11 Lessons In Leadership From Julius Caesar

I always begin a new year by reading a biography of a great and successful man. Roosh’s big ass book challenge of a few years ago was part of my reasoning for this process. Indeed, to be a great man, you have to learn from the other great men that came before you – what they did, how they did it, and the underlying reasons that caused them to be successful.

Julius Caesar always fascinated me because of the massive list of his accomplishments and his palpable charisma that still seems to reach you even 2,000 years later. Usually, Caesar is remembered as a great soldier, but his life was far more complete than that. He was a great entertainer, seducer, statesman, writer, and more.

The noted classical historian Adrian Goldsworthy goes over the unlikely roller coaster career of Julius Caesar in his Caesar: Life of a Colossus. When you read this and other biographies about Julius Caesar, you draw the following lessons on leadership and power.

1. Build Your Talent Stack

If you’re familiar with the work of Scott Adams, you’ll recall the concept of a “talent stack,” where it’s better for you to have a B or B+ in a lot of different skills rather than one A and a list of Cs.

When you look at the life of Julius Caesar, it’s clear that he had a massive stack of abilities that he was very good in, whether it be rhetoric, soldiering, or tolerance for risk and conflict. There was almost nothing that he wasn’t at the very least good in, compared to his rivals like Pompey who had a talent stack that had far less depth.

Julius Caesar decided what talents he needed on his path to domination in his own time. Now think of your own future and where you want to be. Done? Now ask yourself what skills you’ll probably need to get there. Now do a little each day to get a solid B in each of them.

2. Get Good At All Avenues of Communication

Julius Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic (and Civil) War still stand as a classic to students of both Latin and military history. His contemporaries like Cicero marveled at their simplicity and the directness of the action that left the reader without doubt as to what had transpired. The Commentaries weren’t simply for posterity’s sake, however, they allowed Caesar to build his reputation and keep in touch with his base back in Rome while he was abroad for so many years. By staying in the forefront of the people’s minds, his power grew.

3. Choose Notoriety Over Fitting In

Even when he was just starting out and had no power, Julius Caesar found ways to stand out. He was actually one of the noted fashionistas of his era, always dressing more uniquely than those around him:

Caesar reveled in standing out from the crowd, and dressed in a highly distinctive way. Instead of the normal short-sleeved senator’s tunic, which was white with a purple stripe, he wore his own unconventional version. This had long sleeves that reached down to his wrists and ended in a fringe. Although it was not normal to wear a belt or girdle with his tunic, Caesar did so, but perversely kept it very loose. Sulla is supposed to have warned the other senators to keep an eye on that ‘ loose girded boy.’ Caesar dressed so that he was recognizably a member of a senatorial family, but at the same time marked himself out as not quite the same as his peers.

Later on in life, Julius Caesar also made it a priority to stand out in politics as well, bringing cases against noteworthy Roman elites and supporting contrary causes, such as his argument not to execute those men involved in Catiline’s conspiracy.

4. Always Be Pleasurable

Julius Caesar went out of his way to be a source of pleasure. He was friendly and charming to everyone that came in contact with him. Even in heated political debates he didn’t lose his humor. One of the best examples of his social intuition was this one:

Socially Caesar entertained and was entertained by the local aristocracy, many of whom had only possessed citizenship for a generation or so. On one occasion in Mediolanum, he dined at the house of one Valerious Meto, and the party was served with asparagus accidentally dressed in bitter myrrh rather than the normal olive oil. Caesar ate it without comment or change of expression, and rebuked his companions when they loudly complained. The patrician from one of Rome’s oldest families was the perfect guest and always a lively companion.

This won him many friends that he of course influenced.

5. Associate Yourself With Popular Causes

Julius Caesar was a noted popularis politician, meaning that he was associated with popular causes. In his early career he tried his hardest to support the popular general Pompey (already a marquee name) and staged grand and spectacular entertainments during his time in the post of Aedile which oversaw public infrastructure. In the voting assemblies, he associated himself with a broad range of citizen classes and in the courts he prosecuted unpopular public officials.

