2_27_09 - Classics 222 notes for 2/27/09 Roman History...

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Classics 222 notes for 2/27/09 Roman History keyed to the handout "Timeline II" (cont.) During the civil war that followed Caesar’s crossing the Rubicon in 49, part of Caesar's public relations effort was to spare all citizens who did not resist him, and to forgive all citizens who had opposed him. "The Clemency of Caesar" becomes legendary. Many people are beholden to him for their lives. Caesar was absolute ruler in Rome- this is extremely dangerous. Romans hate kings and have taken an oath not to allow a king to gain power. 4 men within the last 400 years had been accused of trying to be a king- all were murdered and their killers never brought to trial. Caesar is acting like a king- doesn't greet the senate when they come to name him dictator for life, instead he stays seated. He decided to appoint the consuls on his own, with no need for elections. December 31, 45bc- appoints his friend to fulfill the term of a dead consul- the man served less than 24 hours. The senate is mortally insulted. Ides of March (15 th ) of 44, - Caesar went to the senate (which was meeting in a theater built by Pompey)- he was killed by friends and forgiven enemies- Even Brutus killed him Why? He was aiming at a kingship. When Caesar died people didn't know what to do- he was ruled to have died by natural causes, no murderers were brought to trial- but his memoranda of future plans were held to have the force of law. People are shocked by the contents of his will- had expected Marc Antony to be his heir. Instead Octavian (great nephew/adopted son) was named heir. Octavian, an 18 year old, seemed like the perfect counterweight to Caesar's friend, the consul Marc Antony, and was used by the senate against M. Antony 43bc the consuls are killed in a battle against Antony - 19 year old Octavian is leading the army. He wants to be made a consul- visits Rome with 8 legions to ensure this. In a complete switch, Octavian and Antony team up to hunt down the killers of Julius Caesar. Octavian then splits the empire in conjunction with M. Antony, marries his sister Octavia to Antony to seal the deal. M. Antony goes to get back the standards lost by Crassus when he was killed in his Parthian campaign. The loss of these legionary standards, like battle flags only considered holy, had been a TREMENDOUS blow to Rome’s collective self-esteem. In 36 Antony is defeated by the Parthians and loses 2/3 of the army M. Antony seeks solace in Egypt in the arms of Cleopatra (with whom he has several
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2_27_09 - Classics 222 notes for 2/27/09 Roman History...

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