Information

Posthumous bust of Caesar



Ancient bust of Caesar found in French river

He was a military leader turned dictator who had such a complex about his receding hairline that he perfected the Roman comb-over and liked laurel crowns that disguised his bald patch.

In flattering posthumous portraits Julius Caesar was often portrayed as a dashing, healthy-haired, divine being. But now a realistic marble bust believed to be the oldest representation taken during his lifetime has been discovered at the bottom of the river Rhône in France.

The life-sized bust, which has thrilled French archaeologists, shows a man in his fifties with the receding hair said to have given him a complex after taunts from his battlefield enemies.

He also has wrinkles and lines that reflect the war-hardened life of the man who conquered Gaul and whose quest for power was largely responsible for turning the Roman republic into a dictatorship that would later become an empire.

The bust was discovered by French archaeologist divers scouring the bottom of the Rhône in the southern town of Arles, which Caesar founded in 46BC, distributing land among his veteran legionnaires. It is believed the bust was sculpted between 49 and 46BC, when Caesar was in his 50s, a few years before he was assassinated by nobles in the senate house.

The French excavation team said this was the only bust of Caesar made during his lifetime, apart from a Turin death mask taken just before or after his death.

Even in Rome, portraits and statues of Caesar were essentially posthumous. The French culture minister, Christine Albanel, triumphantly claimed the bust "the most ancient representation of Caesar known today".

"The important thing is that this is a bust taken from the living man," said Michel L'Hour, head of the French government's team for subaquatic archaeological research. "It's done in the republican tradition of realism from real life - he looks aged, lined and balding. It's extremely rare and most likely unique."

The riddle that remains is why the bust ended up at the bottom of the river in the town dubbed "Little Rome in Gaul".

"Perhaps this bust was thrown into the river after Caesar was assassinated because that was a difficult time to be considered a follower of his," L'Hour said. "Or was it dumped because Caesar was becoming a tyrant who wanted to kill the republic and become emperor? It could have belonged to an important person, or it could have been placed on a public building."

The find was made in October 2007 but was kept quiet until now so the site would not be disturbed.

Other items found in the treasure-trove included a 1.8m marble statue of Neptune dating from the third century. Two smaller bronzes were also found, one a satyr with its hands tied behind its back.


Fake Antiquity: the bust of Julius Caesar. Why?

We normally do not think about simple things like this, but may be we should. This article is a spin off of the article titled Questionable antiquity of the "ancient" statues. I will try to keep it short. I think that our civilization has no idea who most of the ancient busts displayed in various museums, and private collections belong to. Have you ever though of what magic sources are being used by the historians to put "a name to a face"? I suggest you do. Don't just blindly accept "this is the bust of Plato". Verify why it is Plato, and not some mannequin head.

We have hundreds of the so-called "Ancient" busts/statues of various individuals. They are supposed to be close to 2,000 years old, with some being much older. Whatever museums host them provide us with something similar to the below bust of Julius Caesar. I chose this one, because it has some sort of an explanation of why this bust is supposed to be representative of Julius Caesar.

  • The Tusculum portrait or the Tusculum bust is one of the two main portrait types of Julius Caesar, alongside the Chiaramonti Caesar. Being one of the copies of the bronze original, the bust is dated to 50–40 BC and is housed in the permanent collection of the Museo d'Antichità in Turin, Italy. Made of fine grained marble, the bust measures 33 cm (13 in) in height.
  • The portrait's facial features are consistent with those on coins struck in Caesar's last year, particularly on the denarii issued by Marcus Mettius. The bust's head is prolonged, forming a saddle shape which was caused by Caesar's premature ossification of the sutures between the parietal bone and the temporal bone. The portrait also exhibits dolichocephalia. According to several scholars, the Tusculum portrait is the only extant portrait of Caesar made during his lifetime.
  • The Tusculum portrait was excavated by Lucien Bonaparte at the forum in Tusculum in 1825 and was later brought to Castello d'Aglie, though it was not recognised as a bust of Caesar until Maurizio Borda identified it in 1940. The portrait was exhibited in the Louvre alongside the Arles bust. There are three known copies of the bust, in the Woburn Abbey and in private collections in Florence and Rome.

