Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The Ides of March
This is not going to be my only post this week. In fact, this is not my planned post. But when I saw this today I thought I’d blog about it as well.
“Caesar: Who is it in the press that calls me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry “Caesar!” Speak. Caesar is turn’d to hear.
Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March
Caesar: What man is that?
Brutus: A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.”
Thanks to Shakespeare we all are aware of the quote “Beware the Ides of March” yet I was still interested to find the history e-mail about the Ides in my inbox this morning.
The Ides specifically signify the lunar pattern, a system installed by Caesar himself after his visit to Alexandria. The Ides of March fell on the same holiday as Lupercalia, an Ancient Roman religious holiday. There had been parties in the city for days before the Ides.
Perhaps Caesar should have bid the warning; a plot was underway for his murder. The Romans hated the idea of a King, or anyone who was acting as a King since the last king was expelled in 509 B.C.E. Rome had functioned as a republic with senators ruling as a group over the people.
While Caesar never became a “king” he seemed to be a dictator and pushed his power as far as it would go. He had his image placed on coins, a practice not previously done. He also planned to go to war in the west.
The morning of March 15 Caesar was killed senators and people he thought were close friends. The Ides live in history through Shakespeare and imagination.