ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Marcus Junius Brutus

Updated on November 1, 2009

Marcus Junius Brutus (85 - 42 B.C.) was a Roman statesman and scholar. He has been idealized and immortalized by Shakespeare in Julius Caesar, but his real character remains strangely paradoxical. Cicero was among his teachers and warmest admirers. He was a devotee of Platonism and Stoicism and produced philosophical tracts, works of history, and an elegant correspondence with Cicero. Brutus was an intellectual and an idealist. But for all his good qualities, he was stuffy, aloof, and self-righteous. In the 50's B.C. he served on the island of Cyprus and lent funds to the Cypriotes, enabling them to pay their taxes. In return he charged exorbitant interest rates and even authorized the use of force to extort the interest. Brutus and Caesar. When war between Caesar and Pompey wracked Italy in 49, Brutus was in a dilemma as to where his allegiance should lie. Although Pompey had killed Brutus' own father almost 30 years before, Brutus was influenced by Marcus Porcius Cato, his uncle, who was an unyielding enemy of Caesar. Brutus consequently joined the Pompeians and fought for them until 48, when, after the Battle of Pharsalus, he surrendered and was pardoned by Caesar. Caesar made him governor of Cisalpine Gaul in 46 and urban praetor in 44.

But Brutus' loyalty to Caesar wavered. The martyrdom of Cato in 46 must have had an impact on Brutus. He wrote a eulogy of Cato and in 45 married Cato's orphaned daughter, Porcia. Men reminded Brutus that his distant ancestor Lucius Brutus had slain the last Roman king and instituted the Roman republic; here was an example to be emulated. When Cassius organized his conspiracy against Caesar, he persuaded Brutus to join the conspirators. Besides being one of the actual assassins, Brutus gave the conspiracy its coherence, its prestige, and its symbol. Over Cassius' objections, he insisted that only Caesar be killed. Naively, he hoped the elimination of the dictator would bring the old republic back.

Death of Caesar by Vincenzo Camuccini
Death of Caesar by Vincenzo Camuccini

Brutus and the Triumvirs

Within a few months of Caesar's death in 44, Brutus felt obliged to go to Greece and Macedon in order to gather support. In 43 a new ruling clique was formed in Italy around Caesar's lieutenants Antony and Lepidus and Caesar's adoptive heir, Octavian. They were determined to avenge the dictator's death. Brutus wavered again and may still have expected a reconciliation. Antony had been Brutus' friend; Lepidus was his relative. Moreover, Brutus broke with Antony's enemy Cicero through a bitter interchange of letters. Perhaps Brutus hoped for a deal with the triumvirs; he had compromised his principles before. But events moved too rapidly. Brutus joined forces with Cassius, who had brought troops from the East. Together they engaged the armies of Antony and Octavian at Philippi in Thrace in October 42. Brutus was successful, but Cassius, tasting defeat, committed suicide. A second battle ensued, ending in Brutus' own defeat and suicide.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Kat 

      6 years ago

      thanks for this awesome hub. i got an A+ in my assignmnet

    • AJHargrove profile image

      AJHargrove 

      8 years ago from USA

      Interesting take on Brutus. Most contemporary scholars are more generous, while modern ones tend to tear apart his character.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)