Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

The Death of Brutus

The battle of Philippi had decided nothing, as one general on each side had been victorious.

Cæsar and Antony would willingly have fought again without delay, for they were finding it always more difficult to provide food for their armies.

But Brutus seemed loth to take the field, and for fourteen days his soldiers vainly begged him to lead them against the enemy. Their persistence at length forced him to yield, and he placed himself at their head and advanced against the foe.

A desperate struggle followed, and while the division led by Brutus was again victorious, the main body of the army was scattered and put to flight.

As Brutus himself fled with a few friends, a band of horsemen followed him, determined if possible to capture him and bring him alive to Antony.

With Brutus was his comrade Lucilius, and he, seeing what the horsemen wished, determined that he would save his friend although he himself should perish in the attempt.

As the enemy drew near, Lucilius, apparently unnoticed by Brutus, dropped behind, and when the horsemen seized him, he let them believe that they had indeed captured Brutus. So in great good temper the horsemen carried Lucilius to Antony. He, hearing that Brutus was a prisoner, was mightily pleased, and ordered him to be brought before him.

The prisoner no sooner saw Antony than he said without any trace of fear, 'Be assured, Antony, that no enemy has taken or ever shall take Brutus alive. . . . As for me, I am come hither by a cheat that I put upon your soldiers, and am ready . . . to suffer any severities you will inflict.'

But Antony turned to the crestfallen horsemen and said, 'You have brought me better booty than you sought. For indeed I am uncertain how I should have used Brutus if you had brought him alive, but of this I am sure, it is better to have such men as Lucilius our friends than our enemies.' From that day Antony and Lucilius were friends.

Brutus meanwhile had ridden on until he reached a little stream, and here, sheltered by steep cliffs he sat down to rest. His heart was sad, for many of his friends were slain. He murmured the long list of their names, sighing heavily as he did so.

Marcus Brutus.
Here, sheltered by steep cliffs, he sat down to rest.

Hour after hour passed, and his people grew anxious lest the enemy should overtake them, and they urged Brutus to fly.

'Yes indeed we must fly,' answered the stricken general, 'but not with our feet, but with our hands.' Then he went aside with only his friend Strato, and flinging himself upon the point of his sword, he died.

Antony, when he found the dead body of Brutus, ordered it to be covered with a beautiful purple mantle of his own.

A soldier, too full of greed to show reverence to the dead, dared to steal the mantle. Antony did not rest until the thief was discovered and put to death.


Front Matter

The Lady Roma
The She-Wolf
The Twin Boys
Numitor's Grandson
The Sacred Birds
The Founding of Rome
The Sabine Maidens
The Tarpeian Rock
The Mysterious Gate
The King Disappears
The Peace-Loving King
Horatius Slays His Sister
Pride of Tullus Hostilius
King Who Fought and Prayed
The Faithless Friend
A Slave Becomes a King
Cruel Deed of Tullia
Fate of the Town of Gabii
Books of the Sibyl
Industry of Lucretia
Death of Lucretia
Sons of Brutus
Horatius Cocles
Mucius Burns Right Hand
The Divine Twins
The Tribunes
Coriolanus and His Mother
The Roman Army in a Trap
The Hated Decemvirs
The Death of Verginia
The Friend of the People
Camillus Captures Veii
The Statue of the Goddess
Schoolmaster Traitor
Battle of Allia
The Sacred Geese
The City Is Rebuilt
Volscians on Fire
Battle on the Anio
The Curtian Lake
Dream of the Two Consuls
The Caudine Forks
Caudine Forks Avenged
Fabius among the Hills
Battle of Sentinum
Son of Fabius Loses Battle
Pyrrhus King of the Epirots
Elephants at Heraclea
Pyrrthus and Fabricius
Pyrrhus is Defeated
Romans Build a Fleet
Battle of Ecnomus
Roman Legions in Africa
Regulus Taken Prisoner
Romans Conquer the Gauls
The Boy Hannibal
Hannibal Invades Italy
Hannibal Crosses the Alps
Battle of Trebia
Battle of Lake Trasimenus
Hannibal Outwits Fabius
Fabius Wins Two Victories
Battle of Cannae
Despair of Rome
Defeat of Hasdrubal
Claudius Enjoy a Triumph
Capture of New Carthage
Scipio Sails to Africa
Romans Set Fire to Camp
Hannibal Leaves Italy
The Battle of Zama
Scipio Receives a Triumph
Flamininus in Garlands
Death of Hannibal
Hatred of Cato for Carthage
The Stern Decree
Carthaginians Defend City
Destruction of Carthage
Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi
Tiberius and Octavius
Death of Tiberius Gracchus
Death of Gaius Gracchus
The Gold of Jugurtha
Marius Wins Notice of Scipio
Marius Becomes Commander
Capture of Treasure Towns
Capture of Jugurtha
Jugurtha Brought to Rome
Marius Conquers Teutones
Marius Mocks the Ambassadors
Metellus Driven from Rome
Sulla Enters Rome
The Flight of Marius
Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius
Marius Returns to Rome
The Orator Aristion
Sulla Besieges Athens
Sulla Fights the Samnites
The Proscriptions of Sulla
The Gladiators' Revolt
The Pirates
Pompey Defeats Mithridates
Cicero Discovers Conspiracy
Death of the Conspirators
Caesar Captured by Pirates
Caesar Gives up Triumph
Caesar Praises Tenth Legion
Caesar Wins a Great Victory
Caesar Invades Britain
Caesar Crosses Rubicon
Caesar and the Pilot
The Flight of Pompey
Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr
Caesar is Loaded with Honours
Nobles Plot against Caesar
The Assassination of Caesar
Brutus Speaks to Citizens
Antony Speaks to Citizens
The Second Triumvirate
Battle of Philippi
Death of Brutus
Antony and Cleopatra
Battle of Actium
Antony and Cleopatra Die
Emperor Augustus