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was a 1st-century BC Roman philosopher, and a friend and companion of Marcus Junius Brutus
Marcus Junius Brutus , often referred to as Brutus, was a politician of the late Roman Republic. After being adopted by his uncle he used the name Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, but eventually returned to using his original name...
who led the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....
. Volumnius and Brutus had been students of philosophy together.
Volumnius accompanied Brutus on his fateful campaign to the East, which culminated in Brutus' suicide after his defeat by the Triumvirs
The Second Triumvirate is the name historians give to the official political alliance of Octavius , Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony, formed on 26 November 43 BC with the enactment of the Lex Titia, the adoption of which marked the end of the Roman Republic...
in the Second Battle of Philippi (October 23, 42 BC).
The historian Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...
, in his Life of Brutus
, uses Volumnius' recollections as a source for an account of the prodigies which supposedly preceded the death of Brutus. Volumnius' writings were also drawn upon by Plutarch for first-hand information on the last hours of Brutus in the aftermath of the battle. Volumnius was asked by Brutus to assist him in his suicide but Volumnius refused the request.
The well-known quote by Brutus calling down a curse upon Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...
was also taken from the memoirs of Volumnius:
Forget not, Zeus, the author of these crimes
(in the Dryden
John Dryden was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden.Walter Scott called him "Glorious John." He was made Poet...
translation this passage is given as Punish, great Jove, the author of these ills
Plutarch wrote that, according to Volumnius, Brutus repeated two verses, but Volumnius was only able to recall the one quoted.
Volumnius appears as a character in Shakespeare's
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...
play Julius Caesar
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against...