William Shakespeare's gripping play showed Caesar's assassination to be an amateur and idealistic affair. The real killing, however, was a carefully planned paramilitary operation, a generals' plot put together by Caesar's disaffected officers and designed with precision. Brutus and Cassius were indeed key players, but they had the help of a third man - Decimus. He was the mole in Caesar's entourage, one of Caesar's leading generals, and a lifelong friend. It was he, not Brutus, who truly betrayed Caesar.
Caesar's assassins saw him as a military dictator who wanted to be king. He threatened a permanent change in the Roman way of life and in the power of senators. The assassins rallied support among the common people, but they underestimated Caesar's soldiers, who flooded Rome. The assassins were vanquished; their beloved Republic became the Roman Empire.
©2015 Barry Strauss (P)2015 Tantor
"Strauss takes us deep into the psyche of ancient history in an exciting, twisted tale that is sure to please." (Kirkus)
I am an avid eclectic reader.
On March 15, 44 B.C., Julius Caesar fell to the knives of Brutus, Cassius and perhaps 21 other senators. Strauss’s book covers only a three year span of time. Starting the year before the ides of March to the battle of Philippi two years later, when Brutus, defeated by pro-Caesar forces, took his own life.
The author of this historical study tries to capture the tension of an unfolding crisis but also runs into strong headwinds when it comes to questions of character and motive.
The author points out that thanks to William Shakespeare, the death of Julius Caesar is the most famous assassination in history. Shakespeare shows Caesar’s assassination to be an amateur and idealistic affair. Strauss points out that the real killing was a carefully planned paramilitary operation; a general’s plot put together by Caesar’s disaffected officers and designed with precision.
The author tells of a key person, Decimus. He was the mole in Caesar’s entourage, one of Caesar’s leading generals and a lifelong friend. According to Strauss it was he, not Brutus, who truly betrayed Caesar. Strauss sheds new light on this fascinating pivotal moment in Roman history.
The book is superbly researched and well written. The author paints clear portraits of all the main characters such as Mark Antony, Decimus, Brutus, and Octavian. The book raises as many questions as it tries to answer. Robertson Dean narrated the book.
I thought I knew all about Caesar's death, thanks to Shakespeare. How wrong I was!
The narrator's mediocre vocal presence, often straining to complete his sentences on depleted air, makes not attempt to invest his listeners with the high dramatic values inherent in this history. Monotone drones on and on till, thank god, the drone is done. Pity.
I had the Shakespeare's version of Caesar firmly embedded- but this provided some context and depth
Just a good story.
He let's you in on his sources, quickly without too much detail.
Just did fine.
It was exciting to go through this story once again. I know my Roman history but I felt I need to learn more. This book didn't let me down. Fun, entertaining, informative.
Blind Vietnam veteran. Antique weapons collector. Outdoor enthusiast. Florida State University graduate with Business major. Owner of home health agency. registered nurse.
Great history lesson. If all history was so well written, history would be the most popular major in colleges across the land.
Farm boy that has traveled and lived all over the US. Enjoy stories involving history as well as science fiction.
The story of Julius Caesar takes many turns and this is a truly great way to understand what happened and how the many players were involved. Narration is excellent. Well done.
this is a great overview of the whole cesarean era and his rise and fall. I found the narrator's voice a bit too deep and would have to constantly turn my bass down in order to clearly hear him. I also found his storytelling a little uninspiring. but it's serviceable job, nonetheless.
This is a very clear and concise telling of the assassination of Julius Caesar. The narrator does a first class job. I have been intrigued by these events since a teenager and I found this to be the best account I have read or heard. I highly recommend it. I leave for Rome in three days where I can still see many of the landmarks.
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