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Classical Studies
CLST 201

Wk09L01 CAESAR Lepidus appointed Caesar for 11 day dictatorship in Dec 49 – to organize election nd 2 dictatorship – 48 BC dictatorship – renewable annually for 10 years – 46 After he returned from his victorious African campaign in 46, people started to doubt he’d pull a Sulla and peacefully give it up. FEB 14 44 – DICTATOR PERPETUUS, dictator for life. Voted in by Senate, worried all the conservative Republicans. All routine administration lay in the hands of Caesar himself, or is magister equitum, Lepidus. All magistracies were determined in advance by Caesar. Caesar showed respect to the Senate, but conducted important matters of deliberation in private; consulted Senate as formality. Same day, Feb 14, 1944, donned the purple robe of Rome’s early kings; not the purple boardered toga of Senate. Replaced the curule senate’s chair of Ivory with a throne of gold. 44 – Caesar’s head appeared on coins; never before given to living people -official cult at Rome, with ANTONY as his priest -his statue included in temple of QUIRINUS -public worship of a ruler was Greek; worshipping a ruler as a god had never happened in Rome, and was totally contrary to the theory of the Republic Openly called Republic a sham – what form of government would he replace it with? Based on his actions, it was obvious he was going for something autocratic. Some people think he was going fro a Hellenistic style – king justified his autocracy through deification; no convincing evidence to support this view. His adoption of Greek trappings (purple robes, gold chair, establishment of his own official cult and priest, etc.) suggest he wanted monarchical rule. Would he have realized that by becoming King, “Rex”? Rex has a lot of bad connotations to that word. Succession question? He hadn’t chosen an heir before his assassination. He had an illegitimate son. Caesar + Cleopatra  Caesarion. They came to Rome in 46, but this was a bastard child by an Egyptian woman, so no arrangements were made. Sept 45 – Caesar adopted grand-nephew GAUIS OCTAVIUS in his will. Jan 44 – Caesar hailed as “rex” Jan 44 – deposed 2 tribunes MARULLUS and FLAVUS. They had made a lovely diadem and put it on his statue – “the glory of refusing it had been snatched away from him.” Feb 15 44 – At festival of Lupercalia, Caesar offered royal diadem of Loral by Antony, but refused. Caesar knows how “odious” that word is, does not want to be associated with it. He declined it, to applause. Caesar preparing for war against Dacians at Lower Danube, followed by war against Parthians (to avenge disaster at Carrhae in 53 against Crassus). Parthians were a menace to Syria. Sibylline oracle – only a rex could conquer Parthia. Therefore, Caesar to be called Rex. He proposed adopting the title of Rex OUTSIDE of Italy. Senators were kind of pissed, loss of power and dignitas (prestige). Now senate was merely advisory. The conspiracy – March 15, 44BC Roman heiristocracy could not be expected to submit to exlusion from political life to someone who had been an equal until recently. Caesar knew he had tons of enemies: all the Republican former Pompeians; plus lots of former Caesarian supporters who didn’t like what he was up to. Many called him a “tyrant.” 2 praetors of 44 – Originators of the plot: Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius; both ex- Pompeians. Caesar had been merciful (Clementia) and had not disgraced his victories by purging the state of his enemies (ie, Sulla’s proscriptions). Brutus, pardoned after Pharsalus, was respected by Caesar. He felt he was destined to follow in his ancestors footsteps in Tyranicide (lol). He became the figurehead of the conspiracy. Two Caesarians also joined them: Gaius Trebonius and Decimus Junius Brutus. About 60 senators were involved in the plot. They needed to act quickly, and strike the blow for freedome before Caesar departed for the eastern campaign on March 18. Decided to kill him publically in last senate meeting on March 15, the Ides of March. Calpurnia had a bad dream, consulted the omens through sacrifices, not good. Decimus Junius Brutus convinced him to go to the Senate in person, alone, to discuss cancelling the Senate meeting in person (most redundant sentence ever). Soothsayer Spurinna  Beware the Ides of March. Caesar laughed. 1rst blow from conspirator C. Servilius CASCA, in the neck. 23 thrusts struck home. It had been agreed that everyone had to take part. Many assailants actually wounded each other as they struggled to get at him. “Et tu, Brute?” When he saw Marcus Bru
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