Beware the Ides of March! What the heck does that mean anyways? I’ll tell you!


So, today is March the 15th.

Is there any way today could be as eventful as yesterday, March the 14th, which was Pi Day (at 1:59am) and also one month after Valentine’s Day – which is known as Guy’s Wishful Thinking Day – or Steak and BJ Day.

But today… March 15th…  something happened today which you may or may not know about depending on your age.  If you’re old enough you may know already that on this day in 44BC, Julius Caesar, the dictator of the Roman Republic was stabbed 33 times to his death in the Roman senate, by several Roman senators, led by Marcus Junius Brutus (Caesar’s protege) and his brother-in-law, Gaius Cassius Longinus.  So if suggests that you “beware the Ides of March” it means be careful your followers do not surround you and stab you to death in the head, neck and – gulp – groin.

March 15th, 2011 was also the beginning of the Syrian uprising – interesting considering there is a dictator there too….

However today, Facebook did NOT shut down permanently as was being spread across the Internet as some sort of dumb-ass, barely believable hoax, however if it did, I would not be missing playing Cityville since my wife deleted it from her Facebook, then from mine in effort to restore 2 hours of our free time each day.  I suffered one day of withdrawal, then felt relief at not having to go in and play and bug people for stuff.  I’m free!

But back to the Ides of March:

The word Ides comes from the Latin word “Idus” and means “half division” especially in relation to a month. It is a word that was used widely in the Roman calendar indicating the approximate day that was the middle of the month. The term ides was used in Roman times to identify the middle of the month.  The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held.

Apparently, a seer had foreseen that Caesar, the “Dictator for Life” of the Roman Empire would be harmed not later than the Ides of March and on his way to the Theatre of Pompey (where he would be assassinated), Caesar met that seer and joked, “The Ides of March are come”, meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied “Aye, Caesar; but not gone.”

So while Caesar knew the senators hated him, he was still handed a warning note before entering but he did not read it, and he dismissed his security force not long before his assassination. After he entered the hall, he was surrounded by these senators who were holding daggers – never a good sign – with Servilius Casca striking the first blow, hitting Caesar in the neck. The other senators all joined in on the beat down, stabbing him repeatedly.

Marcus Brutus wounded Caesar in the groin and Caesar is said to have remarked in Greek, “You, too, my child?” which is where “es tu Brutus?” came from.

In an somewhat ironic turn of events the soap opera continued and Cassius and Brutus got what was coming to them when Caesar’s will left a guy named Octavian in charge of the Roman Empire as his adopted son. Cassius and Brutus tried to rally against the army and even had the foresight to issue coins celebrating the assassination of Julius Caesar, known as the Ides of March.  But adopted son and new leader Octavian’s forces defeated the Brutus and Cassius army 2 years later in the Battle of Philippa (in Greece) which resulted in the 2 committing suicide.

Denarius of L. Plaetorius Cestianus commemorat...

Who saw that coming, eh???

Octavian, later known as Augustus, ruled the Roman Empire for many more years.

If you want to know more, think back to high-school when you asked your English teacher when you were ever going to use Shakespear aghain in your whole life, since this meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare‘s play Julius Caesar.

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