Assassinations; a comparison of Julius Caesar and Malcom X

Assassinations; a comparison of Julius Caesar and Malcom X


The political scene has always been understood to be highly complex and dangerous. During the course of the olden times, leading political or civil figures representing the government as well as the society have faced the dark side of the risks of holding their positions and died. From stabbings, to the use of poison, gunshots and as explained by a number of technocrats in political since other secrete means have been used as a means to kill intended targets. Bryant and Peck (2009), state that despite the changes in killing style the motives behind the different documented assassinations has remained the same considering people still kill for power, hate of ideological reasons. However, the true extent of the above text remains to be explored. From the history books, one can find the assassination of Ramses III in Ancient Egypt; Andrew Jackson to Martin Luther King, Jr each showing a different cause of murder; however, not much has been documented on the perceptions mentioned by Goppel (2013). This paper by using Julius Cesare and Malcom X two different leaders serving different times to compare the true aesthetics behind assassinations.


According to several political science experts the first ever recorded assassination was that of Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhet I that happened in 1900’s B.C., from this period a number of famous assassinations have been recorded with the most well-known in the medieval being the killing of Julius Cesare.

Assassination of Julius Caesar.  

According to mediaeval Biographers the incidence that led to the killing of the Italian Icon was due to tension between him and the senate in addition to his title claims to Emperor. One of the manuscripts about Julius Caesar states that as the ruler returned to Rome his statue on the Rostra was crowned by a laurel wreath, which was a symbol, used to represent Jupiter as well as royalty (Parenti, 2004). Later that day tribunes Marullus as well as Flavus ordered that the symbol be removed a move that angered the Italian ruler to the point of sacking the two officials (Bryant & Peck (2009). It is understood that from this point Julius Caesar could not see himself below royalty status a term shared by his people as the shouted his name as ‘rex’, which means King in Italian. Numerous attempts to portray him as a king have been documented one of the one that stands out was at the festival of the Lupercalia when one of his councils attempted to crown him several times though he refused and said it was a sign of respect to Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Strauss, 2015). His senate did not like what they were witnessing and such events that have been mentioned above were the primary cause of his assassination.

In 44 B.C. his senate made of 60 individuals including the famous Casca, Brutus killed the Cesare during a meeting. According to Strauss (2015), Mark Antony one of the Emperors closest acquaintances got information of an attempted assignation and tried to warn him but this never happened. Later the Italian leader was stabbed 23 times with the first violent act being committed by Cimber who clutched Caesar’s tunic giving Casca chance to stab him though under resistance. After a long struggle, Casca called for help and the emperor was killed.  From the above text it can be determined that the Italian Emperor’s assassination was a s a result of hate and envy however this might not be true when comparing his killing to that of Malcom X.

Malcom X Assassination. 

On Feb. 21, 1965, Malcom X then a National of Islam leader aged 39 was assassinated by individuals who only identified themselves as Black Muslims right about the time he was ready to address Organization of Afro-American Unity group. Malcom had gone through a rough time from childhood caused by white supremacy power known as the Ku Klux Klan a factor that ked him and his family to a downward spiral that saw him loose their house and finally live in foster care. At the Age of 21 Malcom was sent to prison an event that changed his life as this was the first time he met up with the philosophies of Elijah Muhammad (Haley, 1992). Elijah was an outspoken Muslim activist representing the Nation of Islam movement who condemned racial prejudice as well as the immorality of both Americans and Europeans. Considering his past this teachings made significant changes to Malcom’s life and later he entered into a self-education program that led him to higher powers in the Nation of Islam ranks (Sales, 1994). After his release Malcom X, to up a more fiery role in the advocacy of Muslims as well as other African Americans.  Unlike Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, he encouraged self-defense in the liberalization of colored individuals a factor that made him more popular to the extent his fame was once compared to Elijah Muhammad who he said was too soft with the white just as Dr. King. After his pilgrimage visiting at Mecca where he intensely affected the identity of his organization Malcom X decided to found another more racially discorded Afro-American Unity movement, which he sated viewed racism as the greatest foe against the black community than the white people (Eyerman, 2011). Newly named El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz the civil rights leader won more favor from the African American community majorly Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and his words were more echoed than his then rival Elijah Muhammad. One year later, he was shoot dead only one week after his house was torched by the same individuals who took credit for his death the Nation of Islam members.


From the above text it can be argued that Malcom X was assassinated due to a change in philosophy of what other perceived was not his place to decide. The change in his viewpoint on how racism issues should be handled made Malcolm X one of the most popular activist in the US causing his assassination. The comparison to Cesare is that both individuals grew beyond their initial status and as their popularity grew the more reason they were they gave their opposing society to assassinate them. Power was a reason that stands out in both cases considering both parties were considered high above their political class. Grew I  stature to the point of being identified as a King yet he never had royal blood; on the other hand, Malcom X similarly got from being a follower to a philosopher who had significant influence over the African American People.


From the above text, it is clear that the leader’s assassins were highly unhappy with how Julius Caesar and Malcom X conducted their business. Julius Caesar had grown to king status admiration a factor the senate saw as highly disrespectful to the royal class. In addition, when he sacked the two tribunes for ordering the removal of the laurel wreath from his statue a factor that angered his senate. On the other hand, Malcom X grew beyond Elijah Muhammad message a factor that angered the National Islamic community.

Ideological Reasoning

According to (cite), this is the most common reason for assassinations since inn history the only leaders that have been assassinated have been clearly against those who killed them in ideological terms.  Julius Caesar become highly respected that the Romans placed a symbol of a god on his statue, this in reference to the once who killed him was an insult to the king and would constitute to their wrath to the land. On the other hand, Malcom X change to taking up a non-violent stance to ending white supremacy as well as identifying white men as a far factor from the plight of African Americans went contrary to his previous civil rights group.  At the end of it they saw his popularity grow with more individuals buying into his philosophy hence leading to his death.


For years’ assassination, has been used as tool to express political frustration from one faction of the political class to the other. The first ever assassination to be recorded in the history books was that of Amenemhet I in ancient Egypt. From this event, a number of famous political as well as social activist and officers have paid with their lives the risk of being part of the opposite class. Julius Caesar was assassinated by his senate by being stabbed 23 times on the other hand centuries later Malcom X was killed by the people he once represented the Nation of Islam movement. In both instances, three factors have been used to show their comparison the namely power, hate as well as ideological reasoning.  From the script is correct to say that though the means of assassination have changed the motives have remained the same.


Bryant, C. D., & Peck, D. L. (2009). Encyclopedia of death & human experience: 1-. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Eyerman, R. (2011). The Cultural Sociology of Political Assassination: From MLK and RFK to Fortuyn and Van Gogh. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Goppel, A. (2013). Killing terrorists: A moral and legal analysis. Boston: De Gruyter.

Haley, A. (1992). The autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Ballantine Books.

Parenti, M. (2004). The assassination of Julius Caesar: A people’s history of Ancient Rome. New York: New Press.

Sales, W. W. (1994). From civil rights to Black liberation: Malcolm X and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Boston, Mass: South End Press.

Strauss, B. S. (2015). The death of Caesar: The story of history’s most famous assassination. New York: Simon & Schuster.