Julius Caesar became dictator in 49 BC, after crossing the Rubicon and defeating Pompey in the civil wars. To celebrate, Plutarch says: "As he rode through the Velabrum on the day of his Gallic triumph, the axle of his chariot broke, and he was all but thrown out; and he mounted the Capitol by torchlight, with forty elephants bearing lamps on his right and his left. In his Pontic triumph he displayed among the show-pieces of the procession an inscription of but three words, "I came, I saw, I conquered," not indicating the events of the war, as the others did, but the speed with which it was finished."
When Caesar became dictator, he did many things such as:
- reform the calendar (made it so that the calendar had 365 days)
- filled senate vacancies and added more patricians and politicians
- reinstated those who had been degraded by official action of the censors or found guilty of bribery by verdict of the jurors
- made it so that half of the magistrates should be appointed by the people's choice, while the rest should be those whom he had personally nominated
- "debtors should satisfy their creditors according to a valuation of their possessions at the price what they had paid for them before the civil war, deducting from the principal whatever interest had been paid in cash or pledged through bankers..."
among other things.