这段独白清楚地表明，布鲁托斯不是为一己私利决定背叛凯撒的。有些人不相信他的话，这说明他们对独白(soliloquy)2 还不够了解。戏剧里的人物想什么，必须由演员说出来，观众才会知道。当然，一般的情绪也可以演出来，但抽象的思想还得靠语言来表达。独白时，通常是一个人在舞台上自说自话；有时可能有人在偷听，但独白者不知道。所以对独白者来说，只是他一个人在场，他没有必要说谎。独白其实就是自言自语(thinking aloud)，就是让观众听见人物的思想，相当于我们在小说中读人物的内心思想，他想：“……”我们没有理由怀疑其真实性。
这段独白虽然说明布鲁托斯是为了大众的利益而决定背叛凯撒，但同时又显示了他思辨上的逻辑错误。他那蝮蛇和蛇蛋的比喻暗示着他的三段论：大前提，独裁者对于罗马就象毒蛇会咬死人一样，应该杀死。小前提，凯撒是独裁者。结论，应该杀死凯撒。伊丽莎白时代的观众所受的教育可能没有我们多，但他们主要就是学修辞和逻辑。很多人立即就注意到布鲁托斯的小前提有误，凯撒还不是独裁者呢！他们也注意到那不恰当的类比式论辩(argument by analogy)：毒蛇蛋一定会孵出毒蛇，但人不一定会变成独裁者。布什当然会赞同布鲁托斯这种预防性打击(preemptive strike)，尽管有莎士比亚这么家喻户晓的历史剧明镜高悬，眼前和个人的利益照样会把决策人导入歧途，历史上同样的错误往往是一犯再犯。
莎士比亚在《裘利斯•凯撒》这部历史剧中塑造了两个悲剧英雄——凯撒和布鲁托斯。凯撒的判断错误在于他不听预言者的警告，未听妻子的劝告，执意于三月十五日(the Ides of March，古罗马历)去元老院议政。布鲁托斯的判断错误有三：凯撒尚未称帝便认定他有野心而该杀；以为凯歇斯同样出于正义，要拯救罗马；误认为安东尼心地纯洁，没有野心。为此，《裘利斯•凯撒》在莎翁众多历史剧中独占鳌头，极具悲剧色彩，称之悲剧也不为过。当然，这是文学，历史上的布鲁托斯该如何评价，是另一回事。
1 《裘利斯•凯撒》，朱生豪译，《莎士比亚全集》之八，北京，人民文学出版社，1978年。这句原文是“Et tu, Brute?” Brute 是拉丁语Brutus的呼格。
２ 这个词也译作“自言自语”，很说明其意义；还译作戏剧独白，就不够精确，文学术语“戏剧独白”来自dramatic monologue，另有含义。
----这段独白虽然说明布鲁托斯是为了大众的利益而决定背叛凯撒，但同时又显示了他思辨上的逻辑错误。他那蝮蛇和蛇蛋的比喻暗示着他的三段论：大前提，独裁者对于罗马就象毒蛇会咬死人一样，应该杀死。小前提，凯撒是独裁者。结论，应该杀死凯撒。伊丽莎白时代的观众所受的教育可能没有我们多，但他们主要就是学修辞和逻辑。很多人立即就注意到布鲁托斯的小前提有误，凯撒还不是独裁者呢！他们也注意到那不恰当的类比式论辩(argument by analogy)：毒蛇蛋一定会孵出毒蛇，但人不一定会变成独裁者。布什当然会赞同布鲁托斯这种预防性打击(preemptive strike)，尽管有莎士比亚这么家喻户晓的历史剧明镜高悬，眼前和个人的利益照样会把决策人导入歧途，历史上同样的错误往往是一犯再犯。
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the 84th Roman dictator, in the 1st century BC. For his relatives named Julius Caesar, see Julii Caesares. For other uses, see Julius Caesar (disambiguation).
"Caesar" redirects here. For other uses, see Caesar (disambiguation).
Gaius Julius Caesar
The Tusculum portrait, perhaps the only surviving sculpture of Caesar made during his lifetime
Dictator of the Roman Republic
October 49 BC – 15 March 44 BC[a]
Consul of the Roman Republic
1 January 44 BC – 15 March 44 BC
Serving with Mark Antony
C. Caninius Rebilus (Suffect)
and Gaius Trebonius (Suffect)
P. Cornelius Dolabella (Suffect)
and Mark Antony
1 January 46 BC – September 45 BC
Serving with M. Aemilius Lepidus (46 BC)
Q. Fufius Calenus
and Publius Vatinius
Q. Fabius Maximus (Suffect)
and Gaius Trebonius (Suffect)
1 January 48 BC – 1 January 47 BC
Serving with P. Servilius Vatia Isauricus
C. Claudius Marcellus Maior
and L. Cornelius Lentulus Crus
Q. Fufius Calenus
and Publius Vatinius
1 January 59 BC – 1 January 58 BC
Serving with Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus
Q. Caecilius Metellus Celer
and Lucius Afranius
L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus
and Aulus Gabinius
13 July 100 BC
15 March 44 BC (aged 55)
Temple of Caesar, Rome
Cornelia (84~69 BC; her death)
Pompeia (68~63 BC; divorced)
Calpurnia (59~44 BC; his death)
Julia c. 76–54 BC
Caesarion (disputed) 47–30 BC
Augustus (adoptive) 63 BC–14 AD
Gaius Julius Caesar and Aurelia Cotta
Gaius Julius Caesar[b] (Classical Latin: [ˈɡaː.i.ʊs ˈjuː.li.ʊs ˈkae̯.sar]; 13 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman statesman, general, and notable author of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. In 60 BC, Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey formed a political alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to amass power through populist tactics were opposed by the conservative ruling class within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar's victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Rome's territory to the English Channel and the Rhine. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain.
These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused the order, and instead marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with a legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman Italy under arms. Civil war resulted, and Caesar's victory in the war put him in an unrivaled position of power and influence.
After assuming control of government, Caesar began a programme of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar. He centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed "dictator in perpetuity", giving him additional authority. But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March (15 March) 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus. A new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began.
Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The later biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are also major sources. Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history.
1 Early life and career
2 Consulship and military campaigns 2.1 Conquest of Gaul
2.2 Civil war
3 Dictatorship and assassination 3.1 Dictatorship 3.1.1 Political reforms
3.3 Aftermath of the assassination
4 Personal life 4.1 Health and physical appearance
4.2 Name and family
4.3 Rumors of homosexuality
5 Literary works 5.1 Memoirs
6 Chronology of his life
7 Legacy 7.1 Historiography
9 References 9.1 Primary sources 9.1.1 Own writings
9.1.2 Ancient historians' writings
9.2 Secondary sources
10 External links
Early life and career
Main article: Early life and career of Julius Caesar
Gaius Marius, Caesar's uncle
Caesar was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia, which claimed descent from Iulus, son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas, supposedly the son of the goddess Venus. The cognomen "Caesar" originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by caesarean section (from the Latin verb to cut, caedere, caes-). The Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations: that the first Caesar had a thick head of hair (Latin caesaries); that he had bright grey eyes (Latin oculis caesiis); or that he killed an elephant (caesai in Moorish) in battle. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name.
Despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesar's father, also called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia, and his sister Julia, Caesar's aunt, married Gaius Marius, one of the most prominent figures in the Republic. His mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesar's childhood.
In 85 BC, Caesar's father died suddenly, so Caesar was the head of the family at 16. His coming of age coincided with a civil war between his uncle Gaius Marius and his rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Both sides carried out bloody purges of their political opponents whenever they were in the ascendancy. Marius and his ally Lucius Cornelius Cinna were in control of the city when Caesar was nominated to be the new high priest of Jupiter, and he was married to Cinna's daughter Cornelia. Following Sulla's final victory, though, Caesar's connections to the old regime made him a target for the new one. He was stripped of his inheritance, his wife's dowry, and his priesthood, but he refused to divorce Cornelia and was forced to go into hiding. The threat against him was lifted by the intervention of his mother's family, which included supporters of Sulla, and the Vestal Virgins. Sulla gave in reluctantly, and is said to have declared that he saw many a Marius in Caesar.
