Caesar's victories came at a price, borne by the two million Gauls reportedly killed or enslaved during this time (BBCi). Caesar himself also suffered for his conquests; returning to Italy in 49 BCE after the Gallic battles, Caesar brought his army behind him in response to a request made by the Roman senate that he return as a private citizen (Francese 47). The senate regarded Caesar as a threat to the Republic, and were wise to do so. Many senate members wished to prosecute him; his two former triumvirate partners feared that Caesar's ambition would lead him to assume singular power over the Roman Empire, and they resolved to unseat him. Caesar led his army across the Rubicon River, cleared the Italian peninsula of resistance in less than seventy days, and sent his enemies into exile, pursuing them to Spain, to Greece and finally, to Egypt (CarpeNoctum).
When Caesar returned to Italy in 45 BCE, he was declared dictator for life. Less than one year later, Caesar was slain, brought down by assassins led by Cassius, a former triumvirate member and Brutus, a once-loyal subordinate (BBCi). Civil war would reign in Caesar's place for nearly 14 years, until his nephew Octavius could establish a permanent monarchy (Francese 48).
Caesar's legacy would endure. His tactics as a military strategist have been studied across the ages, and much of Caesar's own military accounts, the seven-volume Commentaries on the Gallic War, and the three-volume Civil War, survive today (BBCi). His achievements as a leader and orator have influenced politicians, generals and historians for centuries. Indeed, all of modern Europe owes a debt of heritage to Julius Caesar: "The unity felt today" among the countries of Western Europe, some have observed, "derives ultimately from Caesar