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He had killed many of the senatorial order and the Roman elite during the civil wars. Friends and family members of the elite had died on many battlefields against Caesar during the civil war. Many prominent and revered Romans such as Cato had committed suicide to escape having to live in a Rome dominated by one man. Moreover, Caesar's policy of clemency did not reconcile the elite to him and his regime. Those whom he had pardoned after his victories continued to resent him and were instrumental in his assassination. Mercy was a characteristic of a king or a tyrant and those who accepted it was thought to have been dishonored.<ref>Holland, p 210</ref> Furthermore, in the social system of the time, Senators had become dependent on Caesar. Ultimately Cassius and Brutus, while pardoned by Caesar, were eager to wipe away the stain on their honor that they only lived due to the mercy of a despised autocratic ruler.
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.