Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Great figures in history-Julius Caesar

Today's proud recipient of News direct's probing historical attention is none other then that slightly balding fascistic member of the homicidal Julia clan, Gaius Julius Caesar.

Gaius Julius Caesar was born in the small market town of Rome just outside the cosmopolitan city state of Hull in the year 100BC. Julius's father, Dave Caesar, was at the time of Julius's birth known to have been running Rome's largest greyhound painting business and as such was revered and respected as one of the Republic's leading business men.

It is said that on the storm wracked night Julius was born his nervous father was trying to keep himself busy painting a black greyhound white, when all of a sudden a flash of slick lightening strode down from the angry night sky and split the now white greyhound into two halves.
A toothless old woman who had seen the greyhound electrically halved was said to have cried out "Wooooooeeeee is Rome!!!! For tonight a boy child is born who will make it his business to split any greyhounds he finds into two separate halves, whether they wish to be split asunder or not!!!!! This the gods have decreed."

The old woman was obviously drunk or mad, or possibly both, but the anecdote does give us an idea of the fear and superstition that clung to the young Julius from the very first moments of his fateful life.
We next encounter young Julius at at the tender age of seven where he is happily engaged in the traditional Julia clan business of Hedgehog grooming, It is known from the historical record that in 107BC the future genocidal maniac and sex addict supreme had made the princely sum of seven Denarii from his spiky grooming. To put that amount into some sort of modern context one Denarii is roughly equivalent to one million US Dollars. So as you can see young Caesar had even by this early age acquired enough money to fund his nascent political career.

On the occasion of his tenth birthday his father had presented him with a shiny new gold greyhound and told the young Julius that to make your way in the cut throat world of Roman politics one had to assume the trappings of power before one could actually taste the seductive sweetness of real power. In Rome Perception is power and wealth is but a means towards the perception of power, but perception is also power if one perceives any real perception of real power.
So it was with these wise words, no doubt still ringing in his ears, that the now twelve year old Julius proudly rode his slim golden greyhound through the ramshackle streets of Rome towards the sturdy oak doors of the senate and his date with with political destiny.

Just two short weeks after arriving in Rome the youngest member of the Julia clan was declared Pro-counsel and as such the de facto head of the whole Roman state, which at this time stretched from the east Yorkshire coast right the way across to what is now Leeds.
One of Julius's first acts as dictator was to invite his great friends Marcus Licinius Crassus, the poorest man in Rome, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, the fattest coward in Rome, to share his new found power with him.
The three best friends were so inseparable that they were known around town as the three amigos.

It was during this somewhat idyllic time that the young Caesar acquired the musky reputation as a sexual deviant and prematurely bald Latinate womaniser. Graffiti found on the walls of a McDonald's in ancient Pompeii Paints Caesar as a "Cum monkey and titty hound" The exact meaning of these ancient appellations have been lost but I think there is enough there for us to be sure that Caesars reputation was widespread and from all accounts well deserved.

But as we all know a life of wine, women and song does not come cheaply and three short years after arriving in Rome Caesar was totally bereft of funds.
After casually frittering away a series of family loans the young shiny headed tyrant decided there was nothing for it but war with the neighbouring kingdom of Gaul.
It was there over the next six weeks that the now fifteen year old Julius made himself secure for life on the blood and gold of over thirty two million unarmed Gauls, it was for this glorious episode that he is still admired today as one of the greatest military commanders in the history of the world.

Tired of slaughtering Gauls and now used to the adulation of blood crazed troops, Julius's gold filled thoughts eventually turned to home and the idea that his new found wealth might persuade the staid old senate to declare him king.
After all, he reasoned, he was quite good looking, had killed loads of people and a crown would cover up his bald head without arousing the suspicions a badger skin wig would.
Once decided upon this course of action Caesar was resolute in his fierce determination to be declared king of all Rome and nothing or no one could stop him, you could say he had crossed the Rubicon.

Upon his arrival in Rome great crowds of plebs had lined the streets chanting "We want a baldy king! We want a baldy king!" it was on the tide of these great chants that Caesar had been borne like a prematurely bald piece of flotsam right up onto the main floor of the Roman senate.
Where he delivered the greatest piece of oratory ever recorded, although I'm afraid we cannot reproduce it here as this great moment in political history went completely unrecorded.

It was said that when Caesar finally stopped speaking after over seven and a half hours of exclamations, pleadings, justifications and exhortations there was a complete silence for a full two minutes before a voice rang out from the back of the chamber "Get him!!!!"
And with this lusty battle cry all 400 of Romes distinguished senators fell upon the shocked would be king of Rome and tore him into pieces so small that a watching Greek philosopher, Democritus, was later able to formulate the first theory of atoms.

So there you have the tragic story of Gaius Julius Caesar of the clan Julia, a man not content with the meager trappings of shared power and hair on the sides of his head, here was a man who wanted it all, gambled and lost for there is an ancient saying that goes "They who the gods want to make mad, they first make bald."

No comments: