What if Julius Caesar was never assassinated? It’s a question that has been asked many times by historians, scholars, and casual observers of history. Some argue that if Caesar had lived, the Roman Republic may have become even more powerful and enduring. Others believe that his continued rule would have led to a darker, more authoritarian Rome. In this alternate history scenario, we’ll explore what might have happened if Julius Caesar had survived the infamous Ides of March.
Following the assassination attempt, Caesar would have likely tightened his grip on power. He was a man of ambition, and he was not one to let a group of conspirators stand in his way. With the support of his loyal army, Caesar may have purged the Senate of any remaining opposition and consolidated his rule over the Roman Republic.
Assuming he survived the assassination attempt, Caesar would have been faced with the challenge of governing a vast and diverse empire. His military campaigns had already expanded Rome’s borders, and he would have needed to ensure that his conquests remained under Roman control. To do so, he may have continued his policy of granting Roman citizenship to conquered peoples, effectively integrating them into the Roman Republic.
One of Caesar’s greatest legacies was his reforms to the Roman political system. He introduced a number of changes, including expanding the Senate and creating the position of consul for life. If he had lived, he potentially may have created a political system that benefited the common Citizen and not just the wealthy.
Caesar was also known for his ambitious public works projects, including the construction of new roads, aqueducts, and public buildings. With continued support from the Roman people and the Senate, he may have launched even more ambitious projects, transforming Rome into an even grander city than it already was.
Despite his many accomplishments, Caesar was not without his flaws. He was a controversial figure in his own time, and his authoritarian tendencies were a cause for concern among some Roman citizens. If he had continued to rule unchecked, it’s possible that his rule would have become increasingly autocratic, leading to a more oppressive and repressive society, which could lead to people calling for a return to a more democratic system of government.
Assuming he lived a long and healthy life, Caesar may have eventually passed the reins of power to his heir, Caesar Augustus, potentially establishing a dynasty that would have ruled Rome for generations. But with dynasties come instability, and it’s possible that a power struggle could have erupted after his death, between Julius Caesar's right hand man, Mark Anthony, and his adopted son, Gaius Octavius leading to political turmoil and possibly even civil war.
One of the most interesting questions raised by this alternate history scenario is what might have happened to Christianity. The religion was still in its infancy during Caesar’s time, but it’s possible that his continued rule could have had a profound impact on its development. Would he have embraced or persecuted the religion? Would Christianity have emerged as a major force in the Roman Republic, or would it have remained a minor cult?
In the end, it’s impossible to say for certain what might have happened if Julius Caesar had never been assassinated. But what we can say is that his continued rule would have had a profound impact on Roman Civilization and on the course of world history. Whether that impact would have been positive or negative, we’ll never know for sure.