17. D. Junius
Brutus Albinus, one of Caesar's assassins, who must not be confounded with the more celebrated M. Junius Brutus, was in all probability the son of No. 16 and of Sempronia, as we know that they had children (Sal. Cat. 25
), and the praenoelen is the same. This D. Brutus was adopted by A. Postumius Albinus, who was consul B. C. 99 [ALBINUS, No. 22], whence he is called Brutus Albinus; and this adoption is commemorated on a coin of D. Brutus figured on p. 93. (Plut. Caes. 64
, &c., Ant.
11; D. C. 44.14
.) We first read of him as serving under Caesar in Gaul when he was still a young man. Caesar gave him the command of the fleet which was sent to attack the Veneti in B. C. 56. (Caes. Gal. 3.11
; D. C. 39.40
He seems to have continued in Gaul till almost the close of the war, but his name does not occur frequently, as he did not hold the rank of legatus.
He served against Vercingetorix in 52 (Caes. Gal. 7.9
), and appears to have returned to Rome in 50, when he married Paulla Valeria. (Cael. ad Fam.
8.7.) On the breaking out of the civil war in the following year (49), he was recalled to active service, and was placed by Caesar over the fleet which was to besiege Massilia. D. Brutus, though inferior in the number of his ships, gained a victory over the enemy, and at length obtained possession of Massilia. (Caes. Civ. 1.36
, &c., 2.3-22; D. C. 41.19
After this, he had the command of Further Gaul entrusted to him where he gained a victory over the Bellovaci ; and so highly was he esteemed by Caesar, that on his return from Spain through Italy, in 45, Caesar conferred upon him the honour of riding in his carriage along with Antony and his nephew, the young Octavius. (Plut. Ant. 11
.) Caesar gave him still more substantial marks of his favour, by promising him the government of Cisalpine Gaul, with the praetorship for 44 and the consulship for 42. In Caesar's will, read after his death, it was found that D. Brutus had been made one of his heirs in the second degree; and so entirely did he possess the confidence of Caesar, that the other murderers sent him to conduct their victim to the senate-house on the day of the assassination.
The motives which induced D. Brutus to take part in the conspiracy against his friend and benefactor are not stated; but he could have no excuse for his crime; and among the instances of base ingratitude shewn on the ides of March, none was so foul and black as that of D. Brutus. (Liv. Epit. 114
; D. C. 44.14
; Appian, App. BC 2.48
; Suet. Jul. 81
; Vell. 2.56
After Caesar's death (44), D. Brutus went into his province of Cisalpine Gaul, and when Antony obtained from the people a grant of this province, Brutus refused to surrender it to him. His conduct was warmly praised by Cicero and the senatorial party; but so little was he prepared to resist Antony, that when the latter crossed the Rubicon towards the close of the year, D. Brutus dared not meet him in the field, but threw himself into Mutina, which was forthwith besieged by Antony.
In this town he continued till April in the following year (43), when the siege was raised by the consuls Hirtius and Pansa, who were accompanied by Octavianus. Antony was defeated, and fled across the Alps; and as Hirtius and Pansa had fallen in the battle, the command devolved upon D. Brutus, since the senate was unwilling to entrust Octavianus with any further power.
He was not, however, in a condition to follow up his victory against Antony, who meantime had collected a large army north of the Alps, and was preparing to march again into Italy. Octavianus also had obtained the consulship, not-withstanding the ill-will of the senate, and had procured the enactment of the lex Pedia, by which the murderers of Caesar were outlawed, and the execution of the sentence entrusted to himself. D. Brutus was now in a dangerous position. Antony was marching against him from the north, Octavianus from the south; his own troops could not be depended upon, and L. Plancus had already deserted him and gone over to Antony with three legions.
He therefore determined to cross over to M. Brutus in Macedonia; but his soldiers deserted him on the march, and he was betrayed by Camillus, a Gaulish chief, upon whom he had formerly conferred some favours, and put to death, by order of Antony, by one Capenus, a Sequanan, B. C. 43. (Cicero's Letters
and Philippics; Liv. Epit. 117
; D. C. 45.9
, &c., 53; Appian, App. BC 3.74
; Veil. Pat. 2.64.)