The Ides of March by Valerio Massimo ManfrediMarch, 44 BC. Rome, in all her glory, has expanded her territories beyond the wildest dreams of her citizens, led by Caius Julius Caesar -- Pontifex Maximus, dictator perpetuo, invincible military leader and only fifty-six years old. He is a man in command of his destiny, who wields enormous power throughout the vast empire. However his god-given mission - to end the blood-splattered fratricidal wars, reconcile implacably hostile factions and preserve Roman civilization and world order - is teetering dangerously close to collapse... His power is draining away. None of his supporters can stop the inexorably evolving plot against him and prophecy will explode into truth on the Ides of March and the world will change forever.
This is political thriller laced through with all the intrigue and action surrounding one of the most crucial turning points in the history of western civilization.
Top Ten Reasons to Beware the Ides of March
The phrase is best known for appearing in the text of the William Shakespeare tragedy Julius Caesar , where it hints at the eventual assassination of the Roman dictator. The other days were counted as a group before the next named day. For example, in March the Ides falls on the 15th; days 8 to 14 were simply referred to as before the Ides. While not inauspicious, the Ides of March was still of note to the Romans —several religious festivals were held on the date, and it was used as a deadline for settling debts as well. According to the Greek biographer and essayist Plutarch, Caesar really was instructed to beware the Ides of March by a soothsayer. Instead, he continued on to a meeting with the Roman Senate, where he was stabbed to death by 60 conspirators. Their intent was to halt his quest for power and restore the Roman Republic, but instead the country was plunged into civil war.
The Ides of March , better known as March 15th, marks an inauspicious anniversary associated with treachery and ill fortune. But, how did a day that was once celebrated by the Romans become so heavily steeped in superstition? Instead, they would count forward or back from fixed calendar points—the Nones the 5 th or 7 th day depending on the month , the Ides 13 th or 15 th day , and the Kalends the first day of the next month. The ides marks the halfway point of the month—most likely alluding to the day of the full moon, although historically the ides also corresponded to when bills became payable. Of course, such an infamous day would fall on payday. The Ides of March were at one point a celebratory day dedicated to the Roman god of war, Mars, complete with a military parade.
The line is the soothsayer's message to Julius Caesar, warning of his death. The Ides of March didn't signify anything special in itself - this was just the usual way of saying "March 15th".
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It was marked by several religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts. The Romans did not number days of a month from the first to the last day., Today is the Ides of March—which just means the 15th of a month in the Roman calendar. Et tu, Brute?
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The earliest Roman calendar, which consisted of ten months beginning with Martius March , was believed to have been created by King Romulus around B. At that time, dates were expressed in relation to the lunar phase of the month using three markers: Kalends Kal , Nones Non and Ides Id. The first phase of the moon, the new moon, was denoted by Kalends and signified the first day of the month; the first quarter moon fell on either the fifth or seventh day of the month and was referred to as Nones; the full moon fell on either the 13th or 15th day of the month and was referred to as Ides. The ides of March—March 15—initially marked the first full moon of a new year. Participants celebrated with food, wine and music and offered sacrifices to the Roman deity Anna Perenna for a happy and prosperous new year. Between and B. In 46 B.