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Brutus, Marcus Junius

Brutus, Marcus Junius (85 B.C-42 B.C), a descendant of the Brutus above mentioned, who was educated carefully, and at first practised as an advocate. In the civil war which then raged he espoused the side of Pompey, although the latter had ordered the death of Brutus's father. After the downfall of Pompey, Julius Caesar took Brutus into favour and subsequently appointed him governor of Cisalpine Gaul. Although he appears to have given satisfaction in his government, the profession of politics was not his vocation, and like many other studious men who adopt that line, his theories lacked the tempering alloy of practical wisdom, and he became a dangerous visionary ready at once as a tool to the hand of the crafty Cassius, who lured him into the plot against the life of Caesar, his benefactor and intimate friend. Forced by popular opinion to fly from Rome, he with Cassius held the province of Macedonia against Antony and Augustus, but his defeat at the battle of Philippi caused him to throw himself upon his sword to avoid being taken prisoner.