Biographies & Memoirs



CAESAR WAS DEAD BUT NOT buried. In a city that made political theater out of the matter of laying its noble dead to rest, this was no small point. The struggle for Rome’s future now shifted from Caesar’s acts and the assassins’ status to Caesar’s funeral and the process of mourning. The tense atmosphere was about to get even more stressful.


Cassius pressed the point the day after his dinner party at Antony’s. The Senate was meeting again in a session pushed for by Piso, Caesar’s father-in-law. Caesar had named Piso the guardian of his last will and testament. Now Piso demanded that Caesar’s will be read in public and that Caesar get a state funeral, a rare honor that had been given only to Sulla and a few others. Antony strongly supported both measures but Cassius just as strongly opposed them. So, in private, did Cicero’s friend Atticus. He predicted that a public funeral would destroy the conspirators’ cause. Funerals for Roman nobles were usually private but even they were often political; public funerals packed a stronger punch still. Perhaps Atticus thought of Sulla’s splendid and intimidating military rites thirty-five years earlier. Ironically, on that occasion, Lepidus’s father had strongly opposed the public ceremony but he was outvoted. More recently, massive violence had broken out at the private funeral of the demagogue Clodius in 52 B.C. But Brutus gave in on both points. The Senate voted in favor of reading Caesar’s will in public and holding a state funeral. Antony secured the right to give the funeral oration. The same meeting confirmed Caesar’s status as a god.

In retrospect, allowing Caesar’s funeral was a mistake, but Brutus might have said there was no choice. Popular desire for compromise demanded it. Besides, as Appian has Antony say, Caesar’s soldiers would never tolerate it if Caesar’s body were dragged, abused, and cast out like a tyrant’s corpse. How could they feel secure about their property if the man who gave it to them was treated so outrageously? Perhaps Brutus took comfort in the behavior of Lepidus’s soldiers at the Temple of Tellus the day before when they saved Cinna from a mob that included Caesar’s veterans. Perhaps he reasoned that the same soldiers would keep things from getting out of hand at Caesar’s funeral. Perhaps Lepidus even promised that. We don’t know.

A great deal depended on the soldiers, both the legionaries and the veterans. Brutus would probably never admit that the Senate was at their mercy but, by the same token, he didn’t oppose what they wanted.


The next day, March 19, Antony presided over the reading of Caesar’s will in Antony’s house. It was the document Caesar had signed the previous September 15 in his villa south of Rome and then given to the Vestal Virgins for safekeeping. Neither Antony nor Decimus, Caesar’s traveling companions on the journey from Gaul back to Italy the previous summer, got much. The big winner was Octavian. He inherited three-quarters of Caesar’s private fortune while the rest went to Octavian’s cousins Pedius and Pinarius, also descended from Caesar’s sister. Caesar posthumously adopted Octavian into his family and gave him his name—Caesar. He named several of his assassins as guardians of his son should one be born to him. Their names are not known but Decimus was probably one of them because Caesar gave him an additional honor: he named Decimus as heir in the second degree, in case the first heirs were unable or unwilling to take up their inheritance. Antony received a similar honor.

Surely Decimus knew or guessed Caesar’s choice of Octavian when he joined the conspiracy, but loyal Antony might have been surprised. Making Caesar’s name all the more valuable, Caesar left a huge political contribution to the Roman people. He bequeathed every citizen a cash bonus of three hundred sesterces (equal to 75 denarii), just a little less than the amount he gave them at his triumphs in 46 B.C. In addition, Caesar converted his estate across the Tiber, Caesar’s Gardens, now housing Cleopatra, into a public park. Even from beyond the grave, Caesar was the consummate politician, catering to his supporters among the urban plebs.

Caesar’s will was probably read in public. At any rate, word of its provisions got out. Caesar’s generosity turned the heat up on the men who killed him, especially Decimus, whose status as an alternate heir and assassin was scandalous.

