" --- Some say that he fought and resisted all the rest,
shifting his body to avoid the blows,
and calling out for help,
but that when he saw Brutus' sword drawn,
he covered his face with his robe and submitted,
letting himself fall,

whether it were by chance
or that he was pushed in that direction
by his murderers,
at the foot of the pedestal
on which Pompey's statue stood,
and which was thus wetted with his blood. 

So that Pompey himself
seemed to have presided
as it were,
over the revenge done upon his adversary,
who lay here at his feet,
and breathed out his soul
through his multitude of wounds,
for they say he received three-and-twenty. ---

Plutarch's Lives
Julius Caesar


LXXXII. [44 B.C.]

As he took his seat,
the conspirators
gathered about him
as if to pay their respects
and straightway Tillius Cimber,
who had assumed the lead,
came nearer as though to ask something;
and when Caesar with a gesture put him off to another time, Cimber caught his toga by both shoulders;

then as Caesar cried,
"Why, this is violence!"
one of the Cascas stabbed him from one side
just below the throat.

Caesar caught Casca's arm
and ran it through with his stylus,
but as he tried to leap to his feet,
he was stopped by another wound.

When he saw that he was beset on every side
by drawn daggers,
he muffled his head in his robe,
and at the same time drew down its lap to his feet
with his left hand,
in order to fall more decently,
with the lower part of his body also covered.

And in this wise he was stabbed
with three and twenty wounds,
uttering not a word,
merely a groan
at the first stroke,
though some have written that
when Marcus Brutus rushed at him,
he said in Greek,

'You too, my child?"

All the conspirators made off,
and he lay there lifeless for some time,
until finally
three common slaves put him on a litter
and carried him home
one arm hanging down.

And of so many wounds none turned out to be mortal,
in the opinion of the physician Antistius,
except the second one in the breast.

The conspirators had intended after slaying him
to drag his body to the Tiber,
confiscate his property,
and revoke his decrees;
but they forebore
through fear
of Marcus Antonius the consul,
and Lepidus, the master of horse.

The Twelve Caesars
Julius Divas

Now when the senate was
gone in before
to the chamber where they were to sit,
the rest of the company placed themselves
close about Caesar's chair,
as if they had some suit to make to him,
and Cassius,
turning his face to Pompey's statue,
is said to have invoked it,
as if it had been sensible of his prayers.

Trebonius, in the meanwhile,
engaged Antony's attention at the door,
and kept him in talk outside.

When Caesar entered,
the whole senate rose up to him.

As soon as he was sat down,
the men all crowded round about him,
and set Tillius Cimber,
one of their own number,
to intercede in behalf of his brother that was banished;

they all joined their prayers with his,
and took Caesar by the hand,
and kissed his head and his breast.

But he putting aside at first their supplications,
and afterwards,
when he saw they would not desist,
violently rising up,
Tillius with both hands caught hold of his robe
and pulled it off from his shoulders,
and Casca,
that stood behind him,
drawing his dagger,
gave him the first,
but a slight wound,
about the shoulder.

Caesar snatching hold of the handle of the dagger,
and crying out aloud in Latin,

"Villain Casca, what do you?"

he, calling in Greek to his brother,
bade him come and help.

And by this time,
finding himself struck by a great many hands,
and looking around
about him to see
if he could force his way out
when he saw Brutus
his dagger drawn against him,
he let go Casca's hand,
that he had hold of
and covering his head with his robe,
gave up his body to their blows.

And they so eagerly pressed towards the body,
and so many daggers were hacking together,
that they cut one another;

Brutus, particularly,
received a wound in his hand,
and all of them were besmeared with the blood.

Caesar being thus slain,
stepping forth into the midst,
intended to have made a speech,
and called back and encouraged the senators to stay;
but they all affrighted ran away in great disorder,
and there was a great confusion and press at the door,
though none pursued or followed.

