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ROME: 'Ides Of March' Julius Caesar's Assassination Walking Tour


Jul 5th, 2005, 03:56 PM
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ROME: 'Ides Of March' Julius Caesar's Assassination Walking Tour

This is *very long* and will be in 9 Parts, so please don't respond to this post until it's finished. It will take a while .
If anyone wants me to email it to them so they can print it out easier, just put ROME in the email's 'Subject Line'. Also as time goes by I will be adding to it or replacing dead links. Regards, Walter
Part1:I recently came across these versions (there are many of the events which are very good
http://www.vuw.ac.nz/classics/events...f/Garland.html www.unrv.com/fall-republic/aftermath.php The Roman Forum and historical sites associated with Julius Caesar have always fascinated me when I'm in Rome. Tourists (like myself often bypass these unmarked major and minor sites, never knowing what transpired there over 2000yrs ago. But we all have heard the story, either thru history books, teachers. movies, TV or the Shakespearean play.
  I'm not a very good writer and an even worst proofreader. This was written in parts over time plus additions from my last trip and finding new links for dead ones. I repeat info sometimes (usually at locations) so if you do take this walk you don't have to go back and look for something I mentioned previously. Also I detail locations in case the Photo Links go dead someday. And I admit I do tend to go overboard in the directions to certain places, esp *The Tree*.   The actual site locations are accurate but as far as what was said or done, or the omens that happened...It's up to you to believe it or not. All I have done is piece together what was written by ancient historians (Suetonius, Plutarch, Cassius Dio, etc) and info I've gotten from websites, history books, historical guidebooks, documentarys, etc. I have paraphrased some words and/or combined different versions or just chosen one version of who, what or where. Also a few educated guesses. I have added a "(?)" here and there in the middle of a sentence when there's a doubt or another version says something differently.   Again it's just a historical tourist walk of the sites and not a thesis. I just tried to balance everything out to keep it very accurate plus entertaining and interesting. Also no matter how hard I try WebTv just keeps running my paragraphs together with no breaks...sorry.
You will find many versions of exactly where Julius Caesar was murdered in the Senate building. And where the Senate building was actually located.
  Some misconceptions come from Shakespeare who places it on the Capitol (Capitoline Hill). While some even say it was in the Roman Forum's Senate Building (Curia Julia).
  But it was *definitely* in the Curia Pompey which is located outside these two areas ~750-850m away and used as the Senate Building on that fateful day.
  Another major misconception from Shakespeare although he has him entering the Senate building in his Play. He is sometimes shown in the theater to be murdered on the front steps of the Senate. More dramatic plus one less scene change, the Senate building and the steps are already there at least in the 2 local productions I have seen.   This is how many people 1st see the assassination and it becomes a fact sometimes in other later accounts. It's very common to read that Julius Caesar was killed on the steps of the Senate bldg.  But it's a *fact* that Marc Antony (a strong and fearless man) was kept outside the Senate building on the steps by one of the conspirators in a contrived conversation, it order to seperate him from Julius Caesar.   Also to do this deed if front of the Roman people gathered outside the Senate bldg could be very dangerous. They could easily turn into a vengeful mob and kill all the conspirators (it wouldn't be the 1st or the last time.   And there is a better possibility for Caesar to escape although wounded into the mob or into the Senate bldg or to have others come to his aid. Better to have him out of sight and away from Antony and the mob.
  And *where* would the 'Statue of Pompey' at whose base Caesar died at be located on the front steps???
  Other accounts say & show the assassination on the floor of the Senate. Caesar enters the building and the Senators all rise in his honor. It
would have been very disrespectful to stop and petition him while walking over to the podium and his seat of honor.   He would also have 360-deg to escape, towards the front door or into the main body of Senators on his left and right for help.   But mainly he would have *alot* of ground to cover *while being stabbed* to get to the Statue of Pompey in the rear of the building. Plus he would be running into a dead-end and not towards help or escape.   Caesar was a fearless man who has been surrounded and outnumbered before in combat. To give him the slightest advantage could be a foolish mistake even if it is a longshot. In the chaos of the attack, a few seconds, a few meters and the tides could quickly turn against the conspirators.   But if they waited until he was seated on the podium, everything will be to their advantage.
  Being on their feet while their prey is beneath them, they have the 'high ground'. And time to position themselves while waiting for the signal to attack.
  Caesar is now cornered, out of sight, distracted by the conspirator's petitions before him and far from Antony and the onlookers outside.
  Most historians modern and ancient (esp Suetonius) seem to agree he was seated when attacked.
  The two best arguments are IMO:
The Statue of Pompey is right behind his chair on the podium. He has a stylus (a long pen-probably metal) in his hand with which he stabbed Casca in the arm after he struck the 1st blow. Caesar wouldn't be walking from his litter to his seat with a pen it his hand signing autographs, it's not a ballpoint pen. It requires an inkpot and both these items would be brought to him when seated to sign petitions or decrees probably with a small table. A stylus is also used to write in wax tablets (paper is very expensive) which can be reused but not in this case.
  So if Julius Caesar was attacked while seated and that's the rear section of the 'Curia Pompey' in the 'Area Sacra'. You can see the place where the podium, chair and Statue once were and the World's most famous political assassination took place over 2000 years ago!
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Jul 5th, 2005, 04:00 PM
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Part2.........ROMAN-FORUM.................. Located around the center of the Roman Forum area ruins is the Regia. Stand on the Via Sacra with the south side of the Regia before you. In front of you is the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina and behind you is the House of the Vestal Virgins (Atrium Vestae) and the Temple of Vesta. (Photos 1,3,4,17).   Directly in front of you is the "Shrine of Mars", a room in the SW (left-bottom) corner of the Regia (all that remains is just the floor). (Photo 8) It's a rectangular area made from stone blocks (some missing). It has a circular grassy mound on it (beneath this mound is a stone circle-2.53m/diameter), this was probably the altar (or hearth?) that held the "Sacred Spears of Mars".
  It's the evening of March 14, 44BC, a violent thunderstorm rages (?) that night. It's looked upon as an ill omen.    Julius Caesar (JC from now on) enters the "Shrine of Mars". In 4 days he leaves for war with Parthia (Iran & surrounding areas) but tomorrow after the Senate meeting his friend Marcus Aemilius Lepidus "Master of the Horse" (Commander of the Cavalry) will leave (?) for Parthia also. They will also dine together that night.   It's written that while JC was in the Shrine that night the "Sacred Spears" started to vibrate/rattle/move on their own. Legend has it that they only do this when something terrible is about too happen.    It is not the first omen or warning JC has received and it will not be his last! [I wonder if JC was there with his friend Lepidus to ask the God Mars for his help/blessing in their upcoming war? Generals would go into the Shrine and rattle the Spears (for luck, blessing, prayer) before they would depart for war.  Also I wonder if the violent thunderstorm recorded (?) that night was raging at that moment?  Could the sonic boom from a nearby lighting strike have caused the Spears to vibrate? Was this omen just a myth? Or could it have actually happened? It's been said (?) that the Spears might have been *delicately* balanced somehow, like an ancient seismograph.]    Now look to your right (photo 2) and you will see a small grove of trees, face them. The House of the Vestal Virgins runs along the rightside and the Via Sacra along the left. [***NOTE: Due to a recent excavation (2004-5) you can no longer 'turn right and walk into that small grove of trees' from the Regia to see that Stylobate.
