Where did Caesar die? Archaeologist says she knows | todaysthv.com
12:17 PM, Oct 26, 2012 |
|Caesar's Death. Attention: Image is laterally reversed! For the original image, see File:Karl Theodor von Piloty Murder of Caesar 1865.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
ROME (CNN) -- We know how he died, we know why he died, and we know when he died. Shakespeare famously dramatized the events of the "Ides of March", the date when Roman dictator Julius Caesar was slain. But there's one detail that has remained contentious. Where in modern Rome did the deed take place? An archaeologist thinks she has the answer.
Julius Caesar: Perhaps no man better embodies the glory and the gore that was ancient Rome. Admirers still leave flowers and notes on the altar in the temple dedicated to Caesar in the Forum.
While Caesar, who came, saw, and conquered large tracts of Europe for Rome, has been the subject of literature and film, there is one mystery that still remains: Where exactly was he killed?
In the middle of Rome's busy Large Argentina lie some of the most extensive ruins dating back to Caesar's era, the late Roman Republic. Somewhere in an area off limits to tourists for years, archaeologists and historians have long believed Caesar met his fate.
But now, the exact spot has been identified. Well, perhaps. In that spot, Spanish archaeologist Antonio Monterroso says Julius Caesar, on the Ides of March, Mar. 15, 44 BC, was stabbed 23 times to death by his political rivals.
Monterroso of the Spanish National Research Council believes these walls were part of a structure built by Caesar's adopted son and later Rome's first emperor, Augustus, to mark the spot where Caesar was killed.
Not so fast, cautions archaeologist Marina Mattei who has been excavating this site for the last seven years and worked with Monteroso here. She doesn't dispute that this most historic of political assassinations occurred in this area but is hesitant, just yet, to define the precise location.
To say that Caesar was killed in a spot, she says, is an act of excessive interpretation. In addition to the traditional tools of archaeology, she and her colleagues are using the latest technology, including laser scans, to analyze the site which next year, she says, will finally be open to the public.
The connection to Caesar, Shakespeare's most noble Roman of them all, promises to draw the crowds.
He truly is the man, she says, who expresses the greatness of Rome in those troubled times, when Rome was conquering the world, and at the same time connecting it.
For those who come here, friends, Romans, countrymen and other tourists, it may not really matter where Caesar said, et tu, Brute?