Assassins in Rome, Italy, stabbed Julius Caesar to death on March 15, 44 B.C.E. Politicians who had a hand in forming Roman policy and government assassinated Caesar because of his position as dictator of the Roman Republic.
Indeed, the Roman populace adored Julius Caesar. He was a brilliant military strategist who grew the republic to include present-day territories in Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium. Caesar’s travels, theories, and political views were the subjects of several books, and he was a wildly successful author.
Senators, who were not directly elected to their positions, often felt threatened by Caesar’s rising star and egotism. In 44 B.C.E., after Caesar became dictator for life, a group of officials plotted to kill him as a final act of resistance.
At a Senate meeting on the 15th of March (the ides of March), a plot to have Caesar assassinated was hatched by as many as 60 people. According to some accounts, the group assassinated the Roman leader by stabbing him 23 times.
Unfortunately for Caesar’s killers, his death led to the exact opposite result. Following the assassination, many Romans held the senators responsible. This angered the people, and they began fighting among themselves.
Ultimately, Octavian, Caesar’s grandnephew, and adoptive son became ruler of Rome. He officially changed his name to that of Augustus Caesar. Under Augustus’ rule, the Roman Republic collapsed and the Roman Empire was established.
How Did Julius Caesar Die?
On the Roman Ides of March in 44 BC, a mob of conspirators assassinated Julius Caesar by stabbing him to death in a spot close to the Theatre of Pompey. Caesar had been dictator for only a year at this point after being appointed by the Senate.
But in that brief time, he has altered the functioning of local governments and reformed the Senate. Although he enjoyed widespread support among Roman commoners and middle-class citizens, many senators despised him and worried that he would abuse his dictatorial powers.
One of his biggest mistakes was appointing Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, two of his former enemies who would eventually lead the plot to have him killed.
How The Assassination Of Julius Caesar Occurred
The plot to kill Julius Caesar, or tyrannicide as it was known at the time, involved more than 40 people. They called for a Senate session and a gladiator match. Casca drew a dagger and stabbed Caesar during the meeting,
which caused Caesar to react unexpectedly. They all stabbed Casca when he yelled for help, including Brutus. He made an attempt to flee, but the group of about sixty men quickly closed in on him. Of the 23 stab wounds, he suffered only one which proved fatal.
March 15, 44 B.C. — The Assassination Of Julius Caesar By Senators Of The Roman Senate
On this day in 44 B.C., the Ides of March, a plot involving as many as 60 Roman senators led to the assassination of Julius Caesar. In Rome, near the Theatre of Pompey, the conspirators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus stabbed Caesar to death.
Caesar had just recently been declared “dictator in perpetuity” of the Roman Republic. The main reasons for Caesar’s death were the ongoing tensions between him and the Senate and the fears that he planned to overthrow the Senate and rule as a tyrant by claiming the title of king.
Jealousy on an individual level also played a role. “the presence of so many personal animosities explains why the conspiracy was not betrayed despite its large size,” writes David Epstein in a recent account. However, the senators may have been worrying about nothing: According to Suetonius, who wrote nearly 150 years after Caesar’s death, a crowd shouted rex (“king”) to him as the day of his execution approached, but Caesar reportedly corrected them, saying, “I am Caesar, not rex.”
Caesar had planned to leave Rome in the latter half of March to oversee an invasion of Parthia, a campaign that was eventually taken up by his successor Mark Antony with no lasting results. The conspirators’ schedule was thus inevitably altered. Cassius instructed them to kill themselves if the plot was discovered two days before the assassination.
The Process Initiates
Cimber stood up and grabbed at Caesar’s toga, startling the seated dictator and many onlookers. Cimber clung to the shoulders of the legendary Caesar. One who is now considered sacred and off-limits.
Cimber’s action was shocking and blasphemous, but he had a good reason for doing it. He was a member of the plot, and the moment he grabbed the dictator’s toga—either to keep him from rising from his chair or to reveal his neck—was the agreed-upon cue to begin the assassination.
Assailant Publius Casca was the first to come forward. Casca, like Cimber, was an ex-Caesar supporter who had grown disillusioned with the leader. Casca was standing just centimeters from the seated tyrant, directly behind Caesar and his gilded chair.
Cimber still holding Caesar down, Casca pulled a dagger from his toga, raised it, and made a beeline for Caesar’s throat. If he were attacking a seated Caesar from behind, he would have to attack downward.
Suetonius claims that right before he died from his multiple stab wounds, Caesar caught a glimpse of Marcus Brutus. Being present with the other conspirators. According to Suetonius, when Caesar saw Marcus swing, he uttered the following Greek words:
One of the most well-known quotes attributed to Julius Caesar today consists of just three Latin words: “Et Tu Brute.” However, it must be stressed that these exact words are not recorded as having been spoken by Caesar in any of our ancient sources immediately prior to his death. Shakespeare is to thank for this.