  I am leaving those directions in below because when they are finished they might fill the area back-in and reopen it.   It's no big deal, just walk into the 'House of the Vestal Virgins' directly behind the Regia and turn left and you will see the stylobate and the bath area I describe below in the fenced-off ruins.   If you turn around at the Regia and face the Palatine Hill you will see this
http://www.sionmc.com/Rome/forum/aed...culaandpal.jpg So just walk into that open area in front of you and turn left.***] Walk into that small grove of trees and look thru the fence and you will see a surviving section of a stylobate (a continuous base that supported a row of columns). It's easy to find, it's between you and that tin roof that protects the mosaic paving (out of sight) of the Domus Publica's baths. Both the mosaic and this stylobate (also possibly part of the baths) are dated to before and during the time JC was Pontifex Maximus. So you'll looking at the remains of where JC bathed probably with friends like Marc Antony and even Brutus (the baths are social events). Also highly likely where the physician Antistius performed the world's 1st recorded autopsy on JC and where his body was washed of the blood for the funeral.  
 The short stylobate remains are 2 large grayish/white travertine blocks with a half-column base chiseled out of one of them. Also a travertine moulding in front of them with a water channel cut thru it. Plus you can just barely see another stylobate section in one of the rooms off to the right of that section.      This 'water channel' means that this stylobate was exposed to the elements and a run-off for rainwater. Perhaps an open courtyard?, atrium? or an entrance within the walls encompassing the Domus Publica and the 'House of the Vestal Virgins' and entering into the original atrium of the 'House of the Vestal Virgins'? This original atrium is the area from the Vicus Vestae (the section of the Via Sacra in front of the House of the Vestals and alongside the Regia) to the 'Temple of Vesta' to the 'Aedicula' (the shrine to the right of the fenced-off entrance to the large 'House of Vestals' where all the tourists crowding to peek into the House .
  This bath was probably destroyed to the level of the stylobate we see today and built over by the Vestal Virgins after Augustus gave them the Domus Publica. Vestal Virgins cannot use water that comes from a pipe, only water drawn from a well.
  Now walk up the Via Sacra to the Temple of Romulus, you can't miss it (intact circular temple with bronze doors-photo 2).   With your back to this Temple face the House of the Vestal Virgins and the Palatine Hill. The area in front of you from that small grove of trees on your right over to the left of you and between the Via Sacra that you are standing on and over to near-by the base of the Palatine Hill.   This was where the "Domus Publica" was located. A prime piece of real estate where the Pontifex Maximus (Pope, presides over the Vestal Virgins plus other duties) lived.   It wasn't a full-time job, JC was the Pontifex Maximus since 62BC and lives in this house with his 3rd (or 4th) wife Calpurnia (Cleopatra and their son Caesarion are living in JC's estate in Trastevere).  
  This is just a guess on my part from looking at the recently excavated ruins of the Domus Publica. Bear in mind that after JC Augustus give this house to the Vestals. They were then able to vastly enlarge the House of the Vestals and rebuilt over the Domus Publica. So alot of the brick walls you now see are from Augustus' time (after JC) and later.   It would be logical that the front door would open onto the Via Sacra, on the east side there would be other houses (Cicero's house was adjacent to the Domus Publica and Marc Anthony also lived nearby), on the west the House of the Vestals plus the Domus Publica's baths, in the back the Palatine Hill and the Via Nova more like an dark alley. So for an important public official to receive guests or to make a grand exit or entrance, the Via Sacra would be the place. The outside ground floor of the house was probably walled with perhaps barred or no windows and strong barred doors guarded by slaves,freemen or soldiers? 24/7.
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Jul 5th, 2005, 04:03 PM
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Part3 Standing in front of the Temple of Romulus try and visualize this house. Most of the right half is taken up by the baths. So the entrance would have to be either in the center or the left half.   I mention this because if you look 45deg to the left and ~15M into the Domus fenced-in area you will see two pedestal-type bases. There is marble paving between these bases and they are higher than the Via Sacra with the foundation sloped towards the Via Sacra. Enter thru the ugly front fortress-like door and up a ramp or steps to the beautiful entrance into the Domus' Atrium? This wouldn't seem to be something the Vestals would have added-on, another *main* entrance to a high security (chastity area? Plus they already have a main entrance to their atrium by the Temple of Vesta. Or perhaps the entrance was already there and the Vestals just incorporated it into their new House? Anyway look at it from all different angles and see how out of place (pedestals, marble, etc) it looks among the ruins. Remember the brick wall behind it was *most probably* added during the Vestal renovations. I'm fairly convinced that it is the main entrance to the Domus Publica and the doorway used by JC when he left that fateful morning.  It's later in the evening, JC and his friend Marcus Aemilius Lepidus have just finished dinner along with others (I've read (?) that *Decimus Brutus* was also there). JC is catching-up on some work (reading and signing things) while everyone else is engaged in after dinner conversation. The topic of "What is the best death?" comes-up, JC quickly answers "A sudden one".  
 That night JC and his wife go to sleep, it will not be restful! In the middle of the night the doors and windows in their bedroom(s) (or through-out their home) are blown open by a violent wind. That thunderstorm again?   JC has a dream (?) that he is flying above the clouds holding the hand of the God Jupiter.   His wife has a nightmare, she dreams that the pinnacle (placed there by the Senate) atop their house falls and smashes on the ground and she weeps over the body of her murdered husband in her arms.   .....*Early Morning March 15, 44BC*..... It is the "Ides Of March". JC is ill and his wife begs him not to go to the Senate meeting that day. She tells him of her dream. JC is worried by her pleads, she is not a overly superstitious person.   Later the priests report to him that they have made several (animal) sacrifices and found them to be inauspicious (unfavorable). [ill health, ill omens, Calpurnia's dream and pleas, and now these unfavorable sacrifices!]   JC hesitates for quite a while and finally decides to send Marc Antony to the Curia Pompey (~1.4km walking distance) to dismiss the Senate. But he doesn't, because of one man's words.  
 Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus (aka *Decimus Brutus* or Brutus Albinus) is also at the house that morning. He is not *that* Brutus but he is his distant relative of his. He is a confidant, trusted ally and a close friend of JC. And is actually in JC's will as a 2nd heir (more as an overseer of his decrees and not an actual money/property inheritor). He is also a major one of sixty or so conspirators. His life and the others, all depend on JC going to that Senate meeting. If not, it's probably for certain that by sunset JC will have gotten wind of their plot. The "cat is out of the bag" and the rumors have already started, they will not get a 2nd chance.    *Decimus Brutus* tells JC that *he* called this Senate meeting and it would be insulting to the Senators not to show. He scoffs and mocks the priests and their sacrifices. "Caesar shall we tell the Senate you will only meet them when your wife has better dreams?", "What will your enemies say?" "The Senate wants to give you the title of King/Rex (to be used *only* outside of Italy and only to forfill a Sybil prophesy, JC is "Dictator For Life" [Dictator Perpetuus] but the title *King* to the Romans is like the title *Dictator* to us) and will vote unanimously for you".   D. Brutus takes JC's hand and leads him towards the door. "At least, if you think this day is unfortunate, the decent thing to do is to go to the Senate meeting yourself and adjourn it in person".   JC agrees and walks out his door to where his litter awaits. He will leave for the Senate meeting with a small entourage, including friends and conspirators but no bodyguards. (He had already disbanded his Spanish bodyguards, his friends urged him to bring them back into service, JC refused.)
  Even if JC had heard rumors or thought of a possible conspiracy this would be typical of him. In battle when the tides were turning against him, he would send away his horse and his bodguards and fight alongside his men. His bravery would rally his troops on to victory. Once the enemy's reinforcements arrived and he was now vastly outnumbered and surrounded. Any other commander probably would have dug-in or attempted a break-out. Instead JC split his troops and attacked both fronts, he won.
  Some claim this was just JC's way of commiting suicide due too ill/failing health, he could become a hero, become immortal and have his revenge! (http://www.forensic-psych.com/articl...sJC3.9.03.html)  
 The Via Sacra is *mobbed* with people outside his home that morning, most are just onlookers, others to try and give him a petition for something they want or desire. But two people in the crowd have an urgent message for JC but only one will get thru.   A servant sent by his master or mistress tries to get to JC as he leaves his house but cannot get thru the mob that surrounds him. He goes into JC's house and begs Calpurnia to secure him until JC returns because he has something of great importance to tell him.   A teacher of Greek logic named Artemidorus knows *Brutus* and his friends, he also knows their secret. He is in the crowd that day with a written message warning JC of the conspiracy.   He notices that JC is handing all the petitions he receives to a servant to read later. Artemidorus pushes thru the crowd and hands JC his message. "Read this Caesar, alone, and quickly, for it contains a matter great importance which concerns *you*".   JC tries to read it several times but he keeps getting distracted by people wishing to speak to him along the way.   It will still be in his hand and unread when he enters the Senate. It's also said that Artemidorus couldn't get thru the crowd and give it to someone (stronger?) who could.
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Jul 5th, 2005, 04:07 PM
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 {The street "Clivus Argentarius" (Photo9&3) exits the Forum and provides direct access between the Forum and the Campus Martius where the Curia Pompey (Photo10) is located. It also *seems* to be the most logical and easiest route. And the only one we can actually take in modern times. Go up the stairs behind the Arch of Septimius Severus and turn right walking towards the Church of SS Luca & Martina you'll see the ancient 'Clivus Argentarius' on your left.   Also visit the 'Carcer Tullianum'-'Marmertine Prison' while you are up there. The only other logical choice is exiting by the street "Vicus Jugarius" (between the Basilica Julia and the Temple of Saturn) which would be longer and those area streets were probably alot more crowded (busy commercial area with the Forum Holitorium-vegetable market, Tiber warehouses and slum apartments).
  The Timeline is just guess, it's recorded that he arrived at the Senate Meeting ~11AM or that he left his home ~11AM. Either way timekeeping in 44BC wasn't that accurate, it was just to the hour (the 4th, 5th etc hour). But what transpired that day probably happened say between 1030-1200.}
 JC's litter and his entourage start down the Via Sacra passing between the Regia and the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina (Photo1). He then passes an open area that's at the end of the Forum on his left. In 3 days it will be the location of his funeral pyre and in 15yrs his Temple.   [Also notice 'dead center in Photo 1' what looks like a marble paved "speed bump" on that other section of the Via Sacra (the Via Sacra splits before the Regia into a 'Y' and enters the Forum in the NE & SE corners). It's the scanty remains of the "Arch of Augustus" (Actium Arch). Built ~the same time as the Temple of JC, this triple arch celebrated the naval victory of Augustus over Marc Antony and Cleopatra in 31BC at Actium.]
  From his litter as he crosses into the Forum he can see the Basilica Julia and the Curia Julia that he is having built. Also the new Rostra that he had built in this new location at the other end of the Forum. A gold statue of himself glistens from atop the Rostra.      JC's litter now leaves the Forum in the northwest corner on the "Clivus Argentarius", in ancient times somewhere to the west of the Lapis Niger.  
 JC is ~56yrs old, he has less than 30 minutes remaining in his life. And in ~3-4hrs he will be returning home along this same route. He will be in a litter carried by 3 slaves sent by Calpurnia to retrieve his body and bring it home. One bloodied hand hangs from the litter as it crosses the Forum, in the other hand he still clutches the warning note! Antistius removes it during the autopsy (Suetonius).  At this point you should be standing in front of the Curia Julia (Photo4). I'm writing this as walk so rather than leave the Forum to go to the assassination site ~.9km away, only to return to the Forum again. We will skip ahead ~1hr and I will put the assassination at the end.]   It's before noon and a large mob of people are marching back along this street to the Forum. Leading this procession are 23 Senators, their robes and hands are bloodied. They are still clutching their daggers. Marcus Junius *Brutus* and Gaius *Cassius* Longinus (*x* these are the names I will use for them) the main conspirators lead the Senators, ~60 total were in on the plot.   Along the way they were very confident and called to the people "Resume your liberty, Julius Caesar is dead". Some people for the glory, honor or fame decide to "hop-on this bandwagon" as it passed, even though they weren't in on the plot. It's a fatal mistake for many of them, Caius Octavius and Lentulus Spinther are two of them that history sadly records.   The conspirators proudly march into the Forum, proclaiming the great deed they have done for Rome.   They march up the Clivus Capitolinus and into the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill (easy to defend it's a hilltop fortress and there are others with them sympathizers, paid clientele and armed gladiators) where they spend that afternoon and night. (There are some Temple remains in the Palazzeo dei Conservatori which is built over this site, they can be seen thru the skylights on the floor of the museum's outdoor cafeteria's patio on the 2nd floor. Also the SE temple's corner is visible {just large foundation stones} on the Via del Tempio di Grove, it's below street level surrounded by a metal fence *right alongside* this same building).   [Walk thru the Arch of Septimius Severus (203AD-Photo5) and turn left and stand behind the Rostra, face the Capitoline Hill. On your left is the Temple of Saturn, in front of this Temple and going past it on the right and uphill to the Capitoline Hill is the ancient street called the Clivus Capitolinus].   That afternoon Brutus came down to talk to the people in the Forum from the top steps of the Temple of Concord (?). He either gave a speech or he didn't due to an angry audience. If it was the latter, it was probably because the conspirator and Praetor named Cornelius *Cinna* might have gotten the crowd angry and stirred-up with an anti-JC speech earlier.   The people respect Brutus *very* much. But they also love JC and are angry and scared about what has occured. All-in-all the Roman people are in the middle on this one. The deed is done, it's over with and hopefully lets just get along with our lives with no in-fighting, civil war or revenge...Just Peace!
