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On March 15, 44 B.C., Julius Caesar fell to the knives of Brutus, Cassius and perhaps 21 other senators. Strauss’s book covers only a three year span of time. Starting the year before the ides of March to the battle of Philippi two years later, when Brutus, defeated by pro-Caesar forces, took his own life.
The author of this historical study tries to capture the tension of an unfolding crisis but also runs into strong headwinds when it comes to questions of character and motive.
The author points out that thanks to William Shakespeare, the death of Julius Caesar is the most famous assassination in history. Shakespeare shows Caesar’s assassination to be an amateur and idealistic affair. Strauss points out that the real killing was a carefully planned paramilitary operation; a general’s plot put together by Caesar’s disaffected officers and designed with precision.
The author tells of a key person, Decimus. He was the mole in Caesar’s entourage, one of Caesar’s leading generals and a lifelong friend. According to Strauss it was he, not Brutus, who truly betrayed Caesar. Strauss sheds new light on this fascinating pivotal moment in Roman history.
The book is superbly researched and well written. The author paints clear portraits of all the main characters such as Mark Antony, Decimus, Brutus, and Octavian. The book raises as many questions as it tries to answer. Robertson Dean narrated the book.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I thought I knew all about Caesar's death, thanks to Shakespeare. How wrong I was!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful