profane but enlightened

Beware the Ides of March

Beware the Ides of March

Julius Caesar died at the hands of his enemies on March 15, 44 BC after a soothsayer warned him previously to Beware the Ides of March.”  The soothsayer, identified as Roman astrologer Spurinna, had advised Caesar that…on the Ides of March, he would be in great danger. If, however, Julius Caesar took care on that one day – then all would be well.”  There are differing theories of what moved Caesar to ignore warning and go to the Senate.  One theory has his enemies convincing him the warning was mere superstition – or perhaps Caesar mistook the date as  “…the ancient Roman calendar, each of the 12 months had an ‘ides’. In March, May, July and October, the ides fell on the 15th day. In every other month, the ides fell on the 13th.”  In any event, on his way to the Senate, Caesar met up again with the astrologer: “…Caesar confidently informed Spurinna: ‘The Ides of March are come.’ Spurinna answered, ‘Yes, they are come, but they are not past.’ Later that day – on March 15, 44 B.C.E – Caesar’s enemies assassinated him in the Pompey theater, at the foot of Pompey’s statue, where the Roman Senate was meeting that day in the temple of Venus.”  You may enjoy an excellent Quicksilver Radio Theater production of Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Julius Caesar.


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