History of Assassinations Roman Emperor Julius Caesar Part 2

About the assassination of Roman leader Julius Caesar, history and accout of the conspiracy and murder.


The Victim: GAIUS JULIUS CAESAR, consul, commander in chief, and, from Feb. 14, 44 B.C., dictator perpetuus ("dictator for life") of the Roman Republic.

Marcus Brutus, meanwhile, had begun his daily routine as judge. The other conspirators met at Cassius's house on the pretext of holding a coming-of-age party for Cassius's son. After escorting the young man down to the Forum in the traditional manner, they went on to the meeting hall, which was in the Campus Martius. The old Senate House had been burned down in political rioting many years before. By what seemed to the conspirators a stroke of poetic

justice, the present hall had been built by Pompey and contained a statue of him.

When Caesar failed to arrive on time, they sent Decimus Brutus to find out why. Decimus found him still at home. Moreover, he planned to cancel the meeting. Decimus persuaded him the Senate would be offended if he did not do so in person. As he left his house, someone thrust a note into his hand with an urgent plea that he read it.

Despite unfavorable omens at the door (Spurinna, the diviner, performing the traditional ceremony there, undoubtedly knew something was up), Caesar entered the hall and sat down. It was a little after 11:00 A.M.

Tillius Cimber, a senator and governor-elect, approached Caesar with a petition on behalf of his brother, whom Caesar had banished. The other conspirators crowded round him. This gave Casca, a tribune of the people who had been assigned to strike the first blow, his chance to slip behind Caesar without being seen. Tillius grasped Caesar's robe at the neck and tore it open--the prearranged signal.

Casca aimed his dagger at Caesar's throat but succeeded only in grazing his chest. Caesar grabbed Casca's arm, turned far enough to recognize him, and threw him off balance with a violent shove, half-rising as he did. This exposed his right side, where he now received a second and more serious blow, possibly from Casca's brother. As he recovered from this strained position, he received a third blow, this time in the face; it came from Cassius. The other conspirators now took courage, and Caesar staggered under a series of blows. Half-blinded by his own blood, he continued to defend himself as best he could, lunging at each attacker with loud cries.

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