[Sidenote: Caesar’s power.] [Sidenote: Honors conferred upon him.]
All open opposition to Caesar’s power and dominion now entirely disappeared. Even the Senate vied with the people in rendering him every possible honor. The supreme power had been hitherto lodged in the hands of two consuls, chosen annually, and the Roman people had been extremely jealous of any distinction for any one, higher than that of an elective annual office, with a return to private life again when the brief period should have expired. They now, however, made Caesar, in the first place, consul for ten years, and then Perpetual Dictator. They conferred upon him the title of the Father of his Country. The name of the month in which he was born was changed to Julius, from his praenomen, and we still retain the name. He was made, also, commander-in-chief of all the armies of the commonwealth, the title to which vast military power was expressed in the Latin language by the word IMPERATOR.
[Sidenote: Statues of Caesar.]
Caesar was highly elated with all these substantial proofs of the greatness and glory to which he had attained, and was also very evidently gratified with smaller, but equally expressive proofs of the general regard. Statues representing his person were placed in the public edifices, and borne in processions like those of the gods. Conspicuous and splendidly ornamented seats were constructed for him in all the places of public assembly, and on these he sat to listen to debates or witness spectacles, as if he were upon a throne He had, either by his influence or by his direct power, the control of all the appointments to office, and was, in fact, in every thing but the name, a sovereign and an absolute king.
[Sidenote: His plans of internal improvement.]
He began now to form great schemes of internal improvement for the general benefit of the empire. He wished to increase still more the great obligations which the Roman people were under to him for what he had already done. They really were under vast obligations to him; for, considering Rome as a community which was to subsist by governing the world, Caesar had immensely enlarged the means of its subsistence by establishing its sway every where, and providing for an incalculable increase of its revenues from the tribute and the taxation of conquered provinces and kingdoms. Since this work of conquest was now completed, he turned his attention to the internal affairs of the empire, and made many improvements in the system of administration, looking carefully into every thing, and introducing every where those exact and systematic principles which such a mind as his seeks instinctively in every thing over which it has any control.