Passover (Pasar Pagina in Spain)
Season Two
Number 13
Date Aired January 14, 2007
Writer Bruno Heller
Director Tim Van Patten
Previous Kalends of February
Next Son of Hades
Time frame March 15, 44 BC to March 17, 44 BC

Things pick up shortly after Caesar's murder. Octavian wants to keep his family from fleeing the city so he devises a plan. News of this makes Antony happy so he tells Brutus. Vorenus mourns Niobe's death but casts aspersions upon his children.


Following Caesar's bloody assassination, Posca attends to his master's corpse while Mark Antony staggers out of the Senate House, struggling to come to terms with what has happened. However, he is soon forced to run for his life when Quintus Pompey and a number of thugs attack and try to murder him. Anthony flees and takes refuge at the Julii villa. Brutus, meanwhile, staggers back to his family home, traumatized by what he has done.Servilia consoles him, assuring her son he has done the right thing, but Brutus is too haunted by Caesar's death to take comfort from Servilia's assurances he has both redeemed their family name and saved the Republic.

At his home, Vorenus grieves over the body of Niobe; when his children appear, Vorenus turns on them in his grief and rage, knowing that they hid the knowledge of his wife's affair and secret child from him - in his fury, Vorenus curses his family and then storms out into the back alleys of Rome; his loss, combined with his discovery that Caesar is dead (an act he could have prevented) causes Vorenus to collapse where he stands, overwhelmed.

At the home of the Julii, Antony angrily threatens retribution on all Caesar's killers, as well as Vorenus for abandoning them; Atia reminds him that Servilia is the driving force behind the murders, and informs him that Vorenus was lured away. Antony advises Atia and her family to flee Rome with him to the north, where he can assemble an army to fall upon the Liberatores; however, they are stopped as they try to convince Caesar's widow, Calpurnia, who insists they must attend to Caesar's will. In it, Caesar has left a substantial sum of money to every citizen of Rome, frees Posca, and leaves his estate and title to Octavian, whom Caesar refers to as his son in the will. Knowing that he will get nothing if Brutus and his allies declare Caesar's death a tyrannicide (which would make all of his acts null and void), Octavian convinces Antony and Atia to cut a deal with the assassins, since if Brutus and his allies do so, they also lose all the positions and power Caesar bestowed on them.

The next day, Antony heads to Servilia's villa to put the proposal to Brutus and Cassius, arriving as Cicero is in the middle of a speech praising them for their act. The group settles into a meeting, with Cicero acting as arbitrator (though Antony orders Quintus to leave, informing the others of Pompey's attempt to murder him; while Brutus denies involvement, Cassius remains silent). Antony comments that Caesar was beloved by the people, and they will hate his murderers for what they have done. He also reminds the group of what Octavian told him: that if they declare Caesar a tyrant, they lose all the power and influence he gave them. Antony proposes a solution: an amnesty in which Caesar is not declared a tyrant, nor are the Liberatores declared murderers, all his acts and his will stand, a funeral is held for Caesar, and then everything carries on as normal. After Antony leaves to give the others time to think over his offer, Brutus angrily remonstrates with Cassius for trying to kill Antony against his wishes. While Cicero, Cassius and Servilia urge him to kill Antony, Brutus refuses and agrees to the proposal. Antony departs, though not before killing Quintus as revenge for his attempted murder.

However, at Caesar's funeral, Antony uses his eulogy as an opportunity to incite the people against the assassins. Antony advises Brutus, Cassius and the others to leave Rome (which was his intention all along), but Servilia will stay (as a hostage to ensure their co-operation). However, when they refuse, and Cassius arrogantly sneers that the Senate and the 'men of quality' are with them, Antony's temper finally gets the better of him and he angrily bellows at Cassius "And I have an angry mob, that will roast and eat your men of quality in the ashes of the Senate House!". Cowed by Antony's fury, Brutus and Cassius, along with their allies, reluctantly depart Rome.

