Real History: the Players

Julius Caesar
We covered him pretty extensively in the last post, but that being said:

  • 100 BC – born to an aristocratic yet middle income family
  • early 80’s – became head of his family on death of his father; aligned himself to the nobles of Rome (marrying Cornelia, with whom he fathers Julia [born 82 BC]); left Rome for the military (and to escape possible retribution by the ruler Sulla)
  • 70’s – after Sulla’s death, returned to Rome, began work as a legal advocate; and went on another successful military expedition, after which he began to work with Pompey in Rome
  • 60’s – elected quaestor,  and served under Pompey; wife Cornelia died in 69 BC; in 67 BC, he married Pompeia (distant relative of both Sulla and Pompey), divorcing her in 62 BC
  • 50’s – elected consul in 59 BC; marries Calpurnia in the same year; also began aligning himself with Crassus (a rival of Pompey’s); brought Crassus and Pompey together, and with them formed the First Triumvirate; became governor of Gaul, built a large army, and conducted many successful military campaigns; Crassus died in 53 BC
  • 49 BC – when ordered to disband his army by the Pompey-controlled senate, Caesar invaded Rome instead, forcing Pompey and his followers to flee
  • 48 BC – chased down and defeated Pompey at the Battle of Pharsalus; Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was killed; Caesar followed him to Egypt, aligning himself with Cleopatra in the Egyptian civil war; fathered a son, Caesarion, with Cleopatra
  • 47 BC – named dictator of Rome; Antony named Master of the Horse, and second in command
  • 46 BC – returned to Rome for military triumph, then–leaving Antony in charge of Rome–went out again in military campaigns to rout the rest of Pompey’s supporters (and sons)
  • 45 BC – returned again to Rome for military triumphs over the last of Pompey’s followers; in his will named Octavius his heir

Calpurnia

  • 75 BC – born, daughter of a consul
  • 59 BC – married Caesar (the marriage produced no children)

Brutus

  • 85 BC – born; his mother Servilia was both a half-sister of Cato the younger, and a lover of Caesar’s (thus the rumors that Brutus was Caesar’s illegitimate son)
  • early childhood – raised by a stoic uncle, a stoic, after his father was killed by Pompey for taking part in a rebellion by Lepidus
  • 50’s – worked as an assistant under Cato in Cyprus; returned to Rome, married Claudia Pulchra and aligned himself with the conservatives in the Senate (Optimates) against the First Triumvirate.
  • 49 BC – in the civil war between Caesar and Pompey, Brutus followed Pompey
  • 48 BC – defeated and captured at Battle of Pharsalus; apologized and was pardoned by Caesar
  • 45 BC – divorced Claudia for no other reason than to marry Portia (which caused a scandal)

Portia

  • around 70 BC – born, daughter of Cato the Younger
  • around 55 BC – married Marcus Bibulus (ally of Pompey)
  • 47 BC – Bibulus died after defeat at Battle of Pharsalus
  • 45 BC – married Brutus

Cassius

  • 85 BC – born
  • 49 BC – commanded part of Pompey’s fleet in the civil war with Caesar
  • 48 BC – captured by Caesar; Caesar offered him a generalship, but Cassius refused and retired in Rome

Antony

  • 83 BC – born to a plebeian family; his mother was a distant cousin to Caesar
  • late 60’s – spent his youth as a notorious party boy
  • 57 BC – joined the military
  • 55 BC – involved in an Egyptian campaign where he met Cleopatra
  • 54 BC – became a lieutenant under Caesar in Gaul
  • unknown date – married Antonia Hybrida Minor (this is his second wife, not much is known about the first)
  • 52 BC – elected quaestor in Rome
  • 52 BC – promoted to general by Caesar
  • 49 BC – attempted to negotiate a settlement between Caesar and Pompey, failed and was expelled from Rome; joined Caesar and became his second in command
  • 47 BC – after defeat of Pompey, named Master of the Horse, or second in command to the dictator Caesar; remained in Rome as Caesar went to Egypt; divorced Antonia
  • 46 BC – was ineffective as a ruler in Rome; upon Caesar’s return, stripped Antony of most political appointments; married Fulvia (b 83 BC)

Lepidus

  • 88 BC – born
  • 49 BC – became an ally of Caesar in civil war
  • 46 BC – named Master of the Horse (after Antony’s failed rule in Rome)

Octavius

  • 63 BC – born, great-nephew to Caesar
  • 46 BC – was to join Caesar in civil war against Pompey, but became sick and couldn’t sail with Caesar; when he recovered, he went on his own, was shipwrecked, but still made his way to Caesar;
  • 45 BC – in Caesar’s will, was named his heir

So….
As the play begins:

Caesar is 56 years old. Calpurnia is 31, Brutus 41, Portia 26, Cassius 41, Antony 39, Lepidus 44, and Octavius only 19.

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