Beware the Ides of March : The Dark History of March 15

Beware the Ides of March …

If you know your Shakespeare, then you’re quite familiar with this morbid phrase. If not, then allow us to give you a brief lesson in history…

The “ Ides of March ” is a term of Roman origin; in fact, this is the term marking the date of March 15 on the Roman calendar. But what makes it so special? On March 15, 44 BC, the great Julius Caesar was assassinated by his Senators, people whom Caesar had considered allies or even friends.

The story goes that the seer had warned Caesar about this day, telling him that he would remain unharmed till the Ides. However, while marching to the Senate on March 15, cocky ol’ Caesar joked that the Ides were here, to which the seer replied that they were here but not gone… moments later, joke was on Caesar – if you know what I mean.

This event was later remembered by history when William Shakespeare wrote his play ‘Julius Caesar’ in 1601, after which the phrase “beware the Ides of March” became a sign of an unheeded warning.

Moreover, this wasn’t the only milestone in history for the Romans on the Ides; this day marks the equivalent of Roman Tax day, as the Roman citizens paid outstanding amounts of debt on March 15. Also, the death of Caesar marked the transition from Roman Republic to Roman Empire.

Not to forget that since that day, several milestones in history have been achieved on March 15; in 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first voyage to the New World; in 1917, the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, abdicated; and in 1985, the first internet domain was registered under!