Where Caesar met his maker

Surely one of the most famous scenes from Roman history is the murder of Julius Caesar during a meeting of the Senate.  Scratch that; one of the most famous scenes from world history.  As you enter the Curia (the Senate House) in the Forum, the starkness of the building seems a fitting backdrop for the assassination.

In actual fact though, the Curia was temporarily absolutely out of action at the time.  In the chaos of Roman politics at the tail end of the Republic, supporters of the recently murdered rabblerousing politician Clodius had turned the Curia into a funeral pyre for their figurehead.  The Senate, therefore, were meeting elsewhere; the theatre of Pompey to be exact, part of Caesar’s great rival’s giant Porticus complex.

These days, the theatre’s long gone, although I think some foundations remain under some other buildings, but if you go to Largo di Torre Argentina you can see the back of the Porticus and the public toilets which made up another part of it.  The assassination itself would have taken place in the location of the modern day Teatro Argentina, one of Rome’s most important contemporary theatres.

The interesting thing about all of this is the lack of publicity the city of Rome gives to the place.  Largo di Torre Argentina’s a bewildering find when you stumble upon it; it looks hugely significant (and indeed it is – it contains some of the only Republican Temples still in existence) but it’s just fenced off and surrounded by busy roads.  The only concession to its significance is a rather dull information sign plonked at the side.  That Caesar met his untimely end so close to the spot came as a complete surprise to me.

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One Response to “Where Caesar met his maker”

  1. Walter Says:

    JULIUS CAESAR ASSASSINATION WALK
    http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2&tid=34646917

    As far as the actual assassination location I can provide (via email only) a very impressive person’s name who also believes that that is the location of Caesar’s murder which is visible from the sidewalk behind ‘Temple B’.
    And around a decade ago I convinced an archaeologist who had once worked an excavation in the Largo (~Temple B IIRC) of this location. But I didn’t save the emails so I can’t back-up that claim.

    ROMAN FORUM WALKING TOUR
    http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2&tid=34713215
    This is unfinished but you might find it interesting.

    Also Re; your other post. The Rostra and the Arch of Titus are modern 20C reconstructions but they also used original materials in the rebuilding of them which is visible.

    Have A Wonderful Time In Rome!
    Regards, Walter

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