6. Keep Your Power Base As Broad As Possible

When he was dictator, Julius Caesar enacted a legislative program that addressed all segments of society. In his youth, he lived in a neighborhood that wasn’t exactly prestigious, but it did allow him to converse with the poorer classes that Roman senators often didn’t know very well. To give it a modern analogy, Julius Caesar didn’t live in a bubble. He knew senators, equestrians, and the poor. He even championed the residents in the provinces abroad, such as those in Cisalpine Gaul who hadn’t been given citizenship but wanted it. When he received his Gallic command, this came back to help him, big league.

Always look to cooperate with many people and classes. See if their interests entwine with yours. Don’t make enemies unnecessarily.

7. In-Group With Your Subordinates

Famously, he knew the names of all of his centurions, building with them an intimate rapport. He trained alongside the men with equal physical vigor as they exercised. Further:

When Caesar addressed his troops it was always as ‘comrades,’ never ‘men’ or ‘soldiers.’ He and they were all good Romans, serving the Republic by fighting against its enemies and also winning glory and plunder along the way, which he took to share with them most generously. Mutual trust grew up gradually between the commander, his officers, and soldiers as they came to know and rely on each other. Pride in themselves and their units was also carefully fostered. Decorated weapons, some inlaid with silver or gold, were issued, most probably as rewards for valor, marking the recipients out as exceptional soldiers and making them feel special. The Roman military system had always sought to encourage boldness in its soldiers, but in Caesar’s legions this ideal was taken to an extreme.

8. When Using Rhetoric To Persuade, Never Start With Facts

Julius Caesar knew that facts are of limited value in persuasion. He studied in the best rhetorical school of his time in Rhodes. Although he had many instances of brilliant and persuasive oratory, one of Caesar’s best was when he dissuaded mutinous legions, beginning by addressing them as “citizens” instead of “comrades.” This shocked them, making them feel less worthy in the eyes of their beloved commander. In this greater state of suggestibility, Julius Caesar got them all to beg him to take them back. The coup de grace was when he said he would indeed take them all back – save the Tenth Legion. Their pride slighted, the Tenth even begged him to decimate them, to show that the unit was worthy of his praises.

The speech had to be cut here for brevity, but you should study it intensely.

9. Disrupt The Strategy Of Your Enemies

One notable instance of this was when Julius Caesar used his brand of clemency against the Pompeians in the civil war, who were envisioning being increasingly punitive even against those who had remained neutral during the hostilities. Caesar’s clemency made his enemies grow increasingly unhinged, and as a result, made them lose face with the public and disrupted their strategy in the field.

And that episode was far from the only time he did this.

10. Control The News

One of Julius Caesar’s calling cards was that he always took care to dictate the news cycle rather than having it dictate him. His Commentaries of course are the best example of this, but he also did this on the tactical level to rapidly control the flow of information in his favor. In Gaul, for example, a defeat in a skirmish began to be talked of as a major setback for the Romans. Not wanting to embolden his enemies, Caesar mobilized immediately and reversed the situation with swift punishment, not allowing the flow of information to embolden the Gauls who may want to take up arms against him.

11. Your Displays Of Power Must Be Cognizant of Your Time

The mistake that ultimately caused Julius Caesar’s undoing was the way that he displayed power as dictator after his victory in the civil war. His typical dress consisted of the following garb:

Apart from his formal powers Caesar stood out in many ways. His family claimed descent from the kings of Alba Longa, a city that no longer existed since the Romans had absorbed it early on in their history. On formal occasions he now took to wearing what he claimed was the costume of these monarchs, notably calf-length boots in red leather. The reddish-purple tunic and toga of a triumphing general, which he now wore at festivals and formal meetings, also had regal associations. To this he added a laurel wreath – an honor that he is said to have especially relished because of his growing baldness – and in 44 BC this seems to have been replaced with a gold version.