Above are the denarii issued by Marcus Mettius. These denarii were used to identify the above bust with Julius Caesar. Really? So we have two main busts of Julius Caesar (Tusculum and Chiaramonti), and these coins to tie them all together. Let's take a look.

. or Alexander the Great?

  • First ever bust of Julius Caesar was excavated by Lucien Bonaparte? A younger brother of Napoléon Bonaparte? Really?
  • . copy of the bronze original. I see this phrase very often in the description of various busts, or sculptures. Where is this knowledge coming from?
  • Julius Caesar died in 44 BC. His (allegedly) bust was "discovered" in 1825. It was identified as Julius Caesar in 1940.
  • The above coin, assisted by some scientific gibberish was used to identify the bust as that of Julius Caesar.

Just think about it. These busts spent 2,000 years in the dirt, or wherever. There are no inscriptions on them stating that this bust indicates this, or that person. There are no documents to support these frivolous identifications. Naturally, how do we identify all of the individuals depicted in the so-called "ancient" stone? Agreed, historians "know better", why would we question them?

Why would we not question them? As a matter of fact lets do it?

A marble head of Socrates in the Louvre. How do we know that this is Socrates?

Roman copy of a portrait bust by Silanion for the Academia in Athens (c. 370 BC). How do we know that this is Plato?

Roman bust of Homer from the second century AD, portrayed with traditional iconography, based on a Greek original dating to the Hellenistic Period. How do we know that this is Homer?

This list could be endless. As far as the above three individuals go, they lived 2400, 2300, and 2800 years ago. I can bet my left pinky finger that all of the above busts were not even "discovered" until, at least, 2,000 years after the said individuals allegedly died.

  • For thousands of years there was no information. How do we know who these busts supposed to represent?

KD: One day I will hopefully get to writing an article on Poggio Bracciolini. In my opinion he was the very first person who, around 1418, gave us the Antiquity. I am not saying that he did it on his own, but his name is attached to it like no other. Prior to his "discoveries" of the so-called "copies" of some 1500-2500 year old originals, this world had no idea about things like Ancient Greece, etc. The other person to thank would be Marsilio Ficino, assisted by Father of the Fatherland Cosimo de' Medici.

The works (i.e. Odyssey), clearly exist. The question here is when they were really created: some 2,000 years ago, or around the 15th century? Would that bear any difference for us as a Civilization? I think it would.

Once again, the above is just my personal opinion. As always, do your own research, check, and double-check, and, most importantly - question, and verify for yourself.

QUESTION: When was the very first "ancient" Roman bust was discovered?


Who was Augustus Caesar?

Known for initiating two centuries of peace in Rome, Augustus Caesar’s rise to political power was anything but amicable.

As Rome’s first emperor, Octavian (Augustus Caesar) (63 B.C.–A.D. 14) is best known for initiating the Pax Romana, a largely peaceful period of two centuries in which Rome imposed order on a world long convulsed by conflict. His rise to power, however, was anything but peaceful.

Octavian was only 18 years old when his great-uncle Julius Caesar named him heir. After Caesar was assassinated, Octavian forged an alliance with Mark Antony, famed general under Caesar, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Together they eliminated political opponents. Antony pursued Caesar’s assassins to Greece, defeating them at Philippi in 42 B.C.

From Greece, Antony ruled Rome’s wealthy eastern provinces. But Octavian and Antony turned from allies to adversaries. Antony entered a scandalous affair with Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. He had children by Cleopatra and acknowledged Julius Caesar’s son, Caesarion, as Caesar’s true heir in defiance of Octavian’s claim. Octavian denounced Antony as a man in the thrall of a foreign queen and waged war on the couple. When their fleet was defeated by the Romans at Actium in 31 B.C., Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. (Follow Mark Antony and Cleopatra's decadent love affair.)

Returning to Rome in triumph, Octavian added the title Augustus (meaning “sacred” or “exalted”) to his adopted surname, Caesar, and remained imperator for life. The vast Roman Empire, long contested by consuls and generals, was now firmly in the grasp of an emperor: Augustus Caesar.

Like Darius I of Persia, Augustus was an organizational genius his administrative accomplishments surpassed his military feats. He calmed citizens fearful of tyranny by preserving the republic’s institutions, including the Senate. He added senators from throughout Italy and empowered them to appoint independent proconsuls to govern Roman provinces. Augustus did maintain authority over the Senate, though, and exercised his veto power. The ultimate source of Augustus Caesar’s power was the army. He confidently halved the number of legions and settled veterans in colonies, which helped Romanize distant provinces and consolidate the empire.

