Caesar was born to a Patrician family and named after his father Gaius Julius Caesar who was governor of Asia. Young Caesar became the head of his family at sixteen, but lost his own position as a high priest of Jupiter after his Uncle Marius found himself on the losing end of a war with a rival, General Sulla. Bereft of his inheritance and punished for not divorcing his wife Cornelia, Julius Caesar embarked on a military career, a choice he later attributed to the divine providence of the gods. His new career was marked by an amazing series of adventures and excitement—for instance, capture by pirates, release through payment of a ransom, and return with a fleet to capture and crucify his former captors. He followed the Roman road to power through election as a military tribune, then as a quaestor, in 69 BC. As a brilliant and companionable Roman official, Caesar achieved public acclaim by sponsoring successful public games and was elected Pontifex Maximus, Rome’s chief priest, and shortly after, as praetor in Hispania. He retired as a most successful and popular governor in 62 BC, age thirty-eight.