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You must be a pretty interesting person to have both a pizza chain named after you and a Shakespeare play written about your life. More than 2,000 years after he lived, the legacy of Julius Caesar can still be found if you know how to look. But who was he?
1. His family thought they were descended from a goddess.
Caesar's ancestors were patricians, or part of Rome's original aristocracy. By the time Caesar was born, very few patricians were left, and being a patrician was somewhat of a disadvantage for politically-minded Caesar - patricians weren't allowed to hold some powerful positions. According to Brittanica.com, the Caesars traced their roots back to the goddess Venus, but were no longer rich or considered special when Caesar was growing up.
2. He was a legendary general, but ruled Rome for only two years.
In 49 B.C., Caesar's job was governor of a region of the Roman empire near Italy. When his term ended, the Roman Senate ordered him to return to Rome - without entering Italian territory.
Instead, Caesar took his army right into Italy by crossing the Rubicon River. This forced an armed conflict, was considered treasonous by the senate, and is believed to have set in motion a series of events that ultimately ended in Caesar's stabbing just two years after he became dictator.
3. He was betrayed, but he didn't really say 'Et tu, Brute?” as he died.
Ever felt stabbed in the back? Caesar can relate.
On March 15, 44 B.C., about 40 Roman senators stabbed Caesar to death. Caesar was the dictator of Rome, and although he was popular among the Roman people, the senators resented him for his power, according to National Geographic. So they plotted to assassinate, or kill, him. (In the end, their plan backfired. The Roman people hated them even more for killing their beloved Caesar.)
More than 1,500 years later, William Shakespeare immortalized Caesar's death in his play 'Julius Caesar.” In the play, Caesar's friend Brutus is the last senator to stab him. Caesar looks at him and says, 'Et tu, Brute?” which means 'And you, Brutus?” in Latin.
We don't actually know what, if anything, the real Caesar said as he died.
4. He's the reason we call it 'July.”
Caesar was born in the Roman month of Quintilis, which is Latin for 'fifth month.” In the Gregorian calendar (which is a corrected version of a calendar Caesar invented), that month became the seventh in the calendar. It was named July in Julius Caesar's honor.