Notwithstanding battles in Germany and other contentious regions, Augustus initiated a tranquil era known as the Pax Romana that held sway for generations. Instead of conflict, Rome now imposed order. Lands once plundered by Roman troops became docile provinces, subject to taxation but spared devastation unless they rebelled. Trade flourished. Cities prospered as Augustus and his successors built roads, aqueducts, baths, and amphitheaters to entertain the masses. Roman engineering urbanized provincial cities, helping transform conquered subjects into complacent Roman citizens. (Read why Rome's border walls were the beginning of its downfall.)


J U V E N T U S

You guys are all obviously great experts in a fine subject, but I suggest you stop sneering at journalists who simply report what the authorities are announcing. I landed here because I am an Austrian fan of Charles Bremner and read his article in the Times online newspaper. I don't see anything in his report that said he guaranteed the truth of what the French were claiming. It was just a subject that made news. I detect a whiff of snobbery from this post and the comments attached to it.

I find the portrait bears several traits attributed to Julius Caesar. An uncommonly rounded, even bulbous head (Caesarian birth, the first), the little forelock which Tacitus has him nervously finger the downturned mouth, though not as realistically cruel and ruthless as the telling portrait in the Ancona Municipal museum, is suggested. Those ears: low slung and of criminal appearance, like himself. The comparatively small jawbone. In all he does look like a man capable of slicing open a living womb to seize the prophesied prize: "a man not born of woman", the one who was to secure the Julian dynasty. Or is this episode merely a Christic interpolation? Or gossip supplied by Hadrian?
We've been confused by flattering facsimilies this bust sticks to certain facts.

bmcmanus/caesar.html
http://www.vroma.org/images/mcmanus_images/caesarstatue_cast.jpg
Notice the nose is different in the second statue from the first site. As best I can tell from measuring the images, none of the major axes are the same as in the so-called "oldest statue". In other words, the face is too fat, the eyes are to close together, and as previously mentioned, the labial folds are too prominent. The French say this was done after Caesar's death. Maybe it was just some schlep in the village who seemed to look like Caesar, so far as anyone could recall. Or maybe it was just some schlep no one remembers now.

Reassessment.
Augustus too was a good suggestion. But, looking again, I seem to notice that Augustus, Claudius, and Caesar seem to have a more pronounced cupid’s bow than this portrait, so far as can be judged from the photograph.
It’s hard to tell the age of the man portrayed here, as against the accepted Caesar the elder Tiberius Claudius Nero actually died at a slightly earlier age than C. I’ll go for TCN (tentatively) or some local notable, whether from Arles or further upstream.
I’ve done a quick count of the opinions so far expressed:
JC: 7
TCN: 2
M. Antony: 1
Augustus: 1
Tiberius: 1
Claudius: 2
other: 21
……………………………………..

The idea that all these artifacts were found in close proximity after being in a large river stretches credibility. In the US Civil War, two ships went down in the James River. People knew where these were for the last 150 years. yet there was great difficulty in locating them, presumably because they had drifted, and been covered with mud.
http://hnsa.org/conf2004/papers/judge.htm
I knew I kid from Ohio in the US Army who used to walk around the rivers. He found all sorts of stone axes and bones, some weighing more than 20 pounds that had been washed up on river banks. I found a petrified bone in my garden in Salina, KS. It took a while, but I finally figured out it was a human male distal radius (arm bone). You can see the arthritis on the joint surface. It had washed in from somewhere.

Thank you, Cat: hearing from an archaeologist is just what I wanted.
But I would really like you to be a bit more specific, both about the nature of archaeology and your reasons for feeling that it is probably Caesar.
Here's my new, "specific" attempt. Having seen the video (and many thanks again to Mary Jane for pointing it out) I too would agree with TF that the it looks a little like JC this is true mostly of the left side of the face (when the sculpture is first seen lying on the riverbed), whereas the photograph here is angled slightly more towards the other side.
But frontally the following details don't seem to match:
1. the ears protrude too much
2. the frown is too strong and the brow too thick
3. the nostrils are too wide
4. the mouth too straight and not sufficiently shaped.
Of course, it's interpretation, as you say I suggest we take it as a starting pont for further discussuion.


