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Decimus Iunius Brutus Albinus.

Of all those who joined in the murder of Caesar, DECIMUS BRUTUS seems to have had the least personal motive and the least excuse. Caesar evidently thought highly of him, and regarded him with personal affection. He had served with some distinction in Gaul. He commanded the fleet against the Veneti in B.C. 56, was left in charge of troops in Auvergne, and fought at Alesia in B.C. 52. Caesar always calls him adulescens on these occasions: he probably therefore was under thirty, and had not held the quaestorship. When the Civil War broke out he was placed in command of the fleet built by Caesar's orders to blockade Marseilles (B.C. 49), and seems to have shewn himself efficient. We have no information as to the years in which he held office; but he was in Rome in B.C. 50,1 and may have been quaestor. He does not seem to have been in any of the other battles of the Civil War. Soon after B.C. 49 he was named governor of Farther Gaul, and fought successfully with the Bellovaci. There he seems to have remained for about three years, and on his return to Rome, about the same time that Caesar Came back from Spain (B.C. 45). was received by Caesar with great honour and affection, being admitted to ride in a carriage with Octavius and Antony, behind that of the Dictator, when he entered Rome.2 He was also named for the province of Cisalpine Gaul for B.C. 44-43, and to the consulship for B.C. 42 with Plancus. Finally, as it transpired after Caesar's death, he was named "second heir" in the Dictator's will. There seems no explanation of his having joined in the conspiracy except possibly his marriage with Paulla Valeria, the sister of a strong Pompeian. His known influence with Caesar enabled him to play a particularly treacherous part. When the usual honorary procession of senators called at Caesar's house on the fatal Ides of March they found him disinclined to go to the Curia, owing to various warnings, dreams, and omens. To Dec. Brutus was therefore assigned the task of persuading him to alter his resolution. The letter written by Decimus immediately afterwards shews no sign of remorse or regret.3 He was therefore fully persuaded in his own mind that he was doing a public duty. He gained nothing by it, and could hardly have hoped to do so. At first it seemed likely that he would be prevented from taking over his province. But Antony appears to have found it impossible to prevent his going there; and as the regular complement of men were already awaiting him, as soon as he entered the province he was able to act in all respects as a lawfully appointed governor.4 But he was also resolved to hold the province through B.C. 43, to the eve of his consulship, and refused to acknowledge the lex obtained by Antony authorizing him to succeed Brutus in January of that year. This was the origin of the war of Mutina, which fills so large a part in the letters of this volume. Cicero's letters to him in B.C. 44 will illustrate his position before Antony's open war against him, and his own despatches after his relief at Mutina (April, B.C. 43) take us step by step along the road in that vain pursuit of Antony, which finally brought Decimus himself to destruction.


1 Vol. ii., p. 116.

2 Plut. Ant. xi.

3 Pp. 1-3.

4 See his expedition against Alpine tribes, p.144.

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