Assassination of Julius Caesar
Overview
 
The assassination of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

was the result of a conspiracy
Conspiracy (crime)
In the criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future, and, in some cases, with at least one overt act in furtherance of that agreement...

 by approximately forty Roman senators who called themselves Liberators. Led by Gaius Cassius Longinus
Gaius Cassius Longinus
Gaius Cassius Longinus was a Roman senator, a leading instigator of the plot to kill Julius Caesar, and the brother in-law of Marcus Junius Brutus.-Early life:...

 and Marcus Junius Brutus
Marcus Junius Brutus
Marcus Junius Brutus , often referred to as Brutus, was a politician of the late Roman Republic. After being adopted by his uncle he used the name Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, but eventually returned to using his original name...

, they stabbed Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 to death in the Theatre of Pompey
Theatre of Pompey
The Theatre of Pompey was a structure in Ancient Rome built during the later part of the Roman Republican era. It was completed in seven years, starting from 55 BC, and was dedicated early in 52 BC before the structure was fully completed...

 on the Ides of March
Ides of March
The Ides of March is the name of the 15th day of March in the Roman calendar, probably referring to the day of the full moon. The word Ides comes from the Latin word "Idus" and means "half division" especially in relation to a month. It is a word that was used widely in the Roman calendar...

 (March 15) 44 BC. Caesar was the dictator
Roman dictator
In the Roman Republic, the dictator , was an extraordinary magistrate with the absolute authority to perform tasks beyond the authority of the ordinary magistrate . The office of dictator was a legal innovation originally named Magister Populi , i.e...

 of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 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 favour of tyranny.
Encyclopedia
The assassination of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

was the result of a conspiracy
Conspiracy (crime)
In the criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future, and, in some cases, with at least one overt act in furtherance of that agreement...

 by approximately forty Roman senators who called themselves Liberators. Led by Gaius Cassius Longinus
Gaius Cassius Longinus
Gaius Cassius Longinus was a Roman senator, a leading instigator of the plot to kill Julius Caesar, and the brother in-law of Marcus Junius Brutus.-Early life:...

 and Marcus Junius Brutus
Marcus Junius Brutus
Marcus Junius Brutus , often referred to as Brutus, was a politician of the late Roman Republic. After being adopted by his uncle he used the name Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, but eventually returned to using his original name...

, they stabbed Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 to death in the Theatre of Pompey
Theatre of Pompey
The Theatre of Pompey was a structure in Ancient Rome built during the later part of the Roman Republican era. It was completed in seven years, starting from 55 BC, and was dedicated early in 52 BC before the structure was fully completed...

 on the Ides of March
Ides of March
The Ides of March is the name of the 15th day of March in the Roman calendar, probably referring to the day of the full moon. The word Ides comes from the Latin word "Idus" and means "half division" especially in relation to a month. It is a word that was used widely in the Roman calendar...

 (March 15) 44 BC. Caesar was the dictator
Roman dictator
In the Roman Republic, the dictator , was an extraordinary magistrate with the absolute authority to perform tasks beyond the authority of the ordinary magistrate . The office of dictator was a legal innovation originally named Magister Populi , i.e...

 of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 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 favour of tyranny. The ramifications of the assassination led to the Liberators' civil war
Liberators' civil war
The Liberators' civil war was started by the Second Triumvirate to avenge Julius Caesar's murder. The war was fought by the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian against the forces of Caesar's assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 BC.-Prelude:After the murder of Caesar,...

 and, ultimately, to the Principate
Principate
The Principate is the first period of the Roman Empire, extending from the beginning of the reign of Caesar Augustus to the Crisis of the Third Century, after which it was replaced with the Dominate. The Principate is characterized by a concerted effort on the part of the Emperors to preserve the...

 period of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

.

Background

Ancient 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 by his political opponents in the Senate.
Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

 records that at one point, Caesar informed the Senate that his honors were more in need of reduction than augmentation, but withdrew this position so as not to appear ungrateful. He was given the title Pater Patriae
Pater Patriae
Pater Patriae , also seen as Parens Patriae, is a Latin honorific meaning "Father of the Country," or more literally, "Father of the Fatherland".- Roman history :...