Still on their excursion to the countryside, Titus Pullo asks his former slave, Eirene to marry him; though clearly surprised, she accepts. But when they hear the news of Caesar's death they immediately return to Rome. They search for Vorenus, only to find him in a terrible state and his children missing. Pullo consoles a distraught Vorenus that since he didn't seal the curse, he can easily lift it when the children return. However, after several days, and Niobe's funeral, the children still have not returned. After some investigation, they discover that their old enemy, Erastes Fulmen has taken the children. Vorenus and Pullo storm into a bathhouse, slaughter the men guarding him and interrogate Fulmen. Realizing he is dead whether he speaks or not, Fulmen tells Vorenus that he took the children as payment for Vorenus's many "slights" against him, raped and killed them, then dumped the bodies into the Tiber river. Furious, Vorenus beheads Fulmen and with Pullo, walks calmly out of the bathhouse, carrying Fulmen's head with him.


  • Julius Caesar had not been murdered in the Curia Iulia, where the Roman Senate usually met, because the building was undergoing renovation at the time. The Senate meetings took place in the Curia of the Theatrum Pompeium where the assassination took place.
  • Marcus Antonius was not engaged in a sword fight outside of the Curia after the murder. Instead he fled and hid at first; however, several senators were wounded and killed in the fierce assault and the ensuing chaos, and many Roman civilians and foreigners were killed immediately after the assassination outside of the building by the gladiators, who had been hired by the conspirator Decimus Iunius Brutus (not to be confused with Marcus Brutus).
  • The portrayal of Marcus Iunius Brutus as being afraid and shaken by his actions is incorrect. The assassins immediately addressed the Roman citizens outside of the Senate house with verve and self-confidence.
  • Marcus Brutus and the other assassins did not return to their homes. During their address to the people they were met with rejection by the Roman citizens. Confused by this reaction they climbed the Capitoline Hill, accompanied by the gladiators of Decimus Brutus, where they remained entrenched almost until the day of Caesar's funeral.
  • The important role of the magister equitum and later pontifex maximus and triumvir Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and his soldiers in the aftermath of Caesar's assassination, especially his measures for pacification, is not dealt with in the episode's plot.
  • Caesar's dead body was brought back to his house by three servants carrying him in his sedan, not wheeling him on a pushcart. (The fourth servant was missing, because he had either fled or had been killed in the fights outside of the Curia.)
  • Gaius Octavius ("Octavian") was not in Rome at the time of Caesar's murder and funeral, but studying in Apollonia, Illyria, where he was part of the advance party for Caesar's planned war campaign against the Parthians. Octavius, Marcus Agrippa and Gaius Maecenas sailed back to southern Italy after the news of Caesar's murder had reached them, smuggled themselves into the country in secret, not knowing if Caesar's assassins would target them next.
  • After it had become clear that the "liberators" had no interest in him, Octavius raised a private army, met up with some of Caesar's veterans, and marched on Rome. Therefore the whole subplot of Atia and "Octavian" discussing whether they should leave the city is pure fiction. Nevertheless it was Atia, who upon Octavius' return to Rome at first discouraged her son to pursue his political career as Caesar's heir.
  • The Jew Timon mentions to Octavian and Atia that the city is all quiet, which was not correct. Some citizens barricaded themselves in their homes or fled to the roofs, but others were on the streets, some even looting in the Senate house. Crowds bribed by the hiding assassins gathered in the Forum, trying to speak out for the conspirators' cause. They were joined by important politicians, who also held speeches, like the praetor Lucius Cornelius Cinna and Publius Cornelius Dolabella.
  • Marcus Antonius never visited Atia's house. He also did not plan to go north to levy troops for revenge, because Lepidus and his army were already in Rome. Instead he immediately tried to gain control over the situation together with Lepidus. (According to one historical source, Antonius had even been warned of the assassination. Whether this claim is correct and whether he put up with Caesar's planned murder in order to gain political power himself, cannot be validated.)
  • Atia would not have planned to leave the city, because it was her duty to join the funeral preparations and rituals for Caesar.
  • Marcus Antonius' anti-Jewish remark against Timon fits general Roman hostility towards the Jews, but is implausible coming from a Caesarian - many Jews had fought for Caesar in the civil war under Antipatros, support for which Caesar and his men were grateful, and Jews present in Rome (possibly including Jewish veterans) mourned for many consecutive nights at Caesar's funeral site.
  • The depiction of the private funeral ceremonies at Calpurnia's house is incorrect:
    • The raising of the arms during prayer was common for a supplicatio, not for a funus.
    • Instead, the mourning women smote their breasts, also as a rhythmic figure accompanying the dirges (neniae) sung by the praeficae.
    • The dirge singers were usually accompanied by one or more tibiae-players; however, the women are only monotonously repeating a spoken ritual prayer.
    • The private funeral preparations, including the cleaning of the corpse, were performed by women. So it is implausible that Calpurnia complains about none of the "friends and family" coming to visit, because access was restricted for many outsiders.
    • Another reason for the restrictions was the Caesarians' fear that Caesar's enemies would forcefully enter the house to drag his body through the streets of Rome and throw it into the Tiber, as was the usual Roman practice for declared tyrants. (This reason is also why there was a vigil of the body in Calpurnia's house.)
