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Julius Caesar, Chapter 81: Julius Caesar murdered. Omens.[44 BC]
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Now Caesar's approaching murder was foretold to him by unmistakable signs. A few months before, when the settlers assigned to the colony at Capua by the Julian Law were demolishing some tombs of great antiquity, to build country houses, and plied their work with the greater vigor because as they rummaged about they found a quantity of vases of ancient workmanship, there was discovered in a tomb, which was said to be that of Capys, the founder of Capua, a bronze tablet, inscribed with Greek words and characters to this purport:|
Whenever the bones of Capys shall be moved, it will come to pass that a son of Ilium shall be slain at the hands of his kindred, and presently avenged at heavy cost to Italia.
And let no one think this tale a myth or a lie, for it is vouched for by Cornelius Balbus, an intimate friend of Caesar. Shortly before his death, as he was told, the herds of horses which he had dedicated to the river Rubicon when he crossed it, and had let loose without a keeper, stubbornly refused to graze and wept copiously. Again, when he was offering sacrifice the soothsayer Spurinna warned him to beware of danger, which would come not later than the Ides of March; and on the day before the Ides of that month a little bird called the king-bird flew into the Curia of Pompeius with a sprig of laurel, pursued by others of various kinds from the grove hard by, which tore it to pieces in the hall. In fact the very night before his murder he dreamt now that he was flying above the clouds, and now that he was clasping the hand of Jupiter; and his wife Calpurnia thought that the pediment of their house fell, and that her husband was stabbed in her arms; and on a sudden the door of the room flew open of its own accord. Both for these reasons and because of poor health he hesitated for a long time whether to stay at home and put off what he had planned to do in the senate; but at last, urged by Decimus Brutus not to disappoint the full meeting which had for some time been waiting for him, he went forth almost at the end of the fifth hour; and when a note revealing the plot was handed him by someone on the way, he put it with others which he held in his left hand, intending to read them presently. Then, after several victims had been slain, and he could not get favorable omens, he entered the Senate in defiance of portents, laughing at Spurinna and calling him a false prophet, because the Ides of March were come without bringing him harm; though Spurinna replied that they had of a truth come, but they had not gone.
Event: Julius Caesar murdered
|Sed Caesari futura caedes euidentibus prodigiis denuntiata est. paucos ante menses, cum in colonia Capua deducti lege Iulia coloni ad extruendas uillas uetustissima sepulcra dis[s]icerent idque eo studiosius facerent, quod aliquantum uasculorum operis antiqui scrutantes reperiebant, tabula aenea in monimento, in quo dicebatur Capys conditor Capuae sepultus, inuenta est conscripta litteris uerbisque Graecis hac sententia: quandoque ossa Capyis detecta essent, fore ut illo prognatus manu consanguineorum necaretur magnisque mox Italiae cladibus uindicaretur. cuius rei, ne quis fabulosam aut commenticiam putet, auctor est Cornelius Balbus, familiarissimus Caesaris. proximis diebus equorum greges, quos in traiciendo Rubiconi flumini consecrarat ac uagos et sine custode dimiserat, comperit pertinacissime pabulo abstinere ubertimque flere. et immolantem haruspex Spurinna monuit, caueret periculum, quod non ultra Martias Idus proferretur. pridie autem easdem Idus auem regaliolum cum laureo ramulo Pompeianae curiae se inferentem uolucres uarii generis ex proximo nemore persecutae ibidem discerpserunt. ea uero nocte, cui inluxit dies caedis, et ipse sibi uisus est per quietem interdum supra nubes uolitare, alias cum Ioue dextram iungere; et Calpurnia uxor imaginata est conlabi fastigium domus maritumque in gremio suo confodi; ac subito cubiculi fores sponte patuerunt. Ob haec simul et ob infirmam ualitudinem diu cunctatus an se contineret et quae apud senatum proposuerat agere differret, tandem Decimo Bruto adhortante, ne frequentis ac iam dudum opperientis destitueret, quinta fere hora progressus est libellumque insidiarum indicem ab obuio quodam porrectum libellis ceteris, quos sinistra manu tenebat, quasi mox lecturus commiscuit. dein pluribus hostiis caesis, cum litare non posset, introiit curiam spreta religione Spurinnamque irridens et ut falsum arguens, quod sine ulla sua noxa Idus Martiae adessent: quanquam is uenisse quidem eas diceret, sed non praeterisse.|