The Ides of March!

History, archaeology, historiography, peoples, and personalities of ancient Rome and the Mediterranean.

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The Ides of March!

Postby Anonymous on Sun Mar 14, 2004 4:02 pm

Yes, they are upon us...and some would say that the world has it's share of Caesars...

But in your opinion...who do you think is going to be the next Brutus?

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:14 pm

Let me backfire with another question: have there ever been other Brutusses (Bruti? :p)?

And is being a Brutus good or bad? Caesar saved and destroyed at the same time. The only historical personality I find equally ambiguous is Napoleon.

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Postby Anonymous on Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:54 pm


Try L. Iunius Brutus, first consul of the Republic, D. Iunius Brutus conqueror of Lusitania, M. Iunius Brutus murdered by Pompey, and of course your humble servant!

Quite a history of murder and mayhem seems to go with the name.

I actually, before I knew any better, also assumed that the assassination of Caesar was a good thing, however the more one reads the more ambiguous the whole situation seems. I certainly agree with your comparison with Napoleon, who is usually unfairly demonised here in Britain- or at least in England anyway. It also occurs to me that there is possibly an even stronger analogy between Napoleon and Augustus.

A large part of my decision to adopt the name, I'm embarassed to say, was my lack of technological aptitude and general clumsiness, which of course is what it means in Latin! Frankly it just seemed to fit.

Postby Anonymous on Tue Jun 08, 2004 4:53 am

What is the origin of the name "Brutus"?
According to a roman map, the southern tip of Italy, next to Lucania, is called "Bruttium".
Are the Iunii Brutii named after the region, or is the region named after the famed Brutii?

Postby Horatius Piscinus on Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:31 pm

Salve Marce Maior

The two names are not related. The Brutii tribe moved out of Samnia, it is believe, by one of those ver sacra, IIRC in the fourth century. Gens Brutia had some other, unrelated origin for its name.
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Postby Anonymous on Tue Jun 08, 2004 4:49 pm

Salve Marce Armini Maior!

I mentioned Lucius Iunius Brutus, the first consul of the Republic, above.
His brother was murdered by their uncle King Tarquinius Superbus and to avoid a similar fate Lucius feigned idiocy and was given the nickname 'Brutus' which means stupid or clumsy.

Subsequently he proved his worth in the overthrow of the monarchy and the name, I presume, was thereafter considered to be propitious and handed down within a certain family of the gens Iunia. According to my classical dictionary the name Bruttium is derived from the tribal name Bruttii or Brettii which in turn comes from a Lucanian word meaning 'rebels'.



Postby Anonymous on Fri Jun 18, 2004 7:25 am

Thank you, Piscine and Bruto.
Interesting to see how the words, and their meanings, evolve.

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