Let us pause and consider what the scene looked like to Antony on March 19. It was the eve of Caesar’s funeral. Antony’s patron, Caesar, was dead. He had barely mentioned Antony in his will. Instead, Caesar had made Octavian his heir. Antony’s enemy Dolabella had seized the consulship and Antony had to accept that. Antony’s colleague Lepidus had an army and he did not. Neither the Senate nor the people had turned their righteous anger on the murderers. By confirming Caesar’s acts, the Senate left Decimus about to take up the governorship of Italian Gaul and another assassin, Trebonius, about to become governor of Roman Asia (western Turkey). These were two important provinces because Italian Gaul was of great military value and Roman Asia could be milked for its wealth. However, things weren’t all negative for Antony. By managing the compromise of March 17, he had scored points with moderate public opinion, and by arranging approval for a public funeral, he had pleased Caesar’s supporters.

Still, Antony’s future looked uncertain. His “friends” included rivals like Octavian and Lepidus. Then there were the assassins and their allies, many of them Pompey allies who wanted their property back. As the man who had auctioned off Pompey’s property, Antony had to worry about their vengeance, especially with Sextus Pompey waiting in the wings.

In this tangle of troubles there appeared a red thread—Caesar’s funeral. As consul, friend, and Caesar’s distant relative, Antony had obtained the right to deliver the funeral oration. Suddenly he had the best soapbox in Rome—and he seized the occasion. Like Brutus, Antony was married to a woman who could steer him toward action. Fulvia, Antony’s wife, was Clodius’s widow. She had played an active role in the demagogue’s funeral in 52 B.C. and she could show Antony how these things were done. In Rome, funerals and mourning were women’s work, but a woman as able as Fulvia could leverage them to her advantage in a man’s world.

But there was another important factor besides Antony’s actions. Day by day, Caesar’s veterans poured into Rome “in vast numbers.” This influx was a game changer. It was not predictable. Yes, the call would go out—that was to be expected. Yes, Caesar’s troops loved him when he was alive. But most men had only one way to get to Rome—on foot. Many had to walk a hundred miles or more. Yet they came. They loved Caesar, they hated his murder, and they feared for their newfound wealth. Their journey was informal and disorganized, and yet, in its own quiet way, it was a march on Rome every bit as effective as if the legions had come with standards raised and trumpets blowing.

Caesar was dead but Caesarism lived on. That was the secret of Roman politics that was revealed in the third week of March 44 B.C. The Senate still met and issued decrees. The people still commanded enough respect that the magistrates courted them in public speeches. Yet, in the final analysis, it was Caesar’s veterans converging on Rome with their weapons who had the last say. They might have forgotten their loyalty to Caesar if the assassins had paid them a bonus or increased their land allotments, but the assassins offered too little to win their trust. Cassius saw it coming and, as a military man, perhaps Decimus did, too.

As consul, as a successful general, and as Caesar’s close ally, Antony was now the natural leader of a large force. If he played his hand well at Caesar’s funeral he could cement his position. On March 17, he had supported amnesty, but now, Antony went for the jugular. Without formally repealing the amnesty, he showed who really ran Rome. Antony was an opportunist but, given his vulnerability, who wouldn’t be?


Shakespeare plays up the drama of Caesar’s funeral. He should only have known! The real funeral was even more theatrical than the product of the Bard’s pen.

The funerals of Roman nobles always were shows. The classic elements were: the body lying in state for seven days; a funeral procession carrying the body to the Roman Forum; a family member or professional actor dressed in beeswax mask and costume to represent the deceased while others in the procession wore beeswax masks of famous ancestors of the deceased; a funeral oration delivered from the Speaker’s Platform; the burial; and a banquet. Caesar’s spectacular funeral combined music, acting, a procession, a chorus, a eulogy, props, a funeral pyre to rival a Gallic chieftain’s, and, finally, a riot. The assassination of Caesar could not compare to Caesar’s funeral. A murder carried out indoors before several hundred members of the Roman elite followed by a parade to the Capitol of gladiators and dagger-wielding senators was no small thing, but it could not match an event that filled the Roman Forum with many thousands of people.

Caesar had left instructions for his funeral with his niece, Atia, Octavian’s mother. But Caesar did not plan on being murdered and the funeral highlighted that crime. Someone must have adapted Caesar’s plan, and that someone was probably Antony.

