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Julius Caesar Facts

Julius Caesar was never emperor of Rome; the empire was not inaugurated until after his death. He was, however, made dictator for life. (source)

Julius Caesar fathered a child with Cleopatra. (source)

Julius Caesar was compelled by increasing traffic congestion to ban all wheeled vehicles in Rome during the hours of daylight. (source)

In an attempt to increase Rome's population, Julius Caesar offered rewards to Romans who had many children. Childless women were forbidden to ride in litters or to wear jewelry. (source)

The Circus Maximus in Rome, after its rebuilding by Julius Caesar, could accommodate 150,000 people. It was enlarged again in the days of the early empire to admit an additional 100,000. (source)

To celebrate his victory over Pompey, Julius Caesar gave a banquet at which 150,000 guests were seated at 22,000 tables. It lasted for 2 days. He also proclaimed a rent-free year for every poor family in the Empire.

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The origin of the Julian calendar dates to 46 B.C., when Julius Caesar, after adding 90 days to that year to make up for slippage in the calendar, decreed that each year thereafter that was divisible by 4 would be a leap year, with 366 days instead of the regular 365.

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Julius Caesar did not coin the phrase "The die is cast", which he remarked before crossing the Rubicon. According to Plutarch, the phrase was common even in Caesar's day, having been used by the Greek dramatist Menander. Furthermore, there is some doubt whether Caesar even said this phrase, as he does not mention using this phrase in his writings. (source)

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The year 46 B.C. was the longest year on record. By this year, the Roman calendar had fallen 80 days behind the seasons, so in order to make up for the accumulated slippage, Julius Caesar added two extra months to the year as well as 23 additional days in February. Thus, 46 B.C. was 455 days long.

View more facts about: Calendars

Because there were virtually no tides in the Mediterranean Sea, the ancients knew almost nothing about them. The first Greek to mention tides was the explorer Pytheas, who explored the North Atlantic in 270 B.C. However, when Julius Caesar invaded Britain over two hundred years later, he lost a large number of ships after not beaching them high enough, as he didn't take tides into account. (source)

Shakespeare makes Lear, an early Anglo-Saxon King, speak of not wanting spectacles. In relating Macbeth's death, in 1054, and King John's reign in 1200, he mentions cannons. In Julius Caesar, he makes the clock strike three. However, these three inventions were not invented until the fourteenth century. (source)

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In ancient Rome, there were fewer that twenty first names for males, among them Gaius, Marcus, Quintas, Lucius, and Decimus. For that reason, people were further identified by two additional names denoting their gens (or clan) and family. For example, Caesar's full name was Gaius Julius (of the Julian clan) Caesar (of the Caesar family). (source)

There are some curiosities in the names for the months that the Romans gave us. July is named after Julius Caesar, and August after Augustus Caesar. September, October, November, and December come from the Latin words for seven, eight, nine, and ten, despite being the ninth through twelfth months. Originally the Romans had ten months, from March to December. Around 700 B.C., Numa Pompilius added the months of January and February. (source)

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For twenty centuries after the assassination of Julius Caesar, his name lived on among the rulers of the world. In modern times the emperors of Germany and Austria-Hungary were called Kaiser, the German spelling (and almost the correct pronunciation) of the Latin Caesar. The Russian word Tsar, also spelled Czar or Tzar, is a form of Caesar. Until 1946, Bulgaria was ruled by Tsar Simeon II (who would later become prime minister of Bulgaria from 2001 until 2005, the only monarch ever to become head of a democratic country), and until 1947 the British Emperors of India bore the title Kaiser-i-Hind. (source)

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