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Marcus Junius Brutus the Elder

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Title: Marcus Junius Brutus the Elder  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger, Modena, Brutus, Servilia Caepionis, Junia (gens), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (consul 78 BC), Lucius Marcius Philippus (consul 91 BC), Decimus Junius Silanus (consul)
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Marcus Junius Brutus the Elder

This article is about the father of the assassin of Julius Caesar. For other people with the cognomen "Brutus", see Brutus.

Marcus Junius Brutus, sometimes referred to by modern historians as Marcus Junius Brutus the Elder to distinguish him from his more famous son, was a tribune of the Roman Republic in 83 BC[1] and the founder of the colony in Capua.[2] He was an associate of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, who led a reaction of the populares faction against the optimates after the death of Sulla.


He was the first husband to Servilia Caepionis, the elder half-sister of Cato the Younger. His son by Servilia is the Marcus Junius Brutus who was one of the chief assassins of Julius Caesar.

Power struggle and death

In 77 BC Brutus was placed in command of the forces in Cisalpine Gaul following the death of Lucius Cornelius Sulla who had been dictator. He allied himself with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, who used his powers as Consul to rebuild the faction opposed to Sulla, the "populares". Lepidus raised an army, which was defeated outside Rome by Quintus Lutatius Catulus. Brutus took his own forces to Mutina, where he defended the stronghold against Pompey the Great, who had been sent by the Senate to dislodge him. He withstood Pompey's attacks for a while, but was eventually forced to surrender, after which he was murdered by Pompey's close ally Geminius. According to Plutarch,

For Brutus, whether he himself betrayed his army, or whether his army changed sides and betrayed him, put himself in the hands of Pompey, and receiving an escort of horsemen, retired to a little town upon the Po. Here, after a single day had passed, he was slain by Geminius, who was sent by Pompey to do the deed.[3]

Pompey forwarded to Rome the news of his surrender and execution. The senate blamed Pompey for the perfidious act.[4][5][6] He is quoted by Cicero, who says he was well skilled in public and private law.[7]

Family tree

  • (1)=1st spouse
  • (2)=2nd spouse
  • x=assassin of Caesar

Salonia (2)
Cato the Elder
Licinia (1)
Marcus Porcius Cato Salonianus
Marcus Porcius Cato Licinianus
Marcus Livius Drusus
Marcus Porcius Cato (2)
Livia Drusa
Quintus Servilius Caepio the Younger (1)
Marcus Livius Drusus
Atilia (1)
Cato the Younger
Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus, adopted son
Marcus Junius Brutus the Elder (1)
Servilia Caepionis
Decimus Junius Silanus (2)
Servilia the Younger
Quintus Servilius Caepio
Porcia Catonis
Marcus Junius Brutus x
Junia Prima
Junia Tertia
Gaius Cassius Longinus x
Marcus Porcius Cato (II)
Junia Secunda
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir)
Descendant of Pompey and Lucius Cornelius Sulla
Lepidus the Younger
Manius Aemilius Lepidus
Aemilia Lepida II

See also


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