[[File: Ass 1.jpg|300px|thumb|left| 19th-century painting of the conspirators celebrating the death of Caesar]]
Julius Caesar was one of the best known and prominent figures of the ancient world. He
was not only an extraordinary military commander but a cunning political leader. Caesar greatly expanded the Roman Empire, and his conquests changed the future of Europe. Caesar played a pivotal role in the collapse of the Roman Republic and the emergence of the Imperial system . Caesar upended the Roman world. However, Caesar's actions angered many Romans that included men he not only knew but considered friends. On the Ides of March, Caesar was assassinated by many of these men.
Why was Caesar murdered at the hands of his fellow citizens? Caesar was killed for three reasons: First, the conspirators wanted to halt the growth in his power. Second, they tried to prevent him from becoming king and destroying the Roman Republic. Finally, some were motivated by personal vengeance.
On the Ides of March (the 15th of March) the gladiatorial games were staged. Caesar was expected to come, and he was the guest of honor. On the day, he was late which alarmed the conspirators. The nominal leader of the conspirators, Brutus, agreed to bring Caesar to the theatre. Brutus and Caesar were well acquainted. Caesar and Brutus's mother were alleged to have been lovers. Brutus had also fought against Caesar at Pharsalus, but Caesar had pardoned him. Despite this long history, Brutus agreed to lure Caesar to the theatre to help their plan to place. Brutus ultimately convinced Caesar to attend the games.
As soon as Caesar
as entered the theatre, one of the conspirators approached him. The conspirator pretended to hand a petition to Caesar. At this time, not only did Caesar not have any guards, but her servants had also fallen behind him. The group had also successfully delayed Mark Anthony, one of Caesar's staunchest allies. This delay prevented Anthony from being by Caesar's side. Caesar was left alone and virtually defenseless.
One of the conspirators, possibly Casca, according to the Greek historian Plutarch seized the toga of Caesar. Caesar was surprised and shocked by his action. The group of conspirators then drew knives from their toga and proceeded to repeatedly stab Caesar. It is estimated that up to fifty men, all members of the Roman senatorial order attacked him. Not all of them were able to get near the man they hated and who they believed was a threat to Rome.
Caesar was an incredibly divisive figure in Rome. Still, most Romans genuinely loved him but despised he was by the City's elite. The senatorial class and their adherents were very suspicious and hated Caesar. He was a member of the popular party and related by marriage to Marius, the darling of the common people. Moreover, many hated Caesar for personal reasons, and vengeance was almost certainly a factor in the assassination on the Ides of March. <ref> Holland, p 201</ref>
The assassination of Caesar was carried out by a small group of members of the elite. They believed that they were acting in the best interests of the Republic and sought to preserve it. The group who killed Caesar were motivated to prevent Caesar from becoming a permanent dictator. They genuinely believed that he wanted to crown himself king of Rome. Caesar’s poor relations with the Senate was also a crucial factor in the unfolding of the conspiracy. His actions appeared that he was bent on destroying the old constitution and fed into the narrative that he was a tyrant who wanted to ultimately re-establish royal rule in Rome. Moreover, Caesar was a divisive figure and was hated by many of Pompey's supporters. Instead of healing Rome, his policy of clemency failed to win him adherents and became an embarrassment for the pardoned.
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