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Julius Caesar

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Marble bust of Caesar discovered in 2007

Gaius Julius Caesar (July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a general, consul, and statesman of Ancient Rome. Caesar's victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Rome's territory to the English Channel and the Rhine River. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and led the first invasion of Britain.

Civil war resulted when Caesar refused to obey the Senate and step down from his military command. He emerged as the undisputed victor and political leader. After assuming control of the government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar. He was eventually proclaimed "dictator in perpetuity".

Conflicts erupted among the Romans, and Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power, and the era of the Roman Empire began. Caesar was a prolific writer, recording his achievements in several books. He is the subject of Shakespeare's tragedy Julius Caesar.

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