The first quote I choose is from the Lives of Illustrious Men, ” Here lies Pompey the Great. Pompey’s head, wrapped with an Egyptian covering, was presented along with a ring to Caesar by Achillas, an attendant of Ptolemy. Caesar could not keep back tears, and he took care that the head was burned with many very costly perfumes.” I chose this quote in particular because it depicts Julius Caesar in a slightly different light than most people are used to. Most people when they read about Caesar or think of him, they think of a strong and powerful man, one with barely any flaws or vulnerabilities; similar to that of depictions of views of Augustus or Alexander the Great. But this passage shows Julius in a vulnerable state. Albeit it doesn’t show him in a particularly bad light, but he is deeply mourning and saddened over the death of his friend and ally, Pompey, which is something new. Moreover, this passage also shows him in a more human way and characterizes him as a man with great humility. Like stated above, he is not some great god or savior, he is a human man, who is not afraid to openly mourn over a friend’s death.
The second Quote I choose is from Cassius Dio, “Antony with his fellow-priests saluted him as king and binding a diadem upon his head, said: “The people offer this to you through me.” 3 And Caesar answered: “Jupiter alone is king of the Romans,” and sent the diadem to Jupiter on the Capitol; yet he was not angry, but caused it to be inscribed in the records that he had refused to accept the kingship when offered to him by the people through the consul.” This second quote is very similar to the first one, in my opinion, which is the reason why I picked it. In this quote, Julius Caesar rejects the kingship that the priests/Diadem present him with. stating that he is not a king, but the god, Jupiter, alone is the true king of the Romans. When I first read this, I was confused because I thought that Julius was a king. What I realized, after doing some research, was that Caesar in fact was not the king of the Roman Republic. He was simply the dictator/leader of the Roman Republic. But going back to how this quote is similar to the first one above, is the fact that this passage once again illustrates the humility that Julius Caesar possessed within his character. He had enough humility to outright say he, himself, is not the King, without any hesitation or second thought. In addition, it shows him as not being merciless or a angry leader, as he did not get furious when the priests presented him with the crown.
The selfie that I decided to take was one of me and the moth of July. When googling things named after Julius Caesar, I learned that the moth July is actually named in honor of him. Apparently when Julius Caesar died, the Roman month Quintillis (which was in fact his birth month) was renamed July. Unfortunately, the two quotes placed above does not entirely show why something like a whole month would be named after Julius Caesar. Sure he was a man with great humility and benevolence, but in my opinion that alone wouldn’t give him this great honor. I speculate that what gave him or what influenced this great honor was due to how great Julius Caesar was and all the things he achieved and accomplished for the Roman Republic. Furthermore, because of all that he did and accomplished he was revered and renowned in Roman society.
Fun fact: I’m actually born in the month of July as well, it’s interesting because I hadn’t realized this fact until just now.
Sean lau, Team Ares