He also refused a crown from Mark Antony, but it only served to associate Caesar with kingship. Though the people loved him, Caesar lost touch with a crucial segment of society – that class of senators who held the old Republican ideals in high esteem. To them, his behavior was a bridge too far. It served too easily as confirmation bias that he aspired to a formal kingly role. This made it easier for people like Cassius and Brutus to persuade themselves and others that killing him was a necessary act of tyrannicide.

Julius Caesar, knowing the republican ethos of Rome, should have made a rare display of modesty and surrendering some of his power (if only in appearance) after attaining the dictatorship to dissolve any rumors of him desiring supreme, un-republican power. He did the opposite and it cost him his life. This was a mistake that his adopted son and heir, Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus, would not make.

And neither should you.

Read More: The 5 Most Decisive Moments In A Man’s Life

106 thoughts on “11 Lessons In Leadership From Julius Caesar”

  1. One thing:
    “If you’re familiar with the work of Scott Adams, you’ll recall the concept of a “talent stack,” where it’s better for you to have a B or B+ in a lot of different skills rather than one A and a list of Cs.”
    This is no longer true. Specialisation is where the green be at … to borrow the parlance of our times.
    Not saying you shouldn’t develop a breadth of knowledge. But you NEED to be an A+ in one thing to get what you want to get in life

    1. Another way to look at this is the T-Diagram. I believe I first learned of this through Jason Ferrugia. Basically it’s as assessment of your skills where there skills you are the most specialized in are towards the center of the graph and the skills drop off to either side. Think of an upside down bell curve.
      To your point, to make green, yes you need to be A+ in one field. But I would add, to have a resilient and enjoyable life, you need to work on having a lot of B+ in other fields.

    2. The fellow who is A+ in one thing will always have a job…working for the guy who is B+ in many things. The old saying went, “The person who knows how to do something will always have a job, working for the person who knows why.”

  2. There was an instance where he was kidnapped by a band of pirates. Somehow the was freed (I don’t remember the details of the story). Anyway just before he was freed he told the pirates “I will come back and kill you all.”
    He did come back and killed them all.

    1. They were crucified. Showing the mercy that characterized his life, he had their throats cut rather than let them suffer for hours or days.

      1. Suetonius comments that Caesar showed the pirates some mercy prior to their crucifixion. However, the earliest source (Plutarch) notes only that young Caesar had the pirates crucified, with no mention of clemency. Caesar originally had asked the local Governor to have the pirates executed, but this official (who had possibly been offered a bribe by the captured pirates) refused to grant Caesar’s request. Young Caesar responded by removing the pirates from their prison and handed them over to the Roman military. Thus, the pirates were crucified as enemies of the Roman state.

        1. Thanks. I feel he did have mercy as a matter of general policy so I prefer the mercy story. He was very unusual and a fascinating character. I read he had quite a collection of precious gems. Good piece on the funeral here. https://youtu.be/ucvqNtfxxbk. History channel has a bit about his appearance using recent techniques.

  3. A really nice piece, this one – that checklist spoke to me. The only thing I would quibble with is “3.Choose Notoriety Over Fitting In.” True, if you want to be a world leader or a politician of some sort, this might apply. But in today’s world, if you are an average guy, being notorious is not something that will give you any positive benefit. Smart men want to create their own worlds (domains), and become the masters of them. Being notorious will create envy, and that will always work against a man.
    Granted it depends on the circumstances, as there are virtually no absolutes, but flying under the radar, so that people never see you coming, and virtually nobody knows the extent of your talents and achievements, is critical to a man’s growth and success. Even in the corporate world this is true, because if a man stands out too much, the men higher up in the chain of command will see him as a threat, and will work against him. But that article was a great read, and there is wisdom galore in it.
    As an aside: Did you hear about the Roman soldier? He was glad he ate her.

    1. Being notorious brings more to your domain. You’ll get haters, but attention is influence. In the gig economy attention matters a lot.
      Though obviously your notoriety should be tailored for the situation you’re in.