In recent decades Rome had seen several spectacular funerals. The greatest was the public funeral for Sulla the Dictator in 78 B.C. Sulla died in his villa on the Bay of Naples. His body was carried to Rome on a golden litter, preceded by trumpeters and horsemen, and followed by armed infantrymen with his military standards and fasces in the very front. Once in Rome, a procession made its way through the streets, allegedly carrying more than two thousand golden crowns, which were the gifts of his legions, his friends and various cities. The entire Senate, all the public officials, many knights, and all his legions marched, all in their proper uniforms, carrying gilded standards and silver-plated shields. No fewer than 210 carts carried the aromatic herbs and spices donated by Roman matrons, useful both to hide the smell of Sulla’s worm-eaten corpse and to sweeten the odor of burning flesh on the pyre. After a funeral oration was delivered from the Speaker’s Platform, a group of strong senators carried the bier to the Field of Mars, traditionally reserved for the burial of kings. As the perfumed pyre burned, the knights and the army marched past. The remains were buried in a tomb in the Field of Mars.

One element of Sulla’s funeral should not be overlooked—fear, specifically fear of his armed soldiers. Fear brought out all the priests and priestesses of Rome, each in his proper robe to escort the body. Fear made the senators, knights, and urban plebs join in his supporters’ cries of farewell, even those who hated Sulla.

In 69 B.C., Caesar organized a memorable funeral for his aunt Julia. She was the widow of Sulla’s great enemy, Marius. Caesar delivered the funeral oration, praising his family as well as its descent from gods and kings. It was an announcement of sorts that the Populists were back and Sulla was gone—and that the sky was the limit when it came to Caesar’s ambition.

Finally, there was Clodius’s funeral in 52 B.C., a radically different event. Improvised on short notice after the demagogue’s murder on the Appian Way, it was a case of populism run wild. Clodius’s wounded body was shown to the public at his house, then a crowd brought it to the Forum the next day. There was neither the usual procession nor any masks of the deceased or his ancestors. The crowd cut off an attempt by the People’s Tribunes to speak. The crowd then rioted and burned the Senate House, in whose ruins afterward they cremated Clodius. After further rioting around Rome, the crowd held a funeral banquet. Antony, who supported Clodius, was probably at the funeral, but even if not, he could learn anything he wanted to know from Fulvia. Fulvia had incited Clodius’s supporters by displaying his corpse and its wounds the night it was brought back to Rome.

Like Sulla’s funeral, Clodius’s funeral no doubt engendered fear, but this time it was fear of the mob rather than of the soldiers. Caesar’s funeral managed to combine both.

Before his funeral began, the organizers set up a gilded shrine on the Speaker’s Platform and a funeral pyre on the Field of Mars beside Julia’s tomb. The shrine, modeled to look like the Temple of Mother Venus, would hold the corpse. Heralds informed the public not to join the funeral procession, as the day wouldn’t be long enough for the crowd expected. Instead, they told people to take any convenient route to the Field of Mars in order to bring their gifts for the pyre.

The procession no doubt began at the Public Mansion. Musicians and dancers took part as well as men carrying busts of Caesar. Actors, perhaps five—one for each of Caesar’s triumphs—took part, too, each wearing a beeswax mask of Caesar and each dressed in a triumphal robe. As usual in a noble’s funeral, the actors were trained to imitate the pace and bearing of the deceased.

Roman funeral masks were not death masks but life masks, cast while a person was still alive. Modern experiments with beeswax funeral masks show that they are uncannily lifelike. A wealthy man like Caesar would have used the most sensitive and expensive wax available, often imported from a far-off place, to make a vivid mask. Between their gait and their masks, the actor or actors who represented Caesar gave the eerie impression of a dead man come back to life.

Torchbearers and freedmen—those just freed by Caesar’s will—probably walked before the corpse. Public officials, present and past, carried the body on an ivory couch covered with purple and gold. Normally the corpse was visible but this time it was covered and a wax image represented the dead man.

Piso, Caesar’s father-in-law, led the body into the Forum. At this point, a very large number of armed men—Caesar’s veterans, surely—ran to escort it as a kind of bodyguard. With loud cries coming from the procession, they placed the corpse on its ivory couch in the shrine on the Speaker’s Platform. At the head of the shrine stood a trophy, most likely a spear, holding up the toga that Caesar wore on the Ides of March. There followed a long period of more wailing and lament and armed men clashing their shields. If Appian is right, the armed men began to regret the amnesty of March 17.

A large crowd was present. Presumably it was not a representative sample of Roman public opinion but was stacked with Caesar’s supporters, including many of his veterans. The conspirators stayed far away; in fact the prudent among them were probably barricaded at home.