("Father of the Fatherland"). He was appointed dictator a third time, and then nominated for nine terms as dictator, effectively making him dictator for ten years. He was also given censorial authority as praefectus morum (prefect of morals) for three years.

The Senate named Caesar dictator perpetuo ("dictator in perpetuity"). Roman mints produced a denarius
Denarius
In the Roman currency system, the denarius was a small silver coin first minted in 211 BC. It was the most common coin produced for circulation but was slowly debased until its replacement by the antoninianus...

 coin with this title and his profile on one side, and with an image of the goddess Ceres and Caesar's title of Augur Pontifex Maximus
Pontifex Maximus
The Pontifex Maximus was the high priest of the College of Pontiffs in ancient Rome. This was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post...

on the reverse. While minting the title of dictator was significant, Caesar's image was not, as it was customary to mint consuls and other public officials on coins during the Republic.

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
Temple of Venus Genetrix
The Temple of Venus Genetrix is a ruined temple in the Forum of Caesar, Rome, dedicated to the Roman goddess Venus Genetrix, the goddess of motherhood and domesticity...

, rather than rising to meet them.

Suetonius
Suetonius
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known as Suetonius , was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order in the early Imperial era....

 wrote 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. 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
Laurel wreath
A laurel wreath is a circular wreath made of interlocking branches and leaves of the bay laurel , an aromatic broadleaf evergreen. In Greek mythology, Apollo is represented wearing a laurel wreath on his head...

 on the statue of Caesar on the Rostra
Rostra
The Rōstra was a large platform built in the city of Rome that stood during the republican and imperial periods. Speakers would stand on the rostra and face the north side of the comitium towards the senate house and deliver orations to those assembled in between...

. The tribune
Tribune
Tribune was a title shared by elected officials in the Roman Republic. Tribunes had the power to convene the Plebeian Council and to act as its president, which also gave them the right to propose legislation before it. They were sacrosanct, in the sense that any assault on their person was...

s Gaius Epidius Marcellus
Gaius Epidius Marcellus
Gaius Epidius Marcellus was a Roman tribune most famous for the diadem incident.The fear of Caesar becoming autocrate, thus ending the Roman Republic, grew stronger when someone placed a diadem on the statue of Caesar on the Rostra. The tribunes, Gaius Epidius Marcellus and Lucius Caesetius...

 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, he 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", the Latin word for king. Caesar replied, "I am Caesar, not Rex". Also, at the festival
Festival
A festival or gala is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival....

 of the Lupercalia
Lupercalia
Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13 through 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility...

, while he gave a speech from the Rostra, Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

, 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
Jupiter (mythology)
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Jupiter or Jove is the king of the gods, and the god of the sky and thunder. He is the equivalent of Zeus in the Greek pantheon....

 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
Parthia
Parthia is a region of north-eastern Iran, best known for having been the political and cultural base of the Arsacid dynasty, rulers of the Parthian Empire....

. Caesar intended to invade Parthia, a task that later gave considerable trouble to Mark Antony during the second triumvirate.

Brutus
Marcus Junius Brutus
Marcus Junius Brutus , often referred to as Brutus, was a politician of the late Roman Republic. After being adopted by his uncle he used the name Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, but eventually returned to using his original name...

 began to conspire against Caesar with his friend and brother-in-law Gaius Cassius Longinus
Gaius Cassius Longinus
Gaius Cassius Longinus was a Roman senator, a leading instigator of the plot to kill Julius Caesar, and the brother in-law of Marcus Junius Brutus.-Early life:...

 and other men, calling themselves the Liberatores ("Liberators"). Many plans were discussed by the group, as documented by Nicolaus of Damascus
Nicolaus of Damascus
Nicolaus of Damascus was a Greek historian and philosopher who lived during the Augustan age of the Roman Empire. His name is derived from that of his birthplace, Damascus. He was born around 64 BC....

:
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:
Julius Caesar had been preparing to invade the Parthian Empire (a campaign later taken up by his successor, Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

) 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: assassination day

On the Ides of March
Ides of March
The Ides of March is the name of the 15th day of March in the Roman calendar, probably referring to the day of the full moon. The word Ides comes from the Latin word "Idus" and means "half division" especially in relation to a month. It is a word that was used widely in the Roman calendar...

