Is the Republic Doomed?

Julius Caesar's plans could change Rome forever

Caesar storms the Rubicon

Gaius Julius Caesar has made one of the most pivotal military decisions in history: he has crossed the Rubicon River into Italy with an army. Caesar is moving against the Roman consul Pompey, leader of the Optimate faction. Caesar himself favors the Popular faction. It is believed that Caesar will easily defeat Pompey's forces, but many wonder how he will proceed.

This move is unprecedented because it is illegal for a general to bring a standing army into Rome. Caesar believes that he was forced into the move by the Senate. The Senate attempted to cut short Caesar's reign in Gaul, which Caesar himself conquered, however Consul Pompey has also stated that if Caesar attempted to return as a private citizen he would be prosecuted.

Caesar has attempted to run for the consulship in absentia, but when he failed he decided that civil war was his only option. Caesar is on record stating that if he succeeds, as he probably will, he will practice clemency towards his enemies; that is, he will not kill them or confiscate their property. The most likely course of action seems that Caesar will declare himself dictator, but for how long is unknown.

Human Interest Feature: Pompey, Protector of the Republic

Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, known popularly as Pompey, is the leader of the Optimate faction, our esteemed consul, and the leader against the could-be conqueror Julius Caesar. Pompey is descended from Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo, who achieved the offices of quaestor, consul, and praetor and was known for his military skill.

Pompey was once friends and allies with Caesar, along with his former co-consul Marcus Licinius Crassus. He was even once married to Caesar's daughter, Julia, although she died in childbirth six years ago. However, his political ideas always were more conservative, and more Republican, than Caesar's, and after Julia's and Crassus's death they became political enemies as Caesar became more and more tyrannical.

Pompey currently leads old Rome, Republican Rome, against Caesar, who has marched his troops across the Rubicon and started a civil war, presumably in order to take over. Pompey deserves the respect and support of the Roman Republic during this difficult time. If Rome seeks to maintain the Republic as they know it, Pompey must keep Rome.

Opinion: Rome needs Caesar

Rome is in an uproar. Julius Caesar has crossed the Rubicon River. By doing so, he has broken the law and brought a standing army onto the Italian Peninsula. He has caused civil war.

Nevertheless, could we not all see the civil war coming for years? The patricians of the Optimate party led by Pompey and the plebeians of the Popular party led by Caesar have been fighting over the rights of plebeians since the Republic was founded. Caesar seeks to expand the Senate to include Plebeians and provide labor protection for plebeians in a way that has not been done before by any other consul or senate. He may be a patrician, but he clearly wants to help the plebeians and ordinary people.

Not to mention, he is clearly a great leader. He brought Gaul under control and controlled the administration of it, and it is now a successful colony of Rome. He has been consul before, and was very popular. He is a masterful orator and has most of the people on his side, and his army is extremely loyal, far more loyal to him than to the Senate or the Republic. If Rome is to succeed, we need a leader like him. Maybe the time of the Republic has gone.

Theater Review: Colosseum

Gladiators are a classic Roman spectacle, where slaves or professionals bravely battle fierce animals like tigers or each other as the crowd cheers on. Of course, the most famous of the gladiator arenas is in Rome itself, at the impressive Colosseum. That is where the most prominent go to view the gladiator battles, including senators and consuls.

The gladiator battle that I attended was a very famous professional gladiator battling a tiger. The gladiator had bought his way out of slavery with money made fighting in the Colosseum, and decided to continue to try to make his fortune there. The tiger had been starved in order to make it even more ferocious, so everything was set for an epic fight.

The battle was exciting from beginning to end. Although the gladiator started with sword in hand, it was knocked from him. He continued to fight, but at the end of a bloody fight the tiger had won. Truly a magnificent spectacle, the Colosseum provides perfect entertainment for an afternoon.

Mythology: Castor and Pollux, the Gemini

The Gemini twins were born of Leda, a Greek queen. Castor was the son of Tyndareus, Pollux the son of Jupiter, although they were born at the same time and nearly identical. They were inseparable since birth although there was one very important difference between the two: Pollux was immortal.

When Castor died, Pollux decided that he could not live without him. Pollux decided to try to rescue him from the Underworld. When that failed, he bargained with his father Jupiter to release Castor from the Underworld. Zeus agreed, and from then on Castor and Pollux both spent half of the time on Olympus with the gods and half of the time in the world of the dead, but always together.

Romans worship Castor and Pollux for their military skills. Legend has it that when the Romans fought the Etruscans hundreds of years ago, they saw visions of Castor and Pollux fighting for Rome. Since then, Romans have tried to keep Castor and Pollux fighting for the Romans.