Gaius Julius Caesar was a politically adept and popular military leader of the Roman Republic. (North 23) Best known as Julius Caesar, he critically participated in transforming the Roman republic to what became known as the Roman Empire by expanding its geographic reach and establishing its imperial leadership system . North (25) narrates that Caesar led Army troops across the river Rubicon and through
successful battles. At the same time Pompey, a former Roman Kingdom military and political leader was greatly threatened by Caesar’s influence and foresaw a civil war. In the end, however, for Caesar’s raided Pompey and out of Italy into Egypt. Pompey was killed in Egypt and Caesar aligned himself with queen Cleopatra of Egypt. (North 28) Caesar triumphantly returned to Rome in glory, after defeating the sons of Pompey, a fellow member of the first Roman triumvirate according to Dehnert (34).
Caesar’s growing popularity instigated jealousy and fear amongst the Roman tribunes. The Tribunes then conspired to murder him with Cassius heading the plot. North (28) states that the conspiracy against the ambitious Caesar transpired after government leaders and high profile citizens see that he is hungry for power. The leaders believe he will come out to be a dictator and tyrant who would possess too much power (North 34) . This act shows selfish plans and conspiracies among the powerful people. The powerful people make these plots seem beneficial to the common citizens in order to gain support and justification but in the real sense there are hidden agendas.
Cassius greatly violates his position as senator and plots to kill Cease. Mazrui (100) narrates that he later, during a violent thunderstorm, meets Casca and convinces him to take part in the coup. He also deceives Casca that other noble minded senators have already agreed to take part in the coup. Cassius, envious of Caesar’s power incites Marcus Brutus whose high profile as a former military commander and now a high judicial official who decides cases involving Roman citizens to join him in the coup (Dehnert 50). Cassius claims that Caesar has become much too powerful. (Dehnert 58) Writes that a soothsayer cries out to Caesar from somewhere in the crowd and tells him to “Beware the Ides of March”. Caesar calls the soothsayer closer, who confirms his warning. But Caesar dismisses him by claiming that he is a dreamer and leaves him. . The soothsayer is aware of what Caesar and his close people don’t know and is even aware that the calamity will happen on the Ides of March (Dehnert 60). Regardless, Julius Caesar is still arrogant and ignorant. He is caught up in the power and considers himself mighty.
Caesar notices Cassius in a crowd and tells Antony that Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He comments that Cassius thinks too much and such men are dangerous. Evidently, Cassius has hunger for revolution and it was now boiling down because of his envy for Caesar but Caesar was so caught up ignorant and proud that he did not pay attention to or notice the plot against his life. Caesar went on to say he does not fear Cassius he for always is Caesar, suggesting he saw himself as the mightiest among men and invincible. Later, he ignored the warnings of his wife, who told him of many omens that would befall him were he to leave home on March. Later on, the teacher Artemidorus warns Caesar of a plot to murder him and even implicates Cassius Brutus, Casca and others as the orchestrators but Caesar still ignores. Artemidorus is pushed aside by the senators.
According to Dehnert (87), Brutus faces a tragedy after giving in to the influence of corrupt leaders to conspire against and kill Caesar. The noble. He was acting sake in in belief that it was in the best interest of the Romans which was to give them. Brutus’ action led the Rome into civil war and drove him in to a traumatizing period of self-conflict. Later on when Caesars great grandnephew Octavius alongside Lepidus and Antony have taken charge of the city as the Second Roman Triumvirate make plans plotting to execute some senators in order to restore peace and order in Rome Dehnert (90). This shows that power corrupts almost certainly anyone.
An example of a modern day leader who went over the borders of power misuse is Iddi Amin Dada, The third president of Uganda (1923-2003) (Mazrui 34). Amin became well known for his gruesome violations of human rights, causing social disorganization and collapsing the Ugandan economy. Mazrui (34) wrote that from a small group Kakwa ethnic group, Dada managed to rise through Ugandan armed forces from private to major general. While in the forces he served in Somalia and Kenya as well as Burma, Uganda. Amin gained an awful reputation for cruelty often being cashiered for becoming too violent. Despite this, he rose through the ranks due to his military excellence. In 1971, he overthrew Milton Obote and took over the government, Amin exhibited shrewdness and cunning. Amin believed that Uganda was being dominated by foreigners, so he the chased Asians who were small in number but contributing two-thirds of the Ugandan economy. Mazrui (37) He constantly changed vehicles, bodyguards and homes. Amin kept control of the army through frequent and random reorganization and kept them happy by giving them cars, promotions, and businesses that had were owned by Asians. Most government funds were wasted on his safety and the military’s welfare neglecting important areas like transport, food production, and manufacturing and foreign investments sectors. Mazrui (40) stated that Tanzanian army troops joined exiled Ugandan nationalists and invaded Uganda in 1978, and Amin was taken into exile in Saudi Arabia the next year. Although by this time, inflation had reached 1,000 per cent in Uganda. Idi Amin died of multiple organ failure in 2003 and was buried in Saudi Arabia. Amin showed massive abuse of power and oppressed people to the limits.
Julius Caesar faced his death because he grew arrogant. He not only had a high opinion of himself, but also put his judgements above everyone else. Cassius and Brutus killed Caesar because he was arrogant, and because he was ambitious. Those in power often tend to lose a sense of balance. Most politicians lose their moral ground and oppress common citizens in one way or another. As stated by John Dalberg Acton, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”