Julius Caesar

Alchemy Gothic’s simple yet striking creation in the Cesare’s Veto earring speaks of the tumultuous period in Roman history where violence was often invoked amidst debate in the senate. Assassination was commonplace, and the best way to silence a political competitor amidst the fierce political wrangling of Ancient Rome.

Cesare's Veto Earring By Alchemy Gothic

The most famous assassination is that of Julius Caesar, told in detail in the writings of the time and embellished by Shakespeare’s tragedy of the emperor’s name. Yet this strike at the political figurehead was less a graceful assassination as it was an uprising of the Roman elite.

On the 15th March 44BC, Caesar was due to arrive in Senate. According to the Greek biographer Plutarch, it was Tillius Cimber who struck the first, non-fatal blow. As the Caesar struggled with him, Cimber called out for help, and it was then that a group of supporters began to lash out, stabbing Julius Caesar twenty-three times and killing him on the steps of the senate.

Despite the gravity of these wounds, only one, landed in the upper chest, actually cost the Caesar his life, suggesting a high level of hesitance among the group, despite the violence of their attack. This was more brutality than an assassination, and the murder of Julius Caesar, so popular among the middle and lower classes of Rome, resulted in five civil wars ravaging the country.

Caesar’s death opened a new page in the history of the Roman Empire, but sadly the most famous phrase associated with the killing “Et Tu, Brute?” is a figment of the imagination of William Shakespeare, conjured up to give the speechless Caesar a final incriminating line in his tragic play.

Despite the fictional embellishment, there is no doubt that Ancient Rome was a dangerous place to rule. As the melting pot of the European world, the passion for politics and philosophy led to an often violent form of debate, more likely to be punctuated by the cut of a dagger than the stroke of a pen.

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