Immortality or bust

Power has always tried to use art in order to make its dominance acceptable. And artists - needing the money which patronage brings - have queued up in order to accommodate those official demands. This is part of the history of visual propaganda - a tale which extends from ancient societies to our own age.

Presidents and premiers, generals and emperors, want to project an ideal image of calm and resolute authority - though the reality is one of madcap scrambling for position, and all the scheming and dealing which lines the face as time takes its toll.

This is not just true for Tony Blair, and his care with the make-up so liberally applied before appearing in public. The busts of Julius Caesar commissioned by the dictator himself show a high - but noble - brow, with thinning hair artfully concealed beneath the laurel leaves of victory.

In the age of the dictator's great-nephew, the emperor Augustus, Caesar's posthumous imagery in statues and busts was quality-controlled to ensure that image's continuity. The representation took its cue from Alexander whose wide eyes - but not his short-ish stature - had established the ideal type of the imperial visionary three centuries earlier. The wide beautiful eyes are there in Augustus's own official busts - and recur in those of Constantine over 300 years after the collapse of Rome's republic.

Now we have something very unusual - the discovery near Arles of a bust executed during Caesar's own life time and before supreme potestas had kicked in. This is a mature man in his 50s, the tough warrior of reality, with worry lines to match his experience.

The gap between the two kinds of Caesar show that power - allied to money - talks loudly in the artist's studio. Hyacinthe Rigaud's portrait of Louis XIV pays careful attention to the king's calves - a shapely feature of which the king was inordinately proud. And Thomas Lawrence - when he got to work on the prince regent's portrait - transformed the corpulent aesthete into a fleshly Adonis.

But the response to the Lawrence portrait shows a big shift in attitudes. Contemporaries found it silly - because so improbable - and it was widely mocked. There's no evidence of anybody mocking David's portraits of Napoleon twenty years earlier - though they are just as implausible.

The difference is not just one between a hack society artist and a master of the neo-classical style. Nor is it - entirely - the difference between a prince without real power and a dictator who could lock people up if they disagreed with him. Lawrence in the 1820s had to cope with public opinion - a force which had grown in importance and took pot-shots at power.

Satirical attitudes in the 19th and 20th centuries have made mockery of public portraiture - the stuff commissioned by board rooms and cabinets, which form the CEO's equivalent of the gold watch. Producing a plausible image of power now makes major demands of both sitter and artist. Which is why the recently unveiled portrait of Tony Blair, commissioned by the House of Commons, is such a counter-intuitive triumph.

This British Augustus concedes the march of time - his face is lined and the hair as thin as Caesar's own. But though the head is bowed and the eyes look down, the portrait wants us to accept the maturity of his response to power. Blair looks tired here - but the visible weight on the shoulders is meant to be ennobling. This is the glamorisation of self-imposed duty - and the latest trick in the history of a tricky genre.


The Julius Caesar bust is worth a lot of money

The Julius Caesar bust seen on Pawn Stars was worth at least $12,000 in pure silver alone, according to the show. However, the piece has so much more value than just the silver itself

Sampson mentioned that this belonged to the Vatican's Chiaramonti Museum, but the sculptor remains anonymous. It was molded from the original marble sculpture of Caesar, and only 99 of them were created during Caesar's lifetime, which was in the first century CE. For one to be brought to the show was a rare opportunity, and Sampson told Corey Harrison to pay no more than $50,000 for it in order to make a profit. (Its "gallery price" was said to be about $75,000.)

So, how much could they sell it for? Another one of the pieces is actually up for sale at Liberty Coin. The asking price is $65,000, which is still $10,000 short of the price the customer in Pawn Stars asked for.


