Dreams of Caesars -or- Calpurnia's Nightmare of Julius Caesar
"Will I be known as the philosopher? The warrior? The tyrant...? Or will I be the emperor who gave Rome back her true self? There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish... it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the winter." Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) to Maximus (Russell Crowe) in the film Gladiator.
Kaiser Traueme -or- Calpurnia's Dream of the Assination of Julius Caesar
Shakespeare often used the plot device of dreams as an oracle foretelling future events to dictate the fate of his characters. In his play Julius Caesar, Shakespeare alluded to the similarities of the Elizabethan era concerns of civil war, to the ancient Roman civil war that broke out after Julius Caesar's death. History records that during the night of March 14, 44BC Calpurnia (Julius Caesar's wife) had a prophetic dream about the death of her husband Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar who had expanded the Empire and was intimate with Cleopatra the queen of Eygpt, was murdered on March 15, 44BC in the Roman Senate, setting off what is now known as the Roman Liberator's Civil War. Calpurnia's prophetic dream had become reality.
In his well researched book Kaiser, Traeme und Visionen in Prinzipat und Spaetantike (Caesars, Dreams and Visions in the Roman Principality and Late Antiquity) Gregor Weber explores the meaning of dreams of such Caesarian rulers such as Julius Caesar to Justinian.
From a popular culture perspective, many films have been made about Rome, its politics and Caesars. These include; Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and the recent critically acclaimed TV series Rome, shows the ongoing interest in past history and the dream that was once Rome. From a popular music perspective the film Gladiator's sound track was reportedly influenced by several musical themes including Richard Wagner's Götterdämmerung, and features the dream like sequence Now We Are Free .