Trebonius, Caius

Trebonius, Caius

Trebonius, Caius, d. 43 B.C., Roman politician. When tribune (55 B.C.) of the plebs he proposed the Lex Trebonia by which Pompey obtained Spain, Crassus obtained Syria, and Caesar obtained Gaul and Illyricum. As Caesar's protégé he became praetor (48 B.C.), propraetor in Spain (47), and consul (45). Notwithstanding the promise by Caesar of the province of Asia, he was a leading conspirator against his patron. He was slain in Smyrna by Dolabella.
Liberatores ("Liberators") is the Latin name that the assassins of Julius Caesar gave themselves.

The men considered the ringleaders of the conspiracy were Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus (son of Caesar's lover Servilia Caepionis).

Marcus Tullius Cicero was not a member of the conspiracy and was surprised by it, but later wrote to the conspirator Trebonius that he wished he had been "...invited to that superb banquet." He believed that the Liberatores should also have killed Mark Antony. The conspirators had decided, however, that the death of a single tyrant would be more symbolically effective, claiming that the intent was not a coup d'état, but tyrannicide.

List of Liberatores

Some forty people joined in the plot, but most of their names are lost to history. In addition to Cassius and Brutus, known members of the conspiracy were:


Although ultimately Caesar was assassinated in the Theatre of Pompey, the assassins had also considered other options to kill Caesar. These included pushing him from a bridge and assassinating him during a gladiatorial fight.


The Liberatores paid a high price for their deed. Mark Antony turned public opinion against them with his funeral oration for Caesar, and within a month Brutus and Cassius had fled the city. After Caesar's heir Octavian and Antony made peace and formed the Second Triumvirate along with Lepidus in 43 BC, vengeance was swift. Any Liberatores remaining in Rome were placed on the proscription lists and killed. Those who had escaped Rome did not last much longer. Decimus Brutus was ambushed and killed by a Gallic chieftain loyal to Mark Antony in 43 BC, and Marcus Brutus and Cassius, along with most of the rest of the conspirators, died at or shortly after the Battles of Philippi in 42 BC. According to Suetonius, "Hardly any of his assassins survived him for more than three years, or died a natural death. They were all condemned, and they perished in various ways — some by shipwreck, some in battle; some took their own lives with the self-same dagger with which they had impiously slain Caesar."

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