Part 3: The Morning

It's later in the evening, Julius Caesar and his friend Marcus Aemilius Lepidus have just finished dinner along with others (I've read (?) that *Decimus Brutus* was also there). Julius Caesar is catching up on some work (reading and signing things) while everyone else is engaged in after-dinner conversation. The topic of "What is the best death?" comes up, Julius Caesar quickly answers "A sudden one".

That night Julius Caesar and his wife go to sleep, it will not be restful! In the middle of the night the doors and windows in their bedroom(s) (or throughout their home) are blown open by a violent wind. That thunderstorm again? Julius Caesar has a dream (?) that he is flying above the clouds holding the hand of the God Jupiter. His wife has a nightmare, she dreams that the pinnacle (placed there by the Senate) atop their house falls and smashes on the ground and she weeps over the body of her murdered husband in her arms.

*Early Morning March 15, 44 BC*

It is the "Ides Of March". Julius Caesar is ill and his wife begs him not to go to the Senate meeting that day. She tells him of her dream. Julius Caesar is worried by her pleas, she is not an overly superstitious person. Later the priests report to him that they have made several (animal) sacrifices and found them to be inauspicious (unfavorable). [ill health, ill omens, Calpurnia's dream and pleas, and now these unfavorable sacrifices!] Julius Caesar hesitates for quite a while and finally decides to send Marc Antony to the Curia Pompey (about 1.4 km walking distance) to dismiss the Senate. But he doesn't, because of one man's words.

Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus (aka *Decimus Brutus* or Brutus Albinus) is also at the house that morning. He is not *that* Brutus :-) but he is his distant relative of his. He is a confidant, trusted ally and a close friend of Julius Caesar, and is actually in Julius Caesar's will as a second heir (more as an overseer of his decrees and not an actual money/property inheritor). He is also a major one of sixty or so conspirators. His life and the others, all depend on Julius Caesar going to that Senate meeting. If not, it's probably for certain that by sunset Julius Caesar will have gotten wind of their plot. The "cat is out of the bag" and the rumors have already started, they will not get a second chance.

*Decimus Brutus* tells Julius Caesar that *he* called this Senate meeting and it would be insulting to the Senators not to show. He scoffs and mocks the priests and their sacrifices. "Caesar shall we tell the Senate you will only meet them when your wife has better dreams?", "What will your enemies say?" "The Senate wants to give you the title of King/Rex (to be used *only* outside of Italy and only to fulfill a Sybil prophesy, Julius Caesar is "Dictator For Life" [Dictator Perpetuus] but the title *King* to the Romans is like the title *Dictator* to us) and will vote unanimously for you". Decimus Brutus takes Julius Caesar's hand and leads him towards the door. "At least, if you think this day is unfortunate, the decent thing to do is to go to the Senate meeting yourself and adjourn it in person".

Julius Caesar agrees and walks out his door to where his litter awaits. He will leave for the Senate meeting with a small entourage, including friends and conspirators but no bodyguards. (He had already disbanded his Spanish bodyguards, his friends urged him to bring them back into service, Julius Caesar refused.)

Even if Julius Caesar had heard rumors or thought of a possible conspiracy this would be typical of him. In battle when the tides were turning against him, he would send away his horse and his bodyguards and fight alongside his men. His bravery would rally his troops on to victory. Once the enemy's reinforcements arrived and he was now vastly outnumbered and surrounded. Any other commander probably would have dug-in or attempted a break out. Instead Julius Caesar split his troops and attacked both fronts, he won :-) .

Some claim this was just Julius Caesar's way of committing suicide due to ill/failing health, he could become a hero, become immortal and have his revenge! (

The Via Sacra is *mobbed* with people outside his home that morning, most are just onlookers, others to try and give him a petition for something they want or desire. But two people in the crowd have an urgent message for Julius Caesar but only one will get through. A servant sent by his master or mistress tries to get to Julius Caesar as he leaves his house but cannot get through the mob that surrounds him. He goes into Julius Caesar's house and begs Calpurnia to secure him until Julius Caesar returns because he has something of great importance to tell him.

A teacher of Greek logic named Artemidorus knows *Brutus* and his friends, he also knows their secret. He is in the crowd that day with a written message warning Julius Caesar of the conspiracy. He notices that Julius Caesar is handing all the petitions he receives to a servant to read later. Artemidorus pushes through the crowd and hands Julius Caesar his message. "Read this Caesar, alone, and quickly, for it contains a matter great importance which concerns *you*". Julius Caesar tries to read it several times but he keeps getting distracted by people wishing to speak to him along the way. It will still be in his hand and unread when he enters the Senate. It's also said that Artemidorus couldn't get through the crowd and give it to someone (stronger?) who could.

Next: Part 4: The Route and Timeline
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