At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Julius Caesar



He came, saw, conquered and was assassinated



This bust of Caesar by Andrea di Pietro di Marco can be found in the Metropolitan Museum in New York
A bust of Julius Caesar by the
Italian sculptor Andrea di Pietro di
Marco Ferrucci
Photo: Ad Meskens
Statesman and soldier Gaius Julius Caesar was murdered on this day in 44 BC in Rome.

His death made the Ides of March, the day on the Roman calendar devised by Caesar that corresponds to 15 March, a turning point in Roman history, one of the events that marked the transition from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire.

Caesar had made his mark as a soldier in Asia Minor and Spain and established himself as a politician, making useful allies.

But his invasion of Gaul took several years and was the most costly and destructive campaign ever undertaken by a Roman commander. Afterwards, Caesar crossed the Rubicon with a Legion, entered Rome illegally,and established himself as a dictator dressed in royal robes.

On the Ides of March, Caesar was stabbed to death by a group of rebellious senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus.

His adopted heir, Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to power afterwards and the Roman Empire began.

Far from sealing his reputation as a vainglorious tyrant, his assassins, Brutus, Cassius and the others, succeeded only in clinching Ceasar’s historical immortality.

The conspiracy to murder him was the subject of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Julius Caesar, and he became a role model for Napoleon and Mussolini.

His summary of his army’s capture of a city, ‘Veni, vidi, vici,’ ‘I came, I saw, I conquered,’ is a phrase that has gone down in history.


Caesar crossed the Rubicon, which was then the dividing line between Gaul and Italy
The Rubicon River as it looks today
Photo: Stefano Bolognini
Travel tip:

Between Cesena and Rimini at Savignano, the road crosses a stretch of water that has since been accepted as the Rubicon, the dividing line between Gaul and what was then considered Italy, which Julius Caesar crossed with his army to take over the Roman state. 

Travel tip:

The place where Julius Caesar was killed, where the senate was due to meet, is in a square in Rome called Largo di Torre Argentina in the Campo de’ Fiori area of the city and there are still remains from the period there. During demolition work in 1927, a marble statue was found and excavations brought to light a holy area with four temples and part of a theatre, next to which was the Curia Pompeia where Caesar was stabbed. 

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