      1. Agreed. But if you develop a lot of skills (build your talent stack), which the article recommends, there is a flip-side to it. Men will envy you to the point of being overtly jealous. So I’d suggest only demonstrating the skills you possess, relevant to the sphere of business in which you seek influence – showing all of your skills to the whole world will put a big target on your back. Men are capable of jealousy-inspired treachery at levels women can’t even approximate.

    2. My favorite law in 48 Laws Of Power is “never outshine the king.” Notoriety needs to be finessed. It could get you promoted, or beheaded.

        1. Trump doesn’t have the intellect. Unless he’s pretending to be stupid. In which case, perhaps its an ingenious strategy.

        2. Bob, It’s not “exactly” about being intellect. It’s all about cleverness, confidence, strategies, boldness, foresight, gaining peoples support, building mutual trust and strong relationships with allies;
          More Num. of Allies = Less Num. of Enemies
          Trump is a shrewd businessman. I can say that what He is doing now is “testing the waters”. It’s important to see & “gauge” the reaction(s) of other Countries and “losers within the Country”.
          Let us not forget that Trump, as the President, has His own limitations. The losers (aka femicunts & one-sided media) are churning out dirty tactics & misleading news, on a 24-hour/365 days basis ! And a few “otherwise good & easy going local MEN” are heeding to them and aggravating the situation.
          Trump needs support from His PEOPLE. Let’s take the GOOD and the Bad; while trying our best in “lessening” the “Bad” !

        3. I think that intellect drives all of those qualities you mention. Unfortunately it is rapidly becoming clear that Trump is a simple minded man who seeks simple solutions to complicated problems.

      1. the rubicon will be when those leftard protesters would kill someone. That will be the rubicon imo

        1. nope, i meant those libtards protesting (rioting) against trump, we see everyday since two weeks. I never heard of killed people during those protests.. for the moment

        2. I know what you mean but they are the same ilk. Leftists are the murderous people to ever walk the earth. And they think they are doing God’s work.

      2. One literal Rubicon is militarizing the Police.
        The Legions are in the Cities.
        .Gov may use them, And build a wall to keep the slaves in…
        who knows?

  4. Stuart, you seem a bit abstract and cynical, making him more cunning rather than genuine. He also reformed the calendar to what we have today, modified again by Gregory, He wrote on how to raise children; instructions that were suppressed after his death. I imagine they did not want any more like him. He had many affairs with the patrician wives. Quintius favorite Cicero created Cataline as straw man and proclaimed himself, Cicero, as savior of the Rome and the Republic for destroying him in order to make himself look good. Cicero was weak as a Consul. Standing up for Cataline was the right thing to do. Setting himself the challenge of conquering Gaul, that would make him famous, he did not have military experience. I like what Plutarch said of him, “he brought the best out of people”, what we should all aspire to. Building the bridge across the Rhine, near impossible even with modern equipment is a favorite story. He had little choice but to cross the other river, the Rubicon, as the patricians were plotting his end anyway. What to do with the really brilliant, exceptional man, is difficult. Perhaps the Republic of that time was not big enough a stage for him. He could not play Cinncinatus without being murdered. He really did love Rome and his people, I feel. For the time he was a saint of compassion. One of his lieutenants during the Gaul campaign, fighting for Pompey, did decimate his troops as punishment. Cities and generals were spared if they surrendered.

    1. I only have limited space here. The book does indeed go over all of those things.
      Though he actually did have experience militarily in Spain prior to his Gallic command.

      1. Yes, my error. He fought in the East, earning oak leaf (if I remember) medal for saving a citizen. And the pirates of course. HIs experience was small scale I believe.

  5. 12. Pardon your ennemies (those you need to achieve power). Just keep watching them. Ever. Wealth, good admistration and spies are the backbone of a solid dictatorship.

    1. If you pardon your enemies, they will destroy you eventually.
      Rule 15 from the 48 Laws of Power:
      Crush your Enemy Totally.
      “All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.”

