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diadems, and, having discovered those who had been the first to salute Cæsar as king, they led them off to prison. The people followed, clapping their hands and calling the tribunes Bruti, because it was Brutus who put down the kingly power and placed the sovereignty in the Senate and people instead of its being in the hands of one man. Cæsar, being irritated at this, deprived Flavius and Marullus of their office, and while rating them he also insulted the people by frequently calling the tribunes Bruti and Cumæi.
In this state of affairs the many turned to Marcus Brutus, who on his father's side was considered to be a descendant of the ancient Brutus, and on his mother's side belonged to the Servilii, another distinguished house, and he was the son-in-law and nephew of Cato. The honours and favours which Brutus had received from Cæsar dulled him towards attempting of his own proper motion the overthrow of the monarchical power; for not only was his life saved at the battle of Pharsalus after the rout of Pompeius, and many of his friends also at his entreaty, but besides this he had great credit with Cæsar. He had also received among those who then held the prætorship the chief office, and he was to be consul in the fourth year from that time, having been preferred to Cassius, who was a rival candidate. For it is said that Cæsar observed that Cassius urged better grounds of preference, but that he could not pass over Brutus. And on one occasion, when some persons were calumniating Brutus to him, at a time when the conspiracy was really forming, he would not listen to them, but touching his body with his hand he said to the accusers, "Brutus waits for this dry skin," by which he intended to signify that Brutus was worthy of the power for his merits, but for the sake of the power would not be ungrateful and a villain. Now those who were eager for the change, and who looked up to him alone, or him as the chief person, did not venture to speak with him on the subject, but by night they used to fill the tribunal and the seat on which he sat when discharging his functions as prætor, with writings, most of which were to this purport: You are asleep, Brutus," and "You are not Brutus." By which Cassius, perceiving that his ambition was somewhat stirred, urged him more than he had done before and pricked him on; and Cassius himself had also a private grudge against Cæsar for the reasons which I have mentioned in the Life of Brutus. Indeed Cesar suspected Cassius, and he once said to his friends, "What
think ye is Cassius aiming at? for my part, I like him not over-much for he is over-pale." On the other hand, it is said that when a rumour reached him, that Antonius and Dolabella were plotting, he said, "I am not much afraid of these well-fed long-haired fellows, but I rather fear those others, the pale and thin," meaning Cassius and Brutus.
But it appears that destiny is not so much a thing that gives no warning as a thing that cannot be avoided, for they say that wondrous signs and appearances presented themselves. Now as to lights in the skies and sounds by night moving in various directions, and solitary birds descending into the Forum, it is perhaps not worth while recording these with reference to so important an event: but Strabo the Philosopher relates that many men all of fire were seen contending against one another. and that a soldier's slave emitted a great flame from his hand and appeared to the spectators to be burning, but when the flame went out the man had sustained no harm; and while Cæsar himself was sacrificing the heart of the victim could not be found, and this was considered a bad omen, for naturally an animal without a heart cannot exist. The following stories also are told by many: that a certain seer warned him to be on his guard against great danger on that day of the month of March which the Romans call the Ides; and when the day had arrived, as Cæsar was going to the Senatehouse, he saluted the seer and jeered him, saying, “Well, the Ides of March are come;" but the seer mildly replied, "Yes, they are come, but they are not yet over." The day before, when Marcus Lepidus was entertaining him, he chanced to be signing some letters, according to his habit, while he was reclining at table; and the conversation having turned on what kind of death was the best, before any one could give an opinion he called out, that which is unexpected. After this, while he was sleeping, as he was accustomed to do, by the side of his wife, all the doors and windows in the house flew open at once, and, being startled by the noise and the brightness of the moon which was shining down upon him, he observed that Calpurnia was in a deep slumber, but was uttering indistinct words and inarticulate groans in the midst of her sleep; and indeed she was dreaming that she held her murdered husband in her arms and was weeping over him. Others say this was not the vision that Calpurnia had, but the following: there was attached to Cæsar's house by way of ornament and distinction, pursuant to a vote of the Senate, an acroterium, as Livius
says, and Calpurnia, in her dream seeing this tumbling down, lamented and wept. When day came accordingly she entreated Cæsar if it was possible, not to go out, and to put off the meeting of the Senate; but, if he paid no regard to her dreams, she urged him to inquire by other modes of divination and by sacrifices about the future. Cæsar also,
as it seems, had some suspicion and fear; for he had never before detected in Calpurnia any womanish superstition, and now he saw that she was much disturbed, and when the seers also, after sacrificing many victims, reported to him that the omens were unfavourable he determined to send Antonius to dismiss the Senate.
