A City in Turmoil
Speeches cause widespread rioting
By Aaron Kano-Bower


    Rome, March 21- The capital city of Rome plunged into chaos last week after the murder of Tribune Julius Caesar.  The riots were the culmination of nearly a week of excitement, stemming from rumors that Caesar meant to be crowned a King.  The events that took place during and after Caesar’s death turned public excitement into an angry riot throughout the capital.
    Immediately following the murder, Brutus released the following statement to explain his actions:

    “If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that Brutus’ love to Caesar was no less than his…As he was valiant, I honor him, but as he was ambitious, I slew him.” (Act 3, scene 2, lines 19-21 and 27-28)


    Following Brutus’ departure, Marc Antony spoke, extolling the virtues of Caesar.  Antony, a noted friend of Caesar, gave examples of noble deeds Caesar had performed for Rome.  These deeds included the building up of Rome through military triumphs, the (alleged) empathy of Caesar for the poor, and others.  
    Witnesses report that Antony was subsequently forced to reveal the contents of Caesar’s will while in the pulpit by a mob of plebeians.  He was quoted as saying, “You will compel me, then, to read the will?  Then make a ring around the corpse of Caesar.” (Act 3, scene 2, lines 169-170)  According to reliable witnesses, such a circle was formed.
    During the riots, one Cinna the Poet was put to death for having the same name as Cinna the Conspirator.  Cinna’s wife has quoted one rioter as saying, “It is no matter, his name’s Cinna!” (Act 3, Scene 3, line 34) This plebeian had already been informed that Cinna was not a Conspirator.  No charges have been laid by Cinna’s now widowed wife and her children for reparations.
    The riots were finally stopped by the news that all the Conspirators had fled the city, and that Octavius, Caesar’s adopted son, has taken over Rome.  There has been no word as to civilian casualties during the rioting or as to the police force’s measures taken to maintain order.  The cost of the damage that came from the rioting is still uncertain, mostly due to the unwillingness of anyone to come forward to claim stolen or destroyed property.