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Vincenzo Camuccini, "Morte di Cesare", 1798, a paiinting showing the murder of Caesar

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VIDEO: Why do we still care about the Ides of March? What did Caesar really say?

March 14, 2014 — 

James Chlup, an assistant professor in the department of classics, talks about the Ides of March (March 15), when Julius Caesar was stabbed to death. Our society still enjoys this story because we love tales of political backstabbing, and this betrayal reigns supreme.

In William Shakespeare’s play, Caesar’s last words to Brutus, the final person to stab him, are “Et tu, Brute?” Or, “And you Brutus?” But as Chlup told UM Today, the historian Suetonius records his final words as being, translated, “And you too, child?” Chlup says that this saying, at the time, was a rather violent expletive — a sort of, this fate will befall you too [insert expletives of your choice]. This adds a new and deliciously wicked ingredient to the scandal, but as Chlup notes, Caesar was just stabbed for the 23rd time, so he likely didn’t say anything.

 

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