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Marcus Brutus   



"Mind you your loom, and to your maids give law."

"For though the natural weakness of her body hinders her from doing
what only the strength of men can perform, yet she has a mind as
valiant and as active for the good of her country as the best of
us." This narrative is in the memoirs of Brutus written by Bibulus,
Porcia's son.
Brutus took ship from hence, and sailed to Athens, where he was
received by the people with great demonstrations of kindness,
expressed in their acclamation and the honours that were decreed
him. He lived there with a private friend, and was a constant
auditor of Theomnestus, the Academic, and Cratippus, the
Peripatetic, with whom he so engaged in philosophical pursuits that he
seemed to have laid aside all thoughts of public business, and to be
wholly at leisure for study. But all this while, being unsuspected, he
was secretly making preparations for war; in order to which he sent
Herostratus into Macedonia to secure the commanders there to his side,
and he himself won over and kept at his disposal all the young
Romans that were then students at Athens. Of this number was
Cicero's son whom he everywhere highly extols, and says that whether
sleeping or waking he could not choose but admire a young man of so
great a spirit and such a hater of tyranny.
At length he began to act openly, and to appear in public
business, and, being informed that there were several Roman ships full
of treasure that in their course from Asia were to come that way,
and that they were commanded by one of his friends, he went to meet
him about Carystus. Finding him there, and having persuaded him to
deliver lip the ships, he made a more than usually splendid
entertainment, for it happened also to be his birthday. Now when
they came to drink, and were filling their cups with hopes for victory
to Brutus and liberty to Rome, Brutus, to animate them the more,
called for a larger bowl, and holding it in his hand, on a sudden,
upon no occasion or forethought, pronounced aloud this verse:-

"But fate my death and Leto's son have wrought."

And some writers add that in the last battle which he fought at
Philippi, the word that he gave to his soldiers was Apollo, and from
thence conclude that this sudden unaccountable exclamation of his
was a presage of the overthrow that he suffered there.
Antistius, the commander of these ships, at his parting, gave him
fifty thousand myriads of the money that he was conveying to Italy;
and all the soldiers yet remaining of Pompey's army, who after their
general's defeat wandered about Thessaly, readily and joyfully flocked
together to join him. Besides this, he took from Cinna five hundred
horse that he was carrying to Dolabella into Asia. After that, he
sailed to Demetrias, and there seized a great quantity of arms that
had been provided by the command of the deceased Caesar for the
Parthian war, and were now to be sent to Antony. Then Macedonia was
put into his hands and delivered up by Hortensius the praetor, and all
the kings and potentates round about came and offered their
services. So when news was brought that Caius, the brother of
Antony, having passed over from Italy, was marching on directly to
join the forces that Vatinius commanded in Dyrrhachium and
Apollonia, Brutus resolved to anticipate him, and to seize them first,
and in all haste moved forwards with those that he had about him.
His march was very difficult, through rugged places and in a great
snow, but so swift that he left those that were to bring his
provisions for the morning meal a great way behind. And now, being
very near to Dyrrhachium, with fatigue and cold he fell into the
distemper called Bulimia. This is a disease that seizes both men and
cattle after much labour, and especially in a great snow; whether it
is caused by the natural heat when the body is seized with cold, being

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