Beware the Ides of March

Hello again everyone.


March 15 is the Ides of March. But there’s no need to be on guard.

Julius Caesar probably should have been. But then, he blew off the soothsayer who told him to “beware the Ides of March” in the first act of Shakespeare’s play.

You might remember from English class that things didn’t go so well for him.

What if Shakespeare’s soothsayer had simply said, “Watch out a month from now!” Would anybody remember the line?

“Ides of March” has a better ring to it. And yet all it means is “halfway through the month.”

Ides comes from an old Latin verb iduare, which meant “to divide.” It was the Roman term for the day that came in the middle of each month.

Every month has an Ides. March had 31 days, so the Ides of March is on March 15.

Julius actually got several warnings. Later on in the play there’s a big storm. To find out what it means, he sends a servant to get priests to sacrifice animals and read the omens in their entrails.

Their message is even clearer: Don’t go out.

In best horror movie fashion he ignores them and, like an idiot, goes out.

So it’s no surprise when Brutus and some other conspirators waylay him on the steps of the Capitol and stab him to death.

But unless it’s 44 B.C., you’re a Roman Consul and ignoring omens right and left, you should be just fine.

I’d love to claim credit for the foregoing, but don’t want to jinx myself.  It was written by Elizabeth Weise of USA today.  She has my wit.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned.

2 thoughts on “Beware the Ides of March

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