By the fall of 42 BCE, a little more than two years after they had
assassinated Julius Caesar, the Roman senators Brutus and Cassius had
managed to raise more than 80,000 troops still loyal to the idea of
the Republic. The inevitable showdown between these forces and those
of similar size commanded by Mark Antony and Octavian took the form
of two pitched battles separated by an interval of three weeks, on
the plain of Philippi in northern Greece. Cassius suffered defeat at
the hands of Antony and Octavian at Philippi and immediately
afterward committed suicide. On 23 October, Brutus lined up his
troops for a final go at his opponents, and was also vanquished. Soon
afterward, he too took his own life.
The conflicted character of Brutus, a traitor to his personal
friend Caesar who seemed nonetheless to sincerely oppose the
replacement of the Republic with a tyrant, has been an intrigue to
writers and artists since.
Octavian of course later became Augustus himself, confronting and
defeating Mark Antony in the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE.
Reference: Don Nardo, “Battle of Philippi.”
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Ancient Rome. San Diego:
Greenhaven Press, 2002, 266.
The Temple of
Dendur, 15 BCE. Ocatavian, as ruler of Egypt, had
himself depicted in the traditional regalia of the pharaoh. As Caesar Augustus, he
had many temples erected in the Egyptian style, honoring Egyptian
deities. This small temple also honored the goddess Isis and beside
her Pedesi and Pihor, deified sons of a local Nubian chieftain. The
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 68.154.
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Meeting of Mark Antony and Cleopatra,
1696-1770. National Gallery, London. Photo: University of
California, San Diego.
Michelangelo Buonarroti, Brutus, c. 1539. Museuo nazionale del
Marble portrait bust of the emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus,
known as Caligula. Caligula commissioned this portrait of himself in the appearance of Octavian. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund,
1914. Acessiion Nr. 14.37.
Domenico Cresti, Banquet of Octavian and Livia, 1599.
Painted fresco made for Grand Duke Ferdinando at Salone Pubblico,
Villa medicea, Artimino. Scala Archives, Florence.
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The Catholic Church is having a
difficult time finding new exorcists.
Older priests who still perform the
rites see up to 30 people a day and
work closely with psychiatrists to
separate mental illness from
possession, but some suggest
younger priests are becoming more
afraid to spend hours in windowless
rooms performing exorcism rites. Source