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Julius CaesarThe People's Dictator$
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Luciano Canfora

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748619368

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619368.001.0001

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The Hetairia of Cassius and the Recruitment of Brutus

The Hetairia of Cassius and the Recruitment of Brutus

(p.306) Chapter 34 The Hetairia of Cassius and the Recruitment of Brutus
Julius Caesar
Luciano Canfora, Julian Stringer
Edinburgh University Press

There is a tradition that pays particular attention to the role of Cassius in the events leading to Caesar's murder. It emerges here and there in the sources and may well provide a valuable element of information. The clearest text is also the most interesting: Plutarch's account of the coup at the beginning of his Life of Brutus, which uses sources very close to the events and the protagonist. Describing the beginning of the conspiracy, Plutarch tells how Brutus was gradually won over by Cassius to the idea of eliminating the ‘tyrant’ by assassination, despite the very high favour he enjoyed with Caesar. Here Plutarch uses a particularly significant expression: ‘Indeed, had he wished it, he might have been first among Caesar's friends and exercised the greatest power; but the party (hetairia) of Cassius drew him away from such a course’. In the rest of his account Plutarch clearly describes the further efforts of ‘Cassius' hetairia’ to draw Brutus in.

Keywords:   Julius Caesar, Plutarch, Life of Brutus, conspiracy, Cassius, Brutus, hetairia, assassination

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