  Lepidus (Master of the Horse-Cavalry) starts to occupy the Forum and the city center that night to keep the peace, he possibly expects to assume power.
  The following morning (16th) the Senate convenes. Both sides are heard, Lepidus wants justice and revenge against the assassins, Cicero and others want amnesty, Antony wants a compromise.   A deal is struck. The conspirators will get amnesty and positions. JC will be deified (made into a God) and they will approve and revoke none of JC's acts and laws, including allowing his troops to keep their goods & money. This makes Lepidus lose his "ace-in-the-hole" over the troops under him (?), they thought and were probably told? they wouldn't receive it now that JC was dead (Civil war to regain their own money-Yes, but just to put Lepidus in power-No). Marc Antony convinces him he must accept this and be quite about it, it's a done deal.   That night (16th) over dinner the two opposing factions meet, there is still much negotiating (backroom deals to be done before all this can be peacefully settled. Antony and Lepidus(?) send their sons (?) up to the Temple of Jupiter as hostages so that Brutus and Cassius can come down to the dinner negotiations without fear of retaliation against them.
  Brutus dines with his relative Lepidus and Cassius with Antony. While eating Antony asks Cassius if he has a dagger on him, he answers "Yes and a large one, if you too desire to become a tyrant yourself".
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Jul 5th, 2005, 04:13 PM
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Part5 The next day (17th) the Senate meets again to finalize the new and old deals that have been struck to maintain the peace. They are very thankful to Marc Antony for the compromise that avoided a civil war.   Besides amnesty the conspirators will also receive positions (Brutus-Crete, Cassius-Africa, Decimus Brutus-Cisalpine Gaul).   For Antony, all JC's acts and laws will remain, he will be defied, his Will will be honored and read to the people (Antony has already read it, so he knows what it contains. I've oftened wondered if he had a plot of his own for justice and revenge, figuring the will reading would turn the tides against the conspirators?) and JC will have a public funeral.   Everything seems to have gone very well for the conspirators but Brutus has made 2 fatal mistakes. Cassius and others want to kill Antony (and others?) along with JC on the 15th but Brutus wouldn't agree to join the conspiracy (Brutus was the Kingpin they needed) if anyone else was killed besides JC. Cassius opposed the public funeral and Will reading, but Brutus agreed to it.   Tomorrow Brutus will see that Cassius was correct on both points! The funeral is held in the Forum on the 18th (some say the 20th). His body is then to be brought to the Campus Martius where a funeral pyre has been built near his family tomb.   [Photo7 You are still behind the Rostra. All that remains of the *Original JC Rostra* is the Curved Front, it's substructure (Augustus enlarged the Rostra outward years later) and those white marble slightly curved steps on the left. So if you look from the side of the Rostra you can see the Curved Front (with small sections of marble facing still attached, best seen from the Arch of Septimius Severus side) of the original JC Rostra, roughly in the middle of the enlarged Rostra. *THAT* is where all these events took place. [Diagram http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...lsen*/2/5.html Fig. 30 It's the section above 'HEMICYCLIVM']   Friends, foes, conspirators?, allies and the common people all crowd into the Forum that day.   JC's coffin is a model of the Temple of Venus Genetrix (Universal Mother- who JC's family claimed decent) which is located in the Forum of Caesar.
  Up those stairs the bier (coffin) and Marc Antony accend. I assume that like at any state funeral there were alot of speeches. But only one will have impact that changes the course of history. Julius Caesar's Will is read to the crowd.
  He has actually named several of the conspirators as guardians to any son that he might father and Decimus Brutus (his friend who convinced him to go to the Senate meeting) as a heir in the 2nd degree. The crowd has just heard that men who JC had enough faith and confidence in to be named in his will, have also betrayed and murdered him! He has also left 300 Sesterces (~3 months pay, consider that many of them are 'On the Dole'-Welfare) to each Roman Citizen! Plus he leaves his gardens near the Tiber to all Roman Citizens to use as a public park! The crowd is now on the verge of becoming an angry mob, all that is needed is just one spark to ignite them.   Antony steps-up to the edge of the Rostra and addresses the crowd. He has written a eulogy for his friend, Julius Caesar. [Cassius Dio said it ended with these words (?)]   "Of what avail, O Caesar, was your humanity, of what avail your inviolability, of what avail the laws?   Nay, though you enacted many laws that men might not be killed by their personal foes, yet now mercilessly you yourself were slain by your Friends!   And now, the victim of assassination, you lie dead in the Forum through which you often led the Triumph crowned; wounded to death, you have been cast down upon the Rostra from which you often addressed the People.   Woe for the blood-bespattered locks of gray, alas the rent (cut) robe, which you assumed (JC wears a purple robe-the royal color), it seems, only that you might be slain in it!"   Antony then grabs and holds up Caesar's bloodsoaked robe to the crowd so they see the all the cuts made by the assassins knives. THE SPARK!!!   [Now walk back the way you came, thru the Arch, past the Curia and over to the Temple of Julius Caesar Photo4&1). See the little entrance under the tin roof, walk into it. Protected by that roof are the remains of the concrete core of the Altar (usually a few flowers have been placed upon it), this marks the spot where JC was cremated and the Temple was built from this point back. Legend saids, that the ashes from his pyre rest beneath this altar?
  Go back outside and face the Rostra. That section on your 90deg right and back to the Curia alongside that section of the Via Sacra you just walked along to the Basilica Aemilia (Emilia) located behind it, are the remains of the Porticus of Gaius & Lucius and the Tabernae Novae (a 2 story shopping mall. It was built ~40yrs after JC's death. But in 44BC that section contained a market place with different shops and they are about to have a very bad business day. I have found nothing about whether or not any of the conspirators were at the Will reading & funeral that day. But if so, I'm certain that they decided to "get outta Dodge" rather quickly at this point. Roman rulers were always cremated and/or buried outside of the city walls. Rumors while JC was alive was that he wanted to be buried within the city walls like the Kings from the early Roman times. This would have really upset the Romans...King=Dictator but it would also be a great honor if they (the Mob) choose to do it themselves.]
