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Brutus

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I think it was Corinth, but could be wrong. Its in that Cicero book, good book you'll enjoy.

Edited by P.Clodius

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Disentangling Brutus' role from Appius Claudius' is obviously the critical issue here, and there's nothing in your posts that manage to do this.

 

That's the thing; they were apparently working hand in glove with each other, and the fact that Brutus was married to a young lady named Claudia, daughter of Appius Cladius, governor of Cilicia might signal a closer relationship then usual.

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Disentangling Brutus' role from Appius Claudius' is obviously the critical issue here, and there's nothing in your posts that manage to do this.
That's the thing; they were apparently working hand in glove with each other, and the fact that Brutus was married to a young lady named Claudia, daughter of Appius Cladius, governor of Cilicia might signal a closer relationship then usual.

 

Or it may be that Brutus' name was used to provide a veneer of respectability and authority to what Appius Claudius was doing and that Brutus had little knowledge at all of what his father-in-law was up to day-to-day (doubt very many of us do). Also, recall that Cicero's correspondence was in the hands of Octavian, and when he published Cicero's letters, Octavian had every motivation to depict Brutus in the worst light possible. After all, Brutus had soundly defeated the little Caesar in the first battle of Phillipi, and poor Little Caesar's feelings were hurt ever after. Consequently, any exculpatory evidence could have been excised. Furthermore, Cicero himself was a bit of a braggart who resented competition from the old families of the Republic, and Cicero would have been eager to highlight the contrast between his own governorship and that of his predecessor. Most importantly, however, Appius Claudius was tried on charges (and acquitted), yet Brutus was never charged at all. In light of all these facts, I'm hardly inclined to moderate my praise of the young man who struck a mighty blow against the forces of dictatorship and the rising tide of pernicious monarchism.

 

By the way, what is this thread doing in the Military forum anyway?

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I'd have to agree with all that's been said about Brutus being of the acedemic minded rather than the battle field. He was very good with book knowledge, but not very quick with real world situations being easily led one way or another.

I am surprised that no one when discussing Caesar and Brutus has mentioned Caesar's affair with Brutus's mother Servilia Caepio. One might consider that an important nudging factor. Then there was the breaking of the marriage contract between Servilius Caepio, Brutus's adoptive father, and Caesar's daughter, Julia, at the behest of Caesar so that he could marry her to Pompey. Not that I particular think that this was a nudging factor, but fuel enough to the fire for Brutus not to regard Caesar so highly.

Of all that I've had to read on Brutus, to call him the "noblest Roman of them all" does not sit well with me. I've always gotten a sense of weakness and pettiness from him.

Image what may have occured had Caesar not shown Brutus mercy at Pharsalus, and instead put Brutus to death as was his right as the victor. Not that I think Caesar could have avoided assasination, it would just been an interesting alteration to the timing of the assasination and what could have been done or not done during that time.

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Or it may be that Brutus' name was used to provide a veneer of respectability and authority to what Appius Claudius was doing and that Brutus had little knowledge at all of what his father-in-law was up to day-to-day (doubt very many of us do).

 

So you are saying that the extortion methods i mentioned that were used by Appius Cladius were respectable, mate :D

 

Also, recall that Cicero's correspondence was in the hands of Octavian, and when he published Cicero's letters, Octavian had every motivation to depict Brutus in the worst light possible. After all, Brutus had soundly defeated the little Caesar in the first battle of Phillipi, and poor Little Caesar's feelings were hurt ever after.

 

Begging your pardon, but if you are referring to Octavian, soon to become Augustus, you are dead wrong. Cicero became governor of Cilicia in 51 BC; before Caesar marched on Rome, and when Octavius was a young boy. It was during this governorship that he wrote his intial letters on the subject of Cilicia's condition under the previous governor, Appius Cladius. Perhaps the letters you are referring to are later ones.

 

Most importantly, however, Appius Claudius was tried on charges (and acquitted), yet Brutus was never charged at all.

 

Not surprising. As was mentioned, Brutus, with his front of 'Matinius et Scaptius' covered himself very well and ensured that virtually no evidence alluding to his activities came to light.

 

I'll quote a paper i found on the subject;

 

However, there were apparently less attractive traits to this marble man. Historians cite an evergreen tale, derived from Cicero, that Brutus was so parsimonious that he insisted on a 48% return of interest on loans he issued to the town of Salamis in Cypress; this was all the more shocking because senators like Brutus were debarred from money lending. Brutus' people later resorted to force to collect the debt and deaths occurred. Cicero, discovering Brutus' acts when he became governor of Cilicia, was frankly appalled and wrote to Atticus at wearisome length; he also remonstrated with Brutus at his ruthless pillaging of the Salamian populace. Relations between them began to cool.

 

In light of all these facts, I'm hardly inclined to moderate my praise of the young man who struck a mighty blow against the forces of dictatorship and the rising tide of pernicious monarchism.

