<i>The</i> Hetairia <i>of Cassius and the Recruitment of Brutus</i>

Edited by Luciano Canfora and Julian Stringer

in Julius Caesar

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619368
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670734 | DOI:
The Hetairia of Cassius and the Recruitment of Brutus

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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

Chapter.  2222 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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