      1. you nailed it. Never pardon ennemies. never.
        Or act as if, but always be prepared to backfire ruthlessly.

      2. NO. You don’t hold power by yourself. when you arrive to power. It’s a childish misconception.
        1) Pardon your must useful lennemies AND grab them by the balls.
        2) Destroy anyone in YOUR camp that can be a threat, and who thinks you owe them.
        You got no friends, only subjects.

      3. Judaism and radical Islam have this mentality.
        Hijacked modern Christianity has its pants pulled down, grabbing their ankles ready to receive with a big shit eating grin on their face.

  6. “When Using Rhetoric To Persuade, Never Start With Facts”
    Lies always trump truth.
    Only force Trumps lies.

  7. Much of Julius Caesar’s success can attributed to a handful of things. His uncle was Gaius Marius who probably deserves his own article like this. Marius initiated the Marian reforms that effectively created a standing army and also allowed non land owners to serve in the legions. Marius was also at the forefront of the Roman civil war as the leader of the populares faction. It was during this time that his opposing optimate faction’s leader Sulla did the unthinkable and marched on Rome itself enabled by the reforms of Marius. No true Roman would march on the capital but the landless legions most certainly would. As for Caesar, he was from a Patrician family but had no real wealth. I am surprised that Crassus is not mentioned once in the article. There would be no Caesar without his money which was was largely gained from Sulla’s proscriptions of wealthy Romans. Caesar’s path was all but paved to become the first dictator for life and his lack of forethought mentioned at the end of the article is spot on. Caesar embarrassed the senate on many occasions and also had garnered much distrust from the public for his dealings in Egypt. Good read overall

    1. Crassus…what a character. The Romans had the piston and cylinder pump, Caesar mentions this. Crassus started a fire dept. as I imagine you know. If the house was on fire and the occupants could pay, he put it out. His legacy is the insult, crass.

    1. Not really. What is “popular” is often the wave that will crest, rather than the one that has crested. What the fake news media puts out is actually often unpopular with the rest of the country.

    1. The Lügenpresse of germany was always the worst in the (((western world))) (yes, even worse than swedstan and cuckada) but now they are going full Judenpresse mode. They are reporting 24/7 about how Trump is Hitler 2 and just look at these covers the (((Spiegel))) publishes since Trump has been elected (Das Ende der Welt = The end of the world):

      1. It’s all due to self-loathing over the 3rd reich. So they want to bend over and take Islam up the ass.

      2. nothing good ever come from germany.
        This country bred nazism, illuminati, frankfurt school and merkel.
        they managed to loose 2 world wars and they become even stronger after, each fucking time.
        This country is “litteraly” hitler.

        1. Problem is, they know no middle ground. With Nazism, they would not stop until Europe become Aryan and National Socialist, and the last Jew is killed. With Liberal-Bolshevism, they would not stop until Europe became Islamic and the last white man is hunted down and killed.

        2. An excellent rhetorical meme.
          “Germany is (((literally))) Hitler”.
          Good way to shut them the fuck up.

        3. as i used to say, even if one day trump would have created a super cure against aids and cancer, people will still protest against him.

        4. exactly. they don’t have a middle ground, nor can’t help to impose their views on others….. like sjws and fascists

        5. Problem is, because of the economic power and political influance of Germany, this imposing of views is unavoidable.
          On the other hand, Germans/Germany can not remain suicidal forever.
          Real life always overrides ideology on the long run.
          The second wakening of the Germans, in the hopefully not too far future, will be quite an impressive sight to behold!
          At least I hope so, for the sake of Europe and our future…