Contents

Caesar had served the Republic for eight years in the Gallic Wars, fully conquering the region of Gaul (roughly equivalent to modern-day France). After the Roman Senate demanded Caesar to disband his army and return home as a civilian, he refused, crossing the Rubicon with his army and plunging Rome into Caesar's Civil War in 49 BC. After defeating the last of the opposition, Caesar was appointed dictator perpetuo ("dictator in perpetuity") in early 44 BC. [2] Roman historian Titus Livius describes three incidents that occurred from 45 to 44 BC as the final causes of Caesar's assassination – the "three last straws" as far as some Romans were concerned. [3]

The first incident took place in December 45 BC or possibly early 44 BC. [3] According to Roman historian Cassius Dio, after the Senate had voted to bestow a large group of honours upon Caesar, they decided to present them to him formally, and marched as a senatorial delegation to the Temple of Venus Genetrix. [4] When they arrived, etiquette called for Caesar to stand up to greet the senators, but he did not rise. He also joked about their news, saying that his honours needed to be cut back instead of increased. [5] Roman historian Suetonius wrote (almost 150 years later) that Caesar failed to rise in the temple, either because he was restrained by the consul Lucius Cornelius Balbus or that he balked at the suggestion he should rise. [6] Regardless of the reasoning, by practically rejecting a senatorial gift and not acknowledging the delegation's presence with proper etiquette, Caesar gave the strong impression that he no longer cared about the Senate. [5]

The second incident occurred in 44 BC. One day in January, the tribunes Gaius Epidius Marullus and Lucius Caesetius Flavus discovered a diadem on the head of the statue of Caesar on the Rostra in the Roman Forum. [5] According to Suetonius, the tribunes ordered that the wreath be removed as it was a symbol of Jupiter and royalty. [7] Nobody knew who had placed the diadem, but Caesar suspected that the tribunes had arranged for it to appear so that they could have the honour of removing it. [5] Matters escalated shortly after on the 26th, when Caesar was riding on horseback to Rome on the Appian Way. [8] A few members of the crowd greeted him as rex ("king"), to which Caesar replied, "I am not Rex, but Caesar" ("Non sum Rex, sed Caesar"). [9] This was wordplay "Rex" was a family name as well as a Latin title. Marullus and Flavus, the aforementioned tribunes, were not amused, and ordered the man who first cried "Rex" arrested. In a later senate meeting, Caesar accused the tribunes of attempting to create opposition to him, and had them removed from office and membership in the Senate. [8] The Roman plebs took their tribunes seriously as the representatives of the common people Caesar's actions against the tribunes put him on the wrong side of public opinion. [10]

The third incident took place at the festival of the Lupercalia, on the 15th of February, 44 BC. Mark Antony, who had been elected co-consul with Caesar, climbed onto the Rostra and placed a diadem on Caesar's head, saying "The People give this to you through me." While a few members of the crowd applauded, most responded with silence. Caesar removed the diadem from his head Antony again placed it on him, only to get the same response from the crowd. [11] Finally, Caesar put it aside to use as a sacrifice to Jupiter Optimus Maximus. [7] "Jupiter alone of the Romans is king," Caesar said, which received an enthusiastic response from the crowd. [11] At the time, many believed that Caesar's rejection of the diadem was a way for him to see if there was enough support for him to become king, and despised him for it. [12]

According to Suetonius, Caesar's assassination ultimately occurred primarily due to concerns that he wished to crown himself the king of Rome. [13] These concerns were exacerbated by the "three last straws" of 45 and 44 BC. In just a few months, Caesar had disrespected the Senate, removed People's Tribunes, and toyed with monarchy. By February, the conspiracy that caused his assassination was being born. [12]

The conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar began with a meeting between Cassius Longinus and his brother-in-law Marcus Brutus [14] in the evening of 22 February 44 BC, [15] when after some discussion the two agreed that something had to be done to prevent Caesar from becoming king of the Romans. [16] [ unreliable source? ]

The two men then began to recruit others. While it took only one man to murder another, Brutus believed that for the assassination of Caesar to be considered a legitimate removal of a tyrant, done for the sake of their country, it must include a large number of Rome's leading men. [17] They attempted to strike a balance: they aimed to recruit enough men to surround Caesar and fight his supporters, but not so many that they would risk being discovered. They preferred friends to acquaintances and recruited neither reckless youths nor feeble elders. In the end, the conspirators recruited senators near the age of forty, as were they. The men assessed each potential recruit with innocent-sounding questions. [18] The ancient sources report that in the end, around sixty to eighty conspirators joined the plot, although the latter number may be a scribal error. [19] [ unreliable source? ]