  The crowd is now an angry Mob, some are calling for revenge and death to the conspirators!
  The Mob shouts that they should cremate the body either in the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill or the Curia Pompey where JC was murdered.
  Finally they decide to do it at the other end of the Forum in front of the Regia (this would be an very honorable spot).   The shops are looted of tables, chairs and benches and they are piled high. The Mob takes possession of JC's body and places it atop the pile and sets it afire. Some in the Mob throw in parts of their clothing, military awards, jewelery or other personal possessions. The fire is kept burning all night (JC's bones will be picked out of the ashes the next day and buried in his family tomb).   A friend of JC's named Helvius *Cinna* had a dream the night before that JC had invited him to supper (or to go into a dark place) but when he refused JC took him by the hand and forced him to go along with him. Helvius was ill (fever) that day and didn't go to the funeral. But when he heard that JC was being cremated in the Forum he decided to go and honor his friend. Someone in the Mob asked who he was (a rich/nobleman that probably looked out of place in the Mob?), someone said *Cinna* and someone said something to someone etc.   The Mob now believes that the Praetor Cornelius *Cinna* (the conspirator who read the anti-JC speech in the Forum on the 15th) is within their grasp. And poor Helvus is literally torn limb from limb.   The Mob now has had it's 1st taste of blood! They grab firebrands from the pyre and march to Brutus and Cassius's houses to torch their homes and kill them, but they are repelled by their clients, slaves and freemen. Others will not be so lucky.   Brutus and the conspirators with other allies and friends wisely choose to leave Rome.
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Jul 5th, 2005, 04:17 PM
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Part6 The civil war they all wished to avoid is about to begin. Within 3 years basically all of the 60 conspirators will be dead, along with many friends and allies.   Brutus commits (assisted?) suicide with his own sword after being defeated in battle by Antony. Antony gives Brutus an honorable cremation and sends his ashes to his mother.   Cassius uses the same dagger he stabbed JC with to kill himself, as some of the other conspirators also did. Cicero is killed (he honorably accepted his fate and offered his neck to the sword) by Antony's troops while attempting to flee Italy. He wasn't an actual conspirator, they thought him an old man and a blabbermouth but he was a confident/friend of Brutus who sided with him. His head and hands are returned to Rome (per Antony's orders-they really hated one another) and displayed on the Rostra, it's said that Antony's wife also placed a hatpin thru his tongue.
The man who betrayed him is turned-over to a Roman noblewoman who after torturing him forces him to cut off his own flesh, roast it and then eat it.
  JC's great-nephew and adopted son Octavian (later called Augustus) becomes Ruler (but not officially until 31BC) per JC's Will and after a little spat with Antony and Lepidus they form an alliance and as co-rulers they fight this civil war. But they do have a falling-out in the future and become enemies of Octavian/Augustus. And the civil war will actually end with Marc Antony and Cleopatra's naval defeat at Actium in Sept 31BC. Later Antony and Cleopatra commit suicide (not together like the moves show, she had hoped to be able to also seduce Octavian but he wasn't interested).   Lepidus loses his wealth and power but retains his life (in exile), he was made Pontifex Maximus after JC's death and this saved him.   A few months before JC death, settlers in Capua were demolishing some ancient tombs to make room for country estates. One of the tombs was that of the Capys the founders of Capua. They found a bronze tablet written in Greek saying "Whenever the bones of Capys shall be moved, it will come to pass that a son on llium shall be slain at the hands of his kindred, and presently avenged at heavy cost to Italia". Cornelius Balbus a friend of JC vouched for this event. The following late-July (or years later) which is the month JC named after his family name (Julia/Julio). A comet is seen for 7 nights around sunset, it is believed to be the defied soul of Julius Caesar traveling to or thru heaven.
  CURIA POMPEY-THE ASSASSINATION Ok now we will backtrack to where JC is leaving the Forum and going to the Curia Pompey (just Curia from now on).
  On your map it will be called the "Largo di Torre Argentina" it's ~300m due south of the Pantheon. In your guidebooks it will be called the "Area Sacra" or the "Four Republican Victory-Temples". Face the Rostra, the Curia remains are ~1km away on the otherside of the Capitoline Hill. You can exit 3 ways, to the left & behind the Rostra going up the Clivus Capitolinus and across the top of the Capitoline Hill (Photo5).
  ***Or the stairs to the right of the Rostra and behind the Arch of Septimius Severus (Photo3,5). Exit right at the 1st street-level landing and go counterclockwise around the Hill (JC's route). But be certain to follow the actual road (Clivus Argentarius) he took with the original paving stones (like the Via Sacra in the Forum). This road is to the right (and lower) of the modern one there and passes *directly* behind the Forum of Julius Caesar (Photo9).
  Or exit (Photo4) by the main gate, behind you (45deg right) and up the ramp to the gate and the Via dei Fori Imperial (go left). The main gate has a giftshop/bookstore/w.c. ("The Roman Forum" by the Soprintendenza Archeologica Di Roma is the best guidebook IMO). Also another w.c. (bathroom) is hidden behind the (southside) Basilica Julia. Also before you leave go into the Curia Julia to get an idea of the layout of the Curia Pompey. The Curia Pompey was alittle smaller, the 2 backboors would have been large windows, the Senator's seats would also be on the right & left on those steps and the Statue of Pompey would have been centered and against the back wall on the slightly raised podium in the rear.   
