Monday, March 15, 2010

Beware of the Ides of March

Good morning, everyone, on this back to work Monday.  The rain's pretty much stopped, but it's still pretty windy out there.  Lot's of damage in the metropolitan area.  I noticed this morning  neighborhood was pretty much unscathed; the trees are all still standing, just a few little branches on the ground...and lots of garbage that blew around.  

"The ides of March are come"--William Shakespeare, 'Julius Caesar'

It was William Shakespeare who made the phrase 'Beware of the ides of March' famous, but exactly what is the Ides of March and why do some people believe it means impending danger?  Why has it become a day to be feared.  Many people have no idea what it actually mean.

Well, in Roman times, March was considered to be an especially powerful month; it was named after Mars, the God of War. In fact, it was once a festive day dedicated to Mars, and a military parade was held.  The word 'ides' comes from the Latin phrase halfway and marked the halfway point in the Roman months.  The ides is simply the middle of the month. 

It actually wasn't until 44 BC that dark clouds began to form around the middle of March with the assassination of Julius Caesar; a group of conspirators in the Roman Senate had decided that Caesar held far too much power.  The group of about 50 to 60 surrounded him as he read a petition in a room inside of the Theater of Pompey and began stabbing him.  Furthermore, historians say it is most likely that a seer had warned Caesar that danger would occur on the Ides of March.

The Ides of March isn't what we would consider a holiday, but it is still an occasion that might make some want to throw a spontaneous party.  The following are some ideas on how to make this a festive or special day.

Since the Ides of March has a Roman history, serve anything typically Italian or from Roman cuisine of ancient Rome--bread, cheese, salami, olive oil, wine, grapes, figs apples.

Eat a Caesar Salad.

Have guests wear bed sheet togas.

Watch a Roman movie--Ben Hur, Gladiator, Cleopatra, Roman Holiday.

Read Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar"

Bake a Roman cake.

Learn some facts about the Romans. 



  1. um... I like the idea of celebrating with some Roman food.... nice idea. glad to hear you survived your storm.

  2. Mmmmm, I could be persuaded to both read Julius Caesar again, AND to watch Gladiator again. Both are highly entertaining.

    Or I could go roamin' in the woods! ^_^

  3. Should you stab the Caesar salad with your fork as you eat it? And say, "Et tu, crouton?"

  4. Hmm I could watch "Rome"

    By the way you have been tagged dear :)

  5. you have been tagged by me as well. LOL

  6. I love your blog, and watching Gladiator again sounds great, and Roman Holiday. I may do this while I contemplate what I want to attract this new moon. I started following you, and I would love to have you stop by my blog, comments are welcome.


  7. All much better ways to spend the Ides that mine. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Glad your neighborhood wasn't much hurt, by the wind. Paper shows many were... Yikes.

    " Roman times, March was considered to be an especially powerful month; it was named after Mars, the God of War."

    I kind of like this! Since it's my Birthday month. Suppose I shouldn't like it... Powerful month and named after the God of War. But.... >,-)

  9. It's a very specail day for me. My first daughter was born on this day in 1967, while I was in Vietnam. She was 7 months old before I saw her fuzzy little blond head. This day brings back some serious emotions for me. X.

  10. Oh Mary, I am so glad to hear that you still have electric and the trees are still standing. When I seen the news on television this morning, wow, I couldn't believe the damage that had been done. Wishing you a dry, sunny, warm week. Maybe this will be your weekend to get to the beach.


  11. I haven't watched Gladiator in a long time. I wanted to let you know that I've given you an award!

  12. We've had quite the wind storms here too - glad you have no damage to worry about!

    I did have a nice bunch of olives today - does that count for Roman? I suppose they are mostly Greek....but Italy must grow olives too?

  13. You've been tagged by me as well popular chicky!