The Serious Mistake of Dismissing the Escort

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 Serious Mistake of Dismissing the Escort

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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

Chapter.  1108 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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