  After you exit the Forum get yourself in front of the Vittorio Emanuelle II Monument facing the large traffic square in front of it which is the Piazza Venezia. The main street at the opposite end coming into it is the Via Del Corso (in ancient times called Via Lata "Broad Way") which goes to the Piazza d. Popolo and then continues on as the Via Flamina (ancient times called Flaminia), this is the path of the ancient road that left Rome.   JC's litter would have taken the 1st exit which is today's Via S. Marco. Ancient maps show this street passing between the "Theatre and Porticus (Crypta) of Balbus" (actually built after JC's death, admittance to the remains are beneath the museum on the leftside of the street) and the 2 columns of a disputed temple (Nymphs, Guardians of Seafarers, ?) on the rightside of the street.   So cross the street (have fun to that little grass & tree park (Piazza d. S. Marco) on the leftside of the Piazza Venezia. and go left (west) down the Via S. Marco.   In ~500M you will come upon the "Area Sacra" in the Largo di Torre Argentina on the right (Photo11). The 4 Temples are in an excavated block below street level. The 4th temple
(D) is excavated partially beneath the street you're on, so JC's litter would have passed-by the leftside of this temple and somehow entered the Porticus of Pompey in the southeastern corner (possibly between Temples C & D?, just a guess but I saw a walled-in arch and some marble paving stones remains that looked sort of out-of-place, like a wide pathway that could enter that bldg attached to the outside-rear of the Porticus) or thru the side (Photo10,10a). And then turned right to go to the front steps of the Curia, which was centered in the backend (E) of the Porticus with the Theatre of Pompey (W) at the other end. This entire complex was ~325M X 150M.   Cross the street (Via di Torre Argentina) and turn right (you are behind the temples), in the Temple area now across the street you'll see 6 columns rising above streetlevel (Photo12 You'll be on the sidewalk in front of that bldg in the background), stop just before you get parallel with them and face them.   A black iron and plexiglass fence surrounds these temples. Now look to the right and you will see stairs leading down into the site (no admittance) and to the left of this a brickwall (part of this fence) and then a short section of this fence connected to a white stone fence post and around the of the next (2nd) section you will see a *tree*. Align yourself with that, it will put you in the center of the front of the Curia (Photo14- the *tree* is on the extreme right). 5M past that sidewalk fence across the street would be the backwall of the Curia and ~23M from that rail coming towards you would be the front entrance to the Curia. The front steps would be located beneath that bldg behind you and in front of them JC's litter was put down upon the ground (I paced-out this area, the Curia building itself probably ended ~5m into that bldg, add to that probably a columned porch and then the front steps).   [It's said that on the 14th a Kingbird flew into the Curia carrying a sprig of laurel (JC wears a laurel wreath crown) pursued by other birds, it was then attacked and torn to pieces, another omen! (Photo10,10a)]
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Jul 5th, 2005, 04:21 PM
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Part7 The Senator-Conspirators have been waiting around since early morning, their daggers lay hidden beneath their robes. [Dagger = Pugio http://www.ancient-east.com/products...jpg] Also hidden somewhere nearby are a group of Gladiators owned by Decimus Brutus. The Gladiators will be called upon if things start to go wrong.   A Senator named Popilius Laenas whispers to Brutus and Cassius " My wishes are with you, that you may accomplish what you design and I advise you to make no delay, for the thing is now no secret".   They are now probably past the point of no return, it is either kill JC or themselves. They await JC near the entrance and on the steps of the Curia.   JC's litter arrives and he steps out. Popilius Laenas walks over and starts talking to JC, the conspirators can't hear what is being said but think the worst. Popilius kisses JC's hand and walks away, he was just talking business with JC. I wonder if he was trying to be on the winning side? Wishing the conspirators luck if they won and acting if everything was normal with JC if he won?   JC starts up the steps and sees the Soothsayer (fortune-teller) Spurinna who had told him earlier (within 15 days) "Beware of a danger that will come no latter than the Ides of March" (Beware the Ides of March).   JC mockingly says to him in passing "The Ides of March have come". Spurinna calmly replies "Yes, but not yet passed".   JC enters the Curia alone, his friend and ally Marc Antony is kept outside engaged in a contrived conversation with either Decimus Brutus or Gaius Trebonius. [I'd guess Decimus, from the doorway he'd be able to easily call to his Gladiators if things went wrong inside. It would be the best place for him.]   Marcus Lepidus was also said to have arrived with JC & Antony, assume he was also taken aside in a phony conversation. [A bit of irony: While JC was walking across the Curia floor, he would see the back of Temple "B" thru the window (if not curtained) to the left of the podium. The name of that temple is "Fortuna Huiusce Diei" (Good Fortune On This Day).   Walk across the street to that place I mentioned before, that tree the closest one to you is actually in the middle of the rear remains of the Curia (Photo15). Look over to Temple C on your right, alongside that ditch. The Curia's right wall (iron fence) comes out from under the sidewalk and butts right up to the rear wall of that temple. The Curia's rear wall ran over to your left behind Temple B, but that last 30% of rear wall is completely missing along with the leftside wall (Photo13). But if you move over to the left so that you are directly behind that 1st (left) column of Temple B and look over the railing directly straight down (photo15- stand right there). You will see a small section of stone blocks coming out from the sidewalk, this is all that remains of the leftside wall (*just* to the left (1.5M) of that broken column on the ground ).
  For a diagram of this walk over to the stairs to the right of you. #1 marks the "Remains of the central exedra of Pompey's Porticus. Used as the Senate House, it was here that JC was assassinated on March 15, 44BC". #1 is exactly where that tree is located!   Ok back to the tree, what actually remains below you is the concrete core and rooms? that were below the Curia floor (Photo14,15,16). Look at the ground level around Temple B and remember the Curia was entered by walking up the front steps (Photo10a).   So somewhere (in space & time hovering this rubble was the floor, podium and the large Statue of Pompey.
  So look at the back wall and imagine say 0.5m for the wall thickness, the large Statue of Pompey on a 1m sq. base against the back wall. (Think of the Curia Julia) In front of the Statue on the slightly raised podium was JC's chair. I used a diagram by Christian Meier (author & Professor of Ancient History), he shows the 2 large windows on each side of the podium. I also noticed extra support (stone blocks) along the back wall where these windows would be (Photo14,15).   So it's safe to assume that below you (the *tree* in Photo15) and above the ruins ~3m from the back wall was where JC died. His chair was probably somewhere directly below you (looking straight down) along with the area he was surrounded and stabbed.
  Pompey was a great general and once a political ally who had married JC's daughter Julia in an arraigned marriage to bond their alliance. He really loved her but she died young. JC defeated Pompey in a civil war and he was murdered escaping to Egypt but not on JC's orders. Not really friends but JC respected him. So dying at the foot of the Pompey's Statue was a bit of poetic justice for Pompey.]   JC walks over to his chair (an elaborate camp stool actually) and sits down. He's surrounded by the conspirators (many of these men are men he trusts and/or had pardoned after winning the civil war). Some to pay their phoney respects and others with petitions. Tillius Cimber is in the forefront with a petition on behalf of his exiled brother. They are starting to annoy and crowd JC, he scolds them for their disrespect towards him and his office. Cassius against his beliefs, looks to the Statue of Pompey and silently asks/prays for assistance.   Suddenly Tillius graps JC's robe with both hands and pulls it down from his neck. This is the prearranged signal to attack. Publius Casca who is behind JC stabs him slightly between the shoulder and the neck. JC grabs Casca's hand/dagger and with his other hand stabs Casca in the arm with his stylus (pen). And shouts "Vile Casca, What does this mean?"   JC rises still stuggling with Casca and yells in Greek "Brother Help!" (to Antony I assume?).
  Now they all attack, for they all have promised one other that they all will inflict 1 wound. A pact in blood that will tie them all together, for better or worst. In the bloody frenzy that ensues they have also mistakenly cut one another (Brutus receives a bad cut on his hand). JC is still fighting for his life until he sees Brutus (JC's longtime mistress's son, a good and trusted friend and one who he had pardoned after the civil war plus had given a good position too) with his dagger drawn.
  JC looks to Brutus and says in Greek "Even you, my child", he then stabs JC in the groin. (Suetonius claims JC said to Brutus in Greek "Kai su, teknon?" "Even you, my child?" "Et tu, Brute?" "Even you, Brutus?" is Latin from Shakespeare's play.)
