THE SPOT WHERE JULIUS CAESAR DIED
IS NOW A BUS STOP, EXPERTS CLAIM
ARCHAEOLOGISTS say they have found the first solid evidence of the exact spot where Julius Caesar was stabbed on the Ides of March.
Classical Roman texts had always claimed that Caesar was assassinated by a group of rival Roman senators on March 15, 44 BC while he was addressing a meeting of the senate seated on a chair in Pompey's Theater.
But up until now archaeologists had no hard scientific evidence of the exact place where Caesar was killed.
Now, however, Spanish archaeologists say they have discovered a concrete structure, about 10 feet wide and 6.5 feet tall, inside the Pompey's Theater in Rome's historic Torre Argentina square.
The experts say that the structure may be the monument placed at the location of Caesar's murder by order of Augustus to mark the spot where his adoptive father died.
They say it is next to the bus and tram stop in an area of Rome known as Torre Argentina, visited by millions because of a vast archaeological dig taking place there.
At the time of Caesar's death, however, the assassination took place at the bottom of a series of steps, in a small square area just three metres wide in the Curia of Pompeii.
Antonio Monterroso, team leader of the Spanish researchers, said: "Thousands of people today take the bus and the tram right next to the place where Julius Caesar was stabbed 2056 years ago."
The team from the Spanish National Research Council first found a concrete structure measuring just three metres wide and two metres deep.
After examining historical documentation they realised it was a box built by Augustus, son of Julius, to be placed covering the spot where his father was murdered as a kind of memorial.
Caesar was killed as he presided over a senate meeting in a closed space known as the Curia of Pompeii, named in recognition of a military victory in that region.
The positioning of the boxed structure shows it would have been at the lowest point of the Curia where Caesar would have sat on a chair, the point where he was stabbed.
Whether or not he died there will always be open to argument, said the Spanish researchers, because no one knows if a mortally wounded Caesar was moved before he died.