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Mon Nov 2, 2020, 03:14 PM

"The Last Assassin: The Hunt for the Killers of Julius Caesar"

A new page-turning history details the events that led to the deaths of many of the conspirators

By 30 B.C., the aspiring Roman dictator Octavian had dispatched all the meaningful enemies who stood between him and absolute rule over the fraying Roman republic. Octavian, the young man named by the assassinated Julius Caesar as son and heir in his will, had long been consolidating power while hunting the conspirators who stabbed Caesar to death on the floor of the Senate 14 years earlier.

Already, a half-dozen of the assassins had fallen. In October of 42, the forces of Octavian and Mark Antony, Caesar's former deputy, triumphed over those of Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius, the two men who had led the plot, at Philippi. In 35, allies of Octavian and Antony captured and executed Sextus Pompey, heir to Pompey Magnus—Julius Caesar's political brother-turned-arch-nemesis—whose naval forces had been harrying them. Once they had eliminated their shared enemies, of course, Antony and Octavian turned on each other. In September of 31, Octavian's forces routed those of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium. No one left, it seemed, could challenge Octavian's absolute power. Thus, the assassins who sought to thwart one dictator inadvertently paved the way for another.

Yet at least one thorn remained: a seaman named Claudius Parmensis, the last living participant in the plot against Julius Caesar. Parmensis had taken refuge in Athens, where he wrote poems and plays, enjoyed literary acclaim among the Athenians and kept one ear pricked at all times to the steps of an approaching assassin.

The history of the end of the Roman Republic—the sweeping battles on land and sea, the poignant historical ironies and above all the iconic men who shaped the course of history—is well known. Less widely known is the fate of the “minor” assassins of Caesar: those who played important roles in the plot, and throughout the ensuing civil wars, but who don't make a big splash in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar or Antony and Cleopatra. In his new book, "The Last Assassin: The Hunt for the Killers of Julius Caesar", Peter Stothard, former longtime editor of the London Times and the Times Literary Supplement and the author of several books about the ancient world, rescues these minor men from historical obscurity and uses their fates to tell the most page-turning account in recent memory of this otherwise well-trodden history.


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Reply "The Last Assassin: The Hunt for the Killers of Julius Caesar" (Original post)
left-of-center2012 Nov 2020 OP
The Magistrate Nov 2020 #1
left-of-center2012 Nov 2020 #2
The Magistrate Nov 2020 #3

Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 03:22 PM

1. Sounds Like A Good Read, Sir

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 04:33 PM

2. You do not have to call me "Sir"

"The great and powerful Oz" will be sufficient

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 04:46 PM

3. As You Wish

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

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