ROME, ITALY (The Blind Spot) – Gaius Julius Caesar, winner of the Civic Crown, conqueror of Gaul, and dictator perpetuo, was fatally stabbed on Tuesday 23 times at the Theatre of Pompey. He was 55 years old.
A group of senators identifying as freedom fighters and led by Marcus Junius Brutus have claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they were compelled to act on concerns Caesar’s lifelong appointment was unconstitutional.
Caesar was struck soon after he entered the Theatre of Pompey for a routine legislative session, collapsing in the centre of the auditorium. Sources say he had ignored warnings from trusted psychic intelligence agents, among them his own wife Calpurnia, as well as multiple pleas to “beware the Ides of March”.
Eye witnesses told The Blind Spot the Dictator’s last words, “Et tu, Brute?”, were uttered directly to chief conspirator, Brutus, who at the time showed no regret.
Anti-Caesar sentiments had been brewing in Roman conspiracy circles ever since the dictator for life had refused to confirm that he would commit to a peaceful transfer of absolute powers back to the people.
“For too long, we’ve stood by and watched as demagogues have one after another usurped our Republican institutions,” Brutus told crowds gathered outside the forum after exiting the building. “People of Rome, we are once again free!”
In the aftermath of the killing, Brutus and others were seen parading through the urban centre attempting to calm the jittery, landless proletariat, declaring they had acted for “the salvation of the Republic.”
But Caesar’s defenders were quick to admonish supporters of the coup, decrying the conspirators’ actions as having clearly been influenced by disinformation.
“Brutus is not the noblest Roman of them all but the most treacherous,” said Caesar’s loyal general Mark Antony. “An attack on Caesar is an attack on the Republic. Caesar was the friend of the people. If you’re against Caesar, you’re against the people. You’re against Rome.”
Referring to the conspirators, Antony added: “Their betrayal will be dealt with.”
DISINFORMATION RUNS WILD
Investigators say conspirators had become convinced by a far-fetched theory that years of authoritarian rule by politicians and generals – including Gracchus, Sulla, and Marius — had trampled on Rome’s democratic customs, creating a shadow monarchic system, or “deep state”, each inching ever closer to hoisting a crown upon their head. Some further speculated the system had been corrupted by loose morals, a loss of tradition and a collapse in ethics.
“Nothing compares to the ambition of Caesar, whose encroachments upon our ancient constitution became intolerable to lovers of freedom and democracy everywhere,” they had said in a prepared statement. “It was our sacred duty to remove this tyrant. Our actions are calculated with but one purpose in mind: to Make Rome Great Again!”
Others attribute the conspirators’ motives to retaliation over Caesar’s victory in the recent civil war, noting that Brutus was a supporter of Caesar’s opponent, Pompey.
A handful of sympathisers who declined to be involved in the plot directly, said they had been worried an assassination would backfire against organisers, potentially galvanising support for Caesar’s successors and encouraging reprisal attacks, leading to further instability in the country.
Authorities have so far named Gaius Cassius Longinus, Gaius Trebonius, and several other notable senators as also involved in the plot. Renowned YouTuber, Cicero, with more than 1,000 followers in real life, was conspicuously missing from the list despite repeatedly calling for the removal of Caesar in his live sessions.
Not all are surprised by the new era of so-called “strongman politics”. Reached on set, noted expert in the field Gaius Sallustus “Sallust” Crispus, now consulting on the upcoming much-anticipated Netflix mini-series Conspiracy of Catiline, told the Blind Spot that Brutus and Cicero were naïve to think an assassination would bring back the Republic or democracy.
“I cover all this in [Conspiracy of] Catiline. It is avarice and ambition that have ruined our republic. Simply murdering the prevailing demagogue – or celebrating the victory of your favored demagogue – won’t quell political faction or remove its underlying causes,” Sallust said.
“Kill one demagogue and another, even more brazen, springs forth to take its place, unless the corrupt soils which sustain them be purified. The end of our Republic has been a long time coming.”
“If you wanted to save our Republic from falling,” Sallust continued, “You’d have had to have started the day Carthage fell.”
CRAZED THEORY OF SECULAR DECLINE
Sallust advised citizens in his daily “War Room Epidemic” pronouncement to read up on the blogs of Polybius, the Greek historian and slave of Scipio Aemilianus, who published his theory of Anacyclosis roughly a century ago.
Anacyclosis predicts the probable sequence of political revolution in a secure political environment. According to the theory, political society begins in primitive monarchy. Monarchy coalesces into regal kingship. Kingship degenerates into tyranny. Eventually, the state’s leading men no longer tolerate the tyrant’s abuses and establish aristocracy. Aristocracy in turn quickly declines into oligarchy. The people next establish democracy. But their descendants become likewise corrupt, and democracy itself descends into mob rule.
In Polybius’ words, the strongman-led mob itself ends popular government, as its members “massacre, banish, and plunder, until they degenerate again into perfect savages and find once more a master and monarch,” thereby closing the sequence.
Caesar’s defenders argue the theory is bunkum and is merely being advocated by Sallust as cover for his own fascistic tendencies.
Reached in his dorm room at Apollonia, Caesar’s presumptive heir Octavian was found hastily packing his bags upon hearing the news of his adoptive father’s death.
“Well, I don’t know much about Anacyclosis,” Octavian said. “But one thing’s for sure. Brutus didn’t save the Republic. He killed it.”
FACT CHECK: Men who assassinated Julius Caesar identified by The Blind Spot are not undercover Antonites as some Forum bystanders claim.
The literate have been sharing content that suggests those who assassinated Julius Caesar were supporters of Marc Antony, not Pompey, and engaged in a False Fasces conspiracy to undermine the movement to liberate Rome.
Many have been referring to papyrus compilations and Forum wall etchings as purported evidence of a set up, but examination of these images shows they do not support this claim.
The Praetorian Guard has said there is “no indication at this time” that the supporters of Mark Antony had played a role in the mob that stormed the senate session at The Theatre of Pompey.
“Anyone brandishing such material is willfully engaging in the spread of disinformation and will be removed from the Roman forum,” a Praetorian guard warned. “The forum may be a public square but we set the rules here because we have the swords, the horses and support of Caesar’s successors.”
Scores of Republican supporters have, however, started gathering outside the Roman Capitol to show support for Brutus, the leader of the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar.
United by political grievances, some have come bearing knives as well as banners, calling themselves patriots. But many also appear to be veterans of Pompey’s campaigns in the East and can be heard inciting battles or planning for “war”.
As authorities begin to charge the conspirators involved in the March 15 plot to assassinate dictator perpetuo Gaius Julius Caesar more details are being revealed of events as they transpired on the day.