the hands
of all its survivors and scattered them throughout Gaul!
Despite his desire to be a dictator, he needed the help of political allies. He formed the First
Triumvirate in 70 BC with Crassus and Pompey.
He also formed an alliance with his lover, Cleopatra (pictured right), and allowed
Mark Antony (pictured right below), to take charge of Italy, whilst pursuing Pompey to defeat
him in 48 BC.
He collected pieces of art, and was a brilliant writer. His best works are his war diaries.
10. Learning with confidence
He learned from his mistakes and quickly recovered from setbacks, never doubting his
ability to succeed.
Deep reflection also improved his thinking.
Key quotes on
Creating is the essence of life.
Key quotes on
We have not to fear anything, except fear itself (similar to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s statement, “The only thing we have
to fear is fear itself”).
As a rule, men worry more about what they can’t see than about what they can.
Key quotes on learning and
Experience is the teacher of all things.
What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also.
Key quote on decision
All bad precedents began as justifiable measures.
Key quotes on
A good commander should be able to gain as much by policy as by the sword.
Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered).
I love the name of honour more than I fear death.
Go to the Top