The city reappears in the sources during the Roman civil war that
followed the assassination of
Julius Caesar. His heirs
Mark Antony and
Octavian confronted the assassins of
Marcus Junius Brutus and
Cassius, at the
Battle of Philippi in the plain to the
west of the city in October,
42 BC. Antony and Octavian were
victorious in this final battle against the partisans of the Republic.
They released some of their veteran soldiers, probably from
legion XXVIII and colonized them in the
city, which was refounded as Colonia Victrix Philippensium. In
30 BC, Octavian became
Roman emperor, reorganized the colony,
and established more settlers there, veterans possibly from the
Praetorian Guard and other Italians.
The city was renamed Colonia Iulia Philippensis, and then
Colonia Augusta Iulia Philippensis after January,
27 BC, when Octavian received the title
Augustus from the
Following this second renaming, and perhaps after the first, the
territory of Philippi was
centuriated (divided into squares of
land) and distributed to the colonists. The city kept its Macedonian
walls, and its general plan was modified only partially by the
construction of a forum, a little to the east of the site of Greek
agora. It was a "miniature Rome," under the municipal law of Rome and
governed by two military officers, the duumviri, who were
appointed directly from Rome.
Ruins of the centre of the city: the forum in the
foreground, the market and the basilica in the background.
The colony recognized its dependence on the mines that brought it its
privileged position on the
Via Egnatia. This wealth was shown
by the many monuments that were particularly imposing considering the
relatively small size of the urban area: the forum, laid out in two
terraces on both sides of the main road, was constructed in several
phases between the reigns of
Antoninus Pius, and the theatre was
enlarged and expanded in order to hold Roman games. There is an
Latin inscriptions testifying to the
prosperity of the city.
AD 49 or 50, the city was visited by
Paul who was guided there by a vision
(Acts 16:9-10). Accompanied by
Timothy and possibly
Luke, the author of the
Acts of the Apostles, he preached for
the first time on European soil in Philippi (Acts 16:12-40) and baptized
purple dye merchant, in a river to the
west of the city. While in Philippi, his exorcism of a demon from a
slave girl caused a great uproar in the city, which led to their (Paul
and Silas) arrest and public beating (Acts 16:16-24). An earthquake
caused their prison to be opened. When the jailer awoke, he prepared to
kill himself, thinking all the prisoners had escaped and knowing that he
would be severely punished. Paul stopped him, indicating that all the
prisoners were in fact still there. The jailer then became one of the
first Christians in Europe (Acts 16:25-40). At this time, there was
Jewish community and no
synagogue (Acts 16:13). Those
Jews present did not seem to include
any men and met by the river, a common meeting place in the absence of a
Paul visited the city on two other occasions, in 56 and 57. The
Epistle to the Philippians dates from
around 61-62 and shows the immediate impact of Paul's instruction. The
subsequent development of
Christianity in Philippi is
well-attested, notably by a
letter from Polycarp of Smyrna
addressed to the community in Philippi around 160 and by funerary
Marcus Junius Brutus (early June, 85 BC – late October, 42 BC), often
referred to as Brutus, was a politician of the late
Roman Republic. After being adopted by his
uncle he used the name Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, but eventually
returned to using his original name.
Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger was the son of
Marcus Junius Brutus the Elder and
Servilia Caepionis. His father was killed by
Pompey the Great in dubious circumstances after
he had taken part in the rebellion of Lepidus; his mother was the half-sister of
Cato the Younger, and later Julius Caesar's
mistress. Some sources refer to the possibility of Caesar being his real father,
despite Caesar's being only 15 years old when Brutus was born.
Quintus Servilius Caepio,
adopted him in about 59 BC, and Brutus was
known officially for a time as Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus before he
reverted to using his birth-name. Following Caesar's assassination in 44 BC,
Brutus revived his adoptive name in order to illustrate his links to another
Gaius Servilius Ahala, from whom he was
civil war broke out in 49 BC between Pompey and
Caesar, Brutus followed his old enemy and present leader of the Optimates,
Pompey. When the
Battle of Pharsalus began, Caesar ordered his
officers to take Brutus prisoner if he gave himself up voluntarily, and if he
persisted in fighting against capture, to let him alone and do him no violence.
