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Gaius

Gaius

[gey-uhs]
Lucilius, Gaius, c.180-102? B.C., Latin satiric poet, considered the founder of Latin satire, b. Campania, Italy. About 1,300 fragments survive from his 30 books. He influenced Horace, Persius, and Juvenal.
Gaius, in the New Testament. 1 Corinthian Christian, Paul's host. 2 Corinthian baptized by Paul. 3 Companion of Paul, native of Derbe. 4 Macedonian companion of Paul. 5 Christian to whom 3 John is addressed. It is not known which, if any, of these men are identical.
Gaius, fl. 2d cent., Roman jurist. He is known for the Institutes (repr., 2 vol., 1967; Vol. I is a translation of the text, Vol. II consists of commentaries), a legal textbook that contributed materially to modern knowledge of early Roman law. It was much used in the compilation of the Corpus Juris Civilis.

See study by A. M. Honore (1962).

(born circa 201, Budalia, Pannonia Inferior—died June 251, Abrittus, Moesia) Roman emperor (249–251). Of uncertain origins, he served as senator, consul, and provincial military commander before taking the throne from Philip the Arabian. He resisted the Gothic invasion of Moesia and instituted the first organized persecution of Christians throughout the empire (250), which only served to strengthen the Christian cause. He ended the persecutions in 251, shortly before he was defeated and killed by the Goths.

Learn more about Decius, Gaius Messius Quintus Trajanus with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born circa 201, Budalia, Pannonia Inferior—died June 251, Abrittus, Moesia) Roman emperor (249–251). Of uncertain origins, he served as senator, consul, and provincial military commander before taking the throne from Philip the Arabian. He resisted the Gothic invasion of Moesia and instituted the first organized persecution of Christians throughout the empire (250), which only served to strengthen the Christian cause. He ended the persecutions in 251, shortly before he was defeated and killed by the Goths.

Learn more about Decius, Gaius Messius Quintus Trajanus with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Julius Caesar, marble bust; in the Capitoline Museums, Rome.

(born July 12/13, 100, Rome—died March 15, 44 BC, Rome) Celebrated Roman general, statesman, and dictator. A patrician by birth, he held the prominent posts of quaestor and praetor before becoming governor of Farther Spain in 61–60. He formed the First Triumvirate with Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus in 60 and was elected consul in 59 and proconsul in Gaul and Illyria in 58. After conducting the Gallic Wars, during which he invaded Britain (55, 54) and crossed the Rhine (55, 53), he was instructed by the Senate to lay down his command, Senate conservatives having grown wary of his increasing power, as had a suspicious Pompey. When the Senate would not command Pompey to give up his command simultaneously, Caesar, against regulations, led his forces across the Rubicon River (49) between Gaul and Italy, precipitating the Roman Civil War. Pompey fled from Italy but was pursued and defeated by Caesar in 48; he then fled to Egypt, where he was murdered. Having followed Pompey to Egypt, Caesar became lover to Cleopatra and supported her militarily. He defeated Pompey's last supporters in 46–45. He was named dictator for life by the Romans. He was offered the crown (44) but refused it, knowing the Romans' dislike for kings. He was in the midst of launching a series of political and social reforms when he was assassinated in the Senate House on the ides of March by conspirators led by Cassius and Brutus. His writings on the Gallic and Civil wars are considered models of classical historiography.

Learn more about Caesar, (Gaius) Julius with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Gaius, alternately spelled Caius, was a common Roman praenomen. It is abbreviated C.; the abbreviation goes back to before the Roman alphabet distinguished between C and G.

In classical times, the name was pronounced in three syllables, Gāius [ˈgɑːius].

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