What You Didnt Know About The Ides of March
Many of us know the infamous story behind the Ides of March. On March 15th in 44 B.C., a soothsayer warned Julius Caesar that harm would come his way no later than the Ides of March. When Caesar didnt listen, he was then stabbed to death 23 times in the Roman Senate that very day.
Believe it or not, todays date didnt always have such an ominous connotation. Prior to Caesars assassination, the ides simply began as a way to mark the monthly full moonthe 15th day of March, May, July and October, and the 13th day of the other eight months.
The Ides of March also used to be the Romans New Years Day. Between the years of 220 B.C. and 153 B.C. (before Caesar was murdered,) March 15th was the date that the new annually elected Roman consuls would take office.
In addition, the Ides of March also once marked a day of celebration. An annual military parade used to be held in the honor of Mars, the God of War.
Well, it looks like Caesar stole Mars thunder. Forever.
After Caesars murder, March 15th took on a whole new identity. It began to mark a day of infamy rather than festivity. Still today, the term Ides of March carries a foreboding aura. The date has been put in the same category as black cats and broken mirrors.
Maybe we should start taking notes from the HHH, or the Rome Hash House Harriers. This social running and drinking group has attempted to make light of this weighty calendar daythey observe March 15th every year by going on a toga-clad run through the streets of Rome where Caesar was killed.
But even this celebratory, semi-intoxicated run through the streets of Rome is once again, in honor of Caesar.
Sorry, Mars, we think you may have lost this one for good.