Beware the Ides of …

The “ides” refers to the middle of a month in the Roman calendar.  For those of us who read and enjoy literature, today is a great day – the Ides of March – made popular (ha!) by the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I do not have to summarize the story…I am not a good summarizer.

“In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed (23 times) to death in the Roman Senate by a group of conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. The group included 60 other co-conspirators according to Plutarch.[2]

According to Plutarch, a seer had foreseen that Caesar would be harmed not later than the Ides of March and on his way to the Theatre of Pompey (where he would be assassinated), Caesar met that seer and joked, “The ides of March have come”, meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied “Ay, Caesar; but not gone.”[3] This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare‘s play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to “beware the Ides of March.”[4][5]

When I used to teach English, this was my favorite day.  The math department had Pi Day, and I had the Ides of March.  Seriously, teachers need to get out more!

In the United States, there is a different “ides” that plagues us – the Ides of April.

The photo below shows the end result of over 10 hours (some of that time put in by my children in the sorting of the “stuff” into piles).  This is the in days of electronic information and the Paperwork Reduction Act.


Are you ready for the Ides of April?  It’s only a month a way…

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