Thursday, November 03, 2011
Saturday, March 15, 2008
click to enlarge the scene on the Ides of March
2,052 years ago today, on March 15th, 44 B.C., a plot of 60 conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, succeeded in killing the Emperor Julius Caesar.
The sixty conspirators came to a meeting in the Forum Romanum with daggers hidden in their togas. They stabbed Caesar at least 23 times as he stood at the base of Pompey's statue.
E tu Brute? - Legend has it that Caesar said in Greek to Brutus, “You, too, my child?” The Senators all fled after the deed, and three slaves carried his body home to Calpurnia hours later.
A bust believed to be of Julius Caesar, uncovered at Thera
The unwitting conspirators had no long-range plan beyond killing Caesar, and, in a major F***-up, they did not also assassinate Mark Antony. Brutus apparently went soft. The assassins had only a small band of gladiators to back them up. Marc Antony (whom we usually call Mark Anthony in English), however, had a whole legion, the keys to the privy purse, and Caesar's will.
Eventually a peace was brokered, and the 60 assassins were let off the hook.