Thanks to Shakespeare, Julius Caesar’s stabbing is the most famous assassination in history. But what actually happened on March 15, 44 B.C., is even more gripping than the Bard’s depiction.
In a discussion of his newly released book, Cornell University’s Barry Strauss details the true story. While Shakespeare portrayed Caesar’s murder as an amateur and idealistic affair, it actually was a carefully planned paramilitary operation executed by disaffected officers. Brutus and Cassius were, indeed, key players but had the help of a third man, Decimus, a leading general and lifelong friend of Caesar who became a mole in his entourage.