Caesar felt that it would be much safer far away from Sulla should the Dictator change his mind, so he left Rome and joined the army, serving under Marcus Minucius Thermus in Asia and Servilius Isauricus in Cilicia. He served with distinction, winning the Civic Crown for his part in the Siege of Mytilene. He went on a mission to Bithynia to secure the assistance of King Nicomedes's fleet, but he spent so long at Nicomedes' court that rumors arose of an affair with the king, which Caesar vehemently denied for the rest of his life. Ironically, the loss of his priesthood had allowed him to pursue a military career, as the high priest of Jupiter was not permitted to touch a horse, sleep three nights outside his own bed or one night outside Rome, or look upon an army.
Hearing of Sulla's death in 78 BC, Caesar felt safe enough to return to Rome. He lacked means since his inheritance was confiscated, but he acquired a modest house in Subura, a lower-class neighborhood of Rome. He turned to legal advocacy and became known for his exceptional oratory accompanied by impassioned gestures and a high-pitched voice, and ruthless prosecution of former governors notorious for extortion and corruption.
Dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla stripped Caesar of the priesthood.
On the way across the Aegean Sea, Caesar was kidnapped by pirates and held prisoner. He maintained an attitude of superiority throughout his captivity. The pirates demanded a ransom of 20 talents of silver, but he insisted that they ask for 50. After the ransom was paid, Caesar raised a fleet, pursued and captured the pirates, and imprisoned them. He had them crucified on his own authority, as he had promised while in captivity—a promise that the pirates had taken as a joke. As a sign of leniency, he first had their throats cut. He was soon called back into military action in Asia, raising a band of auxiliaries to repel an incursion from the east.
On his return to Rome, he was elected military tribune, a first step in a political career. He was elected quaestor for 69 BC, and during that year he delivered the funeral oration for his aunt Julia, and included images of her husband Marius in the funeral procession, unseen since the days of Sulla. His wife Cornelia also died that year. Caesar went to serve his quaestorship in Spain after her funeral, in the spring or early summer of 69 BC. While there, he is said to have encountered a statue of Alexander the Great, and realized with dissatisfaction that he was now at an age when Alexander had the world at his feet, while he had achieved comparatively little. On his return in 67 BC, he married Pompeia, a granddaughter of Sulla, whom he later divorced.
In 63 BC, he ran for election to the post of Pontifex Maximus, chief priest of the Roman state religion. He ran against two powerful senators. Accusations of bribery were made by all sides. Caesar won comfortably, despite his opponents' greater experience and standing. Cicero was consul that year, and he exposed Catiline's conspiracy to seize control of the republic; several senators accused Caesar of involvement in the plot.
After serving as praetor in 62 BC, Caesar was appointed to govern Hispania Ulterior (modern south-eastern Spain) as propraetor, though some sources suggest that he held proconsular powers. He was still in considerable debt and needed to satisfy his creditors before he could leave. He turned to Marcus Licinius Crassus, one of Rome's richest men. Crassus paid some of Caesar's debts and acted as guarantor for others, in return for political support in his opposition to the interests of Pompey. Even so, to avoid becoming a private citizen and thus be open to prosecution for his debts, Caesar left for his province before his praetorship had ended. In Spain, he conquered two local tribes and was hailed as imperator by his troops; he reformed the law regarding debts, and completed his governorship in high esteem.
Caesar was acclaimed Imperator in 60 and 45 BC. In the Roman Republic, this was an honorary title assumed by certain military commanders. After an especially great victory, army troops in the field would proclaim their commander imperator, an acclamation necessary for a general to apply to the Senate for a triumph. However, he also wanted to stand for consul, the most senior magistracy in the republic. If he were to celebrate a triumph, he would have to remain a soldier and stay outside the city until the ceremony, but to stand for election he would need to lay down his command and enter Rome as a private citizen. He could not do both in the time available. He asked the senate for permission to stand in absentia, but Cato blocked the proposal. Faced with the choice between a triumph and the consulship, Caesar chose the consulship.
Consulship and military campaigns
Main articles: Military campaigns of Julius Caesar and First Triumvirate
A denarius depicting Julius Caesar, dated February–March 44 BC; the goddess Venus is shown on the reverse, holding Victoria and a scepter.
In 60 BC, Caesar sought election as consul for 59 BC, along with two other candidates. The election was sordid – even Cato, with his reputation for incorruptibility, is said to have resorted to bribery in favor of one of Caesar's opponents. Caesar won, along with conservative Marcus Bibulus.
Caesar was already in Crassus' political debt, but he also made overtures to Pompey. Pompey and Crassus had been at odds for a decade, so Caesar tried to reconcile them. The three of them had enough money and political influence to control public business. This informal alliance, known as the First Triumvirate ("rule of three men"), was cemented by the marriage of Pompey to Caesar's daughter Julia. Caesar also married again, this time Calpurnia, who was the daughter of another powerful senator.
Caesar proposed a law for redistributing public lands to the poor—by force of arms, if need be—a proposal supported by Pompey and by Crassus, making the triumvirate public. Pompey filled the city with soldiers, a move which intimidated the triumvirate's opponents. Bibulus attempted to declare the omens unfavorable and thus void the new law, but he was driven from the forum by Caesar's armed supporters. His bodyguards had their ceremonial axes broken, two high magistrates accompanying him were wounded, and he had a bucket of excrement thrown over him. In fear of his life, he retired to his house for the rest of the year, issuing occasional proclamations of bad omens. These attempts proved ineffective in obstructing Caesar's legislation. Roman satirists ever after referred to the year as "the consulship of Julius and Caesar."
When Caesar was first elected, the aristocracy tried to limit his future power by allotting the woods and pastures of Italy, rather than the governorship of a province, as his military command duty after his year in office was over. With the help of political allies, Caesar later overturned this, and was instead appointed to govern Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy) and Illyricum (southeastern Europe), with Transalpine Gaul (southern France) later added, giving him command of four legions. The term of his governorship, and thus his immunity from prosecution, was set at five years, rather than the usual one. When his consulship ended, Caesar narrowly avoided prosecution for the irregularities of his year in office, and quickly left for his province.
Conquest of Gaul
Main article: Gallic Wars
The extent of the Roman Republic in 40 BC after Caesar's conquests
Caesar was still deeply in debt, but there was money to be made as a governor, whether by extortion or by military adventurism. Caesar had four legions under his command, two of his provinces bordered on unconquered territory, and parts of Gaul were known to be unstable. Some of Rome's Gallic allies had been defeated by their rivals at the Battle of Magetobriga, with the help of a contingent of Germanic tribes. The Romans feared these tribes were preparing to migrate south, closer to Italy, and that they had warlike intent. Caesar raised two new legions and defeated these tribes.
In response to Caesar's earlier activities, the tribes in the north-east began to arm themselves. Caesar treated this as an aggressive move and, after an inconclusive engagement against the united tribes, he conquered the tribes piecemeal. Meanwhile, one of his legions began the conquest of the tribes in the far north, directly opposite Britain. During the spring of 56 BC, the Triumvirs held a conference, as Rome was in turmoil and Caesar's political alliance was coming undone. The Lucca Conference renewed the First Triumvirate and extended Caesar's governorship for another five years. The conquest of the north was soon completed, while a few pockets of resistance remained. Caesar now had a secure base from which to launch an invasion of Britain.
In 55 BC, Caesar repelled an incursion into Gaul by two Germanic tribes, and followed it up by building a bridge across the Rhine and making a show of force in Germanic territory, before returning and dismantling the bridge. Late that summer, having subdued two other tribes, he crossed into Britain, claiming that the Britons had aided one of his enemies the previous year, possibly the Veneti of Brittany. His intelligence information was poor, and although he gained a beachhead on the coast, he could not advance further, and returned to Gaul for the winter. He returned the following year, better prepared and with a larger force, and achieved more. He advanced inland, and established a few alliances. However, poor harvests led to widespread revolt in Gaul, which forced Caesar to leave Britain for the last time.
