Though Tacitus at times writes critically of the Germanic people for their tendency of laziness and drunkenness, he also stresses their simplicity, bravery, honor and loyalty. Tacitus is able to define Rome as a corrupting force with luxury and excess possessions without ever criticizing Roman culture. Therefore, Tacitus uses the category of ethnicity and race to define people as a disguise to the threats that the Germanic tribes posed to the Roman
Brutus is considered by many to be a “tragic hero”. Antony himself calls Brutus “the noblest Roman of all” (5.5.68). However, his actions were not those of a hero. Killing his best friend, attempting to trick and deceive the Roman public, and plunging Rome into a civil war are not the actions of a hero. Rather, they are the actions of an arrogant, ???????
This claim seems true as Brutus, who lacks folly, misunderstands Caesar’s folly, a dear friend, and results in conspiring to murder him. On the other hand, Antony, a man who dearly enjoys folly in the form of self-love, company, drinking, etc, attempts to avenge Caesar’s death. With his adaptability and self-love inspired by folly, he is able to win the Roman public sentiment while Brutus’s inflexibility and self-proclaimed wisdom earns him their hatred. As a results, as suggested by Folly, Brutus, a wise man, and his political career are doomed while Antony, a fool, continues to rule over the Romans with celebration with more
Some people argue that Julius Caesar was the greatest military general and politician of all time; however, I disagree. In my opinion, Caesar was a forceful dictator who only cared about his own wealth and power, punished innocent citizens, and was greedy for supporters. Julius Caesar just wanted himself to be satisfied, even if it was at the expense of the Roman republic. He also punished all of the innocent citizens that just wanted to sustain the old laws and traditions of the Roman republic. Another reason he is not an astonishing leader is that he increased the number of senators so that more people would support him.
Also, Caligula’s baffling Uncle Claudius became Emperor by the Praetorian Guard. Personally, Caligula was a tragedy waiting to happen. The people of Rome may have known that his reign would be the forefront of destruction to the Roman Empire, but a blind hope of arrogance clouded their judgment as Caligula’s terror destroyed the lives of those around him. However, Caligula’s life was built for luxury, military warfare, and egomania. Most Emperors would have the decency to respect his people, protect their empire, and keep peace among other countries.
Calpurnia relied on the belief that danger was a possibility without any tangible proof while Decius provided Caesar with an incentive he was aware the power-hungry Caesar would fall for. Ultimately Decius proves to be more successful due to accommodating to his audience
One of Brutus’s greatest strengths is that he is caring. Brutus cares about the people of Rome more than he cares about himself. Brutus tells the countrymen, “Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.” This quote shows how Brutus cares for the people of Rome. Another example of Brutus’s strengths is that he is honorable. In Act I, Scene II of Julius Caesar, Brutus states, “If it be aught toward the general good, set honor in one eye and death in the other, and I will look on both indifferently, for let the gods so speed me as I love the name of honor more than I fear death.” This quote shows that he rather die than live without honor.
“But Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man. He hath brought many captives home to Rome, whose ransoms did the general coffers fill. Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?... Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man…”(Shakespeare 3.2.83-92). Marc Antony, tells the crowd that Caesar was not ambitious even though Brutus and the conspirators thought he was.
These mythical individuals show characteristics that are both valued and those that could be seen as inferior. In Sallust’s Conspiracy of Catiline, Catiline, the antagonist of his own story, is described as having some of these characteristics and how he displays them changes others perspective on him. With each of these characteristics that a Roman would have seen as positive were painted in a negative light because Sallust tells the audience instances where Catiline used these gifts in harmful ways. In contrast Aeneas, in Virgil’s Aeneid, is described and assigned what are thought of as the same Roman attributes, but these are held a positive approach compared to Sallust’s description of Catiline. The first example of this can be seen in the fifth section Sallust tells the audience of Catiline’s noble upbringing and is described as intelligent, ambitious, and as a brilliant solider.
While Julius Caesar’s life ended in tragedy, Octavian was able to live out his life and be an emperor. Octavian succeeded where Julius Caesar failed due to him being more ruthless towards his enemies and by avoiding the stigma of a tyrant. While Julius Caesar was a great military leader and politician, he