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The great conspiracy against Julius Caesar - Kathryn Tempest

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On March 15th, 44 BCE, Roman dictator Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of about 60 of his own senators. Why did these self-titled Liberators want him dead? And why did Brutus, whose own life had been saved by Caesar, join in the plot? Kathryn Tempest investigates the personal and political assassination of Julius Caesar.

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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Kathryn Tempest
  • Animator Brett Underhill
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
What kind of man was Julius Caesar? Why was he assassinated? The assassination of Caesar was a momentous event and many ancient historians subsequently wrote about it. There are notable differences in their accounts. How many conspirators were there? What was Caesar’s reaction? Who was responsible? It is still possible to create a remarkably standard narrative of the events of that fateful day. Create a timeline by first visiting Beware the Ides of March. Why is this phrase still popular today? Follow with a description of the Death of Caesar. What happened after the vicious attack on Caesar?

Non-textual sources can also help us understand Marcus Brutus better. Coins in particular enable us to see how Brutus presented his political agenda at the time. You can look at some of Brutus’ coins here. What lasting messages did these coins leave with the imagery inscribed upon them?

Shakespeare was intensely inspired by the Classical past and many of his plays were based on stories from ancient Greece and Rome. Julius Caesar is one of three plays set in ancient Rome (the other two are Antony and Cleopatra and Corialanus). Today they are conveniently referred to as the ‘Roman plays’. You can read a synopsis of his Julius Caesar and much more fascinating information here. It may seem daunting to read a Shakespearean play from cover to cover, but it is highly recommended. Don’t want to try that? Check out No Fear Shakespeare and find a more friendly ‘modern English’ version.

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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Kathryn Tempest
  • Animator Brett Underhill
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

Share

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