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■Et tu, Brute?

J - Janice, R - Riko

A GV and a learner talk about Roman history.

R: My history class was quite fascinating today.

J:  What did you learn about?

R: Guess! I’ll give you a few clues. He was a great military leader,

     he was abducted by pirates, and he is a healthy snack.

J:  A snack?! Was he eaten by cannibals?

R  (laughs): No, silly! I’m talking about Julius Caesar.

J:  Oh, right! (pause) Wait, how is Julius Caesar a snack?

R: Caesar salad, of course!

J  (laughs): You’re so corny! Well, what did you learn about Caesar?

R: I learned that he was a very formidable man. He had a great role

     in the reformation of the Roman Empire.

J:  He was also a conqueror. Veni, vidi, vici is a Latin phrase

     attributed to him.

R: Yeah, that’s right. Is the term ‘backstabbing’ also because of him?

J:  Hmm, I don’t think so. I can see how it’s appropriate, though.

R: Actually, I’m more interested in Marcus Brutus. He was one of

     Caesar’s most trusted members in the Senate, and yet Brutus

     stabbed him.

J:  Most of the senators stabbed him.

R: Yeah, but he took a leading role in Caesar’s assassination.

    That’s not really something you would do to a friend.

J:  I sure hope not! You know, though, this has been a popular topic of

    debate for centuries. Brutus has even been turned into a literary figure.

R: Oh, in William Shakespeare’s play, right?

J:  Yes. He was quite a sympathetic character in that play. Shakespeare

     depicted him as a man who prioritized Rome above all else, even

     his close friend.

R: Ah, but then there’s Dante Alighieri, who put him in the Ninth Circle

    of Hell for treachery. Killing someone is not good, but I think it’s worse

    if you kill a friend who trusted you.

J: Yes, exactly. It’s a really complex topic, isn’t it?


Et tu, Brute?     ブルータスよ、お前か(シーザーが暗殺される時