If our common believe tells us Roman consuls rightfully killed the tyrant Julius Caesar, it is partly because many historians told us so. It was Caesar who had broken the law by passing the Rubicon and it was Caesar who became, in a self-appointed way, Imperator perpetuus, consul for life. But Parenti shows that Caeser’s mistake was not that he trespassed the Roman constitution (which was not a written document), but that he forced the Roman oligarchs to release their dominant position in society.
Cicero, part of the happy few, looked down upon anything democratic which could possibly threaten his position as part of the happy few. As consul, he resisted any change in favour of the common people regarding land reform and debt. Yet he was and still is admired for centuries by historians for protecting Roman citizens rights. But the common Romans forgot about him as quickly as possible. Yet it took hundreds of years for any kind of democracy to get established in Rome.
Caesar was great fan of libraries, an author and admirer of the arts and a great public speaker, even Cicero admitted that much. Not that he was all loving of mankind (google Avaricum and Vercingetorix for that). In the battles between the optimates (the aristocrats/oligarchies ) versus the populares (the people party and reformers), Caesar belonged to the latter. All leaders of the common people in the Middle and Late republic were killed. And Caesar was no exception. He was killed in 710 AUB. The conspirators who murdered Caesar were forced to leave Rome within weeks and many did not live very long after that. Caesar’s ashes are still out there on the Forum Romanum. And so are his admirers every March 15th....Continua