Brutus Vs Caesar

One was hailed a dictator, the other a saviour of Rome. One wanted reform, the other wanted to save the Republic. Brutus Vs. Caesar. Good Vs. Evil. Murderer Vs. Murderer. Whose team would you have been on?

It’s age old battle; one Gretchen Wieners struggled with herself.

To make it easier for you we have devised a highly accurate run through of the triumphs and cock-ups of histories most infamous frenamies. Let’s see who comes out on top…

 

Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles

Family Ties

His mother, Servilia, was Caesars lover He was all over Brutus’s mother.

 

He must’ve wanted to murder him… Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles Yeah, not cool. Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles

Spouses

In June 45 BC, Brutus divorced his first wife, Claudia, to marry his first cousin, Porcia – just because he liked her more. Three marriages in total. First to Cornelia who died in childbirth. Then Pompeia who he subsequently divorced. And finally Calpurnia who outlived him.

 

It was Ancient Rome after all, anything goes.Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles Not quite up to Henry VIII’s standards, but a nice effort.Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles

Business

His political career started when he became an assistant to Cato, during his governorship of Cyprus.  During this time, he leant money at high rates of interest thus returning to Rome a very rich man. He then made a stab at politics (excuse the pun). Love him or loathe him, he played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. In 60 BC, Caesar’s conquest of Gaul extended Rome’s territory to the English Channel and the Rhine. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain.

 

A clever man with an eye on politics  Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles The Empire would be nothing without him Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles

Politics

From his first appearance in the Senate, Brutus aligned with the Optimates (the conservative party) which stood against Ceasar. Caesar and his political friends, Crassus and Pompey, formed a political alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years. They were opposed by the conservative elite within the Roman Senate (aka Brutus and his gang).

 

You cant blame Brutus for wanting to be part of a party  Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles Central to Roman politics for years, until the Conservatives piped up and wanted to bring down the dictator. Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles

Dictatorship

Quite rightly the Senate was scared of the power and support the popular Caesar had, and needed him to publically demonstrate his loyalty to Rome and the Senate. When Caesar refused, Civil was ensued. Caesar’s achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to lay down his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused, and marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with a legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman territory under arms.

 

Brutus and Caesar were great friends, but wires were crossed, Caesar looked weak,  and Brutus stood by the Senate Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles Bold move by Casear, but the whole of Rome was against him, what’s a man to do? Points for guts.Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles

Civil War 49BC

When Civil War broke out in 49 BC between Pompey and Caesar, Brutus followed his old enemy and present leader, Pompey. When the Battle of Pharsalus began, Caesar ordered his officers to take Brutus 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 Caesar’s victory, Brutus appologised and Caesar immediatley forgave him. Caesar then accepted him into his inner circle and made him govenor of Gaul when he left Afria in pursuit of Cato. In 45BC Caesar nominated Brutus to serve as urban praetor for the following year. 

 

Brutus chose the wrong side, and could have easily paid the ultimate price. However, Caesar forgave Brutus… but could Brutus cope with Caesars rising power? Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles The mercy shown by Caesar has to be commended.   Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles

Reforms

  After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program reforms incl. a census which forced a reduction in the grain dole; a reward for families for having many children, outlawed professional guilds, he passed a debt restructuring law, built many public works and reformed the calendar. Basically, he did a LOT and was a man for the people – or at least wanted them on his side.

 

 Yeah…not a lot Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles Many of these new reforms were popular with the people, but not with those in authority – as it limited their power. Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles

Dictator

For the sake of the ‘Republic’ Brutus and the Senate took it upon themselves to bring down the dictator. When Caesar returned to Rome, the Senate granted him triumphs for his victories. Some bystanders complained at Caesar’s wasteful extravagance. A riot broke out and was only stopped when Caesar had two rioters sacrificed. He was granted further honors, which were later used to justify his assassination as a would-be divine monarch; coins were issued bearing his image and his statue was placed next to those of the kings. He was granted a golden chair in the Senate, was allowed to wear triumphal dress whenever he chose, and was offered to start a popular cult, with Mark Antony as his high priest. Near the end of his life, Caesar began to prepare for a war against the Parthian Empire. Since his absence from Rome might limit his ability to install his own consuls, he passed a law which allowed him to appoint all magistrates in 43 BC, and all consuls and tribunes in 42 BC. This transformed magistrates from being representatives of the people to being representatives of the dictator.

 

Hypocrites much?   Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles Rome was an untrustworthy place, so you can’t blame the man for wanting absolute control…but as a god? Bah, even a Caesar shouldn’t rise that high… Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles

Assassination

Around this time, many senators began to fear Caesar’s growing power following his appointment as dictator.  Brutus was persuaded into joining the conspiracy against Caesar by the other senators. Eventually, Brutus decided to move against Caesar after Caesar’s king-like behaviour prompted him to take action. When Caesar arrived at the Senate, they attacked him in such numbers that they even wounded one another. Revenge-craved Brutus is said to have even been wounded in the hand and in the legs. As Caesar was popular with the people there was uproar among the population which caused Brutus and the conspirators to leave Rome. Brutus was eventually defeated and killed by Octavian’s army… who else thinks it serves him right? Despite his reforms the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March (15 March) 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of senators led by Brutus. A series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never restored. Caesar’s adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power, and the era of the Roman Empire began.

 

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Minus for you Brutus.Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles Bad news for Ceasar, good news for Octavian. A murdered man deserves some pointsBrutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles

What’s the verdict?

 Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles  Brutus Vs Caesar Ancient History Features Our Articles

Historical Honey 2013 ©

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