Plutarch's Lives
Marcus Brutus

Regarding Marcus Brutus:

"Marcus Brutus was descended
from that Junius Brutus
to whom the ancient Romans erected a statue of brass
in the capitol
among the images of their kings
with a drawn sword in his hand,
in remembrance of his courage and resolution
in expelling the Tarquins
and destroying the monarchy

But that ancient Brutus was of a severe and inflexible nature,
like steel of too hard a temper,
and having never had his character softened
by study and thought,
he let himself be so far transported
with his rage and hatred against tyrants that,
for conspiring with them,
he proceeded to the execution even of his own sons.

But this Brutus,
whose life we now write,
having to the goodness of his disposition
added the improvements of learning
and the study of philosophy,
and having stirred up his natural parts,
of themselves grave and gentle,
by applying himself to business and public affairs,
seems to have been of a temper
exactly framed for virtue;
insomuch that they who were most his enemies
upon account of his conspiracy against Caesar,
if in that whole affair there was any honourable or generous part, referred it wholly to Brutus,
and laid whatever was barbarous and cruel
to the charge of Cassius,
Brutus's connection
and familiar friend,
but not his equal in honesty
and pureness of purpose.

His mother, Servilia,
was of the family of Servilius Ahala,
who when Spurius Maelius worked the people into a rebellion
and designed to make himself king,
taking a dagger under his arm,
went forth into the market-place,
and upon pretence of having some private business with him,
came up close to him,
and, as he bent his head to hear what he had to say,
struck him with his dagger and slew him."

Plutarch's Lives
Marcus Brutus

Plutarch provides some further details: 

Flavius and Marullus,
two tribunes of the people,
went presently and pulled them off,
and having apprehended those
first saluted Caesar as king,
committed them to prison.
The people followed them with acclamations,
and called them by the name of Brutus,
because Brutus was the first who ended the succession of kings, and transferred the power
which before was lodged in one man
into the hands of the senate and people.
Caesar so far resented this,
that he displaced Marullus and Flavius;
and in urging his charges against them,
at the same time ridiculed the people,
by himself giving the men more than once
the names of Bruti,
and Cumaei

This made the multitude turn their thoughts to Marcus Brutus,
who, by his father's side,
was thought to be descended from that first Brutus,
and by his mother's side from the Servilii,
another noble family,
being besides nephew and
son-in-law to Cato.

But the
honors and favors he had received from Caesar,
took off the edge from the desires he might himself have felt
for overthrowing the new monarchy.

For he had not only been pardoned himself
after Pompey's defeat at Pharsalia,
and had procured the same grace for many of his friends,
but was one in whom Caesar had a particular confidence.

He had at that time the most honorable praetorship of the year,
and was named for the consulship four years after,
being preferred before Cassius,
his competitor.

Upon the question as to the choice,
Caesar, it is related,
said that Cassius had the fairer pretensions,
but that
he could not pass by Brutus.

Nor would he afterwards listen
to some who spoke against Brutus
when the conspiracy against him was already afoot,
but laying his hand on his body,
said to the informers,

"Brutus will wait for this skin of mine,"

intimating that he was worthy to bear rule
on account of his virtue,
but would not be base and ungrateful to gain it.

Those who desired a change,
and looked on him as the only,
or at least the most proper,
person to effect it,
did not venture to speak with him;
but in the night time laid papers about his chair of state,
where he used to sit and determine causes,
with such sentences in them as,
"You are asleep, Brutus,"
"You are no longer Brutus."

Cassius, when he perceived his ambition a little
raised upon this,
was more instant than before to work him yet further,
having himself a private grudge against Caesar,
for some reasons that we have mentioned in the Life of Brutus.

Nor was Caesar without suspicions of him,
and said once to his friends,

"What do you think Cassius is aiming at?
I don't like him, he looks so pale."

And when it was told him that Antony and Dolabella
were in a plot against him,
he said
he did not fear such fat, luxurious men,
but rather the pale, lean fellows,
meaning Cassius and Brutus

Fate, however,
is to all appearance
more unavoidable than unexpected.