 

As i said before, Brutus and the conspirators deserve no thanks. Most of the conspirators were motivated out of jealousy; Brutus out of what he thought was in the interest of the common good. However, neither he nor any of the other murderers gave mature foresight to the lasting effects of the low murder, or of the peril of the power vacuum their actions would cause. Whilst researching Cicero about his letters, I found that he commented that the lack of planning following the assassination was disastrous. It successfully destroyed any potential to restore the Republic, as Julius Caesar had known, and led directly to a two-part civil war; that of Antony and Octavius against the murderers, then the two men against each other.

 

Once again, I can't see this argument getting anywhere; i'll let this particular aspect be.

Edited by Tobias

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Also, recall that Cicero's correspondence was in the hands of Octavian, and when he published Cicero's letters, Octavian had every motivation to depict Brutus in the worst light possible. After all, Brutus had soundly defeated the little Caesar in the first battle of Phillipi, and poor Little Caesar's feelings were hurt ever after.

Begging your pardon, but if you are referring to Octavian, soon to become Augustus, you are dead wrong. Cicero became governor of Cilicia in 51 BC; before Caesar marched on Rome, and when Octavius was a young boy. It was during this governorship that he wrote his intial letters on the subject of Cilicia's condition under the previous governor, Appius Cladius.

 

Yes and these letters were part of his private correspondence, and they were not for public consumption. After Cicero's murder by Antony, they fell into the hands of Octavian, who had them published during Octavian's war with Antony. This isn't new news--we've known this for ages.

 

Also, you've only shown that Brutus' men may have used force to collect a debt. That's not extortion.

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Absolutely right. Brutus was, in fact, not a military man at all and his only venture into that realm ended in disaster. He was regarded, even among his contemporaries, as a light weight who would have become merely a footnote in history if not for the assassination of Caesar. However, Caesar seemed to have little idea as to what he was going to do with Rome once he'd won his civil war. He seemed content to return it to Republican rule and was set on leaving as soon as possible to conquer Parthia. It was Octavian (Augustus) who finally killed off the Republic and established the Principate.

 

By the way, if you want to read the best and I mean the very best novelliseed account of the end of the Republic look at Colleen McCullough's books the "Masters of Rome" series. There are six titles - "The First Man in Rome," "Fortunes Favourites," "The Grass Crown," "Caesar's Women," "Caesar," and "The October Horse." You will never find a better set of novels about ancient Rome I guarantee. The work is simply outstanding and uncovers things about the period that will leave you speechless.

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Absolutely right. Brutus was, in fact, not a military man at all and his only venture into that realm ended in disaster.

 

Actually, Brutus defeated Octavian (who was lounging on his litter) at the first battle of Phillipi. For Appian's account see http://www.livius.org/phi-php/philippi/battle1.html.

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I've read the Masters of Rome series, and am not ashamed to admit that i quote McCullough often in this website, especially in recent debates, because of the high esteem i hold of her books.

 

Also, you've only shown that Brutus' men may have used force to collect a debt. That's not extortion.

Extortion: The illegal exaction of money by force, threats, importunity. (Definition from the Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary)

I'll quote one of my own earlier posts:

one of his main methods occurred similarly to this: The Governor would threaten to send his army to camp in a random town in Cilicia. Brutus would arrive in said town and subtly suggest that a "gift" of, say, 100 talents, to the governor would help to send the army elsewhere. After this was suggested, the firm of Matinius et Scaptius (Brutus' front) would lend the town the bribe money. The governor would pocket this money, and Brutus would make even more for lending the money.

And as i mentioned above and as you said, armed force was used to collect the debts owed! If you were offered a loan with 48% interest, would you take it? Well, if you had an army threatening to billet itself in your city and you didn't have the money yourself to bribe it away, and a "benevolent" person was offering this loan, yes you probably would.

Not extortion eh :ph34r:

Edited by Tobias

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And as i mentioned above and as you said, armed force was used to collect the debts owed! If you were offered a loan with 48% interest, would you take it? Well, if you had an army threatening to billet itself in your city and you didn't have the money yourself to bribe it away, and a "benevolent" person was offering this loan, yes you probably would.

 

Did Brutus control the troops in Cilicia or not? If he didn't and wasn't involved in where they were billeted in the first place, Brutus is not culpable for extortion (he was also never tried for extortion). Also, do we happen to know how he testified at the trial of Appius Claudius? His testimony might clear up what exactly his role was.

 

In any case, I really don't care that much whether Brutus was a saint or not--getting rid of Caesar was a necessary step in securing the Republic (though obviously not sufficient), and so even if Brutus started off as a scoundral (and I don't think he was), he ended up doing the right thing in the end.

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In any case, I really don't care that much whether Brutus was a saint or not--getting rid of Caesar was a necessary step in securing the Republic (though obviously not sufficient), and so even if Brutus started off as a scoundral (and I don't think he was), he ended up doing the right thing in the end.

 

Although half of my points were apparently ignored, i'm glad we sorted that out sir :)

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