What are the “Ides of March?”

vatican-1136071_1920By Tammy Lee

March 15 is known as the  “Ides of March.”  We hear this reference a lot but what exactly does that mean and why is it associated with superstitious thoughts of doom, gloom, conspiracy and betrayal?

Well, it was on the Ides of March in the year 44 B.C. that Roman emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by Brutus, one of his most trusted senators who had conspired against him and betrayed him.

This scene was immortalized forever in William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” where despite a soothsayer warning Caesar to “Beware the Ides of March,” he ventures forth on the ides and meets his doom.

In reality, the Ides of March isn’t as forboding or ominous as it sounds. Ides comes from an old Latin verb iduare, meaning “to divide.”

Merriam Webster defines the Ides of March as “the 15th day of March, May, July, or October or the 13th day of any other month in the ancient Roman calendar; broadly :  this day and the seven days preceding it”

And when all is said and done, saying the “Ides of March” sounds way cooler than saying March 15th doesn’t it?

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