  8. [Long comment, no TLTR response please !]
    It’s time to do something (color doesn’t matter) Brothers, OK, “Let US” Do something Brothers.
    Why these shameless pussies are still doing protests with ridiculous slogans like “pussies can grab back” ! The current President was elected by PEOPLE of this Country, you smelly cunts ! Elections are over !
    Why do these loser cunts forget the fact that a MAN (with ALL his BULL POWER) can kick a female between the legs, CRUSHING the pussy & clitoris in less than a “split second” !
    Why some “locals” are supporting the “mass immigration” !? and why the same “locals” are against of H1Bs !? H1Bs pay “hefty” amount of Taxes (and seldom get any State benefits) and contribute positively in many instances, UNLIKE the “mass immigrants” who leech out Tax Payers Money (Instant Permanent Residence, Free/Discounted Council Housing, Fee Medicare, Free Education etc. etc. etc.).
    If you have any problem, let the State/DHS put stringent restrictions to prevent misusing of the H1B (or similar) Visas, Don’t increase the number of Visas etc.
    Why some “locals” are against of the (Temporary) BAN on few Islamic Countries ? Maybe the President and the administration are reviewing “possibilities/methods/ways and viable” solutions in preventing Radical Islam/Terrorists activities within the Country.
    The loser Media is using all their destructive tactics to project President Trump as a villain. Fuck the Media and people who are playing dirty games with their OWN Country.
    “Let US” Do something Brothers.

    1. I just got in a big argument with my grandparents about all this. No one can handle arguing with me, they all resort to strawman arguments, passive-aggressive snark, platitudes, and false correlations. Then when I completely disprove them they throw up their hands and say “WHATEVER!”.

      1. Believe me, I am from Bharat and majority of Professionals/People support (albeit in-directly) and admire the GUTS of President Trump for the Ban on Islamic Countries and also on (proposed) H1B regulations. I am totally surprised at the attitude of “losers” (aka femicunts aka “vested interests”) in going against the President. OMG !

  9. I remember issues with allocating land for his troops, and less slavery more citizen employment.
    Good for people of Rome, not popular with the Senate.
    “And neither should you.”
    or Trump
    Seems history is repeating…
    Edit: hey Op, did you like the HBO series ROME?

  10. I know very little on Rome’s history, just the basic understanding. Are there any good books that anyone would recommend? Something fast paced, easy going, popular history style book, would be best. 🙂

    1. Henryk Sienkiewicz: Quo vadis?
      The best book I have ever read on Rome.
      Robert Graves: I, Claudius
      Is also a good read.

    2. The History of Rome podcast is absolutely brilliant. 25 minute episodes covering from the founding of Rome to the fall of the West.

    3. Listen to the Rome series on “Hardcore History ” by Dan Carlin (iTunes)
      “SPQR”: A history of Rome” by Mary Beard..( awesome and concise)
      Also see the BBC documentary miniseries about Rome narrated by Mary Beard too ( on YouTube)
      Do you know what SPQR means? It’s Latin for Senatus Populus que Romanus ( The Senate and People of Rome) . See SPQR everywhere in Rome. See it on manhole covers, tattoos ….Would recommend SPQR which was written last year and is super concise. For fun rent the HBO series “Rome”…really good and violent.

      1. I think a better story of Rome can be found in the book ” A History of the Roman Republic” by Cyril Robinson, Beard is not impartial and seems to dislike her subject of study because of her feminist bias.

  11. Excellent rundown. “Building the Talent Stack” (point #1) requires great care–IMO there is one glaring risk–but brings benefits beyond the obvious. Let me quickly explain.
    1. As the article hints, If you try for too many areas of talent/expertise in life, you run the danger of becoming a dilettante (AKA “jack of all trades, master of none”). When we’re young, we often have multiple paths of interest and not enough hours in the day to “ace” them all. Passion and enthusiasm can overwhelm temperance until we find ways to “edit/streamline” ourselves and narrow the passions. It takes wisdom, maturity and skill to hone them down to effective, concentrated areas of expertise that rise above the norm. This often means we have to jettison some pursuits to better focus on others.
    2. Once you do possess a quiver of exceptional skills in multiple areas, it has broader ramifications. You now have facets of power that are often hidden from view, and you can take advantage of any person or situation that underestimates how much you *really* know (or at the very least you’ll just be impressive/useful). People see great “truth” in honed skills, just as much as they can inherently sense the “lie” in weakness or lack of skills.
    In my experience, being underestimated is a terrific secret weapon. I occasionally go out of my way to make others underestimate my intelligence and skill set, then break them out when the moment is right. This method appears humble/relate-able to others, and is one of many paths to being perceived as “alpha” by others (and not just in your own mind).

