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Imperium Aeternum - Chronology : 44 BC (The Ides of March)

On March 13th Marcus Junius Brutus learns of Antony’s discovery of the assassination plot against Julius Caesar. Brutus warns the other members of the Liberatores (the group who is plotting to kill Caesar) about Antony’s knowledge of the plot, but the other conspirators fail to be deterred in their plans to kill the Dictator. Brutus decides to speak with Antony about the plot and help him convince Caesar to avoid the Senate meeting on the Ides of March. Brutus meets with Antony the next day and the two decide to intercept Caesar as he leaves to sign the fake petition written by the Senators. On March 15th as Caesar is walking towards the Senate forum, Brutus and Antony warn him of the assassination plot and Brutus admits guilt in the initial stages of the plot, but pleads with Caesar that he could not follow through with the plot because of his close relationship to the Roman Dictator. He and Antony suggest that Caesar be lenient on the punishment of the other members of the conspiracy so as to show the Roman people that he is an honorable Dictator, but harsh enough to avoid the possibility of another assassination attempt. They also suggest that Caesar immediately go before the Roman people and reveal the plot to get the people behind him. Caesar orders his guard to arrest all the conspirators pointed out by Brutus except Brutus who he pardons given that Brutus remains his advisor and swears allegiance to him, Brutus agrees. Caesar even decides to leave Brutus in his original line of succession (which will be changed later) out of personal gratitude to Brutus for stopping his assassination. On March 16th, Caesar speaks to the people of Rome and explains the assassination attempt and says he understands that the people and the Senate are worried about his powers as Dictator. He vows to the Roman people to be a just ruler and he will limit the powers of Dictator through law and guarantees that the power of the Senate will not be diminished (basically a very early and primitive form of separation of powers). He further promises to add to the glories of Rome by conquering many new lands for the Roman people, beginning with lands on the northern frontier and the wealthy domain of the Parthian kings (which he had already began planning for before the assassination attempt). The people rejoice at this news and basically endorse Caesar's rule by showing their extreme support for him. All others who may have thought of ousting Caesar are now completely discredited and most become huge proponents of Caesar. The conspirators are pardoned but stripped of all titles and powers they may have previously held. To compensate them Caesar gives them land to live on and a small amount of monetary compensation.

In April, the Senate votes and makes Caesar Imperator Perpetuus (essentially creating the position of emperor of the Roman Empire). Octavian (Caesar’s heir according to his earlier will) and the Senate begin working on the Great Law.

Three months after the failed assassination attempt, Caesar changes his will, announcing that his son by Cleopatra, queen of Ptolemaic Egypt, the two year old Caesarion (Ptolemy Caesar) will be his heir. He further decrees that in his absence, Octavian will act as the Imperator Interrex or interim /temporary emperor (a position the Great Law will expand upon later) and that next in line after Caesarion should he die would either be his son or Octavian, followed still by Brutus. Caesar’s will further stipulates that any assassination of Caesar, Caesarion, or his offspring, would automatically make null and void the succession of either Octavian or Brutus. Taking advantage of his popularity he explains that though Cleopatra is foreign she will not threaten Rome's power, and how Egypt and Rome can grow stronger together through a close mutual relationship. The people believe him wholeheartedly because he is so popular. In August, Caesar formally marries Cleopatra, making her the most powerful woman in Rome.

The first part of the Great Law is voted on in the Senate and brought into law in November, with Octavian showing a remarkable mind for revolutionary political concepts. Many historians are quick to note however, that it is actually Octavian’s tutor, the rather obscure Greek philosopher, Philipatos, who should be considered the brains behind much of the Great Law’s concepts.

Caesar gathers an army and appoints Marc Antony as one of his commanders. He, Antony and Brutus will leave with an 80,000 man army for the northern border with Macedonia in preparation for an invasion of Dacia, Pannonia, and eventually Germany. Caesar's main goal is to be greater than Alexander the Great. He decides to commit most of the rest of his life to adding territory to Rome and leaving the administrative part of his rule to Augustus who already agreed publicly to give up power to Caesarion at the age of 18 should anything happen to Caesar before that time.

In December, while gathering an army for his northern campaign, Caesar is distracted and leaves for Egypt because of a revolt in Alexandria led by Cleopatra’s brother, Ptolemy XIV, who opposes the rule of his sister and the growing Roman influence and power over Egypt. Caesar and Cleopatra take an army of 30,000 and invade Egypt, defeating and killing Ptolemy XIV after a pitched battle in Alexandria. Caesar writes his Commentarii de Bello Aegyptico during this time, highlighting the Battle of Alexandria. Caesar is very careful not to damage Alexandria and tries to foster loyalty by allowing Cleopatra to command part of his army along with some of her loyal Egyptian followers. The strategy mostly works and by March, Caesar leaves for Rome and he and Cleopatra immediately integrate the Egyptian and Roman governments, basically annexing Egypt to Rome. In May, Caesar, Antony, Brutus and their army leave for Macedonia. Almost simultaneously, another general named Gaius Claudius Scipio is given authority by Caesar to finish the invasion of Britain with 25,000 men.

timelines/44_bc_imperium_aeterna.txt · Last modified: 2014/12/03 23:27 by Petike