Tuesday, March 14, 2006

15 March 44 B.C.: Happy Death Day, Julius Caesar

The Ides of March

Julius Caesar

Via Wikipedia.

On this day in 44 B.C., Julius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Decimus Junius Brutus and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March.

In the Roman calendar the Ides of March fell on the 15th day of the Roman month of Martius.

Although the Roman calendar was eventually displaced by the modern days of the week around the 3rd century AD, the Ides continued to be used in a vernacular sense for centuries afterwards. When Shakespeare wrote the famous line "Beware the Ides of March!" in his play Julius Caesar in 1599, he did so in the reasonable assumption that his audience would know the date of Caesar's death and so have a good idea of what the Ides were.

The date is famous because Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March, 44 BC. Because of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar and its line “Beware the Ides of March”, the Ides of March has had a sense of doom. But in Roman times the Ides of March was simply the normal way of saying March 15th.

More here.

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