  JC bleeding from the 23 conspirators 23 stab wounds falls at the base of the now bloodied Statue of Pompey and covers his head and legs with his robe (head covering is common in Greece & Italy when dying) and dies.
  It happened so quickly that the Senators in their seats were in shock and then a panic ensued as they all tried to exit at once. Brutus attempts to give a speech on the reason for their act but no one is waiting around to listen.
  Antony and Lepidus flee the area and go into hiding, not knowing Brutus has forbidden their deaths. His 1st major mistake, he should have listened to Cassius and the others.
  The conspirators leave the Curia and march en mass to the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill.
  JC's body lies alone for ~3hrs until slaves sent by his wife retrieve it.
  Cleopatra and her 3yo son Caesarion by JC flee Rome to Alexandria. She and Antony will become lovers in ~3yrs and commit suicide in 14yrs. JC and Cleoparta's son will murdered on Augustus's orders, he was advised that "A multiplicity of Caesars is not a good thing".   Later Augustus has the Statue of Pompey moved into Pompey's theatre and the Curia walled-up. The Ides of March will also be now called the "Day of Parricide", the Senate will never again meet on that fateful day.
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Jul 5th, 2005, 04:25 PM
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Part8.....PHOTO-LINKS....................... The views (1,2,4,5) are taken from the Palatine Hill and 7 from the Capitoline Hill.
http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/Maece.../ac822333.html At the top of the photo right-to-left you can see an arch in a brick wall and [ŻŻ] shaped areas. This is the Porticus of Gaius & Lucius and behind it is the Basilica Emilia (aka Aemilia, Paulli). The Porticus was built ~42yrs after Julius Caesar's (JC) assassination but in 44BC that area had many shops facing the original Forum across the street. It was from these shops that tables, chairs, benches etc were looted by the frenzied mob to build JC's funeral pyre.
  The large brick ruin in the center of the photo is the "Temple of (Divine) Julius Caesar" (Divus Julius). The rectangular area on the left side is the front of the Temple facing the Forum, in the middle of this is a half-circle recess covered by a modern tin roof. In this recess are the remains of the altar's concrete core which marks the spot where JC was cremated.   The small standing white columns also roughly in the center of the photo is the "Temple of Vesta" where the Vestal Virgins kept an eternal sacred fire burning.
  Directly behind the Temple of Julius Caesar to the right of the Temple of Vesta is the Regia.
The road to the right of the Temple of Vesta is the original Via Sacra. Halfway between the Temple of Vesta and the right edge of the photo you can make-out a rectangular area then a smaller square hole to the right alongside the Via Sacra.
  The rectangular area is the "Shrine of Mars" in the Regia where my trip-report starts (also see photo 8 & 17).
http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/Maece.../ac660408.html In this photo the Regia is covered-over and you can see the Via Sacra (partially hidden) from the Regia heading to the rightside of the photo. Directly below the photo out of view is the garden courtyard of the "House of the Vestal Virgins".
  Between the bottom of the photo and the Via Sacra you'll see a small roofed building in the center with a small grove of trees on the left and an open space with some ruins on the right to the right/end of the photo.
  This is where the "Domus Publica" was located, it was the official residence of the Pontifex Maximus (Pope). It was JC's residence from 62BC when his pontificate (term) began until the day he was assassinated.
  The photo is old but today between that small roofed building and the bottom of the photo is a modern tin roof to protect recent excavations. The Domus Publica has been built over by latter buildings. But under that tin roof they have discovered rooms from JC's resident time-period including a apsidal room with mosaic paving, ID'ed as the bathing area.   Also now they are doing excavations all along the area to the right of this building.
http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/Maece.../ac990904.html This is the view from Regia-Shrine of Mars. The Temple of JC and behind that is a tall complete brick building. That is the Curia Julia (Senate House) that JC was having built at the time of his death. It was completed by Augustus ~15yrs later. It was to replace the Curia Hostilia which was demolished to build this new Curia. It's remains are probably located under the Church you see to the left behind the Curia. The rear doors of JC's Curia opened into the Forum of Caesar where the Senate sometimes met.
  But on 15 March 44BC the Senate was to meet at the Curia Pompey, located outside the Forum ~.9km NW of the Curia Julia.   JC's litter bearers left his house (Domus Publica) and exited the Forum on the street "Clivus Argentarius" (The Banker's Rise) Photo9. It was located between where that building (Church: St. Giuseppe dei Falegnami, Carcer Mamertine Prison) is just to the right of the scaffolding on the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Forum of Julius Caesar located behind the Curia. 4.
http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/Maece.../ac660411.html From the Palatine. The Regia is covered-over, the bottom left square section covers "The Shrine of Mars".
http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/Maece.../ac660412.html At the bottom section of the photo from the center over to the Arch of Septimius Severus, there appears to be a wall behind that lone standing column. This is the Rostra (podium-orator's platform) where JC's body was brought and Marc Anthony give his famous speech.
http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/Maece.../ac881321.html A close-up of the Rostra, the holes in the bricks are where the captured enemy rostra where mounted (sharp bronze prows mounted on the front of a ship for ramming/sinking). The original location of the Rostra was in front of the Curia, JC had this one built at the end of the Forum. After his death Augustus expanded it outwards towards the Forum. The only real remnants of JC's Rostra would be in the back. Basically the concrete core and some of the substructure. But a section of steps up onto the Rostra do remain, these would have been climbed by JC, Marc Anthony and also those who carried JC's coffin (bier) up onto the podium.
http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/Maece.../ac740810.html To the right of the Arch you can see the rear of the Rostra. The remaining "steps" mentioned above appear black in this photo (they must have been covered over then?) but they are white. They are at the bottom of the photo to the right of that circular object, which is the Mundus/Umbilicus Urbis. The center of the city and where the living world was in contract with the underworld thru a deep cleft in the earth.
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...sen*/2/31.html See the "Ground-Plan" diagram, you are standing on the Via Sacra which
runs from the right-middle side to the top-middle end of the diagram. You are facing "D" which is the "Shrine-Altar of Mars" in the "Temple of Mars". The "D circle" (2.53M/diameter) appears today as a circular grassy raised mound but beneath it is a grey tufa stone circle in the floor.
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...gentarius.html This is the street mentioned in Photo3 'Clivus Argentarius', it's the
road from the Forum to the Campus Martius (Field of Mars) where the Curia Pompey was located.
