Julius Caesar was considered a hero because he reformed the Roman Republic, which directly led to the Roman Empire. He was so beloved by the people that two years after his assassination he was deified, and the Roman Senate named him "the Divine Julius."
Julius Caesar enacted a number of important reforms in the single year he ruled as a dictator. He made the Senate larger, which gave more representation to the people. He brought down the Roman debt. He made improvements to the Roman calendar. Caesar also changed local governments so that they ran better. He proved to be kind to his enemies by inviting them to join the government, and he gave citizenship to foreigners.
Caesar ensured reconstruction of the city-states of Carthage and Corinth, which had fallen and been decimated by earlier Roman rulers.
He was immensely popular with the lower-class and middle-class Roman citizens, but his enemies in the Senate feared his power. He had been declared ruler for life, and his enemies worried he would claim himself to be king of the Roman Republic. On March 15, 44 B.C., Caesar was assassinated by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus. The homes of both men were attacked by angry mobs of Roman citizens the day of Caesar's funeral.