Julius Caesar Assassination

Senior (College 4th year) ・History ・APA ・4 Sources

As a result of Caesar's impressive reforms, both his foes and some of his allies began to panic. The attempt to assassinate Caesar turned out to be a risky course of action. Caesar was dreaded by many because he was acknowledged as the lifelong dictator. Four key men came together to create the assassination plot against Caesar. Close pals Gaius Trebonius and Decimus Junius Brutus complained that Caesar did not treat them well. The other two were rivals Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Linginus. All the four men and particularly Brutus argued that Caesar had considerable support from the public which was a viable reason for his assassination. The four men secretly met for the plot against the murder his killing. Caesar had dismissed his bodyguard in October 45BC as he believed that no person would dare to attack him and this made him be an easy target, and thus the conspirators acted swiftly. Caesar was increasingly becoming famous, and the Roman Senate believed that it no longer had a voice in the control of Republic.

Keywords: Julius Caesar, Assassination, Roman Republic, Roman Senate

The Assassination of Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar murder was among the notorious historical events in the Roman Republic. Caesar was killed on March 15, 44BC and before his death, he was to leave for a war on March 18, and he had appointed his loyal people to lead in his absence. The Roman Republic was suffering from corruption, violence and was heavily plagued with high unemployment levels which Caesar worked hard to weed out from the Republic. He was a leader loved by many, and his reformative actions proved to better the Roman Republic. A critical question has always remained enquiring the reasons that drove the Roman Senate to assassinate a notable and a celebrated ruler who was driving the Roman Republic to scales of admiration.

Reasons why Julius Caesar was assassinated

A critical inquiry into this question reveals fundamental aspects that surround the killing of Caesar ranging from the political rule; the individuals struggle for democracy, class power, and social justice. His achievements drove the reasons for his murder. The assassination of Caesar marked a critical turning point in the Roman Republic. Caesar was incredibly a reformative ruler who initiated many social and agricultural policies which Roman citizens loved. Therefore, he was adored by many individuals and this stemmed the hatred between him and the Senate. Freeman (2008) asserts that people saw Caesar as a benevolent leader who built his reputation and attained public confidence. His death cultivated an environment that set the mood for “civil war and ushered in the abolitionist rule” which prevailed for a long time (Strauss, 2015). The reasons behind Caesar’s killing emanated from the fear of the Roman Senate which felt that Caesar had taken away their power. Parenti (2004) documents that the Roman Senate believed that Caesar had become a more powerful and a dangerous dictator and viewed that his assassination would restore the republic to its old place and bring an end to the dictatorship. Nevertheless, the action drove the nation into a period of civil war which saw Rome drain its resources and economically became weak until the rule of Augustus (Freeman, 2008).

Caesar military success was one of the primary reasons that created hatred and resulted in his brutal murder. Caesar had just returned from his victory against King Pharnaces of Pontus, and his victory drove him to say “I came, I saw, I conquered!” (Parenti, 2004). This utterance illustrated both arrogance and military competence which branded him as a hero and a future Roman republic leader. During this time, he served as the Roman general, and in fifty battles, he managed to kill approximately two million people. He was loved by many citizens, and he instituted various essential reforms which were central to the people. Caesar was always loyal to his army, gave food to the poor and even promised to move the poor people to newly better living conditions. His ability and skills in the military along with the praises he received from the public began to instill fear in the minds of the Roman Senate and particularly the Optimates who were old elites. Caesar had transferred his military commander skills into an ability to rule the Roman Republic an aspect that led to his assassination.

Caesar introduced the Julian calendar which was one of his famous reforms. Typically, the Roman calendar consisted of 12 months which comprised of 355 days and did not incorporate the 27 and 28 days of February. Caesar incorporated this in his calendar and brought the total number of days to 365.25 days. This calendar came into effect on January 1, 45BC and had remained to be in use until today. Besides, among his notable reforms was the rebuilding of ancient cities of Corinth and Carthage. Carthage, a city of the ancient civilization in Carthaginian had critically undergone destruction. Corinth was also destroyed, and Caesar implemented reconstruction projects that helped in rebuilding the cities. Caesar and Hadas (1990) indicate that Caesar also initiated the integration of the Roman territories to the outside of Italy which earned him fame and created animosity. Individual who were outside Italy were not considered to be Rome citizens, and thus they were not entitled to full rights of the citizens.

Caesar took significant steps that were directed at the mitigation of financial crisis in Rome. Rome was critically suffering from financial crisis owing to the expenditures that were directed to civil. Rome experienced shortages in coin supply, and the estate market had collapsed. Through his directorship, he ordered property to be accepted as a form of payment and also passed laws that saw the nation review its financial sector. Caesar took a number of steps that addressed the poor people. He managed to distribute land to about 200,000 families and addressed the widespread rate of unemployment (Strauss, 2015). He was the best military commander and becomes the most powerful man in the Roman Republic through his outstanding accomplishments. These attainments made Roman Senate plot his assassination for them to continue monopolizing power.

Caesar, on seeing that he was loved by the roman people, he declared some significant reforms which further commended him as a true Roman citizen. He offered land to his veteran army and even gave food to the poor and the newly acquired colonies in North Africa, Greece, and Anatolia. Due to this, Caesar limited the power of the provincial governors and fundamentally increased his magnitude of fame. He built a public library which was deemed to be useful to the residents. Through his reforms, Caesar aimed at transforming the Roman Republic into a new face that would be attractive for a living.

The aftermath of Caesar’s death was devastating. Brutus and the Roman Senate thought that the assassination of Caesar would restore some into its old Roman spirit. However, this proved to be not the case. The killing further increased hostility. People become violent, civil war set in and attaining peace turned out to be an impossible aspect in Rome (Caesar & Hadas, 1990). Consequently, the conspirators were forced to flee from Rome fearing death from the angered citizens. Octavian, Caesar’s adopted son, received support from both the army and the population and later came into power as Augustus. Caesars was honored after his death, and he was given the award title of an Imperator and a liberator. His birthday became a public holiday and his month of death was renamed as July (Julius), and many people branded him as the father of the nation. Statues were erected in respect of Caesar


Many people believed that Caesar was a conquering hero who would help in liberation Rome from the problems that faced it. Indeed Caesar was becoming a notable ruler and a more divine figure who had admirable visions and reformative actions that were contrary to the traditional Roman beliefs. Friends and enemies grew a significant sense of animosity which stemmed from his magnificent achievements. The highlighted deeds made the Roman Senate to plot assassination that would help in redeeming the nation and retain power. Nevertheless, the empire was driven into depressing moments of civil war.


Caesar, J., & Hadas, M. (1990). The works of Julius Caesar. Roslyn, N.Y.: Black's Readers Service.

Freeman, P. (2008). Julius Caesar. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Parenti, M. (2004). The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome. New York: New Press.

Strauss Barry. (2015). The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination. Simon & Schuster

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