The assassination of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March (15 March) 44 BC is one of the most famous political assassinations in world history. For Romans like Brutus, it represented the removal of a tyrant. For Romans like Antony and Octavian (the new ‘Caesar’), it represented nothing less than parricide or murder of the state’s father. Caesar’s autocratic position was, therefore, seen in very black and white terms by Roman contemporaries. But what about two centuries later, when Greek writers of the second century AD, entirely accustomed to the autocratic rule of Roman emperors, looked back on this momentous event? How did they view it? This paper will examine the work of Plutarch, Appian, and Cassius Dio with these questions in mind, and will ask whether, even today, we have fully appreciated the significance of their individual perspectives, viz. Greek with varying degrees of inside knowledge about Rome’s political heritage.

 

About Classics and Ancient History Seminars

Please note, if applicable to the session, Classics and Ancient History seminars are followed by a wine-and-cheese reception ($2 coin donation per person). Enquiries about the seminars may be made to Associate Professor Tom Stevenson.

The Friends of Antiquity, an alumni organisation of the University, runs its own series of public lectures, which take place on Sunday afternoons. The Friends’ program for 2019 can be found at http://www.friendsofantiquity.org.au.