Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) was one of Rome's greatest generals. He was an astute politician and statesman, a brilliant orator, and an excellent writer. His military victories made Rome the center of a vast empire.
He overcame his adversaries in the Civil War of 49 BC to become dictator of the Roman people. His opponents were led by General Pompey, who then fled to Egypt, where he was killed by order of the Roman-dominated Egyptian government. An urn with his ashes was alleged to have been placed on top of what became known as Pompey's Pillar. Caesar followed Pompey to Egypt to find that his enemy had already been dispatched.
In Alexandria, Caesar met Cleopatra, formed an alliance with her, and fathered her son Ptolemy the Fifteenth, nicknamed Caesarion. Caesar returned to Rome before Caesarion was born, and Cleopatra became ruler of Egypt. Later, Caesar was joined by Cleopatra and his son in Rome, where he set her up in a villa on the Tiber.
On March 15, 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by some of his old enemies and by others whom he believed were his friends.