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Jul 5th, 2005, 04:29 PM
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10. www.vroma.org/images/raia_images/3theaters.jpg That half-circle bldg at the bottom of the photo is the Theatre of Pompey. The rectangular Porticus of Pompey is behind the theatre, and in the center of the back section of the porticus is the Curia Pompey (small square bldg). And behind the rear porticus are the 4 Temples (A, B, C, D), directly behind the Curia is the circular Temple B and the rectangular Temple C.   At the top of the photo right-of-center is a temple (Juno?) atop the Capitoline Hill where today stands the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. To the left of that off the photo is the Forum. 10a. www.vroma.org/images/raia_images/pompeyrecon.GIF
http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/Maece.../ac740511.html This will be your 1st view of the Temples. "D" is below you (not in photo), "C" is in the bottom of photo, "B" is center (white steps), "A" is the far temple (Brown steps). Also
http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/Maece.../ac990807.html Circular Temple "B', distant tree-2nd one from the leftside of photo marks the center/rear of the Curia.
12a. http://www.vroma.org/images/raia_ima...rgoargent3.jpg
http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/Maece.../ac991829.html The missing section of the Curia is to the left of that tree on the right-end of photo.
14. http://www.vroma.org/images/raia_ima...rgoargent8.jpg Taken in front of Temple B (on the right), the plastic shelter is attached to Temple C, and that footbridge crosses the ditch between these temples. Behind the plastic the right/rear wall of the Curia comes out from the sidewalk and butts against the rear of Temple C and the Curia's rear wall (stone blocks) are visible to the right of the plastic and extending (right) to behind Temple B.
To the left of that middle tree is the 1st rear structure (window?) support (stone blocks). From there to behind "C" is the 1st third of the Curia. The tree on the right is *The Tree* again in the middle of the 2nd third.
15. http://www.vroma.org/images/raia_ima...goargent11.jpg Standing behind Temple B (directly behind the 1st column-on left). Directly beneath the feet of where this photo was taken is where the missing left-rear wall. If you look straight down (not in the photo) you will see *a* stone block which is all that remains of that left side of the Curia. The wall would have come out from the sidewalk and turned right and been attached to the 2nd stone structure (window?) support in the center of the photo. You can see the 1st structure support at the end of the plastic. And that small rectangular stone block above it in the photo is the right-rear corner of the Curia. There it turns right and heads back to the sidewalk along that iron fence. And on the right is *The Tree* again, dead center in the middle rear third of the Curia.
16. http://www.vroma.org/images/raia_ima...goargent10.jpg View from behind Temple C of the Curia, the iron fence is along the Curia's right-rear wall. In the distance are the remains (visible from the sidewalk) of marble toilets behind Temple A, this bathroom was attached to the rear wall of the Porticus of Pompey, to the left of the Curia in Photo 10a. (Photo 17 actually just info
REGIA: (House of the King) The site of the 2nd King of Rome's
(Numa Pompilius 715-673BC) Royal Palace. Excavations under this site show it was built upon a noble Estruscan-style residence from that time and below that are early Iron-Age huts (9C BC), like those on the Palatine. A cup excavated from the site was dated to ~625BC and had the word REX (King) on it (this cup is on display in the "Museo Nazionale Romano Terme Di Diocleziano"). It's been rebuilt many times but the general plan we see today is *Early* Republican (after 509BC). Rebuilt after fires in 210BC, 148BC and 36BC when they used solid marble floors & walls and other solid rock blocks. It later withstood the fires of 64AD & 191AD.   The Regia was a very sacred place where the Pontifex Maximus (Pope) had his official headquarters. It's where he and his Pontiffs (priests) held official meetings and stored their records. Julius Caesar was the Pontifex Maximus from 63BC until his death in 44BC.     The largest room is believed to be the "Temple of Mars" (Sacrarium Martis). This temple housed the Hastae (sacred spears/lancers consecrated to Mars) and the Ancilia (shields in a figure-8 like shape).   The God Jupiter (father of Mars who in turn was the father of Romulus and Remus) sent down from heaven a ancilia/shield as a gift to Numa Pompilius. Numa was so afraid that the Ancilia would be stolen, he had 11 perfect copies made. This way no one would know which one was the actual divine Ancilia.   It's *assumed* that the shields hung on the walls in the Temple and the spears were either hung or somehow fastened to the circular shrine/altar or hearth(?) within the Temple. Before going to war the General leading the army went into the temple and rattled, shook or moved the spears, while saying "Mars Vigila" (Mars Awaken). The God Mars would then lead the army to victory.   If the spears ever vibrated/shook/rattled/moved on their own it was a bad omen of something terrible about to happen to Rome.   I've read that possibly that the spears were so *delicately balanced* that a very minor earthquake or rumble could vibrate them, like a primitive seismograph.   *OR* perhaps even a very loud clap of thunder could get them to vibrate?
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Nov 9th, 2005, 09:50 AM
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Lots of good info for Roma visitors. If it isn't already linked, may want to add this to "Helpful Information" thread on Italy.
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Nov 9th, 2005, 01:30 PM
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Fascinating, and so well researched. Thank you, ParadiseLost!
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Dec 28th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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Topping for Linda
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Apr 24th, 2008, 02:18 AM
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Mar 5th, 2009, 01:56 PM
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Topping for the upcoming 'Ides of March' and for anyone in Rome during that time that might be interested.
Regards, Walter
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Topping for the upcoming Ides of March and too add this very detailed bio of Caesar plus other info.
http://cnathael.blogspot.com/2010/03...caesar_06.html Regards, Walter
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So great to see your post here which I look forward to reading. I have benefited - as I'm sure have many others - from your terrific posts on Roma and Ostia Antica. Grazie!
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I agree with mvor. Your posts are so interesting and helpful, Walter. And this is very timely for me, as I'll be returning to Rome at the end of the month--not the Ides of March but close.
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Mar 1st, 2012, 07:21 PM
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Topping for the upcoming 'Ides of March'.
Some of the mostly optional links are dead but the main links to follow these sites are still working.

The 3 main sites you should not miss are Julius Caesar's house (Domus Publica), the original Rostra where the actual funeral took place (this is 10m behind the mostly recostructed brick facade of the Rostra you'll 1st see, the original must be viewed either from the sides or the back) and the actual assassination site behind Temple B at the Largo d. Torre Argentina... 'The Tree'.

This is from another post of mine, the photo is taken from where Cicero's house once stood, now built over.

http://www.eveandersson.com/photos/i...hill-large.jpg OR

In this photo dead-center are 2 bldgs (1 has a window) behind these bldgs is a wall.
From that wall going left across the photo is the eastern end of the House of the Vestal Virgins.
That section was given to the Vestals by Augustus when he decided to live on the Palatine Hill and not in the Domus Publica as he was also the Pontifex Maximus.
The Vestals eventuality built completely over the Domus Publica.
So in that section from 62BC?-44BC is where Julius Caesar lived.

Also if you look to the left-center near the edge of the photo you will see a small protective roofed structure [__]||[__], that excavation is of the Domus Publica's small Bath that dates to Julius Caesar's time. Regards, Walter
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