Author’s Note: In “celebration” of the Ides of March, or the day Julius Caesar was assassinated, here is a fictional speech he would have done a year later had he survived the assassination attempt. A parallel timeline, if you will.
“Friends…brothers…Romans…the die is come to rest.
Since the fall of brave Crassus and the last noble breath of Pompey, the desperate cries of our beloved child known as Rome have been mine to tend. And, alone, have I carried this infant upon my breast, sharpened his teeth, nursed his angry tears to silence, and with my pain and sorrow, with my joy and boundless love, the child has grown to become a mighty lion.
Now it stands upon the edge of the world we must make, ready to cross the vast unknowns and, with its claws, carve its name into the foundation of a new age.
Through suffering and toil, we have come here. With courage and unshakable faith, shall we continue. And from now until the last Roman ship sails from the Ostian port, let the Gods bear witness to what the hands of Roman men have built! Olympus, reborn!
And yet, as a child must, so too must Rome come into its own, on the tower of histories and the stone of ancients. The lion must shed its youthful mane. I stand as guide, as shepherd.
The history of my name, the stone of this body, the scars collected through my many years will be the map. And in these wounds let the story be told, as a constellation in the darkened sky, the story of struggle and hate, of heroes and cowards…of forgiveness. These two and twenty marks from the blades of men who sought to stifle our beloved and the unseen mark of a twenty-third, where Brutus’ stayed his hand. My friend, who, in his misbegotten furor, chose to love and not to destroy.
And while this worthy treason demanded his life, he, in return, bestowed upon me the mark of a brother. Upon his honored name, we have carried our beloved from the Forum to the birth of the Temple of Mars and to the unknown distance we are yet to travel.
And from the cracked earth at the base of those mighty crosses which bore the bodies of Cassius and Casca, let the blood of traitors and conspirators and any who stand in the way of our Lion, run deeper and more powerful than the Tiber itself! Let the world before us tremble until the Golden Aquila stands over Carrhae and the head of Surena rots in the sand of Roman streets!
Still, my friends, must the child bleed. Still, pain and sacrifice must be met before true glory can be realized. And it is this sacrifice that brings us to this day, in the ides of March, one year hence from when the hatred of misled men threatened the world we know.
Much have we done in that time. Much is there still to be done.
The Parthian dogs await our roar with bated breath. The many forgotten provinces must realign. The corruption and inequity within the walls of Rome itself still plague our people.
But before the new age can come, the old ways must end.
The ancient tribes, hallowed they may be, can no longer be allowed to rule. The greed of fattened men can no longer steal the grain from hungry mouths. The history or Rome, as the history of every great empire, must be written, not with the politician’s pen, but with the spear of the soldier! With the blood of the unjust! The world must behold the hands of the righteous cutting down those who seek power for their own gain! Be they warlord or Senator!
Friends…brothers…men…fear nothing in this moment. Your sacrifice is the blessing of a new day. Your lives are the price we must pay to see our beloved Lion march across the barbaric earth to quell its raging heart.
By the flames of your pyres, the light of civilization will spread across the world brighter and stronger than the eyes of Janus! Our Lion will give life to kingdoms as the She-Wolf to the divine twins! With the holy waters of your blood, Rome will grow to be Empire it is destined to be.
Friends…breathe the beloved air of Rome with me, one last time.
Antony, summon the 13th. Bid them draw their blades and cleanse the Forum of the last remnant of the old world.
Men…Romans…the future is in our hands tonight.”
– Julius Caesar, March 15, 45 B.C.