The Telegraph: The Ides of March – The assassination of Julius Caesar and how it changed the world

Other March 17, 2016 0
The Telegraph: The Ides of March – The assassination of Julius Caesar and how it changed the world

Caesar’s death paved the way for the Roman empire after a bloody cycle of civil wars, and secured him the hallowed immortality he always craved

By Dominic Selwood

“Spurinna was a haruspex. His calling was vital, if a little unusual, requiring him to see the future in the warm entrails of sacrificial animals.

At the great festival of Lupercalia on the 15th of February 44 B.C., he was a worried man. While priests were running around the Palatine Hill hitting women with thongs to make them fertile, Spurinna was chewing over a terrible omen.

The bull that Julius Caesar, Dictator of Rome, had sacrificed earlier that day had no heart. Spurinna knew it was a terrible sign: a sure portent of death.

The following day, the haruspex oversaw another sacrifice in the hope it would give cause for optimism, but it was just as bad: the animal had a malformed liver. There was nothing for it but to tell Caesar……”

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