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11. L. Julius Caesar, L. F. L. N., son of No. 9, and uncle by his sister Julia of M. Antony the triumvir. He was consul B. C. 64 with C. Marcius Figulus, and belonged, like his father, to the aristocratical party. In the debate in the senate, in B. C. 63, respecting the punishment of the Catilinarian conspirators, he voted for the death of the conspirators, among whom was the husband of his own sister, P. Lentulus Sura. L. Caesar seems to have remained at Rome some years after his consulship without going to any province. In B. C. 52, we find him in Gaul, as legate to C. Caesar, afterwards the dictator. Here he remained till the breaking out of the civil war in 49, when he accompanied C. Caesar into Italy. He took, however, no active part in the war; but it would appear that he deserted the aristocracy, for he continued to live at Rome, which was in the dictator's power, and he was even entrusted with the care of the city in 47 by his nephew M. Antony, who was obliged to leave Rome to quell the revolt of the legions in Italy. L. Caesar, however, was now advanced in years, and did not possess sufficient energy to keep the turbulent spirits at Rome in order : hence much confusion and contention arose during Antony's absence.

After the death of the dictator in 44, L. Caesar preserved neutrality as far as possible, though he rather favoured the party of the conspirators than that of Antony. He retired from Rome soon after this event, and spent some time at Neapolis, where Cicero saw him, at the beginning of May, dangerously ill. From Neapolis he went to Aricia, and from thence returned to Rome in September, but did not take his seat in the senate, either on account, or under the plea, of ill-health. L. Caesar had expressed to Cicero at Neapolis his approbation of Dolabella's opposition to his colleague Antony ; and as soon as the latter left Rome for Mutina, at the close of the year, he openly joined the senatorial party. It was on the proposal of L. Caesar, in B. C. 43, that the agrarian law of Antony was repealed; but he opposed the wishes of the more violent of his party, who desired war to be declared against Autony as an enemy of the state, and he carried a proposition in the senate that the contest should be called a " tumult," and not a war. In the same spirit, he proposed that P. Sulpicius, and not C. Cassius or the consuls Hirtius and Pansa, as the more violent of his party wished, should be entrusted with the war against Dolabella. His object then was to prevent matters coming to such extremities as to preclude all hopes of reconciliation; but, after the defeat of Antony in the middle of April, he was one of the first to express his opinion in favour of declaring Antony an enemy of the state. On the establishment of the triumvirate, at the latter end of this year, L. Caesar was included in the proscription ; his name was the second in the list, and the first which was put down by his own uncle. He took refuge in the house of his sister, Julia, who with some difficulty obtained his pardon from her son. From this time we hear no more of him. He was not a man of much power of mind, but had some influence in the state through his family connexions and his position in society. (Orelli, Onomast. Tull. ii. p. 314; Sal. Cat. 17; D. C. 37.6, 10 ; Caes. Gal. 7.65, B. C. 1.8; D. C. 42.30 ; 47.6, 8; Appian, App. BC 4.12, 37; Plut. Ant. 19, Cic. 46; Liv. Epit. 120; Vell. 2.57 ; Flor. 4.6.4.)

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  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Appian, Civil Wars, 4.3.12
    • Appian, Civil Wars, 4.6.37
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 7.65
    • Sallust, Catilinae Coniuratio, 17
    • Plutarch, Antonius, 19
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