Video: Julius Caesar

More than two thousand years after his death, Julius Caesar is still one of the great figures of history. He is best known as the general who conquered the Gauls and overthrew the Roman Republic, but he was also a brilliant orator, accomplished writer, and skilled politician. Born into a noble but fallen family and raised in the slums of Rome, Caesar rose through the ranks of Roman politics to become absolute ruler of the greatest empire Europe had yet known. His relationships with the greatest figures of his day, such as Cicero, Cleopatra, and Mark Antony, reveal a man of unbridled ambition matched with a superb intellect and an intimate knowledge of human nature. The story of Caesar’s rise and fall remains a tale of caution and inspiration even today.

Philip Freeman, an eminent classical scholar, earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas, followed by a PhD from Harvard. He has taught at Boston University and Washington University in St. Louis, and currently teaches Classics at Luther College in Iowa. He has been a visiting scholar at the Harvard Divinity School, the American Academy in Rome, and the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C.. In addition, he has given talks on the ancient world at the Smithsonian Institution and interviews on National Public Radio. Besides his biography of Caesar, he has written numerous articles and several books including a biography of St. Patrick and a study of the Druids. In reviewing his Caesar biography, one reviewer called it “elegant, learned, and compulsively readable.” Another noted that the book “takes the reader through every dizzying thrill and spill” of Caesar’s career and does it all “with excitement, enlightenment—and sheer narrative suspense.”