Vercingetorix throws down his arms at the feet of Julius Caesar. Painting by Lionel Royer.
While Caesar was in Britain his daughter Julia, Pompey's wife, had died in childbirth. Caesar tried to re-secure Pompey's support by offering him his great-niece in marriage, but Pompey declined. In 53 BC Crassus was killed leading a failed invasion of the east. Rome was on the brink of civil war. Pompey was appointed sole consul as an emergency measure, and married the daughter of a political opponent of Caesar. The Triumvirate was dead.
Though the Gallic tribes were just as strong as the Romans militarily, the internal division among the Gauls guaranteed an easy victory for Caesar. Vercingetorix's attempt in 52 BC to unite them against Roman invasion came too late. He proved an astute commander, defeating Caesar in several engagements, but Caesar's elaborate siege-works at the Battle of Alesia finally forced his surrender. Despite scattered outbreaks of warfare the following year, Gaul was effectively conquered. Plutarch claimed that during the Gallic Wars the army had fought against three million men (of whom one million died, and another million were enslaved), subjugated 300 tribes, and destroyed 800 cities.
Main article: Caesar's Civil War
In 50 BC, the Senate, led by Pompey, ordered Caesar to disband his army and return to Rome because his term as governor had finished. Caesar thought he would be prosecuted if he entered Rome without the immunity enjoyed by a magistrate. Pompey accused Caesar of insubordination and treason. In January 49 BC, Caesar crossed the Rubicon river (the frontier boundary of Italy) with only one legion and ignited civil war. Upon crossing the Rubicon, Caesar, according to Plutarch and Suetonius, is supposed to have quoted the Athenian playwright Menander, in Greek, "the die is cast". Erasmus, however, notes that the more accurate Latin translation of the Greek imperative mood would be "alea iacta esto", let the die be cast. Pompey and many of the Senate fled to the south, having little confidence in his newly raised troops. Despite greatly outnumbering Caesar, who only had his Thirteenth Legion with him, Pompey did not intend to fight. Caesar pursued Pompey, hoping to capture him before his legions could escape.
Pompey managed to escape before Caesar could capture him. Heading for Spain, Caesar left Italy under the control of Mark Antony. After an astonishing 27-day route-march, Caesar defeated Pompey's lieutenants, then returned east, to challenge Pompey in Illyria, where, in July 48 BC in the battle of Dyrrhachium, Caesar barely avoided a catastrophic defeat. In an exceedingly short engagement later that year, he decisively defeated Pompey at Pharsalus, in Greece.
Cleopatra and Caesar, 1866 painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme
In Rome, Caesar was appointed dictator, with Mark Antony as his Master of the Horse (second in command); Caesar presided over his own election to a second consulship and then, after 11 days, resigned this dictatorship. Caesar then pursued Pompey to Egypt, arriving soon after the murder of the general. There, Caesar was presented with Pompey's severed head and seal-ring, receiving these with tears. He then had Pompey's assassins put to death.
Caesar then became involved with an Egyptian civil war between the child pharaoh and his sister, wife, and co-regent queen, Cleopatra. Perhaps as a result of the pharaoh's role in Pompey's murder, Caesar sided with Cleopatra. He withstood the Siege of Alexandria and later he defeated the pharaoh's forces at the Battle of the Nile in 47 BC and installed Cleopatra as ruler. Caesar and Cleopatra celebrated their victory with a triumphal procession on the Nile in the spring of 47 BC. The royal barge was accompanied by 400 additional ships, and Caesar was introduced to the luxurious lifestyle of the Egyptian pharaohs.
Caesar and Cleopatra were not married. Caesar continued his relationship with Cleopatra throughout his last marriage – in Roman eyes, this did not constitute adultery – and probably fathered a son called Caesarion. Cleopatra visited Rome on more than one occasion, residing in Caesar's villa just outside Rome across the Tiber.
Late in 48 BC, Caesar was again appointed dictator, with a term of one year. After spending the first months of 47 BC in Egypt, Caesar went to the Middle East, where he annihilated the king of Pontus; his victory was so swift and complete that he mocked Pompey's previous victories over such poor enemies. On his way to Pontus, Caesar visited Tarsus from 27 to 29 May 47 BC (25–27 Maygreg.), where he met enthusiastic support, but where, according to Cicero, Cassius was planning to kill him at this point. Thence, he proceeded to Africa to deal with the remnants of Pompey's senatorial supporters. He quickly gained a significant victory in 46 BC over Cato, who then committed suicide.
After this victory, he was appointed dictator for 10 years. Pompey's sons escaped to Spain; Caesar gave chase and defeated the last remnants of opposition in the Battle of Munda in March 45 BC. During this time, Caesar was elected to his third and fourth terms as consul in 46 BC and 45 BC (this last time without a colleague).
Dictatorship and assassination
While he was still campaigning in Spain, the Senate began bestowing honors on Caesar. Caesar had not proscribed his enemies, instead pardoning almost all, and there was no serious public opposition to him. Great games and celebrations were held in April to honor Caesar’s victory at Munda. Plutarch writes that many Romans found the triumph held following Caesar's victory to be in poor taste, as those defeated in the civil war had not been foreigners, but instead fellow Romans. On Caesar's return to Italy in September 45 BC, he filed his will, naming his grandnephew Gaius Octavius (Octavian, later known as Augustus Caesar) as his principal heir, leaving his vast estate and property including his name. Caesar also wrote that if Octavian died before Caesar did, Decimus Junius Brutus would be the next heir in succession. In his will, he also left a substantial gift to the citizens of Rome.
During his early career, Caesar had seen how chaotic and dysfunctional the Roman Republic had become. The republican machinery had broken down under the weight of imperialism, the central government had become powerless, the provinces had been transformed into independent principalities under the absolute control of their governors, and the army had replaced the constitution as the means of accomplishing political goals. With a weak central government, political corruption had spiraled out of control, and the status quo had been maintained by a corrupt aristocracy, which saw no need to change a system that had made its members rich.
Between his crossing of the Rubicon in 49 BC, and his assassination in 44 BC, Caesar established a new constitution, which was intended to accomplish three separate goals. First, he wanted to suppress all armed resistance out in the provinces, and thus bring order back to the empire. Second, he wanted to create a strong central government in Rome. Finally, he wanted to knit together the entire empire into a single cohesive unit.
The first goal was accomplished when Caesar defeated Pompey and his supporters. To accomplish the other two goals, he needed to ensure that his control over the government was undisputed, so he assumed these powers by increasing his own authority, and by decreasing the authority of Rome's other political institutions. Finally, he enacted a series of reforms that were meant to address several long-neglected issues, the most important of which was his reform of the calendar.
When Caesar returned to Rome, the Senate granted him triumphs for his victories, ostensibly those over Gaul, Egypt, Pharnaces, and Juba, rather than over his Roman opponents. Not everything went Caesar's way. When Arsinoe IV, Egypt's former queen, was paraded in chains, the spectators admired her dignified bearing and were moved to pity. Triumphal games were held, with beast-hunts involving 400 lions, and gladiator contests. A naval battle was held on a flooded basin at the Field of Mars. At the Circus Maximus, two armies of war captives, each of 2,000 people, 200 horses, and 20 elephants, fought to the death. Again, some bystanders complained, this time at Caesar's wasteful extravagance. A riot broke out, and only stopped when Caesar had two rioters sacrificed by the priests on the Field of Mars.
After the triumph, Caesar set out to pass an ambitious legislative agenda. He ordered a census be taken, which forced a reduction in the grain dole, and that jurors could only come from the Senate or the equestrian ranks. He passed a sumptuary law that restricted the purchase of certain luxuries. After this, he passed a law that rewarded families for having many children, to speed up the repopulation of Italy. Then, he outlawed professional guilds, except those of ancient foundation, since many of these were subversive political clubs. He then passed a term-limit law applicable to governors. He passed a debt-restructuring law, which ultimately eliminated about a fourth of all debts owed.
