Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Life of Caesar
  • Editor: John D. Cox

  • Copyright John D. Cox. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Plutarch
    Editor: John D. Cox
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Life of Caesar


    5V.The first show and proof of the love and goodwill which the people did bear unto Caesar, was when he sued to be tribune of the soldiers (to wit, colonel of a thousand footmen) standing against Caius Pompilius, at what time he was preferred and chosen before him. But the second and more manifest proof than the first, was at the death of his aunt Julia, the wife of Marius the elder.

    Caesar made the funeral oration, at the death of his aunt Julia.

    For being her nephew, he made a solemn oration in the market-place in commendation of her, and at her burial did boldly venture to show forth the images of Marius: the which was the first time that they were seen after Sylla's victory, because that Marius and all his confederates had been proclaimed traitors and enemies to the commonwealth. For when there were some that cried out upon Caesar for doing of it, the people on the other side kept astir, and rejoiced at it, clapping of their hands; and thanked him, for that he had brought, as it were out of hell, the remembrance of Marius' honor again into Rome, which had so long time been obscured and buried. And where it had been an ancient custom of long time, that the Romans used to make funeral orations in praise of old ladies and matrons when they died, but not of young women:

    Caesar the first that praised his wife in funeral oration.

    Caesar was the first that praised his own wife with funeral oration when she was dead, the which also did increase the people's goodwills the more, seeing him of so kind and gentle nature. After the burial of his wife,

    Caesar made Quaestor.

    he was made treasurer under Antistius Vetus praetor, whom he honored ever after: so that when himself came to be praetor, he made his son to be chosen treasurer. Afterwards, when he was come out of that office,

    Pompeia Caesar's third wife.

    he married his third wife Pompeia, having a daughter by his first wife, Cornelia, which was married unto Pompey the Great. Now for that he was very liberal in expenses, buying (as some thought) but a vain and short glory of the favor of the people, (where indeed he bought good cheap the greatest things that could be) some say, that before he bare any office in the commonwealth, he was grown in debt, to the sum of thirteen hundred talents. Furthermore, because he was made overseer of the work for the highway called Appius' way, he disbursed a great sum of his own money towards the charges of the same. And on the other side, when he was made Aedilis, for that he did show the people the pastime of three hundred and twenty couple of sword-players, and did besides exceed all other in sumptuousness in the sports and common feasts, which

    Caesar's prodigality.

    he made to delight them withal, and did as it were drown all the stately shows of others in the like, that had gone before him, he so pleased the people and won their love therewith, that they devised daily to give him new offices for to requite him.