Now thanks mainly to dear old Bill Shakespeare and his “poetic licence”, whole generations of schoolkids have grown up learning that Julius Caesar was a really rather nice guy who was stabbed in the back, literally, by his best mate Brutus and who as he was dying used the phrase that epitomises personal betrayal to the same extent that “Benedict Arnold” does for the Merkins about traitors to Merka. The phrase being “Et tu Brutḗ” or as we understand it “?and you, as well, Brutus??”as dear old saintly Julius pops his clogs at the realisation that his best mate is a traitor (Well, apart from all those knives!).
We also get “beware the Ides of March” from the same source which strangely enough does not refer to a particularly nasty bunch of travellers from Fenland.
|Caesar and Brutus|
The reality is far different, for a start Julius was the Boss and particularly was Brutus’ Boss and to start with they got on really well. Even when Caesar and Pompey were having a dust up and Brutus supported Pompey (Daft move because of course they got relegated as usual) Caesar gave orders to his crew that they should leave Brutus untouched. After that they got all pally.
However, dear old Julius was a total control freak and he could not accept that the Rome he had effectively created or at least saved from total destruction was not actually his own personal playground and the people therein at his beck and call.
Therefore he got himself a coterie of sycophants who were under his sway, neutralised the senate and went for the top banana role of Emperor. That way he could introduce “One Man – One Vote with him being the one man with a vote. The problem was he had more than a few Senators that preferred their version of Democracy.
So, just before the new Financial Year as Caesar was on his way to give the Senate an opinion, Brutus and a few selected chums ventilated his toga in the time honoured manner.
So Caesar died of stupidity really as he could have kept the majority of the Senate onside and voting his way, including his chum Brutus but instead thought he did not need friends and so pissed too many of them off and got his come-uppance, not a case of treachery but more a case of being terminally dumb!
There are many morals to this tale but one that will resonate a lot is that people who are in charge of big stuff should remember that they do need their mates and the little people and cannot get by on their own no matter how clever they are, they forget this at their peril.
Now, where is that dagger?