For many strange prodigies and apparitions
are said to have been observed
shortly before the event.

As to the
lights in the heavens,
noises heard in the night,
and the
wild birds which perched in the forum,
these are not perhaps worth taking notice of
in so great a case as this.

Strabo, the philosopher,
tells us that
a number of men were seen,
looking as if they were heated through with fire
contending with each other;
that a quantity of flame issued
from the hand of a soldier's servant,
so that they who saw it thought he must be burnt,
but that after all he had no hurt.

As Caesar was sacrificing,
victim's heart was missing,
a very bad omen,
because no living creature can subsist without a heart.

One finds it also related by many,
that a
soothsayer bade him
prepare for some great danger on the ides of March

When the day was come,
Caesar, as he went to the senate,
met this soothsayer,
said to him by way of raillery,

"The ides of March are come;"

who answered him calmly, "

Yes, they are come, but they are not past."

The day before this assassination,
he supped with Marcus Lepidus;
and as he was signing some letters,
according to his custom,
as he reclined at table,
there arose a question

what sort of death was the best.

At which he immediately,
before anyone could speak,

"A sudden one."

After this,
as he was in bed with his wife,
all the doors and windows of the house
flew open together

he was startled at the noise,
and the light which broke into the room
and sat up in his bed,
where by the moonshine he perceived Calpurnia
fast asleep,
but heard her utter in her dream
some indistinct words
and inarticulate groans.

She fancied at that time she was weeping over Caesar,
and holding him butchered in her arms

Others say this was not her dream,
but that she dreamed that a pinnacle which the senate,
as Livy relates,
had ordered to be raised on Caesar's house
by way of ornament and grandeur,
was tumbling down,
which was the occasion of her tears and ejaculations.

When it was day,
she begged of Caesar,
if it were possible,
not to stir out,
but to adjourn the senate to another time;
and if he slighted her dreams,
that he would be pleased to consult his fate by sacrifices,
and other kinds of divination.

Nor was he himself without some suspicion and fears;
for he never before discovered
any womanish superstition in Calpurnia,
whom he now saw in such great alarm.

Upon the report which the priests made to him,
that they had killed several sacrifices,
and still found them inauspicious,
he resolved to send Antony to dismiss the senate.

In this juncture,
Decimus Brutus,
surnamed Albinus,
one whom Caesar had such confidence in
that he made him his second heir,
who nevertheless was engaged in the conspiracy
with the other Brutus and Cassius,
fearing lest if Caesar should put off the senate to another day,
the business might get wind,
spoke scoffingly and in mockery of the diviners,
and blamed Caesar for giving the senate
so fair an occasion
of saying he had put a slight upon them,
for that they were met upon his summons,
and were ready to vote unanimously,
that he should be declared
king of all the provinces out of Italy,
and might wear a diadem
in any other place but Italy,
by sea or land.

If anyone should be sent to tell them
they might break up for the present,
and meet again when Calpurnia
should chance to have better dreams,
what would his enemies say?

Or who would with any patience hear his friends,
if they should presume to defend his government
as not arbitrary and tyrannical?

But if he was possessed so far
as to think this day unfortunate,
yet it were more decent
to go himself to the senate,
and to adjourn it in his own person.

Brutus, as he spoke these words,
took Caesar by the hand,
and conducted him forth

He was not gone far from the door,
when a servant of some other person's
made towards him,
but not being able to come up to him,
on account of the crowd of those who pressed about him,
he made his way into the house,
and committed himself to Calpurnia,
begging of her to secure him till Caesar returned,
because he had matters of great importance
to communicate to him.

Artemidorus, a Cnidian,
a teacher of Greek logic
and by that means so far acquainted
with Brutus and his friends
as to have got into the secret,
brought Caesar in a small written memorial,
the heads of what he had to depose.

