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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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Cicero – an Organiser of the Conspiracy?

Cicero – an Organiser of the Conspiracy?

(p.317) Chapter 37 Cicero – an Organiser of the Conspiracy?
Julius Caesar
Luciano Canfora, Julian Stringer
Edinburgh University Press

Speaking in the Senate on 19 September 44 bc, in the absence of Cicero, Antony made a serious accusation: ‘When Caesar had been slain, Brutus, whom I name with respect, at once lifting high his bloody dagger, shouted for Cicero by name, and congratulated him on the recovery of freedom’. From Brutus' remark Antony concluded, perhaps rightly, that Cicero was not unaware of the conspiracy. In the Second Philippic, a savagely Demosthenian reply that was never delivered, Cicero accurately quotes Antony's words and hits back with a detailed and deadly polemical retaliation: he recalls the blackest stain on Antony's ‘Caesarian’ career — his complicity in the plan to assassinate Caesar the previous year, shortly after Munda. Cicero's reminder was also a gift to Octavian, since at the time he actually published this damaging pamphlet he was already in touch with Octavian.

Keywords:   Julius Caesar, Brutus, Cicero, Antony, Octavian

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