I Just Wanted To Say...

What is your problem?

Name:
Location: Georgia, United States

I am me. More than I was, less than I will be. This is difficult. Facts-female, southern, mother and grandmother. Abstract-a Christian, a loner, intelligent, somewhat arrogant, impatient with stupidity, an unusual sense of humor.

10/21/2005

Which Historic General Are You?

I found this test on okcupid and thought it would be fun to take it. To my surprise, based on my answers, I am most like Julius Caesar. I took four years of Latin and of course, studied Julius Caesar during those years. As a general, his leadership was exceptional. However, I consider his political leadership to be of the dangerous sort--a lust for power combined with a willingness to do whatever was politically expedient in order to gain that power. He very cleverly parlayed his popularity as a triumphant general with the general populace into a mandate to change whatever laws and rules that would aid him in consolidating his grip on political power. Even this test acknowledges that one of his greatest strengths was his tactical ability and he used that tactical genius in his political life as well as on the battlefield.

Julius Caesar

You scored 55 Wisdom, 81 Tactics, 56 Guts, and 41 Ruthlessness!

Roman military and political leader. He was instrumental in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. His conquest of Gallia Comata extended the Roman world all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, introducing Roman influence into what has become modern France, an accomplishment of which direct consequences are visible to this day. In 55 BC Caesar launched the first Roman invasion of Britain. Caesar fought and won a civil war which left him undisputed master of the Roman world, and began extensive reforms of Roman society and government. He was proclaimed dictator for life, and heavily centralized the already faltering government of the weak Republic. Caesar's friend Marcus Brutus conspired with others to assassinate Caesar in hopes of saving the Republic. The dramatic assassination on the Ides of March was the catalyst for a second set of civil wars, which marked the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire under Caesar's grand-nephew and adopted son Octavian, later known as Caesar Augustus. Caesar's military campaigns are known in detail from his own written Commentaries (Commentarii), and many details of his life are recorded by later historians such as Suetonius, Plutarch, and Cassius Dio.

I see a lot of parallels between Rome and America. The birth and rise of the Roman republic mirrors the birth and rise of the United States in a number of basic ways. One of the major foundations of the Roman republic was in allowing everyone who was qualified to vote on leadership and the establishment of governing bodies, because they feared giving one man too much power. The early Romans were a strong, simple, hard-working, religious, agrarian people. As the Republic developed and flourished, it became apparent they would need protection, so a strong military became an integral part of the Republic. I could go on, but the basic premise is established.


Julius Caesar was the last leader of the Roman Republic. The republic had changed; people from conquered countries had come to Rome, bringing their gods and their cultures. Julius Caesar granted many of these people citizenship in order to expand his base. Politicians became panderers, gaining votes by promising their constituents bread and circuses. Caesar established "land reforms" to take power away from the wealthy. Faith was openly mocked. Sports figures and courtesans were the heroes of the days. The concept of personal responsibility=personal freedom began to be overtaken by the desire to be taken care of by a strong and powerful government. [The first step towards governmental dictatorship(under whatever name) is the same first step an abuser takes in a domestic relationship- the destruction of a person's belief in themselves and their abilities. If a person or group of persons believes themselves to be weak and needy and incapable, then they will willingly, though perhaps not happily, accept whatever abuses may come as long as they believe they need someone more powerful to take care of them and provide for them, particularly if that belief has as it's foundation the idea that the abuser really "cares" about them.]

Shakespeare's portrayal of Julius Caesar is somewhat sympathetic and I guess I can understand that, because in some respects, Caesar does come across as a heroic figure. I can't help but consider Marcus Brutus, though. His name has become synonymous with the concept of a backstabbing friend. But he was Caesar friend. Brutus's father had been murdered by Pompey, who was Caesar's enemy. What would cause such a friend to put aside years of friendship and induce a willingness to commit not only murder, but a very public murder?

Perhaps Marcus Brutus, who knew Caesar, came to believe that his country deserved better than what it was getting. According to Plutarch, Brutus was a person who "acted upon motives of right reason and deliberate moral choice". Plutarch spoke of him as a man of education and manners, strong beliefs and an even stronger love of his country. He participated in the murder of Julius Caesar in a effort to save his republic from a man he thought was destroying it. Unfortunately, the death of Julius Caesar provoked another civil war, with the result that Rome became a pseudo-monarchy, though it was called an empire with Caesar Augustus as emperor. So the republic failed anyway.

A republic's survival depends on the people who make it up and if they no longer care to maintain it, then it will fail. Even the willingness of a good and rational man to commit murder will not sustain it.

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