After the disaster of the Battle of Pharsalus, Brutus wrote to Caesar with
apologies and Caesar immediately forgave him. Caesar then accepted him into his
inner circle and made him governor of
Gaul when he left for
Africa in pursuit of Cato and
Metellus Scipio. In 45 BC, Caesar nominated
Brutus to serve as urban
praetor for the following year.
Also, in June 45 BC, Brutus
divorced his wife and married his first cousin,
Porcia Catonis, Cato's daughter. According to
Cicero the marriage caused a semi-scandal as
Brutus failed to state a valid reason for his divorce from Claudia other than he
wished to marry Porcia. The marriage also caused a rift between Brutus and his
mother, who resented the affection Brutus had for Porcia.
Around this time, many senators began to fear Caesar's growing power
following his appointment as
dictator for life.
Brutus was persuaded into joining the conspiracy against Caesar by the other
senators. Eventually, Brutus decided to move against Caesar after Caesar's
king-like behavior prompted him to take action. His wife was the only woman
privy to the plot.
The conspirators planned to carry out their plot on the
Ides of March (March 15) that same year. On
that day, Caesar was delayed going to the Senate because his wife,
Calpurnia Pisonis, tried to convince him not to
go. The conspirators feared the plot had been found out. Brutus persisted,
however, waiting for Caesar at the Senate, and allegedly still chose to remain
even when a messenger brought him news that would otherwise have caused him to
When Caesar finally did come to the Senate, they attacked him.
Publius Servilius Casca Longus was allegedly
the first to attack Caesar with a blow to the shoulder, which Caesar blocked.
However, upon seeing Brutus was with the conspirators, he covered his face with
toga and resigned himself to his fate. The
conspirators attacked in such numbers that they even wounded one another. Brutus
is said to have been wounded in the hand and in the legs.
Marcus Junius Brutus.
After the assassination, the Senate passed an amnesty on the assassins. This
amnesty was proposed by Caesar's friend and co-consul
Marcus Antonius. Nonetheless, uproar among the
population caused Brutus and the conspirators to leave Rome. Brutus settled in
Crete from 44 to 42 BC.
In 43 BC, after
Octavian received his
consulship from the
Roman Senate, one of his first actions was to
have the people that had assassinated Julius Caesar declared
murderers and enemies of the state.
Marcus Tullius Cicero, angry at Octavian, wrote
a letter to Brutus explaining that the forces of Octavian and Marcus Antonius
were divided. Antonius had laid siege to the province of
Gaul, where he wanted a governorship. In response to this siege,
Octavian rallied his troops and fought a series of battles in which Antonius was
Philippi (42 BC)
Upon hearing that neither Antonius nor Octavian had an army big enough to
defend Rome, Brutus rallied his troops, which totaled about 17
legions. When Octavian heard that Brutus was on
his way to Rome, he made peace with Antonius. Their armies, which together
totaled about 19 legions, marched to meet Brutus and
Gaius Cassius Longinus. The two sides met in
two engagements known as the
Battle of Philippi. The first was fought on
October 3, 42 BC, in which Brutus defeated Octavian's forces, although Cassius
was defeated by Antonius' forces. The second engagement was fought on
October 23, 42 BC and ended in Brutus' defeat.
After the defeat, he fled into the nearby hills with only about four legions.
Knowing his army had been defeated and that he would be captured, Brutus
committed suicide. Among his last words were, according to Plutarch, "By all
means must we fly; not with our feet, however, but with our hands." Brutus also
uttered the well-known verse calling down a curse upon Antonius (Plutarch
repeats this from the memoirs of
Publius Volumnius): Forget not,
Zeus, the author of these crimes (in the
Dryden translation this passage is given as
Punish, great Jove, the author of these ills). Plutarch wrote that,
according to Volumnius, Brutus repeated two verses, but Volumnius was only able
to recall the one quoted.
Antonius, as a show of great respect, ordered Brutus' body to be wrapped in
Antonius' most expensive purple mantle (this was later stolen and Antonius had
the thief executed). Brutus was
cremated, and his ashes were sent to his
Servilia Caepionis. His wife Porcia was
reported to have committed suicide upon hearing of her husband's death,
although, according to Plutarch (Brutus 53 para 2), there is some dispute as to
whether this is the case: Plutarch states that there is a letter in existence
that was allegedly written by Brutus mourning the manner of her death.
