Thus the optimates of Venice did what the optimates of Rome strove to do: they established a nobility whose one qualification was descent from those who had held office in past times.
He had previously been recalled by the optimates, but ignored the order.
Caesar's uncle was consul in 91 B.C., and his father held the praetorship. Most of the family seem to have belonged to the senatorial party (optimates); but Caesar himself was from the first a popularis.
In 75 he was consul, and excited the hostility of the optimates by carrying a law that abolished the Sullan disqualification of the tribunes from holding higher magistracies; another law de judiciis privatis, of which nothing is known, was abrogated by his brother.
The optimates finally decided to support him for the consulship in order to keep out Catiline, and he eagerly embraced the " good cause," his affection for which from this time onward never varied, though his actions were not always consistent.