Women attended Roman funerals. Calpurnia was surely there along with Atia and the other women of Caesar’s family. Cleopatra was surely not since monarchs were banned from entering Rome’s sacred boundary. She was probably on the other side of the River Tiber in Caesar’s villa.

It was finally time for Antony to speak. The consul had the honor of delivering the eulogy. This is Shakespeare’s “Friends, Romans, Countrymen” speech—a phrase that Antony did not use. But what did he say? The sources differ starkly about that. Cicero, Appian, Plutarch, and Dio all have Antony give an emotional speech, but Suetonius says that Antony did not give a proper funeral oration at all. Rather, he says that Antony merely had a herald read aloud the decrees in which the senators gave Caesar divine and human honors, promising to defend his safety, and then Antony added a few words of his own. Cicero, who says that Antony gave a rabble-rousing speech, is more plausible than Suetonius. True, Cicero is biased, since he was Antony’s political opponent, and besides, Cicero didn’t attend the funeral. Still, when he addressed the Senate in October 44 and referred to the speech, Cicero probably could not completely misrepresent a funeral oration that Antony gave about six months earlier in the presence of many in the room. Perhaps Suetonius was misled by the massive anti-Antony propaganda of later years. In any case, whatever Antony did or didn’t say in his formal address, he was the star performer in the melodrama that followed, and his theatrics did more than his rhetoric to inflame the crowd.

Appian gives a generally plausible, if overly dramatic, account of Antony’s speech. Antony read a list of the honors voted to Caesar by the Senate and the people. He emphasized Caesar’s clemency and his status as the Father of His Country. He pointed out the bitter irony that a man who did no harm to anyone who sought refuge with him was then murdered in turn. He denied that Caesar was a tyrant. He recalled the senators’ promise, on pain of a curse, to hold Caesar sacred and inviolable, and to avenge any harm to him. Antony turned to Jupiter, whose temple loomed above on the Capitoline Hill, saying that Antony himself was ready to take revenge but he had a duty to uphold the amnesty. At that, a hubbub arose from the senators present. Antony backpedaled and made a bland statement about letting bygones be bygones, with a warning about the danger of civil war.

Antony then performed a variation on the usual hymn and lament. He praised Caesar as a god and rapidly recited his achievements—the wars, battles, victories, peoples conquered, and spoils sent home. He bent down and rose again, lifted his hands to heaven, mourned, and wept. He ran arpeggios from high to low with his voice. Then he supposedly uncovered Caesar’s body—an implausible detail—lifted his robe on a spear point, and raised it up, torn as it was by the assassin’s blows and stained with the dictator’s dried blood.

The most remarkable feature was that Antony now had the assembled people join in, as if he were the leader and they the chorus. The audience chanted to the sound of a flute while they took turns with Antony reciting Caesar’s deeds and his suffering.

Now an actor impersonating Caesar spoke. He named names, listing the men for whom Caesar did favors, including the murderers. Then, in one of history’s more inspired uses of sarcasm, he delivered a line from a Roman tragedy that seemed tailored for the occasion. “Did I save them just so that they could destroy me?” It was even bitterer than the phrase that Shakespeare puts into Antony’s mouth when, in Shakespeare’s funeral speech, Antony repeatedly calls the assassins “honorable men.”

The actor impersonating Caesar moved the people to a near-riot pitch. The ingratitude of the murderers, especially Decimus, infuriated them. Now, on the Speaker’s Platform, a wax image of Caesar was raised above the body and rotated by a mechanical device so that it showed all the man’s wounds, including those on his face.

The crowd took matters into its own hands. They took Caesar’s bier and carried it on their shoulders. They ignored the plan to cremate him in the Field of Mars. Instead, they tried to bring the bier to the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline or to the Senate House of Pompey for cremation. Dio says that Lepidus’s soldiers prevented them for fear that they would destroy those and the surrounding buildings. Some called for cremation in the Senate House of Pompey, but they didn’t prevail. In the end, the people brought the bier into the Forum, threw together a pyre of dry branches and benches from the nearby law courts, and cremated it there, near the Royal Residence, where Caesar presided as Chief Priest. Later, the word went out that two “beings” bearing swords directed them—figures reminiscent of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. Was that just a tale told afterward or did someone actually dress up two actors to guide the crowd?

