XXXIX

SEPTEMBER 15, 44 B.C.

THE LIBERATORS REACH GREECE

Brutus and Cassius had safely reached Greece. Brutus was received by the Athenians with great enthusiasm, the city fathers presenting him with various local honors. He took up residence at Athens. Plutarch, himself a Greek, wrote that Brutus “lived there with a private friend.” Brutus became “so engaged in philosophical pursuits that he seemed to have laid aside all thoughts of public business, and to be wholly at leisure for study,” mixing with noted philosophers such as Cratippus the Peripatetic.

But, Plutarch noted, Brutus made a point of winning over “all the young Romans that were then students at Athens. Of this number was Cicero’s son, whom he [Brutus] everywhere highly extols and says that whether sleeping or waking he could not choose but admire a young man of so great a spirit and such a hater of tyranny.”¹ Cicero’s boy Marcus in fact now became one of Brutus’s staunchest followers.

Brutus’s funds had been sadly depleted by the costs of the games in July, and he would have sent Porcia back to Rome with what little remained of his ready cash. His intent was to raise money in the East for a campaign against Antony, and soon he would have to find a way to lay his hands on a large amount. Without money, and plenty of it, Brutus and Cassius had no chance of raising or equipping troops to contend with Mark Antony or anyone else.

While Brutus gave the impression that his only interest now was philosophy, his freedman servant Herostratus traveled on to Macedonia, and to the military units camped in the province, with instructions from his master “to secure the commanders there to hisside.”²

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