The assassination of Julius Caesar is one of the most notorious murders in history. Two thousand years after it occurred, many compelling questions remain about his death: Was Brutus the hero and Caesar the villain?Read more...
The assassination of Julius Caesar is one of the most notorious murders in history. Two thousand years after it occurred, many compelling questions remain about his death: Was Brutus the hero and Caesar the villain? Did Caesar bring death on himself by planning to make himself king of Rome? Was Mark Antony aware of the plot, and let it go forward? Who wrote Antony's script after Caesar's death? Using historical evidence to sort out these and other puzzling issues, historian and award-winning author Stephen Dando-Collins takes you to the world of ancient Rome and recaptures the drama of Caesar's demise and the chaotic aftermath as the vicious struggle for power between Antony and Octavian unfolded. For the first time, he shows how the religious festivals and customs of the day impacted on the way the assassination plot unfolded. He shows, too, how the murder was almost avoided at the last moment.
A compelling history that is packed with intrigue and written with the pacing of a first-rate mystery, "The Ides" will challenge what you think you know about Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 52.
- Review Date: 2009-12-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Trying to clear away the “twaddle” that surrounds Julius Caesar, Dando-Collins (Caesar's Legion) provides a page-turner of a history describing step-by-step the events leading to the assassination of Julius Caesar and the impact of his removal on the collapse of the Roman Republic. Caesar's rise to power and his limitless ambitionposed an immediate threat to the survival of the Republic, which caused fear and consternation in those, such as Marcus Brutus, who nobly wished to defend Roman democracy. Brutus and his fellow senator Cassius planned the assassination and, with the help of yet other senators, carried it out on March 15, 44 B.C.E. Public sentiment originally favored the Liberators, as the assassins were known, but, thanks to the scheming of Marc Antony and the fickleness of the crowds, Brutus, Cassius, and others were forced to flee the city. In the months that followed, Antony and his sometime ally, Caesar's heir, Octavian, destroyed the Liberatorsonly to later wage war against each other. Antony's ultimate defeat led to Octavian's installation as the first emperor, Augustus Caesar. The dramatic story examines the roles of soldiers, politicians, philosophers, wives, and mistresses with perhaps too much emphasis placed on the ever-popular Cleopatra. 2 maps. (Feb.)