85 BC: Brutus was born in Rome to Marcus Junius Brutus The Elder and
58 BC: He was made assistant to Cato, governor of
Cyprus which helped him start his political
This was the noblest Roman of them all:
All the conspirators save only he
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;
He only, in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world "This was a man!"
John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of
Abraham Lincoln, claimed to be inspired by
Brutus. Booth's father,
Junius Brutus Booth, was named for Brutus,
and Booth (as Marcus Antonius) and his brother (as Brutus) had performed in
a production of Julius Caesar in
New York just six months before the
assassination. On the night of the assassination, Booth is alleged to have
shouted "Sic semper tyrannis" while leaping to the stage of
Ford's Theater. Lamenting the negative
reaction to his deed, Booth wrote in his journal on April 21, 1865, while on
the run, "[W]ith every man's hand against me, I am here in despair. And why;
For doing what Brutus was honored for ... And yet I for striking down a
greater tyrant than they ever knew am looked upon as a common cutthroat."
Booth was also known to be greatly attracted to Caesar himself, having
played both Brutus and Caesar upon various stages.
The well-known phrase "Et
tu, Brute?" ("And you, Brutus?") is famous as Caesar's utterance
in the play
Julius Caesar, although it is not his last
words, and the sources describing Caesar's death disagree about what his
last words were.
Inferno, Brutus is one of three
people deemed sinful enough to be chewed in one of the three mouths of
Satan, in the very center of Hell, for all eternity. The other two are
Cassius, who was Brutus's fellow
Judas Iscariot (Canto XXXIV). Dante
condemned these three in the afterlife for being Treacherous Against Their
Masters and enemies of the King/Emperor.
Julius Caesar depicts Caesar's
assassination by Brutus and his accomplices, and the murderers' subsequent
downfall. In the final scene, Marcus Antonius describes Brutus as "the
noblest Roman of them all", for he was the only conspirator who acted for
the good of Rome.
Masters of Rome novels of
Colleen McCullough, Brutus is portrayed as
a timid intellectual who hates Caesar for personal reasons, foremost of them
the fact that his marriage arrangement with Caesar's daughter, Julia, whom
Brutus deeply loved, was dissolved in Caesar's political gamble to give his
daughter's hand to Pompey to cement with him an alliance.
Trebonius use him as a figurehead because
of his family connections, and his descendence from the founder of the
Republic. He appears in
The October Horse.
In the TV series
Brutus, portrayed by
Tobias Menzies, is depicted as a young man
torn between what he believes is right, and his loyalty and love of a man
who has been like a father to him. In the series, his personality and
motives are accurate but Brutus' relationship to Cassius and Cato is not
mentioned, and his three sisters and wife Porcia are omitted from the series
The Roman Republic was governed by a
complex constitution, which centered on the
principles of a
separation of powers and
checks and balances. The
evolution of the constitution was heavily
influenced by the struggle between the aristocracy (the
patricians), and other talented Romans who were
not from famous families, the
plebeians. Early in its history, the republic
was controlled by an aristocracy of individuals who could trace their ancestry
back to the early history of the kingdom. Over time, the laws that allowed these
individuals to dominate the government were repealed, and the result was the
emergence of a new aristocracy which depended on the structure of society,
rather than the law, to maintain its dominance.
During the first two centuries, the Republic saw its
territory expand from central Italy to the entire
Mediterranean world. In the next century, Rome
grew to dominate North Africa, the
Iberian Peninsula, Greece, and what is now
southern France. During the last two centuries of the Roman Republic, it grew to
dominate the rest of modern France, as well as much of the east. At this point,
republican political machinery was replaced
The precise event which signaled the end of the Roman
Republic and the transition into the
Roman Empire is a matter of interpretation.
Towards the end of the period a selection of Roman leaders came to so dominate
the political arena that they exceeded the limitations of the Republic as a
matter of course. Historians have variously proposed the appointment of
Julius Caesar as perpetual
dictator in 44 BC, the defeat of
Mark Antony at the
Battle of Actium in 31 BC, and the
Roman Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to
Octavian (Augustus) under the
first settlement in 27 BC, as candidates for
the defining pivotal
event ending the Republic.
Many of Rome's legal and legislative structures can still be
observed throughout Europe and the rest of the world by modern
nation state and
international organizations. The Romans'
Latin language has influenced grammar and
vocabulary across parts of Europe and the world.
Just some of recently listed authentic ancient
coins and artifacts from a selection of thousands of items: