The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 3, 2015 - History - 352 pages
5 Reviews
In this story of the most famous assassination in history, “the last bloody day of the [Roman] Republic has never been painted so brilliantly” (The Wall Street Journal).

Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate on March 15, 44 BC—the Ides of March according to the Roman calendar. He was, says author Barry Strauss, the last casualty of one civil war and the first casualty of the next civil war, which would end the Roman Republic and inaugurate the Roman Empire. “The Death of Caesar provides a fresh look at a well-trodden event, with superb storytelling sure to inspire awe” (The Philadelphia Inquirer).

Why was Caesar killed? For political reasons, mainly. The conspirators wanted to return Rome to the days when the Senate ruled, but Caesar hoped to pass along his new powers to his family, especially Octavian. The principal plotters were Brutus, Cassius (both former allies of Pompey), and Decimus. The last was a leading general and close friend of Caesar’s who felt betrayed by the great man: He was the mole in Caesar’s camp. But after the assassination everything went wrong. The killers left the body in the Senate and Caesar’s allies held a public funeral. Mark Antony made a brilliant speech—not “Friends, Romans, Countrymen” as Shakespeare had it, but something inflammatory that caused a riot. The conspirators fled Rome. Brutus and Cassius raised an army in Greece but Antony and Octavian defeated them.

An original, new perspective on an event that seems well known, The Death of Caesar is “one of the most riveting hour-by-hour accounts of Caesar’s final day I have read....An absolutely marvelous read” (The Times, London).
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - delta351 - LibraryThing

This book is very peoplecentric, in that it is tightly structured around the the major players in the topic. Took a while for me to get used to. Starts a little slow too, but it is very thorough ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fhudnell - LibraryThing

This was a very well written story of the assassination of Julius Caesar, the Dictator for Life. The motives of the conspirators included jealousy, honor, hatred, self interest and the desire to ... Read full review

Contents

The Best Men
15
Decision in a Villa
29
Caesars Last Triumph
47
Part
65
Assassins
87
Caesar Leaves Home
107
Murder
127
A Funeral to Remember
167
Part Three
183
Vengeance
209
Augustus
229
Acknowledgments
239
Notes
261
Index
309
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Barry Strauss, professor of history and classics at Cornell University, is a leading expert on ancient military history. He has written or edited several books, including The Battle of Salamis, The Trojan War, and The Spartacus War. Visit BarryStrauss.com.

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