Apr 2 2019

Killing Caesar: How History Remembers His Assassin

April 2, 2019

3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Event Poster


Lower Level - SH


701 South Morgan, Chicago, IL 60612

Speaker: Kathryn Tempest, University of Roehampton

Conspirator and assassin, philosopher and statesman, promoter of peace and commander in war, Marcus Brutus (ca. 85-42 BC) was a controversial and enigmatic man even to those who knew him. His leading role in the murder of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March, 44 BC, immortalized his name forever, but the verdict on his act remains out to this day. How did his contemporaries view Brutus? And how have their reactions colored the legacy of Caesar’s famous assassin? Drawing on the burgeoning body of literature devoted to memory studies, this paper will explore how the site of Brutus’ memory became actively contested and politicized in a struggle for ‘ownership’ over the cultural trauma that set in after Caesar’s assassination and the battles at Philippi. From freedom-fighting patriot to a cut-throat king-slayer, we will see how the variety of responses he inspired in those who knew him were precisely the qualities that gave rise to the adaptation and appropriation of his memory in the centuries that followed.




UIC Institute for the Humanities

Date posted

Mar 20, 2019

Date updated

Mar 20, 2019