Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ides of March

Today is the Ides of March.

Don't feel bad if this doesn't sound familiar or if you don't know what it means.  Likely not many will resonate with this phrase.

The Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC by being stabbed to death at a meeting of the senate by as many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius. 

According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The Ides of March are come", implying that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Aye, Caesar; but not gone." This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."  (See Wikipedia for more details.)

What's funny about this to me is that somehow the phrase "beware the Ides of March" became a running joke between me and my close friend Kerry.  This may be because we had the same English class in high school where we studied Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar".  But what I can't remember is WHY this became a running joke!  Every year on March 15 Kerry and I will call or email each other and say/write "beware the Ides of March, which will elicit laughter from both of us.  Again, I don't remember why, but this has been a joke between us for years. 

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