Notable conspirators included Quintus Labeo, who answered affirmatively on 2 March when Brutus asked him whether it was wise for a man to put himself into danger if it meant overcoming evil or foolish men [20] Decimus Brutus, who joined on 7 March after being approached by Labeo and Cassius [21] Gaius Trebonius, [22] Tillius Cimber, Minucius Basilus, and the brothers Gaius and Publius Servilius Casca, all men from Caesar's own ranks [23] and Pontius Aquila, who had been personally humiliated by Caesar. [24] According to Nicolaus of Damascus, the conspirators included Caesar's soldiers, officers, and civilian associates, and while some joined the conspiracy due to concerns over Caesar's authoritarianism, many had self-interested motives such as jealousy: feeling that Caesar had not rewarded them enough or that he had given too much money towards Pompey’s former supporters. [25] The conspirators did not meet openly but instead secretly assembled at each others’ homes and in small groups in order to work out a plan. [26]

First, the conspirators discussed the addition of two other men to the conspiracy. Cicero, the famous orator, was trusted by both Cassius and Brutus, and had made it no secret that he considered Caesar's rule oppressive. He also had great popularity among the common people and a large network of friends, which would help attract others to join their cause. [16] However, the conspirators considered Cicero too cautious at that time, Cicero was over sixty, and the conspirators thought he would be too likely to put safety over speed when planning the assassination. [27] Next, the conspirators considered Mark Antony, aged thirty-nine and one of Caesar's best generals. [28] The conspirators were agreeing to attempt to recruit him until Gaius Trebonius spoke. He revealed that he had personally approached Antony the summer before and asked him to join a different conspiracy to end Caesar's life, and Antony had turned him down. This rejection to the old conspiracy caused the conspirators to decide against recruiting Antony. [29]

Now, however, a new idea took place. Antony was strong because of his familiarity with the soldiers, and powerful due to his consulship. If Antony was not to join them, then they must assassinate Antony as well, lest he interfere with the conspiracy. [29] Eventually, this idea was expanded upon and split the conspirators into two factions. The optimates, the "Best Men" of Rome, [30] among the conspirators wanted to go back to the way things were before Caesar. This would entail killing both Caesar and all the men around him, including Antony, and reverting Caesar's reforms. [26] The former supporters of Caesar among the conspirators did not agree to this. They liked Caesar's reforms, and did not want a purge of Caesar's supporters. However, even they agreed to kill Antony. [31]

Brutus disagreed with both. He argued that killing Caesar, and doing nothing else, was the option they should choose. The conspirators claimed to be acting based on the principles of law and justice, he told them, and it would be unjust to kill Antony. While the assassination of Caesar would be viewed as the killing of a tyrant, killing his supporters would only be seen as a politicized purge and the work of Pompey's former supporters. By keeping Caesar's reforms intact, they would both keep the support of the Roman people, who Brutus believed opposed Caesar the king, not Caesar the reformer, and the support of Caesar's soldiers and other supporters. His argument convinced the other conspirators. They began making plans for Caesar's assassination. [32]

The conspirators believed that how and where they assassinated Caesar would make a difference. An ambush in a secluded area would have a different impact on public opinion than an assassination in the heart of Rome. The conspirators came up with multiple ideas for the assassination. They considered an attack on Caesar while he was walking on the Via Sacra, the "Sacred Street". Another idea was to wait to attack him during the elections for new consuls. The conspirators would wait for Caesar to begin crossing the bridge that all voters crossed as part of the election procedures, [33] and then topple him over the rail and into the water. There would be conspirators waiting in the water for Caesar, with daggers drawn. Another plan was to attack at a gladiatorial game, which had the benefit that nobody would be suspicious of armed men. [34]

Finally, somebody brought up a different idea. What if the conspirators assassinated Caesar at one of the senate meetings? [34] [ unreliable source? ] All other plans had one detractor: while Caesar had no official bodyguards, he asked his friends to protect him in public. Most of these friends were imposing and dangerous-looking and the conspirators were afraid that they would interfere with the assassination. Here, this would not be an issue, since only senators were allowed in the Senate House. [35] Some also said that the murder of a tyrant in full view of the Senate would not be seen as a political plot, but as a noble act, done on behalf of their country. [36] The conspirators ultimately settled on this as the chosen plan. Caesar would be leaving the city on 18 March to embark on a military campaign against the Getae and the Parthians. The last senate meeting before that date was on the 15th, the Ides of March, and so the conspirators chose this as the day of the assassination. [34]

