The Conspirators Errored In Murdering Julius Caesar

1706 words - 7 pages

Julius Caesar (100-44BC) was one of the greatest men produced by ancient Rome and he remains today a famous personality in world history (Barlow 2005). The conspirators were wrong to murder Julius Caesar in three ways. Firstly, they were morally wrong in the removal of Caesar. Secondly, they failed to consider a practical benefit to Rome in the murder of Caesar, resulting in only more problems. Lastly and most importantly, the conspirators were wrong to murder Julius Caesar because they placed their interests before those of Rome.

Julius Caesar had been accused to have wanted to be king and was disapproved as Cicero (Cicero Duties Ex. 3.83) expressed that a king `justifies the destruction of law and liberty'. Scullard (1988:151) sated that `since many of the conspirators were men who had served Caesar faithfully and could expect further support from him, it must be assumed that their motives were not mean or petty.' It appeared that the nobles and aristocrats in Senate set out to restore liberty as a duty to their state.

However, this does not justify the conspirators as they cannot be said to have had some greater altruistic cause in the interest of Rome other then that of preserving liberty, which in the end they failed to achieve. Awareness of their duty (to preserve liberty of the Republic) shielded them from their knowledge of Caesar the man, of his generosity and clemency (Meier 1996:482). Even supposing Caesar was reducing freedom among Romans, he was doing it in such a way that it brought about beneficial changes. Caesar had ended civil war in 45 BC. He also responded to the grievances of the provincial subjects, aided the poor, relocated thousands of veterans, reorganized town governments in Italy, reformed the courts and planned to codify the law. He attempted to conciliate the senators (Perry, Chase, Jacob, Jacob and Von Laue 2004:136-137). Thus, the aristocrats should not have found a fault with him being dictator for life even if it went against their traditional beliefs, ultimately, the aristocrats of the Senate were suppose to govern Rome to the benefit of its people and Caesar's rule was proving the most beneficial. Meier (1996:18) stated Roman society had failed as a republic ruled by liberty and had faced many problems of organization, reorientation and integration. "Liberty" had failed to solve the problems that Caesar was now curing.

It can be argued that Caesar was growing old and tired as he stated that he had lived long enough (Syme 1939:56). It also can be argued that Caesar was starting to neglect the state as he was embarking on a new war for Parthia (Grant 1969:219). However, in light of all the reform that Caesar had brought about, Caesar was hailed Father of his Country (Grant 1969:227) and it seems unreasonable and disrespectful that the removal of his leadership would be justified just because he was growing old and weary.

The impracticality of the conspiracy can be seen in its ineffectiveness due to...

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