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Ides of March

Idus Martii in Latin, the Ides of March (March 15) was a feast day on the Roman calendar that became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The death of Caesar was a turning point in Roman history, marking the transition from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire.

The Feast of Anna Perenna associated with the new year was traditionally celebrated on the Ides of March with with picnics, drinking, and revelry.

Assasination of Julius Caesar

On the Ides of March in the year 44 BC, Julius Caesar was stabbed to death at a meeting of the senate. As many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius, were involved.

According to Plutarch, a Greek historian, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to meet with the senate on that fateful day,  Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come," to which the seer replied "Aye, Caesar; but not gone."

Moments later he was assasinated.

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
Act 1, scene 2, 15–19

Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry "Caesar!" Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.

Beware the ides of March.

What man is that?

A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

Other Notorious March 15 Events
  • Samoan Cyclone, 1889
  • Russian's Czar Nicholas II Abdicates His Throne, 1917
  • Deadly Blizzard on the Great Plains, 1941
  • World Record Rainfall on island of La Réunion, 1952
  • CBS Cancels the “Ed Sullivan Show,” 1971
  • NASA reports Disappearing Ozone Layer, 1988
  • World Health Organization issues global health altert for SARS, 2003

Brutus Roman Coin Pendant

Caesar Assassinated
Julius Caesar on His Way to the Senate on the Ides of March


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