The Forum of Caesar, with its Temple of Venus Genetrix, was then built, among many other public works. Caesar also tightly regulated the purchase of state-subsidized grain and reduced the number of recipients to a fixed number, all of whom were entered into a special register. From 47 to 44 BC, he made plans for the distribution of land to about 15,000 of his veterans.
The most important change, however, was his reform of the calendar. The calendar was then regulated by the movement of the moon, and this had left it in a mess. Caesar replaced this calendar with the Egyptian calendar, which was regulated by the sun. He set the length of the year to 365.25 days by adding an intercalary/leap day at the end of February every fourth year.
To bring the calendar into alignment with the seasons, he decreed that three extra months be inserted into 46 BC (the ordinary intercalary month at the end of February, and two extra months after November). Thus, the Julian calendar opened on 1 January 45 BC. This calendar is almost identical to the current Western calendar.
Shortly before his assassination, he passed a few more reforms. He established a police force, appointed officials to carry out his land reforms, and ordered the rebuilding of Carthage and Corinth. He also extended Latin rights throughout the Roman world, and then abolished the tax system and reverted to the earlier version that allowed cities to collect tribute however they wanted, rather than needing Roman intermediaries. His assassination prevented further and larger schemes, which included the construction of an unprecedented temple to Mars, a huge theater, and a library on the scale of the Library of Alexandria.
He also wanted to convert Ostia to a major port, and cut a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth. Militarily, he wanted to conquer the Dacians and Parthians, and avenge the loss at Carrhae. Thus, he instituted a massive mobilization. Shortly before his assassination, the Senate named him censor for life and Father of the Fatherland, and the month of Quintilis was renamed July in his honor.
He was granted further honors, which were later used to justify his assassination as a would-be divine monarch: coins were issued bearing his image and his statue was placed next to those of the kings. He was granted a golden chair in the Senate, was allowed to wear triumphal dress whenever he chose, and was offered a form of semiofficial or popular cult, with Mark Antony as his high priest.
Main article: Constitutional reforms of Julius Caesar
The history of Caesar's political appointments is complex and uncertain. Caesar held both the dictatorship and the tribunate, but alternated between the consulship and the proconsulship. His powers within the state seem to have rested upon these magistracies. He was first appointed dictator in 49 BC, possibly to preside over elections, but resigned his dictatorship within 11 days. In 48 BC, he was reappointed dictator, only this time for an indefinite period, and in 46 BC, he was appointed dictator for 10 years.
In 48 BC, Caesar was given permanent tribunician powers, which made his person sacrosanct and allowed him to veto the Senate, although on at least one occasion, tribunes did attempt to obstruct him. The offending tribunes in this case were brought before the Senate and divested of their office. This was not the first time Caesar had violated a tribune's sacrosanctity. After he had first marched on Rome in 49 BC, he forcibly opened the treasury, although a tribune had the seal placed on it. After the impeachment of the two obstructive tribunes, Caesar, perhaps unsurprisingly, faced no further opposition from other members of the Tribunician College.
When Caesar returned to Rome in 47 BC, the ranks of the Senate had been severely depleted, so he used his censorial powers to appoint many new senators, which eventually raised the Senate's membership to 900. All the appointments were of his own partisans, which robbed the senatorial aristocracy of its prestige, and made the Senate increasingly subservient to him. To minimize the risk that another general might attempt to challenge him, Caesar passed a law that subjected governors to term limits.
In 46 BC, Caesar gave himself the title of "Prefect of the Morals", which was an office that was new only in name, as its powers were identical to those of the censors. Thus, he could hold censorial powers, while technically not subjecting himself to the same checks to which the ordinary censors were subject, and he used these powers to fill the Senate with his own partisans. He also set the precedent, which his imperial successors followed, of requiring the Senate to bestow various titles and honors upon him. He was, for example, given the title of "Father of the Fatherland" and "imperator".
Coins bore his likeness, and he was given the right to speak first during Senate meetings. Caesar then increased the number of magistrates who were elected each year, which created a large pool of experienced magistrates, and allowed Caesar to reward his supporters.
Caesar even took steps to transform Italy into a province, and to link more tightly the other provinces of the empire into a single cohesive unit. This addressed the underlying problem that had caused the Social War decades earlier, where individuals outside Rome and Italy were not considered "Roman", thus were not given full citizenship rights. This process, of fusing the entire Roman Empire into a single unit, rather than maintaining it as a network of unequal principalities, would ultimately be completed by Caesar's successor, the emperor Augustus.
In February 44 BC, one month before his assassination, he was appointed dictator for life. Under Caesar, a significant amount of authority was vested in his lieutenants, mostly because Caesar was frequently out of Italy. In October 45 BC, Caesar resigned his position as sole consul, and facilitated the election of two successors for the remainder of the year, which theoretically restored the ordinary consulship, since the constitution did not recognize a single consul without a colleague.
Denarius (42 BC) issued by Cassius Longinus and Lentulus Spinther, depicting the crowned head of Liberty and on the reverse a sacrificial jug and lituus, from the military mint in Smyrna
Near the end of his life, Caesar began to prepare for a war against the Parthian Empire. Since his absence from Rome might limit his ability to install his own consuls, he passed a law which allowed him to appoint all magistrates in 43 BC, and all consuls and tribunes in 42 BC. This, in effect, transformed the magistrates from being representatives of the people to being representatives of the dictator.
See also: Assassination of Julius Caesar
The Death of Caesar, 44 BC by J.L. Gerome
On the Ides of March (15 March; see Roman calendar) of 44 BC, Caesar was due to appear at a session of the Senate. Mark Antony, having vaguely learned of the plot the night before from a terrified liberator named Servilius Casca, and fearing the worst, went to head Caesar off. The plotters, however, had anticipated this and, fearing that Antony would come to Caesar's aid, had arranged for Trebonius to intercept him just as he approached the portico of the Theatre of Pompey, where the session was to be held, and detain him outside. (Plutarch, however, assigns this action to delay Antony to Brutus Albinus.) When he heard the commotion from the Senate chamber, Antony fled.
According to Plutarch, as Caesar arrived at the Senate, Tillius Cimber presented him with a petition to recall his exiled brother. The other conspirators crowded round to offer support. Both Plutarch and Suetonius say that Caesar waved him away, but Cimber grabbed his shoulders and pulled down Caesar's tunic. Caesar then cried to Cimber, "Why, this is violence!" ("Ista quidem vis est!").
The senators encircle Caesar, a 19th-century interpretation of the event by Carl Theodor von Piloty
At the same time, Casca produced his dagger and made a glancing thrust at the dictator's neck. Caesar turned around quickly and caught Casca by the arm. According to Plutarch, he said in Latin, "Casca, you villain, what are you doing?" Casca, frightened, shouted, "Help, brother!" in Greek ("ἀδελφέ, βοήθει", "adelphe, boethei"). Within moments, the entire group, including Brutus, was striking out at the dictator. Caesar attempted to get away, but, blinded by blood, he tripped and fell; the men continued stabbing him as he lay defenceless on the lower steps of the portico. According to Eutropius, around 60 or more men participated in the assassination. He was stabbed 23 times.
According to Suetonius, a physician later established that only one wound, the second one to his chest, had been lethal. The dictator's last words are not known with certainty, and are a contested subject among scholars and historians alike. Suetonius reports that others have said Caesar's last words were the Greek phrase "καὶ σύ, τέκνον;" (transliterated as "Kai su, teknon?": "You too, child?" in English). However, for himself, Suetonius says Caesar said nothing.
Plutarch also reports that Caesar said nothing, pulling his toga over his head when he saw Brutus among the conspirators. The version best known in the English-speaking world is the Latin phrase "Et tu, Brute?" ("And you, Brutus?", commonly rendered as "You too, Brutus?"); this derives from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, where it actually forms the first half of a macaronic line: "Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar." It has no basis in historical fact and Shakespeare's use of Latin here is not from any assertion that Caesar would have been using the language, rather than the Greek reported by Suetonius, but because the phrase was already popular when the play was written.
