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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
VIII. THE GREAT AGE OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC, 264-31 B.C.
» Contents of this ChapterPage 31
THE WORK OF CAESAR
AUTHORITY AND POSITION OF CAESAR
The new government which Caesar brought into being was a monarchy in all except name. He became dictator for life and held other republican offices, such as the consulship and censorship. He refused the title of king, but accepted as a civil magistrate the name of imperator,  with which the soldiers had been wont to salute a victorious general. Though he abolished none of the old republican forms, the Senate became simply his advisory council, the assemblies, his submissive agents the consuls, praetors and tribunes, his pliant tools. The laurel wreath, the triumphal dress, the conqueror's scepter—all proclaimed the autocrat.
 Hence our word "emperor."
CHARACTER OF CAESAR'S RULE
Caesar used his power wisely and well. No massacres or confiscations sullied his victory. He treated his former foes with clemency and even with kindness. No sooner was domestic tranquillity assured than, with restless energy, he entered on a series of far-reaching reforms.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy