[Sidenote: The place and the day.]
In this view of the subject, they decided that the chamber of the Roman Senate was the proper place, and the Ides of March, the day on which he was appointed to be crowned, was the propel time for Caesar to be slain.
[Sidenote: Caesar receives many warnings of his approaching fate.]
According to the account given by his historians, Caesar received many warnings of his approaching fate, which, however, he would not heed. Many of these warnings were strange portents and prodigies, which the philosophical writers who recorded them half believed themselves, and which they were always ready to add to their narratives even if they did not believe them, on account of the great influence which such an introduction of the supernatural and the divine had with readers in those days in enhancing the dignity and the dramatic interest of the story. These warnings were as follows:
[Sidenote: The tomb and inscription.]
At Capua, which was a great city at some distance south of Rome, the second, in fact, in Italy, and the one which Hannibal had proposed to make his capital, some workmen were removing certain ancient sepulchers to make room for the foundations of a splendid edifice which, among his other plans for the embellishment of the cities of Italy, Caesar was intending to have erected there. As the excavations advanced, the workmen came at last to an ancient tomb, which proved to be that of the original founder of Capua; and, in bringing out the sarcophagus, they found an inscription, worked upon a brass plate, and in the Greek character, predicting that if those remains were ever disturbed, a great member of the Julian family would be assassinated by his own friends, and his death would be followed by extended devastations throughout all Italy.
[Sidenote: Caesar’s horses.]
The horses, too, with which Caesar had passed the Rubicon, and which had been, ever since that time, living in honorable retirement in a splendid park which Caesar had provided for them, by some mysterious instinct, or from some divine communication, had warning of the approach of their great benefactor’s end. They refused their food, and walked about with melancholy and dejected looks, mourning apparently, and in a manner almost human, some impending grief.