On March 15, 44 BC Julius Caesar was assassinated. This day went down in history as the Ides of March.
The conspirators placed themselves around him as he sat, as if they wanted to honor him; and immediately Cimbro Tillio, who had taken the initiative, came up to him as if he was going to ask him something and, since he was shaking his head, postponing the matter with a gesture, he grabbed his toga by both shoulders. […]. And when he realized he was being attacked from all sides with daggers drawn, he wrapped his head with his toga and at the same time brought down the folds to his feet with his left hand, to fall into the most dignified way after veiling the lower part of his body as well. And so he was stabbed twenty-three times, and only at the first stroke he moaned wordlessly; although it’s been said that, as Marcus Brutus assailed him, Caesar said: “You too, my son?”
De vita Caesarum, Book I, Suetonius.
These then, according to tradition, were the last words of Julius Caesar, when on March 15, 44 BC he fell under the blows of the senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, who conspired against the tyrant who was threatening the freedom of the people. Legend has it that Caesar witnessed bad omens that same morning when he woke up and his wife begged him to stay home that day. Two years after his assassination, Caesar was formally deified by the Senate and his intellectual legacy was collected by Augustus, his great-nephew and adopted a son.
Caesar changed the history of the West and Rome forever, which still bears the marks of his legacy. Let’s find out about the history of Rome and the Ides of March through the Roman sites that belong to the inheritance of Caesar.
The Forum of Caesar
The Forum of Caesar was the only part of the dictator’s urban plan to be accomplished before his death. It was funded by the victory of the world-famous Gaul wars and was intended to become the political, administrative and religious heart of the city. After Caesar was assassinated, his body was brought into the court, wherein the eastern end of the square a funeral pyre was set up, according to Roman tradition. It was in this place, in 29 BC that Octavian ordered the construction of a temple for the worship of his adoptive father in 29 BC.
Click here to visit the Roman Forum.
The ruins of the Roman Forum
Largo di Torre Argentina
This square, located in the ancient area of Campo Marzio (now the Fourth Ward of the city between the Quirinal and the Capitoline Hill) is a rich archaeological site that houses the ruins of four temples dating back to the Republic. Besides these temples, there are also the remains of a large tuff pedestal that scholars have attributed with certainty to the Theatre of Pompeii, the place where the conspiracy against Caesar was hatched and where it took place.
The ruins of Largo di Torre Argentina, where once stood the Theatre of Pompeii
Theatre of Marcellus
Caesar wanted the Theater of Marcellus to be so imposing and magnificent That the one in Pompeii would Appear small and insignificant in comparison. Unfortunately, he was killed before seeing the project Concluded. Octavian Augustus picked up the project and its size increased At Compared to the initial project, making the displacement of two sacred temples to Apollo and Bellona necessary. It was Inaugurated in 13 BC with games in great style. Octavian Entitled it to His nephew Marcus Claudius Marcellus, His designated heir. A big part of this beautiful Roman theater has come to us with the travertine facade featuring two of the three original orders Consisting of arches with Doric and Ionic columns. You can admire it in the namesake street Via del Teatro Marcello, at the foot of the Capitol.
The Theatre of Marcellus
The Suburra area
It is unlikely that many people know that Caesar was born into a very poor family that lived in the slums of Rome. The slums were Referred to as the Suburra district where lower classes of the population were living in miserable conditions. Today this area has been transformed: forget the brothels and the seedy streets, and get ready for chic bars and classy restaurants. The old Suburra area is none other than the Rione Monti, a wonderful neighborhood to walk around in while eating ice cream by Fatamorgana, where you can have a chic cocktail from La Barrique and where you can enjoy Japanese-Brazilian sushi by Temakinho.
A glimpse of the beautiful Monti, called Suburra in Caesar’s time
Despite its distinct medieval look, Trastevere has more ancient origins dating back to the glories of ancient Rome. Caesar, in fact, had a second home in this neighborhood: it’s said that he hosted Queen Cleopatra right in his villa in Trastevere in 46 BC. Today, Trastevere is one of the most characteristic areas of the Eternal City where you can find hundreds of taverns and restaurants. Among them, the Ristorante Meridionale, a ‘50s style restaurant, and trattoria that serves traditional Roman dishes along with more experimental and sophisticated ones.
Trastevere, one of the most picturesque districts of Rome