    • In addition it was unclear for most of the time, whether Caesar would receive a public state funeral. Eventually the whole funeral was rushed and improvised, lasting much shorter than a usual Roman funus.
  • Caesar's will was also presented to the public and not only read in private. (The private reading occurred before the public presentation in the house of Marcus Antonius.)
  • Piso, Caesar's father-in-law, who was one of the key people responsible for the Senate's granting of a public funeral service as well as for the preparation of the funeral itself, is ignored by the screenwriters. He was also the one in possession of the will, which was finally presented to the public two days after the murder during an assembly of the citizens summoned by the consuls (apparently in the Forum).
  • During the reading of the will in the episode, Octavian is called Gaius Octavian, which is not correct. His real name was Gaius Octavius. After the formal adoption he changed his name to Gaius Julius Caesar, even avoiding the additional Octavianus. (Some inscriptions include the filiation Gai filius, i.e. "son of Gaius".)
  • Octavian was never Caesar's "sole heir". Instead Caesar had appointed several substitute heirs, including none other than one of the conspirators: Decimus Brutus.
  • On the day of Caesar's murder, Antonius had (at the request of Calpurnia) transferred Caesar's war chest from the temple of Ops on the Capitol as well as Caesar's legal papers (excluding the will) to Calpurnia's house for security reasons. Since Octavian was not in Rome at the time, this was a huge advantage for Antonius. So all discussions concerning who would finally receive Caesar's money were irrelevant at the time, because it was in the hands of Antonius.
  • Antony states in the episode that the law is with "Brutus and his minions". A few scenes later Servilia says that the city is theirs. In reality the assassins were at their wits' end and did not even dare to take part in the Senate meeting on March 16. Antonius and Lepidus were in charge of the political situation, exchanging hostages with the assassins, summoning the Senate meeting in the temple of Tellus and working toward a general amnesty. In addition, Antonius and Lepidus dropped any plans to avenge Caesar during an address to the people gathered in the Forum.
  • Antony's remark about "Brutus and his minions" is generally inaccurate, because Cassius Longinus was the head of the assassination plot against Caesar. Marcus Brutus joined the conspiracy rather late. (In addition, the historians have always put Decimus Brutus on top of the list, although he was not directly involved in the deadly assault. But since he had been a close friend of Caesar's, his betrayal outweighed the other conspirators' bloodshed.)
  • It was not Octavian who came up with the idea of the full amnesty. This idea was brought up during the Senate meeting in the temple of Tellus.
  • Cicero's dialogue with the assassins is based on the letter he wrote to Trebonius in 43 BC. It is unclear whether he actually visited the assassins to congratulate them on the tyrannicide. According to some sources, he was (like the conspirators) not present at the Senate meeting on March 16. According to another source he did join the Senate meeting after hearing about Antonius' decision on the amnesty, where he also held a speech. On March 17 Cicero held a long speech on the Forum praising the amnesty.
  • Cassius Longinus tells Cicero that the conspirators have 2000 men under arms and that Caesar's people have fled the city. Both remarks are incorrect. Most Caesarians including the veterans stayed in Rome. Those who had fled the city returned after Lepidus' troops had calmed the situation. In addition the law forbade any armed forces inside the city and the citizens themselves to carry any arms. All the conspirators had at their disposal were the hired gladiators. The only real troops belonged to the Caesarian Lepidus, who had relocated them into the city to secure the situation and to post guards all over Rome during night before.
  • The assassin Cassius would have been called either Gaius or by his cognomen Longinus, seldom by his nomen gentile Cassius.
  • Unlike in the TV episode, the conspirators were never in the position to decide on the amnesty or on Caesar's legacy themselves, because they were not present at the Senate meeting.
  • The herald announcing Caesar's funeral reproduces an order that no actors are allowed to attend the ceremony. In reality an archmime (archimimus) and several other performing artists including singers and musicians (probably from the Etruscan guild or from the technitai of Dionysos) were an integral part not only of the procession (pompa), but of the whole stage ceremony at Caesar's public funeral.
  • Servilia's visit to Calpurnia's house is not mentioned in any of the historical sources and is implausible. The women responsible for the private funeral were Calpurnia, Atia and probably Fulvia.
  • At the morning of Caesar's funeral Marcus Antonius had not been sleeping late, but had already been in the Forum since daybreak, attending the assembly of the consuls and the people.
  • Caesar's corpse was not brought to the funeral site on a simple bier, but in a luxurious replica model of the temple of Venus Genetrix, who was his divine mother according to the mythological past of the Julian family.
  • In the down-angle long shot of the improvised cremation neither the replica Venus temple nor the funeral stage or the Rostra nor the tropaea and/or the mêchanê nor the wax effigy of Caesar (simulacrum) are visible on the Forum.
  • In the tavern a Roman recounts that Brutus spoke before Antonius at the funeral ceremony, as he did in Shakespeare's adaptation. In reality this never happened, because the assassins had already left the city before the funeral.
  • The Roman also says that Marcus Antonius held Caesar's blood-stained Toga during the funeral ceremony and finally threw it into the crowd of mourners. In reality Antonius raised the Toga from inside the replica temple with a spear and waved it about over his head. (The Suetonius-source slightly differs in that the robe was already covering parts of the Roman victory cross at the head of the replica temple.)


