The History of Rome, Book V The History of Rome is a multi-volume history of ancient Rome written by Theodor Mommsen. This volume deals with civil wars and Julius Caesar. The figure of Julius Caesar (100-44) remains controversial among historians and students of ancient Rome. Mommsen saw in him a leader with a special gift for organizing and transforming the city-state, which had come to rule the Mediterranean world. Caesar was opposed by an oligarchy of aristocratic families, the optimates, who dominated the Senate and nearly monopolized state offices, who profited by the city's corruption and exploited the foreign conquests.