People now offered gifts to the dead man. Musicians and actors took off the robes from Caesar’s triumphs, tore them into shreds, and threw them into the flames. Legionaries from the veteran units threw in the arms with which they had adorned themselves for the funeral. Women added their jewels or their children’s robes and amulets.

Finally, there was a riot. Cicero says that rioters consisted of slaves and poor people or “ruffians, mostly slaves,” but one wonders if some of them weren’t Caesar’s veterans. It’s hard not to suspect that the riot was organized beforehand. Antony, who once belonged to Clodius’s gang himself, and Fulvia, Clodius’s widow and an able recruiter of armed men, are the obvious culprits. Caesar had abolished the gangs, but Caesar was dead. Either Antony or Fulvia or both could have worked in advance with their old friends from the gangs, perhaps with the veterans, too.

The crowd surged to the homes of Brutus and Cassius with torches and they were barely kept away—perhaps by Decimus’s gladiators. The assassins had to be careful that day, and we happen to know that at least one of them—Publius Servilius Casca—wasstrongly guarded. The crowd succeeded in burning the house of one Lucius Bellienus, otherwise unknown but probably a supporter of the assassins. Cicero claims that the same torches that were used to burn Caesar’s body were used on Bellienus’s house. Then the rioters turned on an unfortunate victim, the People’s Tribune and poet Helvius Cinna. He was a supporter of Caesar but the crowd mistook him for the hated praetor Cornelius Cinna. They killed and decapitated Helvius, parading his head through the streets. The soldiers did nothing that we know of to stop the riots or to protect the homes of the conspirators.

Cicero had no doubt that Antony was to blame. In a blistering speech to the Senate the next year, Cicero said of Antony, “The pretty funeral oration was yours, the emotional appeal was yours, the exhortation was yours—you, you, I say, you lit those torches!” By then, the compromise of March 17 had fallen apart and the lines were drawn. Cicero’s words need to be taken with a grain of salt. And yet, Antony was the answer to that old Roman question, cui bono?—Who benefits?

For Antony, the funeral was a precious chance to claim the leadership of Caesar’s party. To do so, he needed to lay it on thick and to curry favor with Caesar’s veterans. He said that he stood by the amnesty but his performance suggested otherwise.

The assassins judged that the Roman people wanted peace and compromise. They were right. What the assassins misjudged was Antony’s ruthlessness and Caesar’s veterans. When the veterans flooded Rome they gave Antony an opportunity—or perhaps they forced his hand.


Eventually the funeral pyre burned out and Caesar’s remains were brought to the family tomb in the Field of Mars. Mourning, however, continued. Foreigners as well as Romans lamented Caesar. Suetonius opens a window into Rome’s ethnic politics with this statement: “At the height of public mourning a multitude of foreign peoples lamented around the pyre, each in its own way, and especially the Jews, who even on successive nights crowded the funeral site.” The outsize Jewish presence among the mourners deserves comment.

A Roman general, victorious in various provinces, would have many foreign clients. Caesar had the greatest number of them all. Besides, he had made a name for himself as one who championed various foreign elites, especially in Italian Gaul but also in the so-called Province (the Provence region of France) and Hispania (Spain) as well as in various other communities around the empire. One of Caesar’s most successful and long-lasting alliances was with various Jewish communities.

His relationship with the Jews was very different from that of Pompey—who conquered Judea, looted the Temple, deported Jewish slaves to Rome, and paved the way for the country to be diminished and divided. Caesar, by contrast, declared Judea an ally and friend of the Roman people, restored its territorial integrity, reduced taxes, and allowed the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. He granted privileges to Roman and other diaspora Jewish communities.

Caesar’s friendliness toward the Jews marks a refreshing change from the verbal hostility of many elite Romans such as Cicero, Horace, Tacitus, and Juvenal, not to mention Pompey’s brutality. Yet the relationship between Caesar and the Jews was surely a marriage of convenience. In Egypt in 48 B.C., Jewish troops came to Caesar’s rescue against his Egyptian enemies. Caesar remembered this and perhaps saw Judea as a base against Parthia. In the Land of Israel, chances are that many saw Caesar as an occupier—better than Pompey but still unwelcome. And Caesar favored Antipater, father of King Herod, who was hated both by the rabbis and by many in the Jewish masses.

