October 10, 2012
Researchers Find Exact Location Of The Death Of Julius Caesar
Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Which death is preferable to every other?: “The unexpected.” This quote, attributed to Julius Caesar himself, turned out to be prophetic. His assassination on the Ides of March in 44 BC was truly an unexpected event for the most famous leader of the Roman empire.Antonio Monterroso, CSIC researcher from the Institute of History of the Center for Humanities and Social Sciences (CCHS-CSIC), states: "We always knew that Julius Caesar was killed in the Curia of Pompey on March 15th 44 BC because the classical texts pass on so, but so far no material evidence of this fact, so often depicted in historicist painting and cinema, had been recovered."
That all changed this week. The CSIC team identified a concrete structure measuring about 9 feet wide and over 6 feet high that was erected by order of Augustus, Caesar´s adopted son and successor. The structure was intended to commemorate the death and condemn the assassination of his father, and was installed right where his father had fallen.
Finding this place in a complex that is some 54,000 square meters confirms that the General was stabbed right at the bottom of the Curia of Pompey while presiding over a meeting of the Senate. The structure is located in the archaeological area of Torre Argentina, which itself is located in the historic center of the Roman capital.
According to classical sources, the Curia of Pompey was closed several years after the assassination. The CSIC team explained: “We know for sure that the place where Julius Caesar presided over that session of the Senate, and where he fell stabbed, was closed with a rectangular structure organized under four walls delimiting a Roman concrete filling. However, we don´t know if this closure also involved that the building ceased to be totally accessible.”
This finding came about during research of the Torre Argentina and the Curia of Pompey. The team has been studying the remains of the Portico of the Hundred Columns (Hecatostylon). Their research is geared toward identifying what connecting links might exist between archaeology, art history and cinema in these spaces and their relation to the death of Julius Caesar.
Monterosso added: “We also aim to better understand that sense of closure and dismal place described in classical texts.”
Both the Curia of Pompey and Torre Argentina are part of a much larger complex constructed in 55 BC by Pompey the Great to commemorate his military successes in the East.
“It is very attractive, in a civic and citizen sense, that thousands of people today take the bus and the tram right next to the place where Julius Caesar was stabbed 2,056 years ago or even that they go to a theatre, since the main theatre of the capital is the Teatro Argentina, which is equally close,” said Monterosso.