c.85 BC Birth of Marcus Junius Brutus, son of Marcus Junius Brutus and Servilia, half-sister of Cato the Younger and, later, mistress of Julius Caesar.
76 Brutus senior, legate commanding in Cisalpine Gaul on behalf of Lepidus, consul in 78, who has rebelled against the state, surrenders to Pompey at Mutina and is executed by him. Brutus junior is brought up by Cato and is educated in rhetoric and philosophy. Servilia subsequently marries D. Iunius Silanus, with whom she has three daughters, one of whom marries the son of Lepidus junior.
59 By this point, Brutus has been adopted by his uncle Caepio and is now known as Quintus Caepio Brutus.
58 Goes to Cyprus with Cato, whose appointment as governor has been engineered to get him out of the way.
57 Silanus is now dead.
56 Brutus is a member of a syndicate which lends money to the town of Salamis at an illegal 48 per cent interest. It is said that when the debt was not repaid, the town council was locked up in the municipal hall until some of its members starved to death.
54 As official moneyer in Rome, Brutus issues coins showing on one side a portrait of his ancestor Lucius Junius Brutus, who was said to have initiated the republic by leading a rebellion against the last king of Rome, and on the other another of his ancestors, Gaius Servilius Ahala, who is believed to have rid Rome of a tyrant in 439 BC.
53 Serves in Cilicia as quaestor to the governor Appius Claudius Pulcher, consul 54, brother of Clodius, and father of Claudia, whom Brutus has married. Brutus lends money to Ariobarzanes I, king of Cappadocia, possibly to help him pay the interest on an enormous debt owed to Pompey, who had advanced him money in 64 BC.
50 With Pompey, successfully defends his father-in-law against charges of misconduct in Cilicia and bribery at the polls in his election campaign for the office of censor.
49 Sides with Pompey and the republican cause in the civil war.
48 After Pharsalus he is pardoned by Caesar, who shows him special favours. He is appointed a pontifex.
47 Is governor of Cisalpine Gaul.
46 Cicero writes Brutus, a dialogue on oratory between Brutus, Atticus, and himself, and The Orator, a treatise on rhetoric in the form of a letter to Brutus. After the suicide of his uncle Cato, Brutus suggests Cicero should write an appreciation of him, then, dissatisfied with it, writes one himself, to which Cicero objects because of the tone of its account of his consulship.
c.45 Brutus divorces Claudia and marries Porcia, daughter of Cato and widow of M. Calpurnius Bibulus, Caesar’s consular colleague in 59 BC and Pompey’s naval commander during the civil war.
44 Brutus is praetor urbanus and designated by Caesar consul for 41, with Cassius, who is bitter that the senior praetorship has been given to Brutus. Brutus takes the lead in the plot against Caesar, in which capacity he vetoes the killing also of Antony. After the assassination, Brutus and the other conspirators barricade themselves in the temple on the Capitoline Hill and await the upsurge of public support they feel they have earned. Cicero visits them, but otherwise the support does not materialize. The senate confirms all Caesar’s actions, but at Cicero’s instigation an amnesty is proclaimed. Forced by public opinion to leave Rome for a nomadic existence in Italy, Brutus and Cassius are in their absence granted the governorships respectively of Crete and Cyrene. Instead, Brutus settles himself in Macedonia and Cassius acquires Syria.
43 Brutus and Cassius, by a mixture of legal and illegal means, amass great wealth, 19 legions, and a powerful fleet. Brutus mints his own coinage, with his head on it.
42 Two battles at Philippi in Greece. In the first Antony defeats Cassius, who commits suicide; Brutus defeats Octavian, who is wounded but survives. In the second, Brutus is encircled by Antony and Octavian, but escapes; then his remaining troops desert, and he kills himself.