Julius Caesar is assassinated
On March 15, 44 B.C. Julius Caesar, the "dictator for life" of the Roman Empire is murdered by his own senators at a meeting hall next to Pompey's Theatre. The conspiracy against Caesar encompassed as many as sixty noblemen, including Caesar's own protégé, Marcus Brutus.
Caesar was scheduled to leave Rome on March 18th and had appointed loyal members of his army to rule the Empire in his absence. The Republican senators, already chafing at having to abide by Caesar's decrees, were particularly angry about the prospect of taking orders from Caesar's underlings. Cassius Longinus one of the leaders of the plot, quickly aligned with his brother-in-law Marcus Brutus. Caesar should have been well aware that he had enemies but he had dismissed his security force not long before his assassination. Reportedly, Caesar was handed a warning note as he entered the senate meeting that day but did not read it. After he entered the hall, Caesar was surrounded by senators holding daggers. Servilius Casca struck the first blow, hitting Caesar in the neck and drawing blood. The other senators joined in, stabbing him repeatedly about the head. Marcus Brutus wounded Caesar in the groin and Caesar is said to have remarked in Greek, "You, too, my child?" In the aftermath of the assassination, Marc Antony attempted to carry out Caesar's legacy. However, Caesar's will left Octavian in charge as his adopted son. Cassius and Brutus tried to rally a Republican army and Brutus even issued coins celebrating the assassination, known as the Ides of March. Octavian vowed revenge against the assassins, two years later Cassius and Brutus committed suicide after learning that Octavian's forces had defeated theirs at the Battle of Philippa in Greece. Antony took his armies east, where he joined forces with Caesar's former lover, Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Octavian and Antony fought for many years until Octavian prevailed. In 30 B.C., Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. Octavian, later known as Augustus, ruled the Roman Empire for many more years.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link: