Shakespeare may have famously written in his play Julius Caesar that Caesar ought to "beware the Ides of March," but today is not it. We still have two weeks to prepare to beware. The Ides of March is March 15.
For 99.9 percent of people in the world for whom this isn't a big deal, you're probably wondering WTH the Ides of March is, which probably explains why it's the number one search on Google today, March 1.
The Ides of March is the date that Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B.C. His death was brutal. He was stabbed 23 times in the Roman Senate led by Marcus Junius Brutus ("Et tu Brute?" Caesar allegedly said to his traitorous friend as he died), Gaius Cassius Longinus, and 60 other co-conspirators.
The story is actually quite depressing if you believe Shakespeare's rendition, which borrowed heavily from historians' tales.
On March 15, Caesar -- the Roman general and statesman who turned the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire -- was murdered brutally by his close friend and many others. He was warned of the impending attack (according to Will) via a seer whom he happened to see on his way to the place of his death. According to legend, he said to the seer: "Well, the Ides of March have come," to which the seer replied, "Ay, they have come, but they are not gone."
Chilling, right? We kind of scoff at it now. After all, it was a long time ago, but to put it in modern perspective, it would be like Dick Cheney being stabbed to death on the Senate floor five years ago. Like the guy or hate the guy, it would have been a shocking assassination, no?
The Ides of March is commemorated in a number of ways all over the world:
- The Hash Harriers have a toga run in Rome.
- The Founders Brewing Company releases their Founders KBS beer on the Ides of March.
- The Dagorhir Battle Games Association, Atlanta chapter, has an annual spring event at Red Horse Stables they call "The Ides of March." It's held on the weekend closest.
How can you "celebrate"? Here are five ideas:
- Host a reading of Julius Caesar by Shakespeare.
- Learn to wear a toga.
- Read some Virgil or other Roman poetry.
- Book a trip to Rome!
- Make an Orange Julius Caesar cocktail!
What do you do for the Ides of March?
Image via vintagedept/Flickr