According to Plutarch, after the assassination, Brutus stepped forward as if to say something to his fellow senators; they, however, fled the building. Brutus and his companions then marched to the Capitol while crying out to their beloved city: "People of Rome, we are once again free!" They were met with silence, as the citizens of Rome had locked themselves inside their houses as soon as the rumor of what had taken place had begun to spread. Caesar's dead body lay where it fell on the Senate floor for nearly three hours before other officials arrived to remove it.
Caesar's body was cremated, and on the site of his cremation, the Temple of Caesar was erected a few years later (at the east side of the main square of the Roman Forum). Only its altar now remains. A lifesize wax statue of Caesar was later erected in the forum displaying the 23 stab wounds. A crowd who had gathered there started a fire, which badly damaged the forum and neighboring buildings. In the ensuing chaos, Mark Antony, Octavian (later Augustus Caesar), and others fought a series of five civil wars, which would end in the formation of the Roman Empire.
Aftermath of the assassination
The result unforeseen by the assassins was that Caesar's death precipitated the end of the Roman Republic. The Roman middle and lower classes, with whom Caesar was immensely popular and had been since before Gaul, became enraged that a small group of aristocrats had killed their champion. Antony, who had been drifting apart from Caesar, capitalised on the grief of the Roman mob and threatened to unleash them on the Optimates, perhaps with the intent of taking control of Rome himself. To his surprise and chagrin, Caesar had named his grandnephew Gaius Octavian his sole heir, bequeathing him the immensely potent Caesar name and making him one of the wealthiest citizens in the Republic.
The crowd at the funeral boiled over, throwing dry branches, furniture, and even clothing on to Caesar's funeral pyre, causing the flames to spin out of control, seriously damaging the Forum. The mob then attacked the houses of Brutus and Cassius, where they were repelled only with considerable difficulty, ultimately providing the spark for the Liberators' civil war, fulfilling at least in part Antony's threat against the aristocrats. Antony did not foresee the ultimate outcome of the next series of civil wars, particularly with regard to Caesar's adopted heir. Octavian, aged only 18 when Caesar died, proved to have considerable political skills, and while Antony dealt with Decimus Brutus in the first round of the new civil wars, Octavian consolidated his tenuous position.
To combat Brutus and Cassius, who were massing an enormous army in Greece, Antony needed soldiers, the cash from Caesar's war chests, and the legitimacy that Caesar's name would provide for any action he took against them. With the passage of the lex Titia on 27 November 43 BC, the Second Triumvirate was officially formed, composed of Antony, Octavian, and Caesar's loyal cavalry commander Lepidus. It formally deified Caesar as Divus Iulius in 42 BC, and Caesar Octavian henceforth became Divi filius ("Son of a god").
Because Caesar's clemency had resulted in his murder, the Second Triumvirate reinstated the practice of proscription, abandoned since Sulla. It engaged in the legally sanctioned murder of a large number of its opponents to secure funding for its 45 legions in the second civil war against Brutus and Cassius. Antony and Octavian defeated them at Philippi.
Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, Caesar's adopted heir
Afterward, Mark Antony formed an alliance with Caesar's lover, Cleopatra, intending to use the fabulously wealthy Egypt as a base to dominate Rome. A third civil war broke out between Octavian on one hand and Antony and Cleopatra on the other. This final civil war, culminating in the latter's defeat at Actium, resulted in the permanent ascendancy of Octavian, who became the first Roman emperor, under the name Caesar Augustus, a name that raised him to the status of a deity.
Julius Caesar had been preparing to invade Parthia, the Caucasus, and Scythia, and then march back to Germania through Eastern Europe. These plans were thwarted by his assassination. His successors did attempt the conquests of Parthia and Germania, but without lasting results.
See also: Divus Julius and Caesar's Comet
Julius Caesar was the first historical Roman to be officially deified. He was posthumously granted the title Divus Iulius or Divus Julius (the divine Julius or the deified Julius) by decree of the Roman Senate on 1 January 42 BC. The appearance of a comet during games in his honour was taken as confirmation of his divinity. Though his temple was not dedicated until after his death, he may have received divine honors during his lifetime: and shortly before his assassination, Mark Antony had been appointed as his flamen (priest). Both Octavian and Mark Antony promoted the cult of Divus Iulius. After the death of Antony, Octavian, as the adoptive son of Caesar, assumed the title of Divi Filius (son of a god).
Health and physical appearance
Based on remarks by Plutarch, Caesar is sometimes thought to have suffered from epilepsy. Modern scholarship is "sharply divided" on the subject, and some scholars believe that he was plagued by malaria, particularly during the Sullan proscriptions of the 80s. Several specialists in headache medicine believe that instead of epilepsy, a more accurate diagnosis would be migraine headache. Other scholars contend his epileptic seizures were due to a parasitic infection in the brain by a tapeworm.
Caesar had four documented episodes of what may have been complex partial seizures. He may additionally have had absence seizures in his youth. The earliest accounts of these seizures were made by the biographer Suetonius, who was born after Caesar died. The claim of epilepsy is countered among some medical historians by a claim of hypoglycemia, which can cause epileptoid seizures.
In 2003, psychiatrist Harbour F. Hodder published what he termed as the "Caesar Complex" theory, arguing that Caesar was a sufferer of temporal lobe epilepsy and the debilitating symptoms of the condition were a factor in Caesar's conscious decision to forgo personal safety in the days leading up to his assassination.
A line from Shakespeare has sometimes been taken to mean that he was deaf in one ear: Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf. No classical source mentions hearing impairment in connection with Caesar. The playwright may have been making metaphorical use of a passage in Plutarch that does not refer to deafness at all, but rather to a gesture Alexander of Macedon customarily made. By covering his ear, Alexander indicated that he had turned his attention from an accusation in order to hear the defense.
Dr. Francesco M. Galassi and Dr. Hutan Ashrafian suggest that Caesar's behavioral manifestations; headaches, vertigo, falls (possibly caused by muscle weakness due to nerve damage), sensory deficit, giddiness and insensibility; and syncopal episodes resulting from cerebrovascular episodes, not epilepsy. Pliny the Elder reports in his Natural History that Caesar's father and forefather died without apparent cause while putting on their shoes. These events can be more readily associated with cardiovascular complications from a stroke episode or lethal heart attack. Caesar possibly had a genetic predisposition for cardiovascular disease.
The Roman historian Suetonius describes Caesar as "tall of stature with a fair complexion, shapely limbs, a somewhat full face, and keen black eyes."
Name and family
Main articles: Etymology of the name of Julius Caesar and Julio-Claudian family tree
Using the Latin alphabet of the period, which lacked the letters J and U, Caesar's name would be rendered GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR; the form CAIVS is also attested, using the older Roman representation of G by C. The standard abbreviation was C. IVLIVS CÆSAR, reflecting the older spelling. (The letterform Æ is a ligature of the letters A and E, and is often used in Latin inscriptions to save space.)
In Classical Latin, it was pronounced [ˈɡaːjus ˈjuːljus ˈkajsar]. In the days of the late Roman Republic, many historical writings were done in Greek, a language most educated Romans studied. Young wealthy Roman boys were often taught by Greek slaves and sometimes sent to Athens for advanced training, as was Caesar's principal assassin, Brutus. In Greek, during Caesar's time, his family name was written Καίσαρ, reflecting its contemporary pronunciation. Thus, his name is pronounced in a similar way to the pronunciation of the German Kaiser.
In Vulgar Latin, the plosive /k/ before front vowels began, due to palatalization, to be pronounced as an affricate, hence renderings like [ˈtʃeːsar] in Italian and [ˈtseːsar] in German regional pronunciations of Latin, as well as the title of Tsar. With the evolution of the Romance languages, the affricate [ts] became a fricative [s] (thus, [ˈseːsar]) in many regional pronunciations, including the French one, from which the modern English pronunciation is derived. The original /k/ is preserved in Norse mythology, where he is manifested as the legendary king Kjárr.
