Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
There were so many different groups plotting to assassinate Caesar that it was impossible for him to guard himself from all of them. Each day, new leaders rose to incite the people against him. Many of the leaders were friends of Caesar; some were relatives; some were merely ambitious men; and some were citizens who sincerely believed that Rome was suffering under Caesar’s rule and wanted to free her. The last group had Caesar’s admiration. He knew that he had restricted the freedom of the people, but he knew, too, that the masses of people shrink from accepting responsibility for their actions. They want to be ruled by one who will make all important decisions for them, yet they resent that ruler because he has taken their freedom from them. Caesar knew that he would one day be assassinated, but he hoped that he would see in the face of his murderer a love for Rome.
Among the most persistent of the plotters was the mother of Marcus Brutus. She had long hated Caesar and wanted her son to assume the place of the dictator. Many Romans said that Brutus was the illegitimate son of Caesar, but no one had ever been able to prove the accusation. Brutus was loyal to Caesar until the very end; only his mother’s repeated urging led him at last to join the conspirators.
Another important figure among Caesar’s enemies was Clodia Pulcher, a woman of high birth, great wealth, and amazing beauty. Because of her ambitions and lusts, she had become a...
(The entire section is 1082 words.)
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