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Julius Caesar is famous not just for conquering Gaul and becoming Rome’s first Emperor but he is also known for his tempestuous affair with the legendary Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, said to be the most beautiful woman in the world. It is rumored that she came into his tent, one night, wrapped in a carpet brought in by rug sellers. They unrolled the carpet and out stepped the dazzling queen. His love affair with Cleopatra resulted in a son, Caesarion, who, had he lived, might have had first right on the Roman throne.
He inspired love and loyalty in many who served him and his famed 13th Legion was fiercely protective of Caesar. His enormous success and popularity with the people of Rome, however, caused deep envy and resentment of him especially within the patricians of Rome. Nothing, however, impacted his deep friendship with Marcus Antonius and Antony’s undying loyalty towards him. This bond has been immortalized in a play by William Shakespeare.
Caesar is attributed with several memorable one-liners. His most well known: “Veni, vidi vicci”, meaning “I came, I saw, I conquered”. He uttered this after he conquered Gaul.
He is also famous for giving rise to the idiom “Crossing the Rubicon” which means crossing a point of no return. This came about when he crossed the river Rubicon with his army, after expressly being forbidden to do so by the Roman senate. It was considered an act of war and gave rise to the Roman civil war. It also paved the way for Julius becoming Emperor of Rome.
Apparently while crossing the river, he murmured, “Alea iacta est,” which means ‘Let the die be cast!” or “Whatever has to happen will happen”.
When he was assassinated by his fellow senators and especially by Brutus, whom he loved deeply like a son… his dying words were “Et tu, Brute!” (meaning “You, too, Brutus?”) a phrase, which has come to represent an act of heinous betrayal, for all time to come.
Clearly then, July is a month that celebrates a life filled with passion, intrigue, and victory. Celebrate it with ensembles that match the mood of this royal month. While clouds and thunder create a fabulous backdrop, you can be that surprise flash of lightning that attracts all the attention!
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