    1. I agree with the “master of none” obstacle. Most of these people have no focus and are driven by ADD, or emotion. I’d say, find one thing you are naturally better at, hone it in until you are 80% to mastery. Market it, sell yourself, find clients, job opportunities, etc based on that skill. THEN begin looking for the next big opportunity. What other problems can you solve for the brass from this new perspective? What other skills can you acquire to move UP in your career?
      I think too many people try them all at once, and get no-where. Heres my interesting career path:
      Musician-photographer-videographer-motion grapics animator-commercial producer -marketing- advertising & copywriting.
      It took 15 years, but as competition increased for each skill, demand went down, and I had to keep learning new ones. Now no one outside of the industry knows what an ad copywriter is, and Id like it to stay that way.

  12. Julius Caesar was the first Roman to be officially deified.
    Julius in Hebrew is “Yah – uli – ah” which mutated to “hall-elujah” (Praise Julius) and “Uli-ah” eventually mutated as “Ilah” or “Allah”!
    Allahu Akbar!

    1. Whut? Yah comes from Yahweh (YHWH) = the Judaian God.
      Halle = praise
      (Hallowed be thy name)
      hallelujah = praise God

  13. Funny having lessons from Roman history on a website called Return of Kings. King was a pretty much dirty word in ancient Rome. Julius Caesar was bisexual. And also pretty much of a cuck? ‘He never hesitated to “borrow” other noblemen’s wives and also “lend” his own wife Pompeia’. Personally I never trust sexual deviants. His hubris was his undoing.

    1. He was not bisexual and didn’t “lend” Pompeia to anyone. He divorced her on the slight suspicion that the future Tribune Clodius could have been banging her.

      1. The reference to his bisexuality is from Seutonius, and in my post the lending Pompeia is also a direct quote from Suetonius. Caesar was described as ‘every mans woman’ ridiculed not for homosexual acts, but for preferring the passive role.
        It could of course be simply an instance of Lenin’s dictum that history is the propaganda of the victor. But my rather scurrilous post is supported by classical sources.

        1. “Caesar was described as ‘every mans woman’ ridiculed not for homosexual acts, but for preferring the passive role.”
          This came from the unsubstantiated rumor about him and Nicomedes of Bithynia. There is little reason to believe it.

        2. I heard JC was a real hound . Very popular with the ladies. Alpha supreme… have not heard he was Bi…

        1. No. Contrary to popular opinion, the Romans weren’t too keen on homosexuality. It wasn’t like later times after Christianity rose, but the Romans nevertheless weren’t too fond of it, especially if you were the one that got it up the ass.
          And yes, Caesar was one of the great seducers (of women!) of his time.

    1. just another anti-male bigoted barreness of kentistan.
      rewriting history while diddling over trump, and Roosh,..

  14. I love these “lessons from historical figures” pieces. I teach history, and firmly believe that, in the words of Mark Twain, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” So much of academic history is focused on “complicating narratives,” and while it benefits the profession to uncover new information and to study the minutiae of events, it also causes us to lose sight of the important moral, social, and political lessons the past has to offer. Modern academic historians have tossed this element of historical education out, leaving instead a disjointed non-narrative that moves from one “social justice” or “civil rights” success to the next. Thanks for fighting against that trend, Mr. Stuart.