[Before Caesar's funeral.]
Antony: I've never fucked a woman in a funeral dress before.
Atia: Nor shall you now.
Antony: That's a shame. It'll have to be Merula then. [Atia's slave Merula stares in shock] Come here, old girl, jump on!
Atia: She'd eat you alive!
Antony: I'm not rising from bed until I fuck someone.
Atia: Fine, fine. Merula, fetch that German slut from the kitchen. [turns to her other slaves] And get it right or you'll be next for the King of Goats there.

Mark Antony: [indicates outside] Listen. Why so quiet? A tyrant is dead. Surely the people should be happy? Where is the cheering throng at your door? Where are the joyful cries of "Liberty"?
Servillia: The people fear change. A sombre mood is only...natural.
Brutus: When they realise they are free from tyranny, they will be glad.
Mark Antony: [coldly] The people loved Caesar. And they will hate you for what you have done.

Mark Antony: You boys play too rough for me. Knives in the Senate House? I didn't know you had it in you. No, I will serve out my term as consul and then return to the provinces, plough my fields and fuck my slaves like old Cincinnatus.

[Servillia joins with Cassius and Cicero in urging Brutus to murder Antony]
Brutus: You too, mother?

[After Antony orders the murderers of Caesar from Rome]
Cassius: You may wish as you will. We yet have all the Senate behind us and all the men of quality. [Furious, Antony storms over to Cassius]
Antony: [almost berserk with rage] And I have an angry mob, that will roast and eat your 'men of quality' in the ashes of the Senate House!