The machinations of a few powerful men have begun to threaten the republican ideal of Roman governance, and some among the nobility believe Julius Caesar is the embodiment of this threat. Caius Cassius and a band of patricians have decided that Caesar must die, but they believe they need the support of Caesar's friend, the popular Marcus Brutus, to lend legitimacy to their plans. Brutus already seems to fear Caesar and soon succumbs to their influence and joins their plot. Once persuaded, however, Brutus brings an almost religious fervor to the conspiracy, cloaking their actions in robes of glory and virtually taking control of the decision making. Caesar is not without warnings of his danger, however: a soothsayer warns Caesar to "Beware the ides of March," strange visions appear in Rome, and his wife Calphurnia has a terrible dream of death. But as Cicero says of the portents, "men may construe things after their fashion, clean from the purpose of the things themselves," and Caesar does not recognize - or explains away - the importance of the warnings, declaring himself above fear and danger. March 15 arrives and Caesar, ignoring the pleas of his wife and sure of his own power, goes to the Roman Senate. As they plead mercy for one of their associates, and as Caesar declares himself immovable and superior, the conspirators draw their daggers and slaughter Caesar, who dies at the feet of the statue of Pompey, his predecessor. As the citizens of Rome flee in confusion, the conspirators bathe their arms in Caesar's blood and proclaim themselves liberators of the state of Rome. Mark Antony, friend of Caesar, begs an audience with Brutus. Cassius and Brutus explain their justifications for killing Caesar and Antony declares himself satisfied, begging only that they allow him to give Caesar's funeral oration. Brutus gives him permission over Cassius' objections. Antony uses his oration to remind the people of Rome of the greatness of Caesar and turn them against the conspirators, who are then forced flee Rome. Mark Antony joins forces with Caesar's nephew, Octavius Caesar, against the conspirators to seize control of Rome and finally wreak vengeance on the murderers of Julius Caesar. Interactive CD-rom.