You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain.Harvey Dent, Batman: The Dark Knight.
In ancient times, the Romans(who strongly believed in Republic) would give all of Rome’s power to a single man called the ‘dictator‘ standing at the gates of Roman empire to save them all from an impending military crisis. Julius Caesar was one such man.
He maybe portrayed as a tyrant in history but at a young age , He fought for free Rome in many battles and rose to great military power. He was also a man of great wealth at that time. This accompanied with the victory over Pompey in a crucial civil war helped him rise to a well respected position among the Senators. Caesar was not only loved by the people of Rome but by Rome herself. Statues were erected, temples were dedicated, and the love for Caesar made the people of Rome to rename a month after him – Julius( Now called July ).
Julius Caesar was a great man of honor. He took Brutus, one of the supporters of Pompey during the civil war period. Caesar not only intervened and saved his life but also made him one of his senior advisors. Caesar was also portrayed as a man loved by the poor. Many ancient texts cites proofs of people considering Caesar as their Savior. Many of the senators themselves wanted to favor the side of Caesar. In 44 BCE Caesar was given the post of “Dictator Perpatuo” meaning Dictator of Rome for an infinite period. This baffled some of the senators because they saw the destruction of something that they have protected all their life- the Republic. They did not like the idea of the fate of great Roman empire in the hands of a tyrant with a military mindset. They could not allow Caesar’s ambition to take over Rome’s liberty. So they started conspiring against him and planning for a plot to assassinate him. This group of senators called themselves the “Liberators”.
The conspirators led by Cassius began pulling other senators to their side by forecasting the events of Rome’s destruction under the rule of Julius Caesar. This overwhelming attractive force did not spare even Brutus. At first Brutus was hesitant to conspire against a man who treated him like a son , but at the end the fear of Caesar’s ambition and insistence of Cassius won over. The conspirators plotted to kill him on 15 March, 44 BCE . 60 Conspirators surrounded Caesar to assassinate him. History states that Julius tried fighting valiantly against the conspirators. But at the moment he saw his beloved Brutus among the conspirators he covered his face and gave up the fight, falling to the ground after being stabbed 23 times.
Unfortunately for the conspirators , they had underestimated Caesar’s popularity among the Roman public. There was all the ingredients needed for a great Riot- Frustrated people, outrageous events and a common enemy(conspirators).And for the final special ingredient came the great speech of Mark Antony at Caesar’s funeral which made the public over throw the senators and forced the liberators out of Rome. A series of civil wars broke out during which Brutus took away his own life and at last the Liberators had destroyed the one thing they protected- the Republic.The power of Rome was now concentrated to the Office of Emperor. Even today we cannot consider Brutus to be a man who tried saving Rome or a man who is an opportunistic traitor. But we know one thing for sure, that there is always unintended consequences for our ignorant actions.
Categories: Culture and History