Crimson Soaked Toga

Stabbed Caesar pulled his crimson soaked toga over his face.

Stabbed Caesar pulled his crimson soaked toga over his face.

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Stabbed 23 times in the frenzied mêlée, Caesar valiantly pulled his crimson soaked toga over his face with his right hand. His strength was gone now a dark fog was quickly enveloping his sight and he felt cold.

Julius Caesar murdered as a result of a conspiracy by as many as 60 men Roman senators, calling themselves “Liberators”. Both Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus led it, they stabbed Julius Caesar to death on the Ides of March (March 15), 44 BC near the Theatre of Pompey. These same senators had just recently declared Caesar “dictator perpetuo” (dictator for life) of the Roman Republic. What the frightened conspirators wanted was to prevent the collapse of their Roman Republic instead their fear was actually realized because of what they did. The resulting Liberators’ civil war causing it to morph into the Roman Empire.

Romans were pagans and before Caesar followed a different type of yearly calendar devoted to their supreme god, Jupiter. There was
something called “ides” on the 13th and 15th of each month except for March, May, July, and October when the “ides” corresponded with a full moon. According to a certain Plutarch, Caesar was already warned about his doom by a fortune teller whom he met again on his fateful day. Apparently, Caesar joked about it saying “The ides of March have come”(nothing has happened yet) the man replied “Aye Caesar; but not gone!”

Many of Caesar’s friends including his wife Calpurnia, warned him not to meet the Senators. Calpurnia had premonitions or dreams of death and his friends heard disturbing rumors of conspiracy. Mark Anthony learned from a conspirator and tried to head Caesar off. The other murderers however, found out and prevented his intervention. Caesar also at first hesitated, had that uneasy feeling however, Brutus came over and persuaded him to go.

Brutus, a leader of the conspirators, pretended good friendship said, “What is this, Caesar? Are you a man to pay attention to a
woman’s dreams and the idle gossip of stupid men, and to insult the Senate by not going out, although it has honoured you and has been specially summoned by you? But listen to me, cast aside the forebodings of all these people, and come. The Senate has been in session waiting for you since early this morning.”

Meanwhile, Calpurnia kept on saying “Julie..don’t go!” As we all know sometimes it’s worthwhile to listen to your wife and Julius got the point because he didn’t. His last words at the Senate are not known however, “et tu Brute!”(and you too, Brutus) as he gasped his last breath seem good enough for us.

NOTE:Much information including quotes used here is extracted from Wikipedia, Shakespeare, and Wayne & Shuster(CBC).

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