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Thanks to the writings of Nicolaus of Damacus who was privy to the details of Caesar's assassination, though not witness to it, we know the following historical details.

"In January of 49 BC, Julius Caesar led his army across the Rubicon River in Northern Italy and plunged the Roman Republic into civil war. Caesar's rival, Pompey, fled to Greece." Caesar pursued him and followed him into Egypt.  There Caesar crushed Pompey's army.  Caesar was presented the head of Pompey as a token of friendship from the Egyptian pharaoh.

Caesar's next pursuit led him into Spain where he defeated the sons of Pompey.  In 47 B.C., Caesar followed the rest of his enemies into North Africa where again he crushed the opposing forces. 

After more campaigns against foreign states in the east and the remnants of Pompey’s supporters, Caesar returned to Rome in 46 b.c. to celebrate four triumphs: over Gaul, Egypt, Pontus, and Africa

Caesar returned to Rome in triumph.  In February of 44 B.C., he named himself dictator for life. "This act, along with his continual effort to adorn himself with the trappings of power, turned many in the Senate against him."

After much dissatisfaction, sixty senators decided that the only way to take care of the problem was to assassinate Caesar. There was no real plot.  A few meetings were held to discuss how to go about the murder.  Several locations were suggested including the parks, a gladiator contest, with the final decision resting in the senate. 

"The majority opinion favored killing him while he sat in the Senate, where he would be by himself since non-Senators would not be admitted, and where the many conspirators could hide their daggers beneath their togas."

In Shakespeare's play, on the Ides of March, Caesar is woken by his wife Calpurnia who tells him about a dream which made her fearful.  She asks Caesar not to go to the Senate on this day.  He agrees.

Brutus comes to accompany Caesar to the Capitol. Brutus forces Caesar to go to the Senate by telling him that it would be womanish for him not to go. 

When Caesar arrives at the Senate, the conspirators move toward him. The assassination begins and when it is over, Caesar has over thirty-five stab wounds.

Ironically, Caesar falls at the foot of Pompey's statue.  The death of Pompey created many problems for Caesar since Pompey himself had many followers in Rome. That was one thing at the root of Caesar's assassination, among many.

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The conspirators had a wide range of motives for murdering Julius Caesar. Shakespeare bases his play on material primarily from Plutarch, but Cicero's letters also provide an excellent portrait of the politics of the period. 

The first political issue at stake was the balance of power between the plebeians and the Senate. Julius Caesar himself was popular with the plebs and was trying to use his personal popularity to circumvent the Senate and to become increasingly monarchical. Members of the Senate felt that he was bribing the masses with "bread and circuses" to solidify his own position as a tyrant. Brutus, in particular, was concerned that Caesar's personal power would mean the end to the Republic. Of all the conspirators, Brutus, "the noblest Roman of them all," seems to have been motivated purely by ethical concerns. 

Cassius and some of the other conspirators appear to have been motivated more by jealousy and desire to maintain their Senatorial powers and prerogatives. 

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