Ides of March Not Always Caesarian

Posted on March 14, 2011 by

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“I really don’t know anything about The Ides of March,” said Dan Hawkins.

This was a common response from Fleetwood Area High School Students. But here’s the lowdown: The Ides of March is the Roman New year and also the day on which Julius Caesar died.  The term “Ides” signifies the end of the Roman month, and March 15th was the first day of spring in the Roman calendar.

On the Ides of March, Julius Caesar, the dictator of Rome, was murdered because his rule was lasting far longer than others, including his friend Brutus, believed was healthy for their nation. Caesar was originally placed in power to help the government find stability after a period of chaos. But Julius Caesar loved the power he had acquired, so he did everything he could to retain it instead of returning it back to the senators.

Some say that Brutus was Caesar’s son; others say he was merely a family member of some sort. What is known is that Brutus hated the dictator so much that, when Cassius Longinus plotted the assassination, Brutus agreed to help almost immediately.

As Caesar enter the hall next to Pompey’s Theatre for a meeting, he was handed a note warning him about the threat to his life. But, rich with pride, he chose to ignore the note and walked right into the hall. The senators surrounded him and started to stab Caesar.

But when Brutus stabbed him, Caesar supposedly asked in Greek, “You too, my child?”

Caesar’s murder was largely forgotten until William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar brought the topic back into the popular, cultural mythology.  The Ides of March is still commonly referenced in today’s pop culture.

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