Thursday 14 March 2013
Beware the Ides of March
Well, it's the Ides of March in my part of the world, so it's a bit hard to ignore today's famous victim. Julius Caesar took his last breath on the Senate steps and the Roman world - not to mention ours - was changed forever. There's only one problem. When Julius Caesar was assassinated in March 15th, 44 BC, the Senate House no longer existed. The old timber senate building had been burnt to the ground in early 52 BC when angry supporters of Clodius made the building his funeral pyre. So - the long and short of it - Julius Caesar did not die on the steps of a building that did not exist.
So where did the end of Caesar come? For several years the Senate had been meeting in Pompey's theatre, several blocks away. It had a prominent entry, but like most theatres it had a back door leading out to a lane-way. And guess who got knifed coming through the back door? Julius Caesar more or less died in an alleyway. Not quite what you see in most documentaries or movies. Et tu, Brute! For more on Roman History, check out 'Vagabond' - live on Amazon now and YouTube