Archaeologists say they have found the murder scene of Julius Caesar - and it's now a bus stop | Mail Online
By Anthony Bond
The death of Julius Caesar was one of the most significant moments in history, with its story often told in books, theatre and film.
But it appears the murder scene of the famous Roman emperor is now anything but glamorous - next to a well-used tourist bus and tram stop in the centre of Rome.
A team of Spanish researchers believes it has pinpointed the exact spot Caesar fell after matching the finds on a massive dig in Rome to well documented historical evidence.
Historic: A team of Spanish researchers believes it has pinpointed the exact spot Caesar fell after matching the finds on a massive dig in Rome to well documented historical evidence. This picture shows a general view of the area in downtown Rome.
They say it is next to the bus and tram stop in an area of Rome known as Torre Argentina, visited by millions because of a vast archaeological dig taking place there.
At the time of Caesar's death, however, the assassination took place at the bottom of a series of steps, in a small square area just three metres wide in a building known as The Curia of Pompeii.
Caesar's death, stabbed by a rebellious group of advisors, took place on the Ides of March (the 15th) in 44BC and is one of the most famous ever scenes in history.
This is partly to do with Shakespeare's dramatisation of the emperor's last moments when he utters 'Et tu Brute. Then fall Caesar' as he is knifed by his most trusted lieutenant.
Though in Britain many remember 'Infamy, infamy, they've all got it infamy' from Kenneth Williams as Caesar in Carry on Cleo and voted the funniest one liner in cinema history.
Antonio Monterroso, team leader of the Spanish researchers, said: 'Thousands of people today take the bus and the tram right next to the place where Julius Caesar was stabbed 2056 years ago.'
The team from the Spanish National Research Council first found a concrete structure measuring just three metres wide and two metres deep.
After examining historical documentation they realised it was a box built by Augustus, son of Julius, to be placed covering the spot where his father was murdered as a kind of memorial.
Caesar was killed as he presided over a senate meeting in a closed space known as the Curia of Pompeii, named in recognition of a military victory in that region.
The positioning of the boxed structure shows it would have been at the lowest point of the Curia where Caesar would have sat on a chair, the point where he was stabbed.
Whether or not he died there will always be open to argument, said the Spanish researchers, because no one knows if an injured Caesar was moved before he died.
But it seems to be the point at which he was stabbed and fell, as portrayed in Shakespeare's dramatic play.
Antonio Monterroso, of the Spanish Research Council, which has led a three year dig, said: 'This finding confirms that the general was stabbed right at the bottom of the Curia of Pompey while he was presiding, sitting on a chair, over a meeting of the Senate.
'We know this because there is a structure that seals the place where Caesar must have been seated presiding over the senate session where he was stabbed.
'There is a structure from the later period of his successor, the period of Augustus, placed where Caesar must have sat, and that is how we know.'
But he admitted that arguments would continue.
He said: 'It is not indisputable. All archaeological science is open to dispute, it should be open to dispute, it should be open to argument, it should be open to debate and open to criticism, of course.'