In the days leading up to the Ides, Caesar was not completely oblivious to what was being planned. According to the ancient historian Plutarch, a seer had warned Caesar that his life would be in danger no later than the Ides of March. [37] The Roman biographer Suetonius identifies this seer as a haruspex named Spurinna. [38] In addition, on 1 March, Caesar watched Cassius speaking with Brutus at the senate house and said to an aide, "What do you think Cassius is up to? I don't like him, he looks pale." [39]

Two days before the assassination, Cassius met with the conspirators and told them that, should anyone discover the plan, they were to turn their knives on themselves. [40]

On the Ides of March of 44 BC, conspirators and non-conspirators met at the Senate House of Pompey, located in the Theatre of Pompey, for the senate meeting. Usually, the senators would be meeting at the Roman Forum, but Caesar was financing a reconstruction of the forum and so the senators met in other venues throughout Rome, this being one of them. [41] There were gladiatorial games underway at the Theatre, and Decimus Brutus, who owned a company of gladiators, stationed them in the Portico of Pompey, also located in the Theatre of Pompey. [42] The gladiators could be useful to the conspirators: if a fight broke out to protect Caesar, the gladiators could intervene if Caesar was killed but the conspirators became under attack, the gladiators could protect them and since it was impossible to enter the Senate House without going through the Portico, the gladiators could block entrance to both if necessary. [43]

The senators waited for Caesar's arrival, but it did not come. The reason for this is that early that morning, Calpurnia, Caesar's wife, was awoken from a nightmare. She had dreamt that she was holding a murdered Caesar in her arms and mourning him. Other versions have Calpurnia dream that the front pediment of their house had collapsed and that Caesar had died yet another shows Caesar's body streaming with blood. [44] Calpurnia had no doubt heard Spurinna's warnings of great peril to Caesar's life, which helps explain her visions. Around 5 a.m., Calpurnia begged Caesar not to go to the senate meeting that day. [45] After some hesitation, Caesar acquiesced. Although not superstitious, he knew that Spurinna and Calpurnia were involved in Roman politics, and decided to be cautious. Caesar sent Mark Antony to dismiss the Senate. [46] When the conspirators heard of this dismissal, Decimus went to Caesar's home to try to talk him into coming to the Senate meeting. [47] "What do you say, Caesar?" Decimus said. "Will someone of your stature pay attention to a woman's dreams and the omens of foolish men?" Caesar eventually decided to go. [48]

Caesar was walking to the senate house when he caught sight of Spurinna. "Well, the Ides of March have come!" Caesar called out playfully. "Aye, the Ides have come," said Spurinna, "but they are not yet gone." [49] [50] Mark Antony started to enter with Caesar, but was intercepted by one of the plotters (either Trebonius or Decimus Brutus) and detained outside. He remained there until after the assassination, at which point he fled.

According to Plutarch, as Caesar took his seat, Lucius Tillius Cimber presented him with a petition to recall his exiled brother. [51] 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 toga. Caesar then cried to Cimber, "Why, this is violence!" ("Ista quidem vis est!"). [52] 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?" [53] Casca, frightened, shouted "Help, brother!" (Ancient Greek: ἀδελφέ, βοήθει , romanized: adelphe, boethei). Within moments, the entire group, including Brutus, were 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. Caesar was stabbed 23 times. [54] [55] 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. [56]

Caesar was killed at the base of the Curia in the Theatre of Pompey. [57]

The dictator's last words are a contested subject among scholars and historians. Suetonius himself says he said nothing, [52] nevertheless, he mentions that others have written that Caesar's last words were the Greek phrase " καὶ σύ, τέκνον " [58] (transliterated as "Kai su, teknon?": "You too, child?" in English). [59] Plutarch also reports that Caesar said nothing, pulling his toga over his head when he saw Brutus among the conspirators. [60] The version best known in the English-speaking world is the Latin phrase "Et tu, Brute?" ("You too, Brutus?") [61] [62] this derives from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (1599), where it actually forms the first half of a macaronic line: "Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar." 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. [63] Brutus and his companions then marched through the city, announcing: "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 rumours of what had taken place began to spread. According to Suetonius, after the murder all the conspirators fled Caesar's body lay untouched for some time afterwards, until finally three common slaves put him on a litter and carried him home, with one arm hanging down. [64]

Virgil wrote in the Georgics that several unusual events took place preceding Caesar's assassination. [65]

Who dare say the Sun is false? He and no other warns us when dark uprising 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.

