Barry Strauss, Cornell historian and member of JMC’s Academic Council, has just published The Death of Caesar: the Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination. James Romm, a professor of classics at Bard College, reviews the book for the New York Times Sunday Book Review.
Among the most poignant objects that survive from the era of the Ides of March — March 15, 44 B.C., the day Julius Caesar fell to the knives of Brutus, Cassius and perhaps 21 other senators — is a dime-size silver denarius, minted by Brutus a year or two after the murder. One side of this rare coin shows military-style daggers flanking a felt pileus cap, a symbol of freedom from slavery, and the abbreviation EID MAR. On the other side, remarkably, Brutus had his own portrait stamped. Before this, Caesar was the only Roman who had dared put himself on a coin, for to do so was to assume the stature of a monarch — or a god.
Read the full review.