Caesar, (Gaius) Julius
- Luca Leoncini
(b Rome, 102 bc; d Rome, 44 bc).
Roman dictator, general and patron. After defeating Pompey and his followers in the Civil War he was named dictator (reg 49–44 bc), but was assassinated by conspirators. Caesar renovated the centre of Rome with important works in the Forum Romanum, for example the Basilica Julia, begun in 54 bc and opened, still incomplete, eight years later. His most important building project, however, was the construction of the Forum Julium (see Rome, §V, 2), conceived as an extension of the Forum Romanum and as a model of urban renewal for the old parts of the town centre. It established the pattern for the later Imperial Fora. The rectangular, porticoed court of the forum had shops on the north-east and south-west sides. In the centre of the short north-west side a temple was erected to Venus Genetrix, the patroness of the gens Julia, whose cult statue was by the sculptor ...