On his return to Rome, where he was now tribune of the people and dictator, he had four great triumphs and pardoned all his enemies. He set about reforming the living conditions of the people by passing agrarian laws and by improving housing accommodations. He also drew up the elaborate plans (which Augustus later used) for consolidating the empire and establishing it securely. In the winter of 46 B.C.–45 B.C. he was in Spain putting down the last of the senatorial party under Gaeus Pompeius, the son of Pompey. He returned to Rome in Sept., 45 B.C., and was elected to his fifth consulship in 44 B.C. In the same year he became dictator for life and set about planning a campaign against Parthia, the only real menace to Rome's borders.
His dictatorial powers had, however, aroused great resentment, and he was bitterly criticized by his enemies, who accused him of all manner of vices. When a conspiracy was formed against him, however, it was made up of his friends and protégés, among them Cimber, Casca, Cassius, and Marcus Junius Brutus. On Mar. 15 (the Ides of March), 44 B.C., he was stabbed to death in the senate house. His will left everything to his 18-year-old grandnephew Octavian (later Augustus).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.