Spanish archaeologists pinpoint a memorial erected by Augustus Caesar
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Rome has always been a nexus of history, art, culture and politics, and now, Spanish researchers they’ve confirmed the exact location where Julius Caesar was stabbed to death on the Ides of March in 44 BC.
A concrete structure of three meters wide and more than two meters high, placed by order of Augustus (adoptive son and successor of Julius Caesar) to condemn the assassination of his father, was the key for the scientists.
“We always knew that Julius Caesar was killed in the Curia of Pompey on March 15th 44 BC 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,” said Antonio Monterroso, CSIC researcher from the Institute of History of the Center for Humanities and Social Sciences.
The finding confirms that Caesar 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. Currently, the remains of this building are located in the archaeological area of Torre Argentina, right in the historic center of the Roman capital.
“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,” Monterroso said.
Classical sources refer to the closure (years after the murder) of the Curia, a place that would become a memorial chapel.
“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,” Monterroso said.
In Torre Argentina, the 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.
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.