He had observed that Caesar,
as he received any papers,
presently gave them to the servants
who attended on him;
and therefore came as near to him as he could,
and said,

"Read this, Caesar, alone, and quickly,
for it contains matter of great importance
which nearly concerns you."

Caesar received it,
and tried several times to read it,
but was still hindered by the crowd of those
who came to speak to him.

However, he kept it in his hand by itself
till he came into the senate.

Some say it was another who gave Caesar this note,
and that Artemidorus could not get to him,
being all along kept off by the crowd.

All these things might happen by chance.
But the place which was destined
for the scene of this murder,
in which the senate met that day,
was the same in which Pompey's statue stood,
and was one of the edifices which Pompey had raised
and dedicated with his theater to the use of the public,
plainly showing that there was
something of a supernatural influence
which guided the action,
and ordered it to that particular place.

just before the act,
is said to have looked towards Pompey's statue,
and silently implored his assistance,
though he had been inclined to the doctrines of Epicurus.

But this occasion,
and the instant danger,
carried him away out of all his reasonings,
and filled him for the time with a sort of inspiration.

As for Antony,
who was firm to Caesar,
and a strong man,
Brutus Albinus kept him outside the house,
and delayed him with a long conversation
contrived on purpose.

When Caesar entered,
the senate stood up to show their respect to him,
and of Brutus's confederates,
some came about his chair and stood behind it,
others met him,
pretending to add their petitions to those of Tillius Cimber,
in behalf of his brother,
who was in exile;
and they followed him with their joint supplications
till he came to his seat.

When he was sat down,
he refused to comply with their requests,
and upon their urging him further,
began to reproach them severally for their importunities,
when Tillius,
laying hold of his robe with both his hands,
pulled it down from his neck,
which was the signal for the assault.

Casca gave him the first cut,
in the neck,
which was not mortal nor dangerous,
as coming from one
who at the beginning of such a bold action
was probably very much disturbed.

Caesar immediately turned about,
and laid his hand upon the dagger
and kept hold of it.

And both of them at the same time cried out,
he that received the blow, in Latin,

"Vile Casca, what does this mean?"

and he that gave it, in Greek, to his brother,

"Brother, help!"

Upon this first onset,
those who were not privy to the design were astonished
and their horror and amazement
at what they saw were so great,
that they durst not fly nor assist Caesar,
nor so much as speak a word.

But those who came prepared for the business
enclosed him on every side,
with their naked daggers in their hands.

Which way soever he turned,
he met with blows,
and saw their swords leveled at his face and eyes,
and was encompassed,
like a wild beast in the toils
on every side.

For it had been agreed they should each of them
make a thrust at him,
and flesh themselves with his blood;
for which reason Brutus
also gave him one stab in the groin.

Some say that he fought
and resisted all the rest,
shifting his body to avoid the blows,
and calling out for help,
that when he saw Brutus's sword drawn,
he covered his face with his robe
and submitted
letting himself fall,
whether it were by chance,
or that he was pushed in that direction
by his murderers,
at the foot of the pedestal
on which Pompey's statue stood,
and which was thus wetted with his blood.

So that
Pompey himself
seemed to have presided
as it were,
over the revenge done upon his adversary,
who lay here at his feet,
and breathed out his soul
through his multitude of wounds,
for they say he received three and twenty.
And the conspirators themselves
were many of them wounded
by each other,
whilst they all leveled their blows
at the same person.

When Caesar was dispatched,
Brutus stood forth to give a reason
for what they had done,
but the senate would not hear him,
but flew out of doors in all haste,
and filled the people
with so much alarm and distraction,
that some shut up their houses,
others left their counters and shops.

All ran one way or the other,
some to the place to see the sad spectacle,
others back again after they had seen it.

Antony and Lepidus,
Caesar's most faithful friends,
got off privately,
and hid themselves in some friends' houses.

Brutus and his followers,
being yet hot from the deed,
marched in a body
from the senate-house to the capitol
with their drawn swords,
not like persons who thought of escaping,
but with an air of confidence and assurance,
and as they went along,
called to the people to resume their liberty,
and invited the company of any more distinguished people
whom they met.

