Friday, March 15, 2013
Today is...Ides of March
Today is Ides of March. What is your favorite Shakespeare work?
The Roman calendar did not number days sequentially from first until last day; instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones (5th or 7th), the Ides (13th or 15th), and the Kalends (1st).
The Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon, which put it midpoint of the month. This was on the 13th except for March, May, July, and October when it fell on the 15th.
The Ides each month were sacred to Jupiter and involved a sacrifice each month.
In the Roman calendar, March was the first month of the year. The Romans celebrated the new year from the first until the Ides.
The Ides of March was the Feast of Anna Perenna, a goddess of the year.
In 44 BCE, Julius Caesar was assassinated by stabbing at a meeting of the senate.
Brutus and Cassius lead as many as 60 conspirators.
According to Plutarch, a Greek historian who lived from AD 46 to AD 120, Caesar was warned by a seer that harm would come to him no later than the Ides of March.
On the 4th anniversary of Caesar's death in 40 BCE, Augustus executed 300 senators and knights who fought against him under Lucius Antonios. The executions were one of many actions taken by August to avenge Caesar's death.