Beware the Ides of March?

From .. (T)he Ides of March actually has a non-threatening origin story. Kalends, Nones and Ides were ancient markers used to reference dates in relation to lunar phases. Ides simply referred to the first new moon of a given month, which usually fell between the 13th and 15th. In fact, the Ides of March once signified the new year, which meant celebrations and rejoicing.

Thanks to Shakespeare’s soothsayer, the Ides of March has become the epitome of a dire warning. Julius Caesar, the dictator of Rome, was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate house by 60 conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus on March 15.

15 thoughts on “Beware the Ides of March?”

  1. A month before, on 15 February, a religious official who interpreted omens had warned Caesar that his life would be in danger for a period of 30 days.
    That day Caesar was going to embark on a military campaign that would take him away from Rome for a long time.
    Caesar dismissed the concerns but the conspirators had to kill him before he left: they believed that his death would lead to the restoration of the Roman Republic.
    Therefore he was assassinated on the Ides of March and, although his last words are a contested subject among scholars and historians, according to tradition he said: “Tu quoque, Brute, fili mi! “(“You too, Brutus, my son”).

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