July is the first month of the year named for a specific person. Well, January, March, May, and June are all named for Greek or Roman gods, but July is named for a real historical person: Julius Caesar. Caesar was born in the month of July, which is why, in 44 BC, Rome renamed the summer month of Quintilis "Iulius" after the ambitious, toga-wearing general. We've asked Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings to cross the Rubicon this month and set the record straight about the life and death of the ancient world's biggest celeb. Friends, Romans, countrymen: lend him your ears.
The Debunker: Was Caesar the Emperor of Rome?
If you look up the word "Caesar" in the dictionary today, there it is, right between "caduceus" and "Caesar salad." It's now uncapitalized, says Webster's, and just means "emperor" or "dictator." For centuries, German kaisers and Russian czars have borrowed their imperial title from "Caesar," a name that originated as the cognomen (Roman family nickname) of Julius Caesar. As a result, it's often taken for granted that Julius Caesar was emperor of Rome—the most famous emperor, to many people. But that's not historically true.-----