Ides of March
Year 16 of the reign of the tyrant Gaius Julius Caesar
Ave Agony Aunt Bathilda,
An urgent matter of national security has arisen, for which I would beg your guidance. I am about to embark upon a mission with my fellow senators that will permanently change the face of Rome. I believe our intentions are honorable and just.
Everyday, we grow increasingly distrustful of Emperor Caesar. He does not care about Rome. He is only driven by his own ever-expanding personal power. In the past 5 years of his leadership, he has completely ignored the rulings of the Senate. Instead, he has surreptitiously increased the number of potential senators and filled those seats with his personal cronies and puppets, whose only purpose it seems is to fulfill the emperor’s wishes.
The final straw occurred when he forced us, the Roman Senate, to name him Dictator Perpetuo, dictator for life. The Roman mints were then tasked to produce denarii with Caesar’s likeness and that offensive title. It is not Roman custom to place the likeness of living rulers on our coins. Caesar is too full of ambition and wants to be king of the Roman people and master of the whole world. We are a republic! We have not had a king for well over 400 years and have no need of one now.
Caesar may be able to fool the plebeians with bread and circuses, but we, in the Senate, will not stand for this.
This tyrant must die!
Some 40 or so of us have been meeting privately at each other’s homes over the past few months, debating how we may be able to arrest the problem at hand. We plan to meet later today at the Senate to execute the tyrant. Having the full support of my brother-in-law, Cassius, convinces me that our cause is honorable.
My concern, Aunt Bathilda, is how history will remember me. In our honorable cause, we are not trying to achieve a coup d’etat. Rather, by carrying out this tyrannicide, we are attempting to restore the legitimacy of the Roman Republic and the Senate. This, we do, for the greater good.
What do you think?
Marcus Junius Brutus, the younger
Senatus Populus Que Romanus (SPQR)
Ave Marcus Brutus,
Unfortunately, you did not go into any real detail regarding your distrust of your emperor. Surely it is the nature of rulers to be ambitious. And so what if his face is on Roman denarius coins? Are those your only gripes? Is your country progressing under his leadership? Are the people content? I believe that should be your first priority and not how much your own personal power is slipping.
It seems to me that your “honorable” plan is tinged with a spoonful of jealousy.
You need to grow up! This will be indeed be viewed as a coup d’etat. I hope you and your fellow “Liberators” are prepared to live with the consequences.
Please desist with your plan of tyrannicide! The plebeians will not forgive you.
Agony Aunt Bathilda