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The events that led to the assassination of Julius Caesar were planned by the Roman Senate. Most of them considered that there were numerous issues and grievances that the ruler did not wish or was not able to address. The two major plotters and masterminds of the assassination were Brutus and Cassius. Together with Labeo, they decided to use the Senate meeting, which Caesar was scheduled to attend, for murdering the ruler. They chose the Senate meeting as this event allowed them to gather together and be above any suspicion. The three, joined by forty others, attacked Caesar with daggers when he appeared for the meeting and managed to kill him. Although Tillius Cimber was in the building, he was not involved in the conspiracy; later, however, the man came out to say that he wished he had taken part in what he termed as a ‘superb banquet’. There were numerous possible reasons for the assassination of Julius Caesar; nevertheless, it was difficult to prove that this murder was justified.
Reasons for the Assassination
Some individuals wanted to rule the Empire; they considered that Caesar was a stumbling block between them and absolute power. After the victories in several significant battles and the death of Pompey, Caesar decided to acquire more powers, superseding the authorities held by the Senate. This intention did not go well with people such as Brutus and Cassius, who had been appointed as consuls. Brutus, in addition, had personal motivation since his candidacy had been postponed by Caesar for several times. When Caesar left Rome for Parthia to lead a three year campaign, the senators were forced to carry out the orders from those they deemed socially inferior to them. Most angered were Gaius Cassius Longinus and his friend Marcus Brutus. The two thought that they should have got power over the city at that time. Cicero was not involved in the assassination, but he gave a justification for the conspiracy. Later, he had come to power, but was also assassinated; consequently, a heir of Julius Caesar, Augustus, took over. It is obvious that Cicero would have had a proper chance to rule had he supported the assassination.
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Other people were angry about what had happened to them and their relatives in the previous wars. Many of them lost property and their families; they thought that Caesar ought to have rewarded them for their sufferings more than he did. Despite the advice by his consuls, Pansa and Hirtius, to hold with arms the positions that he had earlier acquired, Caesar refused and replied that he would prefer to die than live in fear. It is clear that the consuls had reasons to believe that some people did not support Caesar, as the way in which some of the city parts had been acquired were not acceptable to the citizens or some city leaders.
Other groups of people considered that they ought to have been treated with more dignity than the rest as they had been faithful friends of Caesar for a long time. This way, the Senate thought that, when Caesar had been away in Parthia for three years, he should have left the power to control the city to them. This was not the case as the ruler allowed other people, who were viewed as socially inferior to the Senate to make and give the orders. This decision could not satisfy certain senators, such as Gaius Cassius Longinus, and his friend Marcus Brutus. In addition, the long serving officers were not happy when the prisoners, who had earlier been captured in wars, were treated with similar favors, respect, and were paid similar wages as they were. A group of men, who had taken part in the wars and won with Caesar, thought that Caesar was treated with more glory than they were, despite the fact that they fought shoulder to shoulder. Some other members of the society received material gifts, and high profile appointments from Caesar. Nevertheless, these people were angered by the fact that only Caesar was in a position to make such gifts. After so many victories in wars and success he brought to the city, Caesar was treated by citizens as a super human being. On the other hand, this fact did not go well with those who had worked and fought with him, for example, the senators and soldiers were jealous.
The reason why the assassination of Caesar was supported by many, and hence turned to be successful, is the fact that all people, who questioned his leadership, were able to unite. Being rallied by personal reasons, they all conspired against the ruler and named Caesar a dictator. This accusation led to the rebellion against him. The plotters asserted that one person in power was not good for the city; therefore, they were advocating for a republican government. Some people also supported the conspiracy since their friends were in it while others supported it for personal reasons. When all these issues were brought together, in the pretext of liberating the city, a strong opposition against Caesar was formed in Senate.
The assassination of Julius Caesar was not justified at all. Jealousy and envy were the primary motives behind this murder. The soldiers who went with Caesar to war were jealous of the glory and power he received; they desired for similar appreciation, which was not possible as he was their leader. Although the senators were given orders by the people, who were socially inferior to them, it was not necessary to engage the city into a war for illegal monarchy, as held by Statilius. Julius Caesar had led the city to capture more land, and had been very successful in his campaigns. With such a big population, it was extremely difficult to please every person; therefore, grievances were inevitable. Nevertheless, these grievances did not warrant his assassination. In his play, Shakespeare asserted that Caesar was a wise and kind ruler; according to his will, his gardens were given to the public to be used as recreation centers, and his wealth was divided among the people of the city. The behavior of the citizens during Caesar’s burial reflected how much the people loved and honored him.