Part 6a: Civil War

The civil war they all wished to avoid is about to begin. Within three years basically all of the 60 conspirators will be dead, along with many friends and allies. Brutus commits (assisted?) suicide with his own sword after being defeated in battle by Antony. Antony gives Brutus an honorable cremation and sends his ashes to his mother. Cassius uses the same dagger he stabbed Julius Caesar with to kill himself, as some of the other conspirators also did. Cicero is killed (he honorably accepted his fate and offered his neck to the sword) by Antony's troops while attempting to flee Italy. He wasn't an actual conspirator, they thought him an old man and a blabbermouth :-) but he was a confidant / friend of Brutus who sided with him. His head and hands are returned to Rome (per Antony's orders - they really hated one another) and displayed on the Rostra of Caesar, it's said that Antony's wife also placed a hatpin through his tongue.

The man who betrayed him is turned-over to a Roman noblewoman who after torturing him forces him to cut off his own flesh, roast it and then eat it.

Julius Caesar's great-nephew and adopted son Octavian (later called Augustus) becomes Ruler (but not officially until 31 BC) per Julius Caesar's Will and after a little spat :-) with Antony and Lepidus they form an alliance and as co-rulers they fight this civil war. But they do have a falling-out in the future and become enemies of Octavian/Augustus. And the civil war will actually end with Marc Antony and Cleopatra's naval defeat at Actium in September of 31 BC. Later Antony and Cleopatra commit suicide (not together like the moves show :-) , she had hoped to be able to also seduce Octavian but he wasn't interested). Lepidus loses his wealth and power but retains his life (in exile), he was made Pontifex Maximus after Julius Caesar's death and this saved him.

A few months before Julius Caesar death, settlers in Capua were demolishing some ancient tombs to make room for country estates. One of the tombs was that of the Capys the founders of Capua. They found a bronze tablet written in Greek saying "Whenever the bones of Capys shall be moved, it will come to pass that a son on llium shall be slain at the hands of his kindred, and presently avenged at heavy cost to Italia". Cornelius Balbus a friend of Julius Caesar vouched for this event. The following late-July (or years later) which is the month Julius Caesar named after his family name (Julia/Julio). A comet is seen for seven nights around sunset, it is believed to be the defied soul of Julius Caesar traveling to or through heaven.

Next: Part 6b: Curia Pompey
[Home]                         copyright (c) 2012-2018 by Jeff Bondono                         [Walter's Tours of Ancient Rome]