“Philippi” is the sixth episode of the second season of the television series Rome. The episode portrays the civil war between the Second Triumvirate and the combined forces of Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, murderers of Julius Caesar.
Cicero realizes that young Octavian (Simon Woods) has tricked him and he openly sides with Brutus (Tobias Menzies) and Cassius (Guy Henry) who are amassing an army in Greece. Octavians four Legions are vastly outnumbered but his mother Atia (Polly Walker) has a solution; make peace with Mark Antony (James Purefoy) and unite their forces to attack their enemy in Greece. Brutus and Cassius are suddenly outnumbered with their 14 legions to Octavian’s and Antony’s combined 19 legions.
Brutus and Cassius are in their camp near Philippi in Greece, and receive word from the scouts that the combined force of Mark Antony and Octavian is only a day’s march away. Cassius orders to break camp and begin the retreat but Brutus objects and convinces Cassius to accept the battle, there and then, saying “No more running”.
“No more running.”
The armies are about to engage and Mark Antony commences the fighting with the words: “Let’s have some fun.” In the ensuing bloodbath, Mark Antony and Octavian prevail. A mortally wounded Cassius is brought to Brutus whose remaining forces begin to disintegrate. After Cassius dies, Brutus tells one of his soldiers to “give his mother his best” and to say “something suitable.” He then kisses his father’s ring, looks to the gods, and resolves to go down fighting.
“Now, let’s have some fun!”
– Mark Antony
The Battle of Philippi was the final battle fought between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian and the forces of Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, at Philippi in Macedonia. The forces of Antony and Octavian emerged victoriously and Cassius and Brutus were both killed in the battle.
The real historic battle involved up to 200,000 men and was one of the largest battles of the Roman civil wars, it consisted of two engagements in the plain west of the ancient city of Philippi. Historically, Marcus Junius Brutus was the son of Servilia Caepionis and the tribune of the same name. He was the nephew of Cato, through his mother who was Cato’s elder half-sister. The real Brutus committed suicide after the second battle of Philippi nearly 3 weeks after Cassius’ death. In the series, the events of the battles are instead concentrated and his death mirrors Caesar’s; he is surrounded and stabbed to death by a throng of enemy soldiers.