This bright, sunny day belies the gruesome gangsta-style act for which the ides of March is remembered. March 15th will forever be associated (in the minds of English majors and historians anyway) with the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. and the prophet who tried to forewarn him. "Beware the ides of March," he said (or at least he did, according to Shakespeare's account in Act III Scene 1 of his play, so named for the offed Roman ruler).
But, nooo ... Jules had a mind of his own. He went on about his bad self, to Pompey's Theatre to attend a Senate meeting. Then, once the gathering was over, it was pretty much over for J.C., because a group of his own senators of the Roman Republic (his protégé Marcus Brutus among them), stabbed him all Kill Bill-style 23 times in a hall next to the theater. Depending on one's political views at the time, it was either an unforsaken tragedy or a welcomed relief.
Today, many people don't know much about the March anniversary beyond the famous soothsayer's caution. But now you do. And while you're at it, you may as well know that "ides" comes from the Latin verb iduare, which means to divide. So the "ides" of any month just means the day halfway through it.
- Vincenzo Camuccini
- Morte di Giulio Cesare ("Death of Julius Caesar"). By Vincenzo Camuccini, 1798.
Another thing you should consider is that the prophecies of Sky Blue Window advise you to get out and enjoy this afternoon -- and this evening. And in the spirit the Bard, who so eloquently documented the event, get thee to a theater. Or a gallery. There are so many options from which to choose. You might be sorry if you don't -- and don't say we didn't warn you.