Archaeologists working in central Rome claim they have located the exact spot where the stabbing of then-dictator Gaius Julius Caesar took place 2,056 years ago. Led by the researcher Antonio Monterroso, experts with the Spanish National Research Council base their assertion on a recently uncovered structure built by Caesar’s successor, Augustus, which he ordered to be built exactly where the attack took place.
Measuring 3 by 2 meters (approximately 10 by 7 feet), the structure sat at the bottom of the Curia of Pompey, a closed space sometimes used for smaller conferences among senators, in the Torre Argentina archaeological site.
“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,” the Spanish research council said in a statement.
Among the most prominent events in ancient Western history, the assassination of Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BCE has been memorialized by dramatists and historians for centuries, most famously in William Shakespeare‘s play and the hundreds of theatrical and screen adaptations that have been made of it, including a 1953 film starring Marlon Brando (pictured) as Marc Antony.
Though the phrase “Et tu Brute?” was, by these accounts, uttered in a spot now pinned down by Monterroso and his team, it is difficult to say where the great conqueror of Gaul actually expired. “From there the body was taken to the Roman Forum for his veneration and then it was cremated,” Monterroso told AFP. “We don’t know if he died in that instant or if he died hours later.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post wrote that the assassination of Julius Caesar was depicted in the 1953 film starring Marlon Brando (pictured) and Marc Antony.
We hasten to acknowledge that Marc Antony could not have appeared in the film as he had passed away in August 30 BCE.
Similarly, actor and tropical salsa singer Marc Anthony would not have been available for casting in the film, as he was not born until 1968.
— Reid Singer