And some of these joined the procession
and went up along with them,
as if they also had been of the conspiracy,
and could claim a share in the honor of what had been done.

As, for example,
Caius Octavius and Lentulus Spinther,
who suffered afterwards for their vanity,
being taken off by Antony and the young Caesar,
and lost the honor they desired,
as well as their lives,
which it cost them,
since no one believed
they had any share in the action.

For neither did those who punished them
profess to revenge the fact,
but the ill-will

The day after,
Brutus with the rest came down from the capitol,
and made a speech to the people,
who listened without expressing
either any pleasure or resentment,
but showed by their silence
that they pitied Caesar,
and respected Brutus.

The senate passed
acts of oblivion
for what was past,
and took measures
to reconcile all parties.

ordered that Caesar
should be worshipped as a divinity
and nothing,
even of the slightest consequence,
should be revoked,
which he had enacted during his government.

At the same time
they gave Brutus
and his followers
the command of provinces,
and other considerable posts

So that all people
now thought things were well settled,
and brought to the happiest adjustment.

But when Caesar's will was opened,
and it was found
he had left a considerable legacy
to each one of the Roman citizens
and when
his body was seen
carried through the market-place
all mangled with wounds,
the multitude
could no longer contain themselves
within the bounds of tranquillity and order,
but heaped together a pile
of benches, bars, and tables,
which they
placed the corpse on,
and setting fire to it,

burnt it on them.

Then they took brands from the pile,
ran some
to fire the houses of the conspirators
others up and down the city,
find out the men and tear them to pieces,
but met, however, with none of them,
they having taken effectual care to secure themselves.

One Cinna,
a friend of Caesar's
chanced the night before to have an odd dream.

He fancied that Caesar invited him to supper,
and that upon his refusal to go with him,
Caesar took him by the hand and forced him,
though he hung back.

Upon hearing the report
Caesar's body was burning
in the market-place
he got up and went thither,
out of respect to his memory,
though his dream gave him some ill apprehensions,
and though he was suffering from a fever.

One of the crowd who saw him there,
asked another who that was,
and having learned his name,
told it to his next neighbor.

It presently passed for a certainty
that he was one of Caesar's murderers,
as, indeed, there was
another Cinna,
a conspirator,
and they,
taking this to be the man,
immediately seized him,
tore him limb from limb
upon the spot

Brutus and Cassius,
frightened at this,
within a few days retired out of the city.

What they afterwards did and suffered,
and how they died,
is written in the Life of Brutus.

Caesar died in his fifty-sixth year,
not having survived Pompey above four years

That empire and power
which he had pursued
through the whole course of his life
with so much hazard,
he did at last with much difficulty compass,
reaped no other fruits from it
than the empty name and invidious glory

the great genius
which attended him through his lifetime,
even after his death
remained as the avenger of his murder,
pursuing through every sea and land
all those who were concerned in it,
and suffering none to escape,
but reaching all who in any sort or kind
were either actually engaged in the fact,
or by their counsels any way promoted it.

The most remarkable of mere human coincidences
was that which befell Cassius,
who, when he was defeated at Philippi,
killed himself with the same dagger
which he had made use of against Caesar

The most signal preternatural appearances
the great comet,
which shone very bright
for seven nights
after Caesar's death,
and then disappeared,
and the
dimness of the sun,
whose orb continued pale and dull
for the whole of that year,
never showing its ordinary radiance at its rising,
and giving but a weak and feeble heat.

air consequently was damp and gross,
for want of stronger rays to open and rarify it.

The fruits, for that reason,
never properly ripened,
and began to wither and fall off
for want of heat,
before they were fully formed.

But above all,
the phantom which appeared to Brutus
showed the murder was not pleasing to the gods.

The story of it is this. --- "

Plutarch's Lives
Julius Caesar