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Brutus – traitor forever

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Marcus Junius Brutus is still the embodiment of betrayal. Although today we know him almost exclusively as a killer of Caesar during his lifetime he was also famous as an outstanding rhetorician and expert on philosophy – for what he was highly appreciated by Cicero. Moreover, it is worth noting that although he eventually became one of Caesar’s close associates, he had already fought against him and always identified with the conservative, traditional part of the Roman political scene.

In the struggle for power between Caesar and Pompey, he supported the second one, fighting on his side at Dyrrhachium and Farsalos, where he finally got prisoned in 48 BCE. Brutus decided to write a letter asking for the grace, which Caesar finally accepted. Brutus turned to his side and Caesar introduced him to the circle of his closest friends. He entrusted him with the position of governor of Gaul and in 45 BCE praetor office. Brutus, however, still had contempt for Caesar’s dictatorship and his attempts to overthrow the republican order.

It is worth to mention a certain story about Brutus – at the beginning of his career he became entangled in a financial scandal: he loaned residents island of Salamis on 48%, although Roman law prohibited granting loans to more than 12% to the province’s residents. Later, one of his allies tried to force the repayment of an illegal loan, which led to the death of five Salamis politicians.

Sources
  • Cary M., Scullard H. H., Dzieje Rzymu. Od czasów najdawniejszych do Konstantyna t. I, Warszawa 1992
  • Kazimierz Kumaniecki, Cyceron i jego współcześni, Warszawa 1989

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