    1. Oh, when I grew up as a kid under a Communist regime, in primary and secondary school, we learned the old Marxist, class war-based history… Time flies, innit? Let’s party like it was 1989 again…

    2. It’s tragic.. I really don’t think there is anything new under the sun. It’s the same stuff, with minor variations , that repeat itself. This historian I was listening to on CD ( Rufus Frears professor emeritus of history Univ of Oklahoma..) said” as long as humans won’t change history won’t change”. Example: did the US govt really think we could control Afghanistan when no one prior to that got even close ( Russia, the Brits, Alexander the Great)??? So much to learn from history…

      1. Those Great Courses lectures are outstanding, especially in the areas of Ancient Greek and Roman history. The Frears courses are a great introduction to reading Plutarch’s Lives.

    3. I think the modern version / narrative of history is nearly complete bullshit so as to hide the patterns and perpetrators of past events. Thus, the vast majority of modern historians can’t see the forest through the trees, so to speak.
      As was quoted in the novel 1984, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” Our version of history is very badly distorted for this reason: social control.

      1. My expertise is primarily in US History and modern European history, but there is a wealth of good books on Roman history (and I’m sure RoK readers have some excellent suggestions). I don’t know much about the literature of the Roman Republic–one of the models for the US political system–but I would recommend R. Syme’s _The Roman Revolution_ for a detailed masterwork on the causes of Rome’s slide from republican virtue to imperial grandeur. In historical fiction, check out Robert Graves’s _I, Claudius_, which will give you a sense for what life and politics were like in the Roman Empire. It also explores the difficulty of moving back towards republican self-rule after decades under authoritarianism. Emperor Claudius sincerely _wants_ to restore the Republic and the powers of the Senate… but first wants to accomplish x, y, and z, which never really happen.
        Anyway! Sorry for the long post, and that I can’t be more helpful on this front. There are lots of RoK readers who will have much better recommendations, I’m sure.

  15. Apparently, the Huffington Post have a leaked e-mail that states Michele Obama’s IQ is 195! Who needs Ceasar when we live in the age of geniuses like these.

  16. There are some issues with this post, mainly at the end. The attempt to make him king, and later to name him dictator, were revealed to be plots by the conspirators to make him seem a tyrant (he was not), and therefore justify his murder.
    Also the people loved him, and did not support the conspirators, while they were agitated by his murder, I admit it did take Marcus Antonius’ funeral speech to really rile them up, I think the end of this portrays the situation wrongly. I would be curious of the sources for this opinion, as it’s important to recall, aside from the Gallic Wars and his speech against Catiline, all that is known about Caesar is via his enemies, mainly Cicero, and the rest of the historians were writing long after his death. It’s also important to consider Augustus and later Emperors who were interested in allowing a bit of revision to make Gaius look a bit less awesome. If you don’t consider the revisionism done by Valerius Antias, you end up falling for a lot of propaganda and twisted narrative.

    1. I know. The point was that he made it too easy for the conspirators to paint him with the aspiration to be a king. Confirmation bias is a bitch.

  17. I am far from being a scholar, but the reading of ‘Commentaries on the Gallic War’ marked me deeply during my teen years. No literary embellishment, no bullshit, just the real deal: leadership, persuasion, the brutalities of war, dealing with enemies, dealing with mutineers and traitors, moments of enormous discouragement, deeds of bravery, managing of public budget, construction of roads, skill with weapons and tools, cataloging of natural resources… If you are looking for one of the “Classics”, choose this superb book.

  18. I totally dig this article. Lots of intelligent comments. Only the ‘sphere does this.

  19. I would highly recommend, Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome Series…it’s outstanding reading, and very well researched. Her assumptions regarding the great men of Rome are logical in their construct. You’ll find many parallels to today. They’re very long books, but well worth the effort, I’ve had the pleasure of reading them three times and plan to read them, again.

  20. Excellent article but may I point out one picky albeit minor error: the very first picture shown, that of a bronze statute of a Roman statesman, is not Julius Caesar, but rather his nephew and heir, Octavian, the man who is known to history as Augustus Caesar. Each of the other images displayed, however, are of Julius Caesar.

  21. Sorry, my most sincere apologies. Didn’t mean to beat a dead horse. I didn’t see the earlier comment until after I had posted.

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