 (March 15; see Roman calendar
Roman calendar
The Roman calendar changed its form several times in the time between the founding of Rome and the fall of the Roman Empire. This article generally discusses the early Roman or pre-Julian calendars...

) of 44 BC, the conspirators staged a game of gladiatorial sport at Pompey's theatre. The gladiators were provided by Decius Brutus in case their services were needed. They awaited in the great hall of the theatre's quadriportico. Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

, having vaguely learned of the plot the night before from a terrified Liberator named Servilius Casca
Servilius Casca
Publius Servilius Casca Longus was one of the assassins of Gaius Julius Caesar, who was murdered on 15 March, 44 BC....

, 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
Theatre of Pompey
The Theatre of Pompey was a structure in Ancient Rome built during the later part of the Roman Republican era. It was completed in seven years, starting from 55 BC, and was dedicated early in 52 BC before the structure was fully completed...

, located in the Campus Martius
Campus Martius
The Campus Martius , was a publicly owned area of ancient Rome about in extent. In the Middle Ages, it was the most populous area of Rome...

 (now adjacent to the Largo di Torre Argentina
Largo di Torre Argentina
Largo di Torre Argentina is a square in Rome, Italy, that hosts four Republican Roman temples, and the remains of Pompey's Theatre. It is located in the ancient Campus Martius....

), and directed him to a room adjoining the east portico. Had Antony arrived while the assassination was ongoing, he would certainly have come to Caesar's aid, and as a trained veteran of the 13th Legion, which fought the Gallic soldiers for 9 years, Antony, much younger, at 39, than most of the senators, would have proven a very formidable adversary in Caesar's defense.

According to Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

, as Caesar arrived at the Senate Tillius Cimber
Tillius Cimber
Lucius Tillius Cimber was a Roman senator, one of the assassins of Julius Caesar and the one to give the signal for the attack on him.-Assassin:...

 presented him with a petition to recall his exiled brother. The other conspirators crowded round to offer their support. Both Plutarch and Suetonius
Suetonius
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known as Suetonius , was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order in the early Imperial era....

 say that Caesar waved him away, but Cimber grabbed Caesar's shoulders and pulled down Caesar's tunic
Tunic
A tunic is any of several types of clothing for the body, of various lengths reaching from the shoulders to somewhere between the hips and the ankles...

. Caesar then cried to Cimber, "Why, this is violence!" ("Ista quidem vis est!"). At the same time, Casca
Servilius Casca
Publius Servilius Casca Longus was one of the assassins of Gaius Julius Caesar, who was murdered on 15 March, 44 BC....

 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
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

, he said in Latin, "Casca, you villain
Villain
A villain is an "evil" character in a story, whether a historical narrative or, especially, a work of fiction. The villain usually is the antagonist, the character who tends to have a negative effect on other characters...

, what are you doing?" Casca, frightened, shouted "Help, brother!" in Greek ("", "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 defenseless on the lower steps of the portico. According to Eutropius, around 60 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) 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 the multiple stab wounds.

The dictator's last words are a contested subject among scholars and historians and people alike. Suetonius reports that others have said Caesar's last words were the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 phrase "" (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?
Et tu, Brute?
"Et tu, Brute?" is a Latin phrase often used poetically to represent the last words of Roman dictator Julius Caesar to his friend Marcus Brutus at the moment of his assassination. It can be variously translated as "Even you, Brutus?","And you, Brutus?", "You too, Brutus?", "Thou too, Brutus?" or...

" ("You too, Brutus?"); this derives from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar (play)
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against...

(1599), 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 assumption that Caesar would have been using the language, but because the phrase was already popular at the time the play was written.
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. Caesar's dead body lay where it fell on the Senate floor for nearly three hours before other officials arrived to remove it.

A wax statue of Caesar was erected in the Forum displaying the 58 stab wounds. A crowd who had amassed there started a fire, which badly damaged the Comitia and neighboring buildings. In the ensuing chaos Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

, Octavian (later Augustus Caesar), and others fought a series of five civil wars, which ended 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 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
Optimates
The optimates were the traditionalist majority of the late Roman Republic. They wished to limit the power of the popular assemblies and the Tribunes of the Plebs, and to extend the power of the Senate, which was viewed as more dedicated to the interests of the aristocrats who held the reins of power...

