This is the day. Beware of being in the presence of your political enemies. This is the day on which Julius Caeser was stabbed to death by his frenemies while attending a meeting of the Senate of Rome. He had been warned in advance that danger would befall him before the Ides of March, meaning the middle days of March, but he sneered at it. He had been warned “Beware the Ides of March.” But, as tradition has it, as he entered the forum he turned to his frenemy, Brutus and laughed, “The Ides of March have come.” Tradition says that Brutus (or some other person in the band of collaborators) shot back, “But the Ides have not yet gone.” It was only minutes later that Caeser was stabbed to death, and the Roman Empire took a major shift as a result of his departure.
The Ides of March phrase is based upon the Roman calendar which divided each month into three segments. Ides is the middle segment which usually includes the 13th, 14th, and 15th days. It has to do with the moon’s appearances, and eventually led to the development of the lunar calendar.
In modern life, it is not uncommon to hear someone say, “Beware the Ides of March!” It has become something similar to our treating a Friday the 13th as a day of caution.
Truthfully, I doubt that great numbers of people actually know anything about the Ides of March. It was more common in previous eras of education when Roman history was a greater part of the curriculum. It has been replaced with such courses as “Texting Internationally” and “The History of Women Rock Stars.”
I actually found a website, “How to Celebrate the Ides of March” which looks as if it would be fodder for college fraternities who are interested in a Baccanale-type Toga Party. Let’s face it…any excuse for a party…and this year it’s even on a Saturday! It seems strange to “celebrate” a day on which the Emperor of Rome is murdered, but I suppose there have been even less likely excuses for celebrations over the course of history.
In any case, it isn’t wise to mock historic hexes. So, if you have political enemies, it might not be a bad idea to head in the opposite direction today…and to stay away from saying anything on Twitter or Facebook or TV or radio. It may lead to your demise!
Assassination of Caeser Illustration Credit: WikiHow
Baccanale Illustration Credit: Respublicapisana