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The extraordinary life of the “noblest Roman of them all.”
Although Marcus Junius Brutus is one of the most famous, or infamous, conspirators of Rome and the ancient world, if not of all time, knowledge of this historical figure has principally been passed to the modern world through the literary medium of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Julius Caesar. Furthermore, any interest in Brutus has tended to focus only on events surrounding his most legendary act: Caesar’s murder. This biography instead considers Brutus in his historical context, gathering details from ancient evidence and piecing together, as much as possible, his whole life.
While his actions played a pivotal role in Roman history, ultimately, although completely unintentionally, bringing about the downfall of the Roman republic, Brutus has often been neglected. Indeed, he has rarely been considered on his own merits, instead featuring as part of the biographies and studies of other leading political figures of the time, especially those of Julius Caesar, Cicero, and Octavian. As the first dedicated biography in over thirty years, this full and balanced reconsideration of this significant Roman republican is long overdue.