Julius Cesar, Julius Chesar
Born 12 July 100 BC
Dead 15 March 44 BC
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman statesman who appears in several Arthurian sources.
History holds that Julius Caesar led the first Roman conquest of Britain, subduing the tribal chief Cassivellaunus (Cassibelaunus), in roughly 54 BC. Nennius, among other chroniclers, recognizes this fact but places the date in 44 AD. Nevertheless, in the Vulgate Merlin, Caesar is Arthur’s contemporary.
King Claudas became Caesar’s vassal in return for Roman reinforcements in the wars against the kings Arthur, Ban, and Bors. Caesar, with his eye on Benoic (Benwick), sent Pontius Anthony and an army to aid Claudas. Despite his aid, Claudas was defeated by Arthur. Merlin visited him and exposed the lechery of Caesar’s wife (she had a dozen male concubines, disguised as women), whom Caesar then executed. On Merlin’s advice, Caesar married Avenable, a maiden who had come to his court seeking help. His daughter, Foldace, married Patrick, Avenable’s brother.
Within a few chapters of this episode, however, Lucius is the Emperor of Rome, and Caesar is mentioned, correctly, as a figure in distant history. In the French Huon de Bordeaux, Caesar has a son by Morgan le Fay named Huon.
Historia Brittonum | Probably Nennius, early 9th century
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
Huon de Bordeaux | Early 13th century
Prose Merlin | Mid-15th century