As history bears witness, nothing creates icons quite like an untimely death. The assassination of Julius Caesar provides evidence of this: Despite an impressive life as a Roman general and political leader, Caesar is perhaps most famous for his death, which has been immortalized time and time again on canvas and the stage. He was stabbed to death on the Ides of March — March 15 — in 44 B.C. by a group of conspirators who proclaimed loyalty to the Roman Senate and its republican virtues.

Caesar was born into Rome’s elite patrician class. At the time of his birth, Rome was a republic ruled by a Senate. The Romans had such an aversion to tyranny and monarchy that executive power was shared by two consuls who each served one-year terms. …

One of the most powerful reasons to study history is personal: to discover and trace the forces that have shaped our lives and, sometimes quite literally, made us who we are. This approach to history as self-discovery describes my view of the Cuban Revolution, and for me, its largest impact on the world isn’t the ouster of Fulgencio Batista or the rise of communism in Cuba, but how it precipitated my family’s arrival in the United States.

Cuba achieved its independence from Spain, its colonial overlord for over four centuries, in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. The infant nation spent the next 30 years in a state of political and economic subservience to the United States while the fledgling republic struggled to establish order on an island rife with civil unrest and economic depression. …


Steven Viera

Steven Viera is a young professional based in Lancaster, PA. He enjoys sharing his reflections and articles about history.

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