The Jews who mourned Caesar night after night might have genuinely admired him. Even if they disliked Caesar, perhaps they wanted to be on good terms with Caesar’s friends if they saw them as the likely winners in the power struggle.


Caesar’s funeral was as good a show as Sulla’s and nearly as violent in its aftermath as Clodius’s. The amnesty was still in effect, but the funeral and riot compromised it. Afterward, the consuls ruled that no one but soldiers could bear arms, which defanged Decimus’s gladiators. No wonder the conspirators felt that they had to lie low or even to run for their lives.

Decimus was the most hated man in Rome. Other friends of Caesar betrayed the dictator on the Ides, but only Decimus had dined with Caesar the night before and only Decimus had lured the dictator from his house to his death. Only Decimus protected the assassins with gladiators. To top it off, Caesar mentioned Decimus in his will. For the Roman public, it was all too much. Antony might have evoked nods of approval when, a few months later, he called Decimus a poisoner. No one is recorded saying “Et tu, Decime?” but that sums up how people felt.

A remarkable letter survives from Decimus to Brutus and Cassius. The date is uncertain but if may have been written soon after Caesar’s funeral. In it, Decimus bemoans his position. He says that Caesar’s close colleague Hirtius visited him at home the evening before and made clear that Antony’s state of mind was very bad and very treacherous.

According to Decimus, Hirtius reported that Antony said that he couldn’t give Decimus his province of Italian Gaul. Further, Antony said it was unsafe for any of the assassins to stay in Rome, not with the soldiers and the people aroused as they were.

All lies, said Decimus. He claimed that Hirtius made clear what Antony really thought—that with only “a moderate boost in the dignitas of the assassins,” the assassins would be safe from popular agitators. What did Decimus have in mind by a “moderate boost in dignitas”?

Decimus said that he had lost hope. He asked for a senatorial commission to travel abroad on public business, and Hirtius agreed, but Decimus doubted that Hirtius could actually obtain it. Public opinion had turned on the assassins, and Decimus said he wouldn’t be surprised if he and his friends were declared public enemies. Therefore, his advice was “we must give in to fortune.” Exile was the solution. Sextus Pompey in Hispania or Caecilius Bassus, the rebel governor of Syria, represented their best hope.

The last paragraph of his letter was, it seems, a postscript. In it Decimus announced a new plan. He had taken heart, perhaps based on new information. He now told Hirtius that he wanted to stay in Rome after all and he demanded a public bodyguard. This, it appears, would suffice as the “moderate boost in dignitas” that Decimus referred to earlier.

It might seem strange that Decimus, of all people, the man who betrayed Caesar, would call a person treacherous, as he called Antony. But Decimus was not someone to see himself as others saw him. In several letters written over the next year he complained about those who vilified him and attacked his dignity. They were malicious, he said. He had no doubt but that he represented his country, while his enemies were “a most wicked conspiracy.” Betray Caesar? As far as Decimus was concerned he had done nothing wrong, and that was that.

In the end, Decimus stayed in Rome without a bodyguard until early April, when he finally went to Italian Gaul. There he had two armies under his command as well as his infamous gladiators.

As for Brutus and Cassius, their status in Rome after the Ides was not as bad as Decimus’s, but it wasn’t good. They had drawn their daggers on the Ides of March. Within a week, an influx of Caesar’s veterans into Rome gave Antony swords and shields. Finally, in mid-April, Brutus and Cassius left the city. By then a new factor had emerged on the political scene.

The men who killed Caesar were caught in a contradiction. What they needed to secure their status was a military coup. Instead, they committed murder and made speeches. Revolution, as Mao said, is not a dinner party.

Emerson said that when you strike at a king, you must kill him. The conspirators thought they had done just that by killing Caesar, but they were wrong. The king wasn’t Caesar but Caesarism—the idea that a general and his armies could conquer the Republic. The only way to kill that idea was to defend the Republic by defeating its enemies once and for all. But doing that would take more than speeches. It would take an army and the determination to use it in a war.

The conspirators had lost Caesar’s veterans in Rome. Now they needed to start raising an army, both in Italy and in the east, by attracting as many battle-hardened soldiers as possible. If they already understood that on the Ides of March, they may not have admitted it. To do so meant accepting the paradox that only the legions could save the Republic from being run by the legions.

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