Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Ides of March!

For Thornton Wilder's novel of the same name, see Ides of March (novel). For the band of the same name, see The Ides of March (band).

Vincenzo Camuccini, Mort de César, 1798.

The Ides of March (Latin: Idus Martias) is the name of the date 15 March in the Roman calendar. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other eight months.[1] In Roman times, the Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held.In modern times, the term Ides of March  is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was assassinated, in 44 BC, the story of which was famously dramatised in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar.[2]   ==Etymology==The term idūs (ides) is thought to have originally been the day of the full moon. The Romans considered this an auspicious day in their calendar. The word ides comes from Latin,  meaning "half division" (of a month). The word is probably of non-Indoeuropean origin. [3]==Assassination of Julius Caesar==

Main article: Assassination of Julius Caesar

Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March, 44 BC, after declaring himself dictator of Rome, for life. According to a near-contemporary biographer, Caesar summoned the Senate to meet in the Theatre of Pompey on the Ides of March. A certain soothsayer warned Caesar to be on his guard against a great peril on the day of the month of March which the Romans call the Ides; and when the day had come and Caesar was on his way to the senate-house, he greeted the seer with a jest and said: "The Ides of March has come," and the seer said to him softly: "Aye, Caesar, but not gone."[4]As the Senate convened, Caesar was attacked and stabbed to death by a group of senators who called themselves the Liberatores ("Liberators"); they justified their action on the grounds that they committed tyrannicide and were preserving the Republic from Caesar's alleged monarchical ambitions.


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