In the meantime Decimus Brutus, surnamed Albinus, who was in such favour with Cæsar that he was made in his will his second heir, but was engaged in the conspiracy with the other Brutus and Cassius, being afraid that, if Cæsar escaped that day, the affair might become known, ridiculed the seers, and chided Cæsar for giving cause for blame and censure to the Senate, who would consider themselves insulted: he said, "that the Senate had met at his bidding, and that they were all ready to pass a decree that he should be proclaimed king of the provinces out of Italy, and should wear a diadem whenever he visited the rest of the earth and sea; but if any one shall tell them, when they are taking their seats, to be gone now and to come again when Calpurnia shall have had better dreams, what may we not expect to be said by those who envy you? or who will listen to your friends when they say that this is not slavery and tyranny. But if, he continued, "you are fully resolved to consider the day inauspicious, it is better for you to go yourself and address the Senate and then to adjourn the business." As he said this, Brutus took Cæsar by the hand and began to lead him forth: and he had gone but a little way from the door, when a slave belonging to another person, who was eager to get at Cæsar, but was prevented by the press and numbers about him, rushing into the house, delivered himself up to Calpurnia and told her to keep him till Cæsar returned, for he had important things to communicate to him.
Artemidorus, a Cnidian by birth, and a professor of Greek philosophy, which had brought him into the familarity of some of those who belonged to the party of Brutus, so that he knew the greater part of what was going on, came and brought in a small roll the information which he intended to communicate; but, observing that Cæsar gave
each roll as he received it to the attendants about him, he came very near, and said, "This you alone should read, Cæsar, and read it soon; for it is about weighty matters which concern you." Accordingly Cæsar received the roll, but he was prevented from reading it by the number of people who came in his way, though he made several attempts, and he entered the Senate holding that roll in his hand, and retaining that alone among all that had been presented to him. Some say that it was another person who gave him this roll, and that Artemidorus did not even approach him, but was kept from him all the way by the pressure of the crowd.
Now these things perchance may be brought about by mere spontaneity; but the spot that was the scene of that murder and struggle, wherein the Senate was then assembled, which contained the statue of Pompeius and was a dedication by Pompeius and one of the ornaments that he added to his theatre, completely proved that it was the work of some dæmon to guide and call the execution of the deed to that place. It is said also that Cassius looked towards the statue of Pompeius before the deed was begun and silently invoked it, though he was not averse to the philosophy of Epicurus; but the critical moment for the bold attempt which was now come probably produced in him enthusiasm and feeling in place of his former principles. Now Antonius, who was faithful to Cæsar and a robust man, was kept on the outside by Brutus Albinus, who purposely engaged him in a long conversation. When Cæsar entered, the Senate rose to do him honour, and some of the party of Brutus stood around his chair at the back, and others presented themselves before him, as if their purpose was to support the prayer of Tillius Cimber on behalf of his exiled brother, and they all joined in entreaty, following Cæsar as far as his seat. When he had taken his seat and was rejecting their entreaties, and as they urged them still more strongly, began to show displeasure towards them individually, Tillius taking hold of his toga with both. his hands pulled it downwards from the neck, which was the signal for the attack. Casca was the first to strike him on the neck with his sword a blow neither mortal nor severe, for as was natural at the beginning of so bold a deed he was confused, and Cæsar turning round seized the dagger and held it fast. And it happened that at the same moment he who was struck cried out in the Roman language, “You villain Casca, what are you doing?" and he who had given the blow
cried out to his brother in Greek, "Brother, help." Such being the beginning, those who were not privy to the conspiracy were prevented by consternation and horror at what was going on either from flying or going to aid, and they did not even venture to utter a word. And now each of the conspirators bared his sword, and Cæsar being hemmed in all round, in whatever direction he turned meeting blows and swords aimed against his eyes and face, driven about like a wild beast was caught in the hands of his enemies; for it was arranged that all of them should take a part in and taste of the deed of blood. Accordingly Brutus also gave him one blow in the groin. It is said by some authorities, that he defended himself against the rest, moving about his body hither and thither and calling out, till he saw that Brutus had drawn his sword, when he pulled his toga over his face and offered no further resistance, having been driven either by chance or by the conspirators to the base on which the statue of Pompeius stood. And the base was drenched with blood, as if Pompeius was directing the vengeance upon his enemy who was stretched beneath his feet and writhing under his many wounds; for he is said to have received three and twenty wounds. Many of the conspirators were wounded by one another, while they were aiming so many blows against one body.
After Cæsar was killed, though Brutus came forward as if he was going to say something about the deed, the Senators, without waiting to listen, rushed through the door, and making their escape filled the people with confusion and indescribable alarm, so that some closed their houses, and others left their tables and places of business, and while some ran to the place to see what had happened, others who had seen it ran away. But Antonius and Lepidus, who were the chief friends of Cæsar, stole away and fled for refuge to the houses of other persons. The partisans of Brutus, just as they were, warm from the slaughter, and showing their bare swords, all in a body advanced from the Senate-house to the Capitol, not like men who were flying, but exulting and confident, calling the people to liberty and joined by the nobles who met them. Some even went up to the Capitol with them and mingled with them as if they had participated in the deed, and claimed the credit of it, among whom were Caius Octavius and Lentulus Spinther. But they afterwards paid the penalty of their vanity, for they were put to death by Antonius and the young Cæsar, without