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Brutus(bro͞o`təs), in ancient Rome, a surname of the Junian gens. Lucius Junius Brutus, fl. 510 B.C., was the founder of the Roman republic. He feigned idiocy to escape death at the hands of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (see under TarquinTarquin
[Etruscan,=lord], in Roman tradition, an Etruscan family that ruled Rome. According to the historian Livy, when the rule of the Bacchiadae in Corinth was overthrown (c.657 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Roman historians tell how he led the Romans in expelling the Tarquins after the rape of Lucrece, how he became one of the first praetors (there were no consuls), and how he executed his sons for plotting a Tarquinian restoration. Decimus Junius Brutus Gallaecus, fl. 138 B.C., consul, consolidated the province of Farther Spain and stopped the encroaching Lusitanian tribespeople. Marcus Junius Brutus, d. c.77 B.C., was a partisan of LepidusLepidus
, family of the ancient Roman patrician gens Aemilia. Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, d. 152 B.C., was a consul in 187 and 175 B.C., a censor in 179 B.C., and pontifex maximus [high priest] from 180 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. (d. 77 B.C.) in the struggle with CatulusCatulus
, family of ancient Rome, of the Lutatian gens. Caius Lutatius Catulus was consul in 242 B.C. He won the great Roman naval victory over Carthage off the Aegates (modern Aegadian Isles) that ended the First Punic War. Quintus Lutatius Catulus, d. 87 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. (d. 60 B.C.); PompeyPompey
(Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus) , 106 B.C.–48 B.C., Roman general, the rival of Julius Caesar. Sometimes called Pompey the Great, he was the son of Cnaeus Pompeius Strabo (consul in 89 B.C.), a commander of equivocal reputation.
..... Click the link for more information. had him murdered. His wife Servilia was the half-sister of Cato the Younger. Their son was Marcus Junius Brutus, 85? B.C.–42 B.C. He and Caius Cassius Longinus (see under CassiusCassius
, ancient Roman family. There were a number of well-known members. Spurius Cassius Viscellinus, d. c.485 B.C., seems to have been consul several times. In 493 B.C. he negotiated a treaty establishing equal military assistance between Rome and the Latin cities.
..... Click the link for more information. ) were the principal assassins of Julius CaesarCaesar, Julius
(Caius Julius Caesar), 100? B.C.–44 B.C., Roman statesman and general. Rise to Power
Although he was born into the Julian gens, one of the oldest patrician families in Rome, Caesar was always a member of the democratic or popular party.
..... Click the link for more information. . He had sided with Pompey, but after the battle of PharsalusPharsalus
, ancient city, Thessaly, Greece. Near there in 48 B.C., Julius Caesar decisively defeated Pompey, who had a much larger force. Lucan's Bellum Civile (often called Pharsalia) is an epic of the civil war.
..... Click the link for more information. , Caesar pardoned him, made him governor of Cisalpine Gaul (46 B.C.), and, in 44 B.C., urban praetor. Nevertheless, he joined Cassius in the plot against Caesar. After the murder of Caesar, Brutus went east and, in the republican cause, joined Cassius and held Macedonia with him. Late in 42 B.C., Octavian (later AugustusAugustus
, 63 B.C.–A.D. 14, first Roman emperor, a grandson of the sister of Julius Caesar. Named at first Caius Octavius, he became on adoption by the Julian gens (44 B.C.) Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Octavian); Augustus was a title of honor granted (27 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. ) and Antony arrived, and a battle was fought at Philippi. When it went against the republicans, Brutus committed suicide. Brutus' wife Portia was the daughter of Cato the Younger. Brutus had a contemporary reputation as a Stoic philosopher, and his admirers have regarded him as a second Cato, driven reluctantly to commit murder in order to save the republic. His detractors, on the other hand, have considered his friendship with the self-seeking Cassius as indicative of his true character. A lesser member of the conspiracy was Decimus Junius Brutus, d. 43 B.C., a partisan of Caesar against Pompey and a favorite of the dictator. Caesar gave him command in Gaul and appointed him to be his heir in case of Octavian's death. After Caesar's death, Brutus refused to surrender Cisalpine Gaul. In 43 B.C., Antony, to whom the senate had assigned the province, besieged Brutus at Mutina (modern Modena). He tried to escape and was killed.
Brutus,legendary founder of the British race: see BrutBrut,
, or Brutus
, a Trojan, legendary founder of the British race, descendant of Aeneas. His story appears in Nennius and in Geoffrey of Monmouth, and his name gives the titles to long poems by Wace and Layamon.
..... Click the link for more information. .
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conspirator and assassin of Julius Caesar. [Br. Lit.: Julius Caesar]
plotted against Caesar with Cassius and Casca. [Br. Lit.: Julius Caesar]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
1. Lucius Junius . late 6th century bc, Roman statesman who ousted the tyrant Tarquin (509) and helped found the Roman republic
2. Marcus Junius ?85--42 bc, Roman statesman who, with Cassius, led the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar (44): committed suicide after being defeated by Antony and Octavian (Augustus) at Philippi (42)
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