, perhaps with the intent of taking control of Rome himself. But, to his surprise and chagrin, Caesar had named his grandnephew Gaius Octavian
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

 his sole heir, bequeathing him the immensely potent Caesar name as well as making him one of the wealthiest citizens in the Republic. Gaius Octavian became 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
Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus
Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus was a Roman politician and general of the 1st century BC and one of the leading instigators of Julius Caesar's assassination...

 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 passage of the Lex Titia
Lex Titia
The Lex Titia was a Roman law passed on November 27, 43 BC, that legalized the Second Triumvirate of Octavian, Mark Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus...

 on November 27, 43 BC, the Second Triumvirate
Second Triumvirate
The Second Triumvirate is the name historians give to the official political alliance of Octavius , Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony, formed on 26 November 43 BC with the enactment of the Lex Titia, the adoption of which marked the end of the Roman Republic...

 was officially formed, composed of Antony, Octavian, and Caesar's Master of the Horse
Master of the Horse
The Master of the Horse was a position of varying importance in several European nations.-Magister Equitum :...

 Lepidus
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir)
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus , was a Roman patrician who rose to become a member of the Second Triumvirate and Pontifex Maximus. His father, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, had been involved in a rebellion against the Roman Republic.Lepidus was among Julius Caesar's greatest supporters...

. It formally deified
Apotheosis
Apotheosis is the glorification of a subject to divine level. The term has meanings in theology, where it refers to a belief, and in art, where it refers to a genre.In theology, the term apotheosis refers to the idea that an individual has been raised to godlike stature...

 Caesar as Divus Iulius in 42 BC, and Caesar Octavian henceforth became Divi filius ("Son of a god"). Seeing that Caesar's clemency had resulted in his murder, the Second Triumvirate brought back proscription
Proscription
Proscription is a term used for the public identification and official condemnation of enemies of the state. It is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a "decree of condemnation to death or banishment" and is a heavily politically charged word, frequently used to refer to state-approved...

, 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 Octavius defeated them at Philippi
Battle of Philippi
The Battle of Philippi was the final battle in the Wars of the Second Triumvirate between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian and the forces of Julius Caesar's assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 BC, at Philippi in Macedonia...

.
Afterward, Mark Antony married Caesar's lover, Cleopatra, intending to use the fabulously wealthy Egypt as a base to dominate Rome. A ninth 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
Battle of Actium
The Battle of Actium was the decisive confrontation of the Final War of the Roman Republic. It was fought between the forces of Octavian and the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII. The battle took place on 2 September 31 BC, on the Ionian Sea near the city of Actium, at the Roman...

, resulted in the final ascendancy of Octavian, who became the first Roman emperor, under the name Caesar August, a name that raised him to status of a deity.

List of conspirators

Some forty people joined in the plot, but most of their names are lost to history. The known members are:
  • Gaius Cassius Longinus
    Gaius Cassius Longinus
    Gaius Cassius Longinus was a Roman senator, a leading instigator of the plot to kill Julius Caesar, and the brother in-law of Marcus Junius Brutus.-Early life:...

  • Marcus Junius Brutus
  • Servius Sulpicius Galba
  • Quintus Ligarius
    Quintus Ligarius
    Quintus Ligarius was a Roman soldier, circa 50 BC. He was accused of treason for having opposed Julius Caesar in a war in Africa, but was defended so eloquently by Cicero that he was pardoned and allowed to return to Rome. He later conspired with Brutus in the assassination of Julius Caesar.-In...

  • Lucius Minucius Basilus
    Lucius Minucius Basilus
    Lucius Minucius Basilus was a military commander and politician of the late Roman Republic, a trusted associate of Julius Caesar, who later participated in Caesar's assassination....

  • Publius Servilius Casca Longus
    Servilius Casca
    Publius Servilius Casca Longus was one of the assassins of Gaius Julius Caesar, who was murdered on 15 March, 44 BC....

