I am a curious person by nature, so when I hear someone use a phrase I begin to wonder what it means and where the phrase came from. Recently I came across someone using the term ‘the Ides of March’ and I decided to learn a little more about it.
Shakespeare fans may already be familiar with the term, just before his assassination, Julius Caesar was warned by a soothsayer to “beware the Ideas of March” but the soothsayer was not the first to use this phrase. In Roman times the Ides of March was mostly notable as a deadline for settling debts. The Ides of March also historically marked the appearance of the first full moon and was associated with the feast of the Goddess Anna Perenna.
Today the term is most often used to warn someone about a fateful day, although the actual Ides of March is usually meant to specifically refer to March 15th, the date in 44 BC when Caesar was killed. On the anniversary of Caesar’s death, Octavian executed 300 Senators and Knights who fought against him in an attempt ‘to avenge Caesar’s death’ adding to the dark history of that day.