The first proof of the people's good will towards him he received when he competed against Caius Popilius for a military tribuneship and was elected over him; a second and more conspicuous proof he received when, as nephew of Julia the deceased wife of Marius, he pronounced a splendid encomium upon her in the forum,1
and in her funeral procession ventured to display images of Marius, which were then seen for the first time since the administration of Sulla, because Marius and his friends had been pronounced public enemies.
When, namely, some cried out against Caesar for this procedure, the people answered them with loud shouts, received Caesar with applause, and admired him for bringing back after so long a time, as it were from Hades, the honours of Marius into the city. Now, in the case of elderly women, it was ancient Roman usage to pronounce funeral orations over them; but it was not customary in the case of young women, and Caesar was the first to do so when his own wife died.2
This also brought him much favour, and worked upon the sympathies of the multitude, so that they were fond of him, as a man who was gentle and full of feeling.
After the funeral of his wife, he went out to Spain3
as quaestor under Vetus, one of the praetors, whom he never ceased to hold in high esteem, and whose son, in turn, when he himself was praetor, he made his quaestor. After he had served in this office, he married for his third wife4
Pompeia, having already by Cornelia a daughter who was afterwards married to Pompey the Great.
He was unsparing in his outlays of money, and was thought to be purchasing a transient and short-lived fame at a great price, though in reality he was buying things of the highest value at a small price. We are told, accordingly, that before he entered upon any public office he was thirteen hundred talents in debt.
Again, being appointed curator of the Appian Way, he expended upon it vast sums of his own money; and again, during his aedileship,5
he furnished three hundred and twenty pairs of gladiators, and by lavish provision besides for theatrical performances, processions, and public banquets, he washed away all memory of the ambitious efforts of his predecessors in the office. By these means he put the people in such a humour that every man of them was seeking out new offices and new honours with which to requite him.