Today, March 15, is the Ides of March. It is also the anniversary of the assassination of Roman dictator Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. In the play “Julius Caesar”, written by William Shakespeare around the year 1599, Caesar meets a seer on his way to the Theater of Pompey, who tells him to “Beware the Ides of March”. Caesar, ignoring the seer’s advice, continues on to the Theater of Pompey where he is stabbed in the back 23 times by a group of 60 conspirators, including Marcus Junius Brutus (Et Tu?).
Just what is an “Ide”? According to dictionary.com, an ide represents the halfway point of the month, most likely in reference to the full moon. The ides fall on the 15th of March, July and October; and the 13th of the other nine months. Prior to the stabbing of Julius Caesar, the Ides of March was a celebratory day in Rome, dedicated to the Roman God Mars, whom the month of March was named for in the Roman calendar.