Who Killed Julius Caesar?
Now when most of us think of Roman Emperor Julius Caesar we probably think of a being stabbed by a group of powerful enemies. The facts surrounding his death are well known the story has been told again and again.
In fact the assassination of Julius Caesar is so fixed in our imaginations as the precursor of all political assassinations that it needs no introduction. All it really needs is some controversy some conspiracy theories and some television journalism.
Tonight is the Ides of March 24 BC. Whatever BC means. Tonight we turn the sundial back 20 years to the year 44 BC, whatever BC means. It was a turbulent time, the cold war with Ghul was in full swing the youth of the day was launching the orgy revolution, and an entire generation of Romans had pinned their hopes upon one man Gaius Julius Caesar.
Tonight a startling allegation that there was no conspiracy to kill Caesar and he was actually killed by a lone lunatic. Joining me are Olivo Stonus a popular creator of such verse epics as natural-born Emperor’s and born on the Ides of July. Fulvia of Ostia is a noted non conspiracy theorist and author of such skeptical Scrolls as were the real Spartacus please stand up.
Now you’re claiming that there was no conspiracy to kill Caesar that instead of being killed by more than 60 assassins. One man Ted. And that instead of Caesar receiving 23 wounds from more than 60 conspirators. No way, it was one guy who stabbed him 23 times.
Every report we have of the event says that many people were involved it’s down there on the scrolls in sepia and tan. How could so many reports be wrong? Because they were altered. The lone knife man proves the whole system stinks. So you don’t believe Caesar’s assassination was as has been claimed a massive government conspiracy?
Come on Ted the government can’t even keep the aqueducts running!
Tetanus what massive Civic project was begun by Julius Caesar and completed by Augustus Caesar? Military dictatorship? the Circus Maximus. Teresa who cut the number of Roman legions from 60 down to 28? Barbarians. Augustus Caesar. Eva Lomas what is a smallest unit in the Roman military? A hunk of a dead guy? A century.
Yes this Roman Republic is chugging along for hundreds of years then suddenly Julius Caesar makes himself dictator for life and totally destroys democracy right and that alone is supposed to make dozens of senators form a secret plot to kill him? I mean this one guy dissolves the Old Republic and replaces it with an evil empire so then they started Rebel Alliance to use their force to stop him? Maybe a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away but not here not now.
Could the lone knifeman theory be true? You’re certainly not going to get any hints from my carefully neutral voice. First let’s wander down via memoria as Nightline correspondent Lara Croft acha revisits the life and death of Gaius Julius Caesar.
Preserve protect and defend your own selfish interests. My own selfish interest. So help you Jupiter. So help me Jupiter. And so help you Juno. and so help me Juno. it was the end of the 50s the 50s BC, whatever BC means, and Rome was the only superpower.
The Roman Republic had been humming along quite nicely for about four centuries before Julius Caesar. Under the Republic there was no one ruler every year two consuls were elected to run the state sort of a two-party system where both parties got elected. The two consuls were advised by a council of elders known as the Senate.
It was sexist and elitist but considering what was going on elsewhere at the time it was a pretty good system for four centuries but no system is so good that someone can’t think of a better one and the better one usually features that same someone running the show.
My fellow Romans ask not your empire can do for you. Ask what you can do for Julius Caesar. Ten years commanded our army and gold made him something of war here by the time he made it back to Rome
Oh he scored unusually high in all the public opinion polls. Of course he didn’t have his army with him when he was out conducting the poll. I propose that this nation dedicate itself to the task in the next ten years of sending an army to Britain, subjugating it and returning our man safely to Rome.
Well I remember one of the tenser moments Mr. Caesar sent an ultimatum to the Senate that Pompey should lay down his command and withdraw his army from Rome. Well the Senate refused and this triggered the Pompey militia crises. I still shudder when I look back at that crisis and realized how close we came to a full-scale war.
So close in fact that after Caesar crossed the Rubicon River with his army and entered Rome there actually was a full-scale war. The end of the crisis.
As dictator Caesar pushed through significant reform notably his new calendar with its ground-breaking ten extra days and a picture of a kitten for each month. I take pride in the words ich bin ein calendar.
And now a few minutes with Gaius and this runic. We Romans used to have a fine system for keeping track of the date twelve months in a year twenty-eight days in the month simple. Of course there were some adjustments 12 times 28 is 354 which is an unlucky even number. So we added one more day to make it odd. Then we added an extra 22 or 23 day month every few years to keep the months from wandering off into the wrong season. Simple right? not for Julius Caesar he wanted everyone to use his new metric calendar. 365 days a year. Our old Roman calendar was created by the Greeks I trust the Greeks they’re a classy classical culture. if it wasn’t for the Greeks we Romans would still be knuckle-dragging Etruscans but this new calendar was worked out by an Egyptian called sosigenes. I don’t like
Egyptians they’ve been nothing but trouble for Romans. Take Cleopatra. Everybody else did.
