The Ides
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The Ides : Caesar's Murder and the War for Rome

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Unraveling the many mysteries surrounding the murder of Julius CaesarThe assassination of Julius Caesar is one of the most notorious murders in history. Two thousand years after it occurred, many compelling questions remain about his death: Was Brutus the hero and Caesar the villain? Did Caesar bring death on himself by planning to make himself king of Rome? Was Mark Antony aware of the plot, and let it go forward? Who wrote Antony's script after Caesar's death? Using historical evidence to sort out these and other puzzling issues, historian and award-winning author Stephen Dando-Collins takes you to the world of ancient Rome and recaptures the drama of Caesar's demise and the chaotic aftermath as the vicious struggle for power between Antony and Octavian unfolded. For the first time, he shows how the religious festivals and customs of the day impacted on the way the assassination plot unfolded. He shows, too, how the murder was almost avoided at the last moment.A compelling history that is packed with intrigue and written with the pacing of a first-rate mystery, "The Ides" will challenge what you think you know about Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire.

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  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 158 x 236 x 32mm | 498.95g
  • 08 Feb 2010
  • Turner Publishing Company
  • John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Chichester
  • English
  • maps
  • 0470425237
  • 9780470425237
  • 457,190

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Author Information

Stephen Dando-Collins is an Australian-born historian and award-winning author who has spent more than three decades studying the individual legions of the Roman army of the late Republic and the empire of the Caesars. He is the author of Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome, Nero's Killing Machine: The True Story of Rome's Remarkable Fourteenth Legion, Cleopatra's Kidnappers: How Caesar's Sixth Legion Gave Egypt to Rome and Rome to Caesar, Mark Antony's Heroes: How the Third Gallica Legion Saved an Apostle and Created an Emperor, and Blood of the Caesars: How the Murder of Germanicus Led to the Fall of Rome.

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Review quote

Trying to clear away the "twaddle" that surrounds Julius Caesar, Dando-Collins ("Caesar's Legion") provides a page-turner of a history describing step-by-step the events leading to the assassination of Julius Caesar and the impact of his removal on the collapse of the Roman Republic. Caesar's rise to power and his limitless ambition posed an immediate threat to the survival of the Republic, which caused fear and consternation in those, such as Marcus Brutus, who nobly wished to defend Roman democracy. Brutus and his fellow senator Cassius planned the assassination and, with the help of yet other senators, carried it out on March 15, 44 B.C.E. Public sentiment originally favored the Liberators, as the assassins were known, but, thanks to the scheming of Marc Antony and the fickleness of the crowds, Brutus, Cassius, and others were forced to flee the city. In the months that followed, Antony and his sometime ally, Caesar's heir, Octavian, destroyed the Liberators only to later wage war against each other. Antony's ultimate defeat led to Octavian's installation as the first emperor, Augustus Caesar. The dramatic story examines the roles of soldiers, politicians, philosophers, wives, and mistresses with perhaps too much emphasis placed on the ever-popular Cleopatra. 2 maps. "(Feb.)" ("Publishers Weekly", December 21, 2009)

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Back cover copy

Unraveling the many mysteries surrounding the murder of Julius CaesarThe assassination of Julius Caesar is one of the most notorious murders in history. Two thousand years after it occurred, many compelling questions remain about his death: Was Brutus the hero and Caesar the villain? Did Caesar bring about his own death by planning to make himself king of Rome? Was Mark Antony aware of the plot, and did he let it go forward? Who wrote Antony's script after Caesar's death? Using historical evidence to sort out these and other puzzling issues, historian and award-winning author Stephen Dando-Collins takes you to the world of ancient Rome and recaptures the drama of Caesar's demise and the chaotic aftermath as the vicious struggle for power between Antony and Octavian unfolded. For the first time, he shows how the religious festivals and customs of the day affected the way the assassination plot unfolded. He shows, too, how the murder was almost avoided at the last moment.Praise for Stephen Dando-Collins"Absorbing . . . Military history is the muscle of this book, with enough political sinews to give it coherence." --The Washington Times on Caesar's Legion"The meticulous research and racy writing style make this a fascinating and revealing book." --The Good Book Guide on Cleopatra's Kidnappers"Cleverly structured and well paced." --The Age on Nero's Killing Machine "A tough, gritty chronicle." --Booklist on Mark Antony's Heroes"A work to keep you fascinated, and to make you wonder at the web of deceit that could occur in Rome." --BBC History Magazine on Blood of the Caesars

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Flap copy

Sixty killers, wearing the purple-trimmed togas of Roman senators, unsheathed their hidden daggers to stab the most feared and powerful man in the Empire. Hundreds of their colleagues ran screaming from the Theater of Pompey the Great, proclaiming the bloody deed to the thousands of citizens who clogged the streets outside. It was the most public of crimes. Yet, two millennia after the murder of Julius Caesar, many questions remain unanswered. Was Brutus a treasonous villain or a hero of Rome? Were the killers motivated by noble sentiment or venality? Why did so many of Caesar's formerly loyal lieutenants take part in the murder? In The Ides, celebrated author and classical researcher Stephen Dando-Collins transports you to the streets, palaces, and gathering places of ancient Rome to experience a richly detailed, convincingly accurate, and stunningly suspenseful account of Caesar's final days. He traces the conspiracy that brought the conqueror down, from a surprising holiday meeting between Cassius and Brutus to its chaotic conclusion and beyond.Drawing deeply from ancient manuscripts, Dando-Collins documents Caesar's campaign to persuade the Senate, which had already declared him a "living god," to appoint him king of Rome before his planned departure on a military mission on March 19, 44 b.c. He reveals why many Romans already considered Caesar a tyrant and why Brutus, who may well have been Caesar's illegitimate son, felt a special obligation to depose this man who would be king. This compelling history follows the mercurial Cassius and even-tempered Brutus as they carefully feel out potential co-conspirators, knowing that one wrong choice could be their last. It reveals the dramatic lengths to which Brutus's wife Porcia went to prove he could trust her with his secret; why Caesar, even as the killers paced in restless anticipation of his arrival, canceled the Senate session he had called; and how a close associate convinced him to change his mind. Complete with a thoughtful analysis of why the plotters failed in their aim to restore the Republic and a chilling account of the deadly power struggles that continued for years after Caesar's death, The Ides is "must reading" for anyone fascinated with the Roman Empire, military history, and an incredibly good tale well told.

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