We start the new season with the most famous assassination in history!
We travel back to Ancient Rome to explore the life and death of Julius Caesar. We watch his rise from a young and ambitious nobleman to the pinnacle of state power, by way of bloody military campaigns and skillful political scheming.
In 44 BC, as dictator perpetuo, Caesar wielded enormous power. Unsurprisingly this aroused deep jealousy amongst his fellow patricians. Moreover, the Romans still had profound republican sentiments and they feared that Caesar would make himself king.
A plot was hatched by members of the aristocracy to assassinate the man they called a tyrant. The Senate House next to the Theatre of Pompey was chosen as the best place to launch the attack on the Ides of March.
Civil warfare ensued, with the leading conspirators eventually defeated. Two of Caesar’s allies, Mark Antony and Octavian, then fought for control of Rome and its empire, with the latter eventually winning out in 30 BC.
Octavian, the nephew and adopted son of Caesar, would reign as the Emperor Augustus, founder of the Julio-Claudian dynasty that would govern Rome for the next century.
Robert Graves’s translation of the ancient historian Suetonius’s The Twelve Caesars is a lively account of the life and death of Julius Caesar and the rulers who followed him: The Twelve Caesars
This work by historian Barry Strauss is very engagingly written: The Death of Caesar: The Story of History's Most Famous Assassination
Attribution for music used in this episode:
Assassinations Podcast Theme Music (Intro, Outro, and Transitions) written and performed by Graeme Ronald