Most people have heard the warning “Beware of the Ides of March.” What exactly is the Ides of March and why should we be cautions of it?
Well, the ‘Ides of March’ basically means ‘The Middle of March’ or March 15th. We use a Gregorian Calender to tell dates, but it wasn’t always that way. The Roman Calender did not work the way ours does. Instead, it counted back from three dates each month, The Nones, The Ides, and The Kalends. The Ides is towards the middle of the month, usually the 13th. However, it does take place on the 15th for some of the longer months.
To make a long story short, the Romans created their calender based on the lunar phases. The Ides are thought to be the day the full moon took place each month in the first year of the Roman Calender.
Their dates worked a lot like Roman Numerals. Instead of saying “I was born on March 10th,” I would have said, “I was born 5 days before the Ides of March.” Well, I’d probably say “I was born V days before the Ides of March,” but with the words in Latin.
I don’t speak Latin, although I’m pretty sure the Ancient Romans did. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
Now that we know WHAT the Ides of March is, I’ll tell you why we should beware of them. I mean, I’ll tell you why you don’t really need to beware of them.
Julius Caesar, a famous Dictator of Ancient Rome, is said to have been assassinated on this day in 44BC. He was quite literally stabbed in the back by the members of his Senate, which included his best friend.
Plutarch, a Greek Historian and Biographer, wrote about Caesar. He said that Caesar had been warned by a Seer to ‘Beware of the Ides of March.’ He didn’t listen to said Seer and even mocked the warning.
This might sound familiar if you’ve ever read William Shakespeare’s Play, Julius Caesar. It was required reading in my high school. Was it at yours, too?
To sum it up, the Ides of March is just a term meaning the 15th of March. You have nothing to beware of unless you’re a self-named dictator whose best friend has been distant lately.
While I am a vault of useless knowledge which held a lot of this information already, I did use Wikipedia to fill in a few blanks.