Gaius Julius Caesar was born in 100 BCE, rising to become one of Rome's leading politicians and most successful generals as well as an accomplished orator and author of the first rank.
After defeating his political opponents in a bitter civil war, Caesar reigned briefly as dictator before he was assassinated in 44 BCE. After his murder, the Roman Senate passed legislation declaring that Caesar had become a god. His impact on Rome's political and religious institutions was decisive and long-lasting, and today his career still inspires both emulation and loathing, and we may trace it influence in such founding documents of our own society as the Constitution of the United States.
After Caesar's murder, another round of civil war erupted, but not before the Senate declared that Caesar was a god. In his will, Caesar had adopted his great-nephew, Gaius Octavius (the son of his sister's daughter), who adopted Caesar's name, as did every subsequent Roman emperor. Caesar's name eventually passed into other languages too with the meaning of "emperor," for example, Kaiser in German and Czar in Russian. Caesar worship would be transformed into emperor worship, and this worship of the emperors after they died and while they lived became an important element of Roman administrative policy during the empire. This element of Roman religion eventually involved the Roman government in conflict with Jews and early Christians.