Caesar's cognomen itself became a title; it was promulgated by the Bible, which contains the famous verse "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's". The title became Kaiser in German and Tsar or Czar in the Slavic languages. The last tsar in nominal power was Simeon II of Bulgaria, whose reign ended in 1946. This means that for two thousand years after Julius Caesar's assassination, there was at least one head of state bearing his name.
THE ROMAN EMPIRE - JULIUS CAESAR
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Starring Robert Stephens and Edward Woodward (1969)
The Assassination of
Julius Caesar, 44 BC
Printer Friendly Version >>>
In January of 49 BC, Julius Caesar led his army across the Rubicon River in Northern Italy (see Caesar Crosses the Rubicon, 49 BC) and plunged the Roman Republic into civil war. Caesar's rival, Pompey, fled to Greece. Within three months Caesar controlled the entire Italian peninsula and in Spain had defeated the legions loyal to Pompey.
Caesar now pursued Pompey to Greece. Although outnumbered, Caesar crushed the forces of his enemy but not before Pompey escaped to Egypt. Following Pompey to Egypt, Caesar was presented with his rival's severed head as a token of friendship. Before leaving the
The Assassination of Caesar
region, Caesar established Cleopatra as his surrogate ruler of Egypt. Caesar defeated his remaining rivals in North Africa in 47 BC and returned to Rome with his authority firmly established.
Caesar continued to consolidate his power and in February 44 BC, he declared himself dictator for life. This act, along with his continual effort to adorn himself with the trappings of power, turned many in the Senate against him. Sixty members of the Senate concluded that the only resolution to the problem was to assassinate Caesar.
Death of a Dictator
Nicolaus of Damascus wrote his account of the murder of Caesar a few years after the event. He was not actually present when the assassination occurred but had the opportunity to speak with those who were. He was a friend of Herod the Great and gathered his information during a visit to Rome. His account is thought to be reliable.
"The conspirators never met openly, but they assembled a few at a time in each others' homes. There were many discussions and proposals, as might be expected, while they investigated how and where to execute their design. Some suggested that they should make the attempt as he was going along the Sacred Way, which was one of his favorite walks. Another idea was for it to be done at the elections during which he bad to cross a bridge to appoint the magistrates in the Campus Martius; they should draw lots for some to push him from the bridge and for others to run up and kill him. A third plan was to wait for a coming gladiatorial show. The advantage of that would be that, because of the show, no suspicion would be aroused if arms were seen prepared for the attempt. But the majority opinion favored killing him while he sat in the Senate, where he would be by himself since non-Senators would not be admitted, and where the many conspirators could hide their daggers beneath their togas. This plan won the day."
Brutus Persuades Caesar to Ignore his Apprehensions:
"...his friends were alarmed at certain rumors and tried to stop him going to the Senate-house, as did his doctors, for he was suffering from one of his occasional dizzy spells. His wife, Calpurnia, especially, who was frightened by some visions in her dreams, clung to him and said that she would not let him go out that day. But Brutus, one of the conspirators who was then thought of as a firm friend, came up and said, 'What is this, Caesar? Are you a man to pay attention to a woman's dreams and the idle gossip of stupid men, and to insult the Senate by not going out, although it has honored you and has been specially summoned by you? But listen to me, cast aside the forebodings of all these people, and come. The Senate has been in session waiting for you since early this morning.' This swayed Caesar and he left."
"Before he entered the chamber, the priests brought up the victims for him to make what was to be his last sacrifice. The omens were clearly unfavorable. After this unsuccessful sacrifice, the priests made repeated other ones, to see if anything more propitious might appear than what had already been revealed to them. In the end they said that they could not clearly see the divine intent, for there was some transparent, malignant spirit hidden in the victims. Caesar was annoyed and abandoned divination till sunset, though the priests continued all the more with their efforts.
Those of the murderers present were delighted at all this, though Caesar's friends asked him to put off the meeting of the Senate for that day because of what the priests had said, and he agreed to do this. But some attendants came up, calling him and saying that the Senate was full. He glanced at his friends, but Brutus approached him again and said, 'Come, good sir, pay no attention to the babblings of these men, and do not postpone what Caesar and his mighty power has seen fit to arrange. Make your own courage your favorable omen.' He convinced Caesar with these words, took him by the right hand, and led him to the Senate which was quite near. Caesar followed in silence."
"The Senate rose in respect for his position when they saw him entering. Those who were to have part in the plot stood near him. Right next to him went Tillius Cimber, whose brother had been exiled by Caesar. Under pretext of a humble request on behalf of this brother, Cimber approached and grasped the mantle of his toga, seeming to want to make a more positive move with his hands upon Caesar. Caesar wanted to get up and use his hands, but was prevented by Cimber and became exceedingly annoyed.
That was the moment for the men to set to work. All quickly unsheathed their daggers and rushed at him. First Servilius Casca struck him with the point of the blade on the left shoulder a little above the collar-bone. He had been aiming for that, but in the excitement he missed. Caesar rose to defend himself, and in the uproar Casca shouted out in Greek to his brother. The latter heard him and drove his sword into the ribs. After a moment, Cassius made a slash at his face, and Decimus Brutus pierced him in the side. While Cassius Longinus was trying to give him another blow he missed and struck Marcus Brutus on the hand. Minucius also hit out at Caesar and hit Rubrius in the thigh. They were just like men doing battle against him.
Under the mass of wounds, he fell at the foot of Pompey's statue. Everyone wanted to seem to have had some part in the murder, and there was not one of them who failed to strike his body as it lay there, until, wounded thirty-five times, he breathed his last. "
Nicolaus of Damascus' account appears in Workman, B.K. They Saw it Happen in Classical Times (1964); Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars (Penguin Classics), translated by Robert Graves (1957).
Assassination of Julius Caesar
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the book "The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome", see Michael Parenti.
"Liberatores" redirects here. For other uses, see Liberatore.
The Assassination of Julius Caesar
Theatre of Pompey, Rome, Roman Republic
March 15, 44 BC
Gaius Julius Caesar
Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus, Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus and over thirty other Senators of the Roman Republic.
The assassination of Julius Caesar was the result of a conspiracy by many Roman senators. Led by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus, they stabbed Julius Caesar to death in a location adjacent to the Theatre of Pompey on the Ides of March (March 15), 44 BC. Caesar was the dictator of the Roman Republic at the time, having recently been declared dictator perpetuo by the Senate. This declaration made several senators fear that Caesar wanted to overthrow the Senate in favor of tyranny. The conspirators were unable to restore the Roman Republic. The ramifications of the assassination led to the Liberators' civil war and, ultimately, to the Principate period of the Roman Empire.
2 Ides of March
3 Portentous events
4 Aftermath of the assassination
5 List of conspirators
6 See also
8 External links
Biographers describe tension between Caesar and the Senate, and his possible claims to the title of king. These events were the principal motive for Caesar's assassination.
The Senate named Caesar dictator perpetuo ("dictator in perpetuity"). Roman mints produced a denarius coin with this title and his likeness on one side, and with an image of the goddess Ceres and Caesar's title of Augur Pontifex Maximus on the reverse. According to Cassius Dio, a senatorial delegation went to inform Caesar of new honors they had bestowed upon him in 44 BC. Caesar received them while sitting in the Temple of Venus Genetrix, rather than rising to meet them.
Suetonius wrote (almost 150 years later) that Caesar failed to rise in the temple, either because he was restrained by Cornelius Balbus or that he balked at the suggestion he should rise. It is also a possibility that Julius Caesar had not been able to stand because of his suffering from diarrhea, a side effect of his epilepsy. Suetonius also gave the account of a crowd assembled to greet Caesar upon his return to Rome. A member of the crowd placed a laurel wreath on the statue of Caesar on the Rostra. The tribunes Gaius Epidius Marullus and Lucius Caesetius Flavus ordered that the wreath be removed as it was a symbol of Jupiter and royalty. Caesar had the tribunes removed from office through his official powers. According to Suetonius, Caesar was unable to dissociate himself from the royal title from this point forward. Suetonius also gives the story that a crowd shouted to him rex ("king"), to which Caesar replied, "I am Caesar, not Rex". Also, at the festival of the Lupercalia, while he gave a speech from the Rostra, Mark Antony, who had been elected co-consul with Caesar, attempted to place a crown on his head several times. Caesar put it aside to use as a sacrifice to Jupiter Optimus Maximus.