     (brother of Gaius Servilius Casca)
  • Gaius Servilius Casca (brother of Publius Servilius Casca Longus and the one responsible for the first stab)
  • Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus
    Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus
    Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus was a Roman politician and general of the 1st century BC and one of the leading instigators of Julius Caesar's assassination...

  • Lucius Tillius Cimber
    Tillius Cimber
    Lucius Tillius Cimber was a Roman senator, one of the assassins of Julius Caesar and the one to give the signal for the attack on him.-Assassin:...

  • Gaius Trebonius
    Trebonius
    Gaius Trebonius was a military commander and politician of the late Roman Republic, a trusted associate of Julius Caesar who was later among those instigating the plot to assassinate the Dictator.-Biography:...

  • Lucius Cassius Longinus
    Lucius Cassius Longinus
    Lucius Cassius Longinus was the name of several ancient Romans of the gens Cassia.*Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla was a consul of the Roman Republic in 127 BC.* Lucius Cassius Longinus was consul in 107 BC....

     (brother of Gaius Cassius Longinus)
  • Gaius Cassius Parmensis
  • Caecilius (brother of Bucolianus)
  • Bucolianus (brother of Caecilius)
  • Rubrius Ruga
  • Marcus Spurius
  • Publius Sextius Naso
  • Lucius Pontius Aquila
    Pontius Aquila
    Pontius Aquila was a tribune of the plebs, probably in the year 45 BC. During one of Julius Caesar's triumphs, he did not stand as the procession passed by...

  • Petronius
  • Decimus Turullius
  • Pacuvius Antistius Labeo
    Pacuvius Antistius Labeo
    Quintus Antistius Labeo was an Ancient Roman jurist.He was one of those disciples of Servius Sulpicius Rufus, who are stated by Pomponius to have written books which were digested by Aufidius Namusa...



Marcus Tullius Cicero was not a member of the conspiracy and was surprised by it, but later wrote to the conspirator Trebonius
Trebonius
Gaius Trebonius was a military commander and politician of the late Roman Republic, a trusted associate of Julius Caesar who was later among those instigating the plot to assassinate the Dictator.-Biography:...

 that he wished he had been "...invited to that superb banquet." He believed that the Liberatores should also have killed Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

. 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
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

, but tyrannicide
Tyrannicide
Tyrannicide literally means the killing of a tyrant, or one who has committed the act. Typically, the term is taken to mean the killing or assassination of tyrants for the common good. The term "tyrannicide" does not apply to tyrants killed in battle or killed by an enemy in an armed conflict...

.

Further reading

  • Parenti, Michael
    Michael Parenti
    Michael Parenti is an award-winning, internationally known American political scientist, historian, and culture critic who has been writing on a wide range of both scholarly and popular subjects for over forty years. He has taught at several universities and colleges and has been a frequent guest...

    . "The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome
    The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome
    The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome is a 2003 history book by American professor Michael Parenti. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize...

    ". The New Press, 2003. ISBN 1-56584-797-0.

External links

  • Account of the assassination from Nicolaus of Damascus
    Nicolaus of Damascus
    Nicolaus of Damascus was a Greek historian and philosopher who lived during the Augustan age of the Roman Empire. His name is derived from that of his birthplace, Damascus. He was born around 64 BC....

  • Suetonius, Life of Julius Caesar, includes an account of the plot
  • Account of the assassination from the historian Appian
    Appian
    Appian of Alexandria was a Roman historian of Greek ethnicity who flourished during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius.He was born ca. 95 in Alexandria. He tells us that, after having filled the chief offices in the province of Egypt, he went to Rome ca. 120, where he practised as...

    . Section 114 contains a list of conspirators.
  • Videos of talks by Michael Parenti
    Michael Parenti
    Michael Parenti is an award-winning, internationally known American political scientist, historian, and culture critic who has been writing on a wide range of both scholarly and popular subjects for over forty years. He has taught at several universities and colleges and has been a frequent guest...

    , about his book "The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome
    The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome
    The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome is a 2003 history book by American professor Michael Parenti. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize...

    ": 76 minute talk in 1 part, and in 8 parts.
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