“Beware the Ides of March” is one of those sayings that most people recognize without knowing why (it was the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated). As that date, March 15,¬†approaches, we’ve focused our display to the left of the Reference Office on Shakespeare (for the literature buffs) and the Roman Empire (for the history buffs). If you’d like to see the quote that started it all, check out Literature Online (LION), and search the full text of “Julius Caesar” by Shakespeare for that phrase.¬† The MLA International Bibliography will locate literary criticism. Try our History and Classics lists of databases for more information on the real Julius Caeasar.¬† Questions? Ask a Librarian!

One thought on “Beware the Ides of March!

  1. I have always wondered what “ides” means, so I looked it up. Here is Wikipedia’s take on it, plus 2 trivia, also from Wikipedia. Interesting reading, especially for ancient history/Julius Caesar/Shakespeare buffs.
    The term id?s (ides) is thought to have originally been the day of the full moon. The Romans considered this an auspicious day in their calendar. The word ides comes from Latin, meaning “half division” (of a month) but is probably of non-Indoeuropean origin
    A 1970 Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch entitled “Julius Caesar On an Aldis Lamp” had the seer sending the message “Beware the Ides of March” to Caesar using Morse code.
    The Ides of March are celebrated every year by the Rome Hash House Harriers with a toga run in the streets of Rome, in the same place where Julius Caesar was killed.

    Thanks Martha for sharing the trivia! Now I’ve got to go look for that Monty Python episode. . .

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