Plutarch and Suetonius are similar in their depiction of these events, but Dio combines the stories writing that the tribunes arrested the citizens who placed diadems or wreaths on statues of Caesar. He then places the crowd shouting "rex" on the Alban Hill with the tribunes arresting a member of this crowd as well. The plebeian protested that he was unable to speak his mind freely. Caesar then brought the tribunes before the senate and put the matter to a vote, thereafter removing them from office and erasing their names from the records.
Suetonius adds that Lucius Cotta proposed to the Senate that Caesar should be granted the title of "king" for it was prophesied that only a king would conquer Parthia. Caesar intended to invade Parthia, a task that later gave considerable trouble to Mark Antony during the second triumvirate.
His many titles and honors from the Senate were ultimately merely that, honorary. Caesar continually strove for more power to govern, with as little dependence as possible on honorary titles or Senate. The placating ennobling of Caesar did not allay ultimate confrontation, as the Senate was still the authority, granting to Caesar his titles. Formal power resided in them, in tension with Caesar.
Brutus began to conspire against Caesar with his friend and brother-in-law Gaius Cassius Longinus and other men, calling themselves the Liberatores ("Liberators"). Many plans were discussed by the group, as documented by Nicolaus of Damascus:
The conspirators never met exactly openly, but they assembled a few at a time in each other's homes. There were many discussions and proposals, as might be expected, while they investigated how and where to execute their design. Some suggested that they should make the attempt along the Sacred Way, which was one of his favorite walks. Another idea was to do it at the elections, during which he had to cross a bridge to appoint the magistrates in the Campus Martius. Someone proposed that they draw lots for some to push him from the bridge and others to run up and kill him. A third plan was to wait for a coming gladiatorial show. The advantage of that was, because of the show, no suspicion would be aroused if arms were seen. The majority opinion, however, favored killing him while he sat in the Senate. He would be there by himself, since only Senators were admitted, and the conspirators could hide their daggers beneath their togas. This plan won the day.
Nicolaus writes that in the days leading up to the assassination, Caesar was told by doctors, friends, and even his wife, Calpurnia, not to attend the Senate on the Ides for various reasons, including medical concerns and troubling dreams Calpurnia had:
...his friends were alarmed at certain rumors and tried to stop him going to the Senate-house, as did his doctors, for he was suffering from one of his occasional dizzy spells. His wife, Calpurnia, especially, who was frightened by some visions in her dreams, clung to him and said that she would not let him go out that day. But [Decimus] Brutus, one of the conspirators who was then thought of as a firm friend, came up and said, 'What is this, Caesar? Are you a man to pay attention to a woman's dreams and the idle gossip of stupid men, and to insult the Senate by not going out, although it has honoured you and has been specially summoned by you? But listen to me, cast aside the forebodings of all these people, and come. The Senate has been in session waiting for you since early this morning.' This swayed Caesar and he left.
Caesar had been preparing to invade the Parthian Empire (a campaign later taken up by his successor, Mark Antony) and planned to leave for the East in the latter half of March. This forced a timetable onto the conspirators. Two days before the actual assassination, Cassius met with the conspirators and told them that, should anyone discover the plan, they were to turn their knives on themselves. His successors did attempt the conquests of Parthia and Germania, but without lasting results.
Ides of March
Woodcut manuscript illustration by Johannes Zainer, c. 1474
La Mort de César (ca. 1859–1867) by Jean-Léon Gérôme, depicting the aftermath of the attack with Caesar's body abandoned in the foreground as the senators exult
On the Ides of March (March 15; see Roman calendar) of 44 BC, the conspirators staged a game of gladiatorial sport at Pompey's theatre. The gladiators were provided by Decimus Brutus in case their services were needed. They waited in the great hall of the theatre's quadriportico. Mark Antony, having vaguely learned of the plot the night before from a terrified Liberator named Servilius Casca, and fearing the worst, went to head Caesar off at the steps of the forum. However, the group of senators intercepted Caesar just as he was passing the Theatre of Pompey, located in the Campus Martius (now adjacent to the Largo di Torre Argentina), and directed him to a room adjoining the east portico.
According to Plutarch, as Caesar arrived at the Senate, Lucius Tillius Cimber presented him with a petition to recall his exiled brother. The other conspirators crowded round to offer their support. Both Plutarch and Suetonius say that Caesar waved him away, but Cimber grabbed Caesar's shoulders and pulled down Caesar's tunic. Caesar then cried to Cimber, "Why, this is violence!" ("Ista quidem vis est!"). At the same time, Casca produced his dagger and made a glancing thrust at the dictator's neck. Caesar turned around quickly and caught Casca by the arm. According to Plutarch, he said in Latin, "Casca, you villain, what are you doing?" Casca, frightened, shouted "Help, brother!" in Greek ("ἀδελφέ, βοήθει", "adelphe, boethei"). Within moments, the entire group, including Brutus, was stabbing the dictator. Caesar attempted to get away, but, blinded by blood in his eyes, he tripped and fell; the men continued stabbing him as he lay defenseless on the lower steps of the portico. According to Eutropius, sixty or more men participated in the assassination. Caesar was stabbed 23 times. Suetonius relates that a physician who performed an autopsy on Caesar established that only one wound (the second one to his chest that pierced his aorta)) had been fatal. This autopsy report (the earliest known post-mortem report in history) describes that Caesar's death was mostly attributable to blood loss from his stab wounds.
The dictator's last words are a contested subject among scholars and historians. Suetonius reports that others have said Caesar's last words were the Greek phrase "καὶ σύ, τέκνον;" (transliterated as "Kai su, teknon?": "You too, child?" in English). However, Suetonius himself says Caesar said nothing. Plutarch also reports that Caesar said nothing, pulling his toga over his head when he saw Brutus among the conspirators. The version best known in the English-speaking world is the Latin phrase "Et tu, Brute?" ("You too, Brutus?"); this derives from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (1599), where it actually forms the first half of a macaronic line: "Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar." This has no basis in historical fact. Shakespeare was making use of a phrase already in common use at the time.
According to Plutarch, after the assassination, Brutus stepped forward as if to say something to his fellow senators not involved in the plot; they, however, fled the building. Brutus and his companions then marched to the Capitol while crying out to their beloved city: "People of Rome, we are once again free!". They were met with silence, as the citizens of Rome had locked themselves inside their houses as soon as the rumour of what had taken place had begun to spread. According to Suetonius, all the conspirators made off, and he (Caesar) lay there lifeless for some time, and finally three common slaves put him on a litter and carried him home, with one arm hanging down.
A wax statue of Caesar was erected in the Forum displaying the 23 stab wounds. A crowd who had amassed there started a fire, which badly damaged neighboring buildings. In the ensuing years a series of civil wars resulted with the end of the Republic and the rise of imperial Rome.
Virgil wrote in the Georgics that several unusual events took place following Caesar's assassination.
Who dare say the Sun is false? He and no other warns us when dark uprisings threaten, when treachery and hidden wars are gathering strength. He and no other was moved to pity Rome on the day that Caesar died, when he veiled his radiance in gloom and darkness, and a godless age feared everlasting night. Yet in this hour Earth also and the plains of Ocean, ill-boding dogs and birds that spell mischief, sent signs which heralded disaster. How oft before our eyes did Etna deluge the fields of the Cyclopes with a torrent from her burst furnaces, hurling thereon balls of fire and molten rocks. Germany heard the noise of battle sweep across the sky and, even without precedent, the Alps rocked with earthquakes. A voice boomed through the silent groves for all to hear, a deafening voice, and phantoms of unearthly pallor were seen in the falling darkness. Horror beyond words, beasts uttered human speech; rivers stood still, the earth gaped upon; in the temples ivory images wept for grief, and beads of sweat covered bronze statues. King of waterways, the Po swept forests along in the swirl of his frenzied current, carrying with him over the plain cattle and stalls alike. Nor in that same hour did sinister filaments cease to appear in ominous entrails or blood to flow from wells or our hillside towns to echo all night with the howl of wolves. Never fell more lightning from a cloudless sky; never was comet’s alarming glare so often seen.
