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Julius Caesar's Leadership Qualities

Julius Caesar's Leadership Qualities
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  • 0:03 Who Was Julius Caesar?
  • 1:25 Caesar's Leadership Style
  • 3:56 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Keefe

Jennifer Keefe has taught college-level Humanities and has a Master's in Liberal Studies.

When you think of ancient Rome, Julius Caesar's name likely comes to mind. In this lesson, learn about one of Rome's most famous leader's unconventional leadership techniques.

Who Was Julius Caesar?

His rule changed the way the world saw Rome.

Julius Caesar's first real political position was when he was elected as a low-level political officer in 68 or 69 B.C.E. under the rule of the emperor Pompey. After that, Caesar found himself in a number of other political roles, but his rise to power is believed to have been largely sponsored by a wealthy Roman general, Marcus Licinius Crassus, who was a rival of Pompey. Despite that rivalry, Julius Caesar brought the two together and joined them in becoming the First Triumvirate of Roman leadership, an oligarchical alliance that lasted until Crassus was killed in battle in 53 B.C.E.

Following his return to Rome, Caesar would usurp all the political power of the senate and go to war with Pompey until he arose triumphant, securing his place as the Roman monarch. He made several reforms and changes during his time as emperor and managed to be loved and hated by many. Those who hated him were part of the government that he had overturned, and it didn't take long for them to begin plotting against him, ultimately leading to Caesar's murder on the floor of the senate.

You're probably wondering: how did this man manage to simultaneously garner so much respect and contempt? How did he lead his people? This is what we'll be looking at more closely.

Caesar's Leadership Style

Julius Caesar was hailed as a hero throughout Rome for his fair policies, his apparent care for his people, and the respect he brought upon Rome from the other nations of the world. He ruled in a way no one before him had done, by taking into account the needs of all the people of Rome and not just the wealthy. He proved himself as a leader on the battlefield and then used his leadership and problem-solving capabilities to create alliances with conquered nations and to win the support of his people at home. He gave out free money and grain and even promoted the gladiatorial games of Rome so that they were free to all, and not just for the wealthy.

One of Caesar's greatest accomplishments as the leader of Rome was the way in which he reformed the government to make life in Rome better for the lower and middle classes. He increased taxes for the rich and lowered them for the poor. He redistributed private lands to give all citizens and military veterans at least some land to own. He created reforms that relieved debts and expanded the size of the Roman senate. The larger senate was more representative of the people of Rome - all classes. In a sense, he was kind of an early adopter of what we would now call communism.

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