10. C. JULIUS SEX. N. CAESAR STRABO VOPISCUS, L. F. (comp. Cic. Phil. 11.5
; Varro, R. R.
i. 7.10; Plin. Nat. 17.3. s. 4
), son of No. 8, and brother of No. 9.
He commenced his public career in B. C. 103, when still young, by accusing T. Albucius, who had been praetor in Sicily, of extortion (repetundae
) in that province : Cn. Pompeius Strabo, who had been quaestor to Albucius, wished to conduct the prosecution, but was obliged to give way to Caesar. Albucius was condemned, and the speech which Caesar delivered on this occasion was much admired, and was afterwards closely imitated by his great namesake, the dictator, in the speech which he delivered upon the appointment of an accuser against Dolabella. (Suet. Jul. 55
He was curule aedile in B. C. 90 in the consulship of his brother, and not in the following year, as some modern writers state; for we are told, that he was aedile in the tribuneship of C. Curio, which we know was in the year 90. In B. C. 88 he became a candidate for the consulship, without having been praetor, and was strongly supported by the aristocracy, and as strongly opposed by the popular party.
This contest was, indeed, as Asconius states, one of the immediate causes of the civil war.
The tribunes of the plebs, P. Sulpicius and P. Antistius, contended, and with justice, that Caesar could not be elected consul without a violation of the lex Annalis; but since he persevered in spite of their opposition, the tribunes had recourse to arms, and thus prevented his election. Shortly afterwards, Sulla entered Rome, and expelled the leaders of the popular party; but upon his departure to Greece to prosecute the war against Mithridates, Marius and Cinna obtained possession of the city (B. C. 87), and C. Caesar was put to death, together with his brother Lucius.
It may be added, that C. Caesar was a member of the college of pontiffs.
C. Caesar was regarded as one of the chief orators and poets of his age, and is introduced by Cicero as one of the speakers in the second book of his " De Oratore." Wit was the chief characteristic of Caesar's oratory, in which he was superior to all his contemporaries; but he was deficient in power and energy. His tragedies were distinguished by ease and polish, though marked by the same defects as his oratory. His contemporary Accius appears, from a story related by Valerius Maximus (3.7.11), to have regarded Caesar's poetry as very inferior to his own.
The names of two of his tragedies are preserved, the "Adrastus" and "Tecmessa." (Orelli, Onomast. Tull.
ii. p. 301, where all the passages of Cicero are quoted; Gel. 4.6
; Appian, App. BC 1.72
; V. Max. 5.3.3
; Suet. Cal. 60
; Vell. 2.9.2
The fragments of his orations are given by Meyer, Orat. Roman. Fragm.
p. 330, &c. Respecting his tragedies, see Welcker, Die Griechischen Tragödien,
p. 1398; and Weichert, Poet. Lat. Rel.