Aftermath of the assassination
Deification of Julius Caesar, a 16th-century engraving by Virgil Solis illustrating Ovid's passage on the apotheosis of Caesar (Metamorphoses 15.745-850)
Main articles: Liberators' civil war, Second Triumvirate and Final War of the Roman Republic
Two days after the assassination, Marc Antony summoned the senate and managed to work out a compromise in which the assassins would not be punished for their acts, but all of Caesar's appointments would remain valid. By doing this, Antony most likely hoped to avoid large cracks in government forming as a result of Caesar's death. Simultaneously, Antony diminished the goals of the conspirators. The result unforeseen by the assassins was that Caesar's death precipitated the end of the Roman Republic. The Roman lower classes, with whom Caesar was popular, became enraged that a small group of aristocrats had sacrificed Caesar. Antony, who had been drifting apart from Caesar, capitalised on the grief of the Roman mob and threatened to unleash them on the Optimates, perhaps with the intent of taking control of Rome himself. But, to his surprise and chagrin, Caesar had named his grandnephew Gaius Octavius his sole heir, bequeathing him the immensely potent Caesar name as well as making him one of the wealthiest citizens in the Republic. Upon hearing of his adopted father's death, Octavius abandoned his studies in Apollonia and sailed across the Adriatic Sea to Brundisium. Octavius became Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus or Octavian, the son of the great Caesar, and consequently also inherited the loyalty of much of the Roman populace. Octavian, aged only 18 at the time of Caesar's death, proved to have considerable political skills, and while Antony dealt with Decimus Brutus in the first round of the new civil wars, Octavian consolidated his tenuous position. Antony did not initially consider Octavius a true political threat due to his young age and inexperience, but Octavius quickly gained the support and admiration of Caesar's friends and supporters.
To combat Brutus and Cassius, who were massing an enormous army in Greece, Antony needed soldiers, the cash from Caesar's war chests, and the legitimacy that Caesar's name would provide for any action he took against them. With passage of the Lex Titia on November 27, 43 BC, the Second Triumvirate was officially formed, composed of Antony, Octavian, and Caesar's Master of the Horse Lepidus. It formally deified Caesar as Divus Iulius in 42 BC, and Caesar Octavian henceforth became Divi filius ("Son of the Divine"). Seeing that Caesar's clemency had resulted in his murder, the Second Triumvirate brought back proscription, abandoned since Sulla. It engaged in the legally sanctioned murder of a large number of its opponents in order to fund its forty-five legions in the second civil war against Brutus and Cassius. Antony and Octavian defeated them at Philippi.
Afterward, Mark Antony married Caesar's lover, Cleopatra, intending to use the fabulously wealthy Egypt as a base to dominate Rome. A third civil war broke out between Octavian on one hand and Antony and Cleopatra on the other. This final civil war, culminating in the latter's defeat at Actium, resulted in the final ascendancy of Octavian, who became the first Roman emperor, under the name Caesar Augustus, a name that raised him to the status of a deity.
List of conspirators
Brutus and the Ghost of Caesar (1802), copperplate engraving by Edward Scriven from a painting by Richard Westall, illustrating Act IV, Scene III, from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
Some forty people joined in the plot, but about half of their names are lost to history and almost nothing is known about some of those whose names have survived. The known members are:
Gaius Cassius Longinus
Marcus Junius Brutus
Servius Sulpicius Galba
Lucius Minucius Basilus
Gaius Servilius Casca (brother of Publius Servilius Casca Longus)
Publius Servilius Casca Longus (brother of Gaius Servilius Casca and the one responsible for the first stab)
Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus
Lucius Tillius Cimber
Lucius Cassius Longinus (brother of Gaius Cassius Longinus)
Gaius Cassius Parmensis
Caecilius (brother of Bucolianus)
Bucolianus (brother of Caecilius)
Publius Sextius Naso
Lucius Pontius Aquila
Pacuvius Antistius Labeo
Lucius Cornelius Cinna (son of 4 time consul of the same name)
Marcus Tullius Cicero was not a member of the conspiracy and was surprised by it, but later wrote to the conspirator Trebonius that he wished he had been "...invited to that superb banquet." He believed that the Liberatores should also have killed Mark Antony. The conspirators had decided, however, that the death of a single tyrant would be more symbolically effective, claiming that the intent was not a coup d'état, but tyrannicide.
During his reign as dictator from 49-44 BC, Julius Caesar had a number of notable impacts on the city of Rome.
One of the initial crises with which Caesar had to deal was widespread debt in Rome, especially after the outbreak of civil war when lenders demanded repayment of loans and real estate values collapsed. The result was a serious shortage of coinage in circulation as people hoarded whatever they had. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Caesar ordered that property must be accepted for repayment at its pre-war value. He also reinstated a previous law which forbade the holding of more than 60,000 sesterces in cash by any one person. Caesar later cancelled all interest payments due since the beginning of 49 BC and permitted tenants to pay no rent for one year. While these measures still did not eliminate Rome’s debt, Caesar’s creative reaction to the problem helped to alleviate the debt in a way that satisfied both lenders and borrowers.
In addition to debt, Caesar had to deal with widespread unemployment in Rome. As a way to reduce the unemployment, the poor were offered a new life in Rome’s overseas colonies. Those who stayed behind and depended on a monthly supply of free grain suffered when Caesar cut the grain rations in half, limiting the number of receivers to 150,000 when 320,000 had been collecting them. Caesar did, however, arrange for better supervision of the city’s grain supply, and he also helped to improve access to grain from overseas by constructing a new harbour at Ostia and a new canal from Tarracina.
The construction of new public buildings also served as a method of reducing unemployment in the city, but there was another motivation for building major projects in Rome: Caesar wanted to enhance the city’s appearance after he realized how unimpressive Rome seemed in comparison to Alexandria, which was considered the greatest city of the Mediterranean. As a result, the Forum Julium was built to provide more space for lawcourts, and the Saepta Julia, situated on the Campus Martius, provided a large enclosure for voting. Caesar also ordered the construction of a new senate house after the previous one was used as Clodius’s funeral pyre in 52 BC. Additionally, he sought to divert the Tiber River away from Rome to prevent flooding and to add to the city’s area. He had also planned to build a grand temple of Mars, a theatre that would rival Pompey’s, and a library that would rival Alexandria’s. Caesar never saw any of the latter projects completed, however, as he was killed in 44 BC before any of them were finished.
Caesar’s impact on the city of Rome continued even after his death when, in his will, he stipulated that his villa, the gardens surrounding it, and his art gallery all be made public. He also distributed his wealth to the people of Rome, leaving 300,000 sesterces to each citizen. Overall, Caesar sought to make Rome a cultural and educational centre of the Mediterranean world by attracting intellectuals, doctors, and lawyers to the city. Indeed, the actions that he took over his time in power showed his devotion to Rome and his wish to bring stability and prosperity to the city.
单纯从戏剧来分析Brutus是否是屠夫或祭司不需要看很多资料， 莎士比亚自己最清楚， 观众看剧过程如能看透便知道莎士比亚是怎样安排的。 如果从历史角度去看， 要分析的是：如果凯撒不被刺杀，结果会怎样呢？ 把这个分析出来的结果和真实历史比较一下就知道了。 情况是变好了还是变坏了？ 变好--Brutus是祭司，不好---是屠夫（没时间看太多资料，只看了一些，所以现在说不出）。
http://www.alternatehistory.com/ ... ssassinated.145073/
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him;
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones,
So let it be with Caesar … The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answered it …
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,
(For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all; all honourable men)
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral …
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man….
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O judgement! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason…. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
Thank you Dr. Liao for your post I 've learned a lot. Again very busy today. I will come back to catch up later.
Copyright 2006~2010 www.yidian.org. All Rights Reserved.