The Ides of March is on March 15th every year.
The expression Beware the Ides of March can mean beware of impending danger.
If someone says Beware the Ides of March referring to March 15th itself, it can have the sense of March 15th being a bad luck day, just like Friday the 13th.
The word “ides” originally referred to the day of the full moon every month. Eventually, with the change in the calendar system, it referred to the 15th of the month in any month that has 31 days (March, May, July and October) and it referred to the 13th of the month in all other months of the year.
The origin of the sinister meaning of the Ides of March is the fact that this is the actual day that Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC by some Roman Senators.
The Romans had gotten rid of their kings hundreds of years earlier and they were proud of the fact that they were a Republic. (Although only the rich had a say in government and a large proportion of the population were slaves.) The Senators killed Caesar because they were worried that he was gaining too much power for any one man.
After Caesar was killed, the people of Rome were unhappy about his death. Those senators involved in his assassination had to leave the city.
The Senators’ plans to forestall despotic rule in Rome failed. After Caesar’s death, his adopted son Augustus became Emperor. The Republic was never restored.
Over 1500 years later, William Shakespeare wrote the play Julius Caesar. That’s where the phrase Beware the Ides of March comes from. In the play, a soothsayer said it to Julius Caesar on the day of his assassination.
So, if it’s March 15th… Beware!
This artilce was posted on Thursday, March 9th, 2006 at 7:18 pm and is filed under Authors, Beware the Ides of March, Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar, People, Quotes, Shakespeare, The Ides of March. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.