How has Emperor Augustus made himself appear more formidable? Lifts in his shoes? Correct. Teresa what does Emperor Augustus like his wine and his women to be? 14 years old? correct Lomas while his imperial wine steward obtains the Emperor’s wine who helps procure young girls for him? his wife Livia. Right.
You know what they say Caesar was every woman’s womanizer and every man’s man killer. Perhaps the most celebrated of Caesars secret loves was Cleopatra. Caesar met the Queen siren on a trip to Egypt and the two became inseparable. Perpetual dictator so Consul Gaius Julius Caesar the first father the father then they went off together in the next time the father’s procedure it was in the morning and he came up to me and all he said was vidi vici Vinnie. I saw I conquered Oh so then we’d constantly be going by Cleopatra’s room hearing Mr. Caesar yelling Vinnie Vinnie Vinnie. The guy who was an emperor. Sadly Cleopatra’s life ended as tragically as Caesars when she died of a fatal overdose of snake venom.
To the ancient Romans the word dictator wasn’t automatically negative the way say lawyer is to us. During emergencies the Roman Senate would actually appoint a dictator for a six-month term. Like previous dictators Julius Caesar was appointed unfortunately he’d appointed himself and not just for six months for Life but what really ticked off the other ruling Romans was that according to rumour Caesar wanted to be king. Well Rome hadn’t been led by kings since the worst days of its history. It would be like a modern American saying I declare myself president for life but what I really want to be is the Fuhrer. It’s a wonder
Caesar made it as far as the Ides of March.
Tonight on the 20th anniversary of Julius Caesar’s death new evidence of a cover-up officially his murder is credited to a cabal of senators and powerful men. Why would the authorities want a cover-up? To maintain the status quo to protect the interests of the rich man to keep the system going. Exactly there’s like 60 million people in the Empire if people thought that one lone person can make a difference there’d be like total anarchy Romans would be murdering each other all the time.
Romans are murdering each other all the time. Right but which Romans? The rich powerful ones yeah point for most folks political assassination is a spectator sport it’s like gladiator fighting.
Let’s take a look at the horrific events surrounding the violent and bloody death of Julius Caesar. Well see back in 44 BC it was rumored that the Senate was going to bestow some new honor on Julius and that sounds like a great Polybius relations opportunity to me you know pose with the senators were a few coin.
Well Calpurnia misses Caesar you know, she begged him, Julie don’t go she says over and over again she says it but people just laughed you know poor dear. She was so worried she’d been up all night the night before you know reading and entrails and all to predict the future you know. Rabbit guts I think it was she found a mysterious black tarry substance in the intestines there you know. She said it was a bad omen but Caesar just said it was a load of crap.
Yes it’s true we received a tip from a local soothsayer regarding the Ides of March, but since then we’ve come under a great deal of criticism for not following up on this lead, but when you live in this city you hear so many soothsayers telling you to beware of so many things. What like just this morning the soothsayer told me to beware of the fifth day before the Kalends of October. Mrs. Caesar and I accompanied Mr. Caesar on his walk to the Senate House. Well word got out people lined up all along our wheel just to catch a glimpse of the Caesars.
Julius Caesar’s pedestricade left Caesars house at 10:05 a.m. walking toward the Senate house through Dealia Plaza. at 1:23 p.m. Julius Caesar was assassinated just outside the Roman Scroll depository.
Here is a bulletin from RBS news in Rome Italy knives were stabbed at dictator Caesars Podestricade.
The first reports say the dictator Caesar is unharmed in the attack, the second reports say that dictator Caesar died some 38 minutes ago, and according to report Just in Caesar has been seriously wounded possibly to death.
I saw the terrible condition of Mr. Caesar whose head was in Calpurnia’s lap and hung her toga and on her hat and a few feet to the right. A group of conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus immediately claimed responsibility. Brutus tried to rally Romans to restore the Republic but faithfully he allowed Mark Antony to speak at Caesars funeral.
Then that nasty man Brutus took over the city and then Mark Antony defeated Brutus and ran him out of town and then he took over the city, and then Caesar Augustus defeated Antony and he took over the City, but it just wasn’t the same you know.
Mr. Caesar was a visionary he was ahead of his time he took a stand on civil rights in fact he stood right on top of them and crushed them into the ground. He eliminated corruption in the Republic by eliminating the Republic and he was even the first man to show the dangers of dictatorship by getting himself killed.
Okay for mm sisters’s an augur predicts the future by watching grass grow, observing the stool samples of the elderly, observing how chickens eat the grain, or eeny meeny miny moe. Really the only one that makes sense is see scattering chicken feed and observing how the chickens eat it. So yes I’ll go with C please Regis. and you’re right!