A wax statue of Caesar was erected in the Forum displaying the 23 stab wounds. [66] A crowd who had amassed there started a fire, which badly damaged neighboring buildings. [ citation needed ] Two days after the assassination, Mark 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. [67] The result unforeseen by the assassins was that Caesar's death precipitated the end of the Roman Republic. [68] The Roman lower classes, with whom Caesar was popular, became enraged that a small group of aristocrats had sacrificed Caesar. Antony capitalized 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. [69] Upon hearing of his adoptive father's death, Octavius abandoned his studies in Apollonia and sailed across the Adriatic Sea to Brundisium. [67] 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. [67]

To combat Brutus and Cassius, who were massing an enormous army in Greece, Antony needed soldiers, the money 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 27 November 43 BC, [70] the Second Triumvirate was officially formed, composed of Antony, Octavian, and Caesar's Master of the Horse Lepidus. [71] It formally deified Caesar as Divus Iulius in 42 BC, and Caesar Octavian henceforth became Divi filius ("Son of the Divine"). [72] Seeing that Caesar's clemency had resulted in his murder, the Second Triumvirate brought back proscription, abandoned since Sulla. [73] 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. [74] Antony and Octavian defeated them at Philippi. [75]

The Second Triumvirate was ultimately unstable and could not withstand internal jealousies and ambitions. Antony detested Octavian and spent most of his time in the East, while Lepidus favoured Antony but felt himself obscured by both his colleagues. Following the Sicilian revolt, led by Sextus Pompey, a dispute between Lepidus and Octavian regarding the allocation of lands broke out. Octavian accused Lepidus of usurping power in Sicily and of attempted rebellion and, in 36 BC, Lepidus was forced into exile in Circeii and stripped of all his offices except that of Pontifex Maximus. His former provinces were awarded to Octavian. Antony, meanwhile, married Caesar's lover, Cleopatra, intending to use the fabulously wealthy Egypt as a base to dominate Rome. A third civil war subsequently broke out between Octavian on one hand and Antony and Cleopatra on the other. This final civil war culminated in the latter's defeat at Actium in 31 BC Octavian's forces would then chase Antony and Cleoptra to Alexandria, where they would both commit suicide in 30 BC. With the complete defeat of Antony and the marginalisation of Lepidus, Octavian, having been restyled "Augustus", a name that raised him to the status of a deity, in 27 BC, remained as the sole master of the Roman world and proceeded to establish the Principate as the first Roman "Emperor". [76]


Founding of National Farm Workers Association and the 1965 Grape Strike

Chavez knew firsthand the struggles of the nation’s poorest and most powerless workers, who labored to put food on the nation’s tables while often going hungry themselves. Not covered by minimum wage laws, many made as little as 40 cents an hour, and did not qualify for unemployment insurance. Previous attempts to unionize farm workers had failed, as California’s powerful agricultural industry fought back with all the weight of their money and political power.

Chavez was inspired by the nonviolent civil disobedience pioneered by Gandhi in India, and the example of St. Francis of Assisi, the 13th-century Italian nobleman who gave up his material wealth to live with and work on behalf of the poor. Working doggedly to build the NFWA alongside fellow organizer Dolores Huerta, Chavez traveled around the San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys to recruit union members. Meanwhile, Helen Chavez worked in the fields to support the family, as they struggled to stay afloat.

In September 1965, the NFWA launched a strike against California’s grape growers alongside the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), a Filipino-American labor group. The strike lasted five years and expanded into a nationwide boycott of California grapes. The boycott drew widespread support, thanks to the highly visible campaign headed by Chavez, who led a 340-mile march from Delano to Sacramento in 1966 and undertook a well-publicized 25-day hunger strike in 1968.

“I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness, is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally non-violent struggle for justice,” Chavez declared, in a speech read on his behalf when his first hunger strike ended. “To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us be men."


Watch the video: Pawn Stars: RARE Julius Caesar Bust is PURE SILVER Season 18. History (December 2021).