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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 Serious Mistake of Dismissing the Escort

The Serious Mistake of Dismissing the Escort

(p.322) Chapter 38 The Serious Mistake of Dismissing the Escort
Julius Caesar
Luciano Canfora, Julian Stringer
Edinburgh University Press

Suetonius, who is well informed about reports of warnings reaching Caesar before the conspiracy, wonders whether Caesar actually wanted to die, given that exhaustion had led to physical decline — a question which, he says, has already been explored by others. Suetonius also records the view that Caesar felt safer after the senators had sworn to protect him, and therefore made the mistake — which made possible his murder — of dismissing his bodyguard. A third opinion, which Suetonius duly records, is actually very close to the theory of those who said ‘he wanted to die’: this view held that he preferred to confront those perils, once and for all, rather than live constantly in fear of them. It is probable that each one of these suggestions captures part of the truth and helps to understand Caesar's baffling decision to dismiss his armed escort.

Keywords:   Julius Caesar, bodyguard, Suetonius, conspiracy, death

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