What Were Julius Caesar’s Strengths and Weaknesses?
Julius Caesar was a master politician, soldier and strategist, but he failed to spot enemies within his ranks, which subsequently led to his assassination. He also may have suffered from health issues, such as malaria, hypoglycemia or seizures.
Caesar displayed his negotiating and tactical skills when he was captured by pirates early in his life. He managed to get his own ransom raised, and he planned a naval offensive that ultimately led to the capturing and killing of his captors. He later assembled a private army in 74 B.C. and defeated a king who declared war on Rome. Caesar moved through the ranks throughout his career until negotiating an alliance with two other rulers, Pompey and Crassus. They formed a triumvirate that dominated Rome. Crassus was killed in battle, and Caesar defeated Pompey, which allowed him to become a dictator.
Caesar failed to realize that his power gained him enemies because Romans were suspicious of dictatorial rule. He made a fatal mistake by allowing his enemies to serve under his reign. Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, two enemies of Caesar who became senators, orchestrated his murder in 44 B.C. Some scholars believe that Caesar may have suffered from a parasitic infection of the brain that caused epileptic seizures throughout his life. There were also documented cases when he suffered from seizures during military campaigns.