Julius Caesar was a Roman general and politician who named himself dictator of the Roman Empire, a rule that lasted less than one year before he was famously assassinated by political rivals in 44 B.C. Caesar was born on July 12 or 13 in 100 B.C. to a noble family. During his youth, the Roman Republic was in chaos.
How would history likely be different if Julius Caesar was not murdered?
Caesar’s next big step was to invade Parthia. He had been planning this invasion for a while and had the legions ready to go. In fact, when he died he was only days away from starting the campaign.
This begs the first question- how would this have gone and would it alter Parthian/Roman relations?
Caesar would have likely beaten Parthia and pretty badly. As powerful as Parthia was they were a long way from the might of Rome. Parthia had gotten the best of Crassus but Crassus was a foolhardy general who lacked patience, discipline, and wavered between overaggressiveness and irresponsible inaction. Crassus lost because he was an idiot. Caesar was no idiot.
Parthia beat the Romans when they tricked them into a bad position or cut off their supplies. This would be tricky for them to pull off.
Caesar really matches up well with the Parthians. Caesar was known for his cautious nature and patient attitude. He never rushed anything and it allowed him to avoid traps. His supply lines were always a major concern of his and decades of experience handling invasions made him a logistical wizard.
So Caesar would win- but he would not conquer. He would learn what Hadrian learned- that Parthia is too large, to inhospitable, and too far away from Rome to be annexed.
Caesar would install a friendly king and leave- safe that his legend is now god-like. He is the man that defeated Pompey, the man that conquered Gaul, and now he has pulled an “Alexander” and conquered Persia. His legend is untouchable as a result.
Parthia would not remain friendly long- that puppet king would be killed and Rome would lack the willpower to go invade them again.
However, Parthia would get quite the bloody nose here. You can be sure they will be much more cautious around the Romans now that they understand what Rome is capable of.
During this invasion of Persia, Caesar would be accomplishing another objective- a more important one even than conquering a dangerous Empire.
Caesar had planned to take his Nephew, Octavian with him on the invasion. It was a chance for young Octavian to learn how to command at the side of Caesar and it would cement him as the heir apparent.
Octavian was never a gifted general and Agrippa did all his fighting but getting a chance to invade Persia at the side of Caesar would create quite the reputation for the young man. It would grant him a significant political platform overnight.
In our reality, Octavian was in a tough spot after Caesar died. The young man was mostly unknown in the Roman world and at a young age he was forced to compete with Lepidus and Mark Antony (2 living legends) for power. The fact Octavian won that conflict shows his capability.
In other words, the transition from Caesar to Augustus would go much smoother. There would not be a civil war or massive conflict. Octavian would step into Caesar’s shoes and rule in his own right easily enough.
The Senate had made Caesar Dictator hoping to placate the man. The goal was to bide their time and if Caesar looked to be declining in popularity they would move to depose him.
Caesar though was not a man to be outdone when it came to gaining the love of the people. He was a beloved legend before conquering Parthia, after conquering Parthia he literally could not be toppled as long as he doesn’t do anything really stupid.
Caesar would remain as a dictator. He would not become emperor though which may surprise you.
Caesar wanted to be King but the Senate was never going to allow that. Caesar didn’t have the foresight or desire to purge the Senate and turn it into a fan club as Octavian did.
But Caesar was not long for this world. The man was getting old, had significant health problems (seizures), and was living in a world where medical treatment was often the cause of death.
You see in the real world Octavian fought a series of civil wars after Caesar died. During these wars Senators loyal to the Senate, Pompey, or Mark Antony were mostly slaughtered (with a few being accepted back into the fold as puppets).
So when Octavian beat Antony there was nobody left to fight. The Senate was 1000% behind him in everything.
With Caesar surviving he would make Octavian’s transition to power easier but Octavian would then struggle to remain in power far more than he did in reality.
It would be interesting to see what Octavian would do.
He could purge the Senate and become Princeps. Or he could rule as a dictator.
The video you may be interested
The Dacian Kingdom was much more organized than Gaul, being a singular sovereign state. And outside opposition I feel would only unite them more. I feel like this war may have been a little rougher for Caesar than portrayed with the siege of the mountain fortress of Sarmizegetusa being a stalemate that would last past the campaigning season. Caesar may have taken tribute and liberated the coast but I feel like most of Moesia wouldn’t go to him. The Dacians after he left would be set on a course of “modernization” as they were after the first attempt of invasion of Dacia with engineers being imported and more Romanesque equipment being made for their men. I think that they could have developed into a longstanding rival after this. And who knows, Burebista may well have been a tribal uniter/conquering figure on par with Genghis Khan given his impressive unification and territorial gains which are a bit larger than shown in the video and been able to give Caesar a run for his money especially if he had support from outside Sarmatian tribes as Decebalus had later.