The Full Wiki

More info on Marcus Junius Brutus

Marcus Junius Brutus: Map

Advertisements
  

Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Ancient marble bust of Marcus Brutus
Marcus Junius Brutus (early June 85 BC – late October 42 BC), often referred to simply as Brutus, was a politician of the late Roman Republic. He is best known in modern times for taking a leading role in the assassination conspiracy against Julius Caesar in an attempt to take control of the Republic.

Early life

Marcus Junius Brutus was the son of Marcus Junius Brutus the Elder and Servilia Caepionis. His father was killed by Pompey the Great in dubious circumstances after he had taken part in the rebellion of Lepidus; his mother was the half-sister of Cato the Younger, and later became Julius Caesar's mistress. Some sources refer to the possibility of Caesar being his real father. Brutus' uncle, Quintus Servilius Caepio, adopted him in about 59 BC, and Brutus was known officially for a time as Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus before he reverted to using his birth-name. However, following Caesar's assassination in 44 BC, Brutus revived his adoptive name in order to illustrate his links to another famous tyrannicide, Gaius Servilius Ahala, from whom he was descended.

Brutus held his uncle in high regard and his political career started when he became an assistant to Cato, during his governorship of Cyprusmarker. During this time, he enriched himself by lending money at high rates of interest. He returned to Rome a rich man, where he married Claudia Pulchra. From his first appearance in the Senate, Brutus aligned with the Optimates (the conservative faction) against the First Triumvirate of Marcus Licinius Crassus, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and Gaius Julius Caesar.

Senate career

When civil war broke out in 49 BC between Pompey and Caesar, Brutus followed his old enemy and present leader of the Optimates, Pompey. When the Battle of Pharsalus began, Caesar ordered his officers to take him prisoner if he gave himself up voluntarily, and if he persisted in fighting against capture, to let him alone and do him no violence. After the disaster of the battle of Pharsalus, Brutus wrote to Caesar with apologies and Caesar immediately forgave him. In his letter Brutus declared he was a strong supporter of democracy and continually pushed it throughout the letter. Caesar accepted him into his inner circle and made him governor of Gaul when he left for Africa in pursuit of Cato and Metellus Scipio. In 45 BC, Caesar nominated Brutus to serve as urban praetor for the following year.

Also, in June 45 BC, Brutus divorced his wife and married his first cousin, Porcia Catonis, Cato's daughter. According to Cicero the marriage caused a semi-scandal as Brutus failed to state a valid reason for his divorce from Claudia other than he wished to marry Porcia. The marriage also caused a rift between Brutus and his mother, who resented the affection Brutus had for Porcia.

Conspiracy to kill Caesar



Around this time, many senators began to fear Caesar's growing power following his appointment as dictator for life. Brutus was persuaded into joining the conspiracy against Caesar by the other senators. (In William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, he also discovers messages written on the busts of his ancestors, which have been forged by Cassius to make Brutus feel as if he were doing the right thing for Rome. This, however, may just be dramatic license on the part of Shakespeare. There is no real evidence that Cassius ever planted phony notes.)

Eventually, Brutus decided to move against Caesar after Caesar's king-like behavior prompted him to take action. His wife was the only woman privy to the plot.

The conspirators planned to carry out their plot on the Ides of March (March 15) that same year. On that day, Caesar was delayed going to the Senate because his wife, Calpurnia Pisonis, tried to convince him not to go. The conspirators feared the plot had been found out. Brutus persisted, however, waiting for Caesar at the Senate, and allegedly still chose to remain even when a messenger brought him news that would otherwise have caused him to leave. When Caesar finally did come to the Senate, they attacked him. Publius Servilius Casca was allegedly the first to attack Caesar with a blow to the shoulder, which Caesar blocked. However, upon seeing Brutus was with the conspirators, he covered his face with his toga and resigned himself to his fate. The conspirators attacked in such numbers that they even wounded one another. Brutus is said to have been wounded in the hand.

After Caesar's assassination

Marcus Junius Brutus


After the assassination, the Senate passed an amnesty on the assassins. This amnesty was proposed by Caesar's friend and co-consul Marcus Antonius. Nonetheless, uproar among the population caused Brutus and the conspirators to leave Rome. Brutus settled in Cretemarker from 44 to 42 BC.

In 43 BC, after Octavian received his consulship from the Roman Senate, one of his first actions was to have the people that had assassinated Julius Caesar declared murderers and enemies of the state. Marcus Tullius Cicero, angry at Octavian, wrote a letter to Brutus explaining that the forces of Octavian and Mark Antony were divided. Antony had laid siege to the province of Gaul, where he wanted a governorship. In response to this siege, Octavian rallied his troops and fought a series of battles in which Antony was defeated. Upon hearing that neither Antony nor Octavian had an army big enough to defend Rome, Brutus rallied his troops, which totaled about 17 legions. When Octavian heard that Brutus was on his way to Rome, he made peace with Antony. Their armies, which together totaled about 19 legions, marched to meet Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. The two sides met in two engagements known as the Battle of Philippi. The first was fought on October 3, 42 BC, in which Brutus defeated Octavian's forces, although Cassius was defeated by Antony's forces. The second engagement was fought on October 23, 42 BC and ended in Brutus' defeat.

