Archaeologists find exact spot of Julius Caesar's murder

Archaeologists from Spain's National Science Council (CSIC) have found the exact spot where Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by Brutus and conspirators in Rome, approximately 45 years before the birth of Christ. They have found a structure that Caesar's adoptive son built in honor of the fallen conqueror of Gaul. Located in what is known as the Curia of Pompey, the concrete structure measures three meters wide and over two meters high, and was erected by order of Augustus (adoptive son and successor of Julius Caesar) to condemn the assassination of his father. The location of the structure provided the key the researchers needed to find the spot of the murder immortalized by Classical chroniclers and William Shakespeare.

This discovery confirms that Roman dictator was stabbed right at the bottom of the Curia of Pompey while he was presiding over a meeting of the Senate from a chair.

Currently, the remains of this building are located in the archaeological area of Torre Argentina, right in the historic center of the Rome.
 
Antonio Monterroso, a CSIC researcher working for the Institute of History of the Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, stated "We always knew that Julius Caesar was killed in the Curia of Pompey on March 15, 44 BCE because the classical texts pass on so, but so far no material evidence of this fact, so often depicted in historicist painting and cinema, had been recovered".
 
Classical sources refer to the closure (years after the murder) of the Curia, a place that would become a memorial. Monterroso researcher explained, "We know for sure that the place where Julius Caesar presided over that session of the Senate, and where he fell stabbed, was closed with a rectangular structure organized under four walls delimiting a Roman concrete filling. However, we don't know if this closure also involved that the building ceased to be totally accessible".
 
In Torre Argentina, in addition to the Curia of Pompey, researchers have started to study the remains of the Portico of the Hundred Columns (Hecatostylon). The aim is to identify what connecting links can be established between archaeology, art history, and cinema in these spaces of the death of Julius Caesar. Monterroso added, "We also aim to better understand that sense of closure and dismal place described in classical texts."
 
 
The two buildings are part of the monumental complex (about 54.000 square meters) that Pompey the Great, one of the greatest military in the history of Rome, built in the capital to commemorate his military successes in the East around the year 55 BC.
 
Monterroso also stated, "It is very attractive, in a civic and citizen sense, that thousands of people today take the bus and the tram right next to the place where Julius Caesar was stabbed 2056 years ago or even that they go to a theatre, since the main theatre of the capital is the Teatro Argentina, which is equally close".
 
The project, which has lasted three years, has been done in cooperation with the Superintendent of Culture of Rome's City Council, and financial support from the government of Spain, as well as the Spanish College of History and Archaeology in Rome.


Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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