It’s a day one can’t forget. I was exactly at the baths I was in the frigidarium just relaxing you know my slave came in and told me that Julius Caesar had been assassinated. I felt so cold because I was in the frigidarium. So I got happened got into the hot tub instead. I was standing outside the Senate I was having a little nightcap that morning when suddenly a stab rang out. I looked up for my drink it was a bloody Caesar and that was my drink. I was at the forum when I heard that Pompey was killed I was in the bath when Mark Antony died Cicero was the Agora and Cato was a Coliseum person generates the villa. What someone killed Caesar Augustus? Fantastic! Serves that power mad dictator right! Good day for Rome huh. No sir Julius Caesar twenty years ago. Oh. Caesar Augustus is quite healthy. Good I’m happy to hear that. hey you there big guy.
And you know a lot of Romans love to eat mice right you know those those little mice those door mice. That the door mice are so popular amongst Romans it’s a big business I mean there are snack stands all over Rome right selling door mice and so the merchants these folks summing the snacks they’re trying to come up with you know some fancy names. So here’s my top ten list here we go it’s from the home office in Gaul the top ten rejected brand names for edible dormice. I say there we go number ten rodent pops, number nine Minnie Fievals, 8 rat sickles, number 7 Dijon mouse turd, numbers 6 quarter Mouser with cheese, number 5 toasted Mickey’s, number 4 ratatouille, number three snouts and paws and tails, number 2 Mice scream and the number one rejected names for cooked dormice vermin celli.
We’re back with all of us dona sinful Fulvia of Ostia who both subscribed to the lone knifeman theory of Julius Caesar’s death. The veritas is out there. How could one man pull off a murder like this ? Ted it’s easier for one man than for a group I’m try getting 60 Romans to agree on a restaurant let alone a political murder. What about all the witnesses who saw multiple assassins? Witnesses are very unreliable you know especially seeing as most of the witnesses claimed to be part of the conspiracy there just weren’t a lot of unbiased observers that day. Just doesn’t seem possible one man could create all those wounds with just one dagger. Well maybe it was a magic dagger yeah or maybe he was just a very methodical killer. Let me demonstrate on the slave. So here he is he’s standing behind Caesar he brings his dagger down plunges it into Caesars bat and then steps over to the left back and to the left back and twenty three wounds yeah I think he’s dead. All right all right let’s say it was a lone knife man who killed Caesar who do you think it was, Marcus Brutus? Brutus was a patsy he was Caesars best friend why would a politician stab his own friend in the back? Coming up a real live conspirator steps forward.
After Brutus and the other conspirators killed Julius Caesar they tried to restore the Roman Republic and it’s semi democratic system, but once Caesar was dead everyone suddenly remembering how much they loved him. Isn’t that always the way? Brutus and the conspirators fled Rome and gathered an army to face Julius Caesar’s nephew Augustus Caesar they fought at the Battle of Philippi. The conspirators lost. Eventually Augustus Caesar was able to take over where Julius Caesar had left off. Just imagine getting rid of one leader only to have him replaced by a younger version with practically the same name. Well at least his middle initial wasn’t W.
We’re joined now by Tillius Cimber in Naples till his claims that he was part of the conspiracy that killed Julius Caesar. I was part of the conspiracy we knew there was social change in the air we knew we could really make a difference if we just killed the right person. We just didn’t know what BC meant. But public sentiment turned against the conspirators. Yes citizens can be so fickle. This is absurd we know Caesar was killed by a lone Luna. No no no we all did it together was very important we all stabbed him to show our solidarity with each other. I’m sorry there’s just no convincing evidence that there was such a conspiracy. Yes yes there was a conspiracy I was a conspirator we all talked about this for months before we did it and then we did it. We conspired we committed conspiration. No it doesn’t make sense I mean why would Caesar allow such a conspiracy in the first place? He didn’t allow it he didn’t know about it that’s why it was a conspiracy.
Good evening I’m Greta Van Succint tonight is this Senate corrupt? We talked to the senator who we have paid to say it is, and that’s the mothers will be paid to deny it. It should make for an interesting debate so stay tuned I promise I’ll get our money’s worth.
If there’s so many other people in this conspiracy why don’t they step forward to corroborate your story like where’s Marcus Junius Brutus? He was killed at the Battle of Philippi? What about guy is Cassie’s Longinus? He was killed at the Battle of Philippi? Decimus Junius Brutus? he was killed at the Battle of Philippi? What about Gaius turboneus and Deus Brutus they were killed at the Battle of Philippi? Publius Servilius Casca oh he’s right here in Naples with me. Really? no he was killed at the Battle of Philippi? The whole conspiracy was killed at the Battle of Philippi. Don’t you find that just a little convenient?
We may remember Julius Caesar for the way he died but his legacy lived on long after him. He dismantled the Republic and his descendants made sure it stayed that way. He claimed ultimate power for himself and his descendants made sure they kept it. Augustus Caesar ruled for more than 50 years then passed the reins of power to his stepson Tiberius. The Roman Empire was born producing 400 years of emperors some good some bad some really bad. Although Julius had never become a king his family named Caesar eventually became a synonym for a king or Emperor surviving today as words like Czar and Kaiser. Not to mention the Caesar the king of salads. Yes things worked out pretty well for Caesars heirs just not for Caesar, Et 2 historia he might have said which is of course Latin for History Bites.