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What were the four main paths to power for Caesar.

Describe how each led him to the top.

According to Gelzer, Caesar had creative political ability and a quick grasp of and prompt reaction to the circumstances with which he was faced . By utilising these characteristics, Caesar was able to effectively rise to a level of power unprecedented in Roman history, and arguably led to the fall of the fall of the Roman republic, and the rise of the Roman Empire. The most obvious, and in lieu of deep-seeded Roman tradition, the most important path to power that Caesar had, was his heritage. Born into an impoverished, but noble patrician family, Caesar boasted ties to Gaius Marius due to his aunt through marriage, to Aeneas the son of Venus and to Cinna by marrying his daughter, therefore claiming both royal and divine heritage. Marius before him initiated reforms that had far reaching social and political consequences according to Sallust. We can assume this tie was significant in providing a path to power for Marius, as he was inclined to continue this legacy and hence oppose the optimates and the established order, as seen through him illegally carrying effigies of Marius at his aunt s funeral. It can therefore be seen that this tie, and the instability it caused, kick-started his political career and allowed him to manipulate long established traditions and achieve what he did. The second path Caesar took in order to accrue power was his strategic political alliances. Caesar used both marriage and alliance to further his career. The most notable alliance Caesar made was that between him and Cinna. By marrying Cinna s daughter, Caesar was able to use Cinna s wealth, reputation and power to ensure his own political advancement. He borrowed huge amounts of money from Cinna, and during his Aedileship he put on various lavish banquets, games and gladiatorial events for the public, while spending money to decorate and improve public buildings. Through this spending, Caesar was able to ensure the public s support, an important factor which became increasingly relevant as the power of the senate slowly wavered. Through Cinna s influence and wealth, Caesar was able to bribe his way into the position of pontifexmaximus, a well-respected and esteemed position. He won the election by a small margin, against opponents much more favoured to win, and arguably more eligible. This path of priesthood was also a significant factor in Caesar s career. He became the flamenDialis (high priest of Jupiter) at a young age but was supposedly prevented from carrying out his duties or taking the priesthood by Sulla. However, this meant he was more eligible to be elected as the pontifexmaximus in 63BC. As Pontifex Maximus, Caesar carried significant power and respect and was his first large and exceptional step in his career. Caesar successfully utilised all the paths to power he came across, and efficiently manipulated his surroundings to his gain. Therefore Gelzer s assessment of character rings true, Caesar used these qualities and paths to power to eventually initiate the fall of the roman republic, and the fall of traditional structure.