After the defeat, he fled into the nearby hills with only about four legions. Knowing his army had been defeated and that he would be captured, Brutus committed suicide. Among his last words were, according to Plutarch, "By all means must we fly; not with our feet, however, but with our hands."Brutus also uttered the well-known verse calling down a curse upon Antony (Plutarch repeats this from the memoirs of Publius Volumnius): Forget not, Zeus, the author of these crimes (in the Dryden translation this passage is given as Punish, great Jove, the author of these ills). Plutarch wrote that, according to Volumnius, Brutus repeated two verses, but Volumnius was only able to recall the one quoted.

Antony, as a show of great respect, ordered Brutus' body to be wrapped in Antony's most expensive purple mantle (this was later stolen and Antony had the thief executed). Brutus was cremated, and his ashes were sent to his mother, Servilia Caepionis. His wife Porcia was reported to have committed suicide upon hearing of her husband's death, although, according to Plutarch (Brutus 53 para 2), there is some dispute as to whether this is the case: Plutarch states that there is a letter in existence that was allegedly written by Brutus mourning the manner of her death.

Chronology

  • 85 BC: Brutus was born in Rome to Marcus Junius Brutus The Elder and Servilia Caepionis.
  • 58 BC: He was made assistant to Cato, governor of Cyprusmarker which helped him start his political career.
  • 53 BC: He was given the quaestorship in Cilicia.
  • 49 BC: Brutus followed Pompey to Greecemarker during the civil war against Caesar.
  • 48 BC: Brutus was pardoned by Caesar.
  • 46 BC: He was made governor of Gaul.
  • 45 BC: He was made Praetor.
  • 44 BC: Murdered Caesar with other liberatores; went to Athensmarker and then to Cretemarker.
  • 42 BC: Battle with Marc Antony's forces.


Legacy

Influence

  • The phrase Sic semper tyrannis! ["thus, ever (or always), to tyrants!"] is attributed to Brutus at Caesar's assassination. The phrase is also the official motto of the Commonwealth of Virginiamarker.
  • John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, claimed to be inspired by Brutus. Booth's father, Junius Brutus Booth, was named for Brutus, and Booth (as Mark Antony) and his brother (as Brutus) had performed in a production of Julius Caesar in New Yorkmarker just six months before the assassination. On the night of the assassination, Booth is alleged to have shouted "Sic semper tyrannis" while leaping to the stage of Ford's Theatermarker. Lamenting the negative reaction to his deed, Booth wrote in his journal on April 21, 1865, while on the run, "[W]ith every man's hand against me, I am here in despair. And why; For doing what Brutus was honored for ... And yet I for striking down a greater tyrant than they ever knew am looked upon as a common cutthroat." Booth was also known to be greatly attracted to Caesar himself, having played both Brutus and Caesar upon various stages.
  • The well-known phrase "Et tu, Brute?" ("Even you, Brutus?") was said to be Caesar's last utterance, although the sources describing Caesar's death disagree about what his last words were (if he said any at all).


Fiction

  • In Dante's Inferno, Brutus is one of three people deemed sinful enough to be chewed in one of the three mouths of Satan, in the very center of Hell, for all eternity. The other two are Cassius and Judas Iscariot (Canto XXXIV). Dante condemned these three in the afterlife for being Treacherous Against Their Masters.
  • Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar depicts Caesar's assassination by Brutus and his accomplices, and the murderers' subsequent downfall. In the final scene, Mark Antony describes Brutus as "the noblest Roman of them all", for he was the only conspirator who acted for the good of Rome.
  • In the Masters of Rome novels of Colleen McCullough, Brutus is portrayed as a timid intellectual who hates Caesar for personal reasons. Cassius and Trebonius use him as a figurehead because of his family connections. He appears in Fortune's Favourites, Caesar's Women, Caesar and The October Horse.
  • Ides of March is an epistolatory novel by Thornton Wilder dealing with characters and events leading to, and culminating in, the assassination of Julius Caesar.
  • A fictionalized Brutus, portrayed by Tobias Menzies, is a major character in the TV series Rome.
  • Brutus is an occasional supporting character in Asterix comics. He is the main antagonist in the comic Asterix and Son. The character appears in the live action adaptations Asterix and Obelix vs Caesar (played by Didier Cauchy) and Asterix at the Olympic Games. In the latter film, he is portrayed as a comical villain by Belgianmarker actor Benoît Poelvoorde. He is a central character to the film, even though he was not depicted in the original Asterix at the Olympic Games comic book. In contradiction with historical facts, he is implied in that film to be Julius Caesar's biological son.
  • Brutus is a recurring supporting character and antagonist in the TV series Xena Warrior Princess.
  • In "EMPEROR" the fictional book series which is surrounded by factual events and people by Conn Iggulden, Brutus is portrayed as a bold mischievous and humorous character that grows up as a childhood friend of Julius Caesar. Iggulden depicts Brutus as being envious of Caesar for many reasons which ultimately leads to the betrayal.


References

External links




Embed code:
Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message