The Outbreak Of The Civil War Essay

1132 Words Apr 19th, 2015 null Page
The outbreak of the civil war in 49 BC, was effectively, caused by Julius Caesar. Due to his decision to cross the Rubicon, thus invading Italy. However, some scholars may argue that Caesar had no intention to start a civil war nor had a choice, but was goaded by Pompey and the Optimates into it. Therefore, does the responsibility lie with them?
On one hand some scholars, and Julius himself, argue that it was not a predetermined intention to cause a civil war, but in fact was an act of spontaneity to protect the tribune of the people and Julius himself. Syme addresses this matter in which he says “Caesar convicts his enemies of unconstitutional behaviour, demonstrates that the constitution cannot work – and presents his own apology for not restoring it” meaning that his enemies (the optimates) have provoked him into starting a civil war and is only doing what is right vis a vis protecting the tribunes.
Similarly, evidenced by the actions of Lentulus proves that perhaps, it was not Caesar who was responsible for the outbreak of the civil war. It was actually Lentulus because “Lentulus the consul… actually heaped insults upon Antony and Curio and drove them disgracefully from the senate…” which was bound to cause a rise from Caesar considering he based his whole belief, or as we are led to believe by Julius, on protecting the Tribunes. Therefore, Lentulus himself gave Caesar the best possible excuse for taking action and gave him great scope for propaganda among his…

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