Welcome to the Ides of March, friends, Romans, countrymen! Of course, there were Ides for every month in the Roman calendar. The Romans did not number days of a month sequentially. Instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones (5th or 7th, depending on the length of the month), the Ides (13th or 15th), and the Kalends (1st) of the following month. In modern times, of course, the Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BCE.
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 seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, “The ides of March have come,” meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied “Aye, Caesar; but not gone.”
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