The Ides of March or how to annoy your co-workers today

Why is March 15th considered the Ides of March?

The term Ides comes from the earliest Roman calendar, which is said to have been devised by Romulus the mythical founder of Rome. Whether it was Romulus or not, the inventor of this calendar had a penchant for complexity. The Roman calendar organized its months around three days, each of which served as a reference point for counting the other days:

  • Kalends (1st day of the month)
  • Nones (the 7th day in March, May, July, and October; the 5th in the other months)
  • Ides (the 15th day in March, May, July, and October; the 13th in the other months)

So, why was Caesar warned to beware of the ides of March?

Caesar was appointed Roman consul and dictator, but before settling in Rome he traveled around the empire for several years and consolidated his rule. In 45 B.C., he returned to Rome and was made dictator for life. He was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C., by a group of conspirators who believed that his death would lead to the restoration of the Roman Republic. However, the result of the “Ides of March” was to plunge Rome into a fresh round of civil wars, out of which Octavian, Caesar’s grand-nephew, would emerge as Augustus, the first Roman emperor, destroying the republic forever.

Shakespeare immortalized this day in his play Julius Caesar. And though murder should not be celebrated, we somehow still find ways to make light of this day. Case in point, my co-workers fully expect me to quote Shakespeare, or more to the point, Julius Caesar all day. With that un mind I thought I’d share 10 one-line quotes you can use in the office today. Beware, over use may lead to an insurrection.

  • “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” …
  • “Cowards die many times before their deaths; …
  • “Men at some time are masters of their fates. …
  • “Et tu, Brute?” …
  • “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!” …
  • “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
  • Beware the ides of March.
  • You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
  • “What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind.”
  • “But, for my own part, it was Greek to me.”

Works cited (Because yes, my finger is still wrapped up tight)

infoplease.org The Ides of March

History.com Julius Caesar

Shakespeare’s Ghost gives chase while the Globe goes live

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Calling all Shakespeare fans, this is your weekend to rejoice!

One of my goals in life is to take a trip to England and (among other things) view a live performance at The Globe Theater. If this is one of your goals too or if you just really like Shakespeare performances in any medium have I got good news for you! But before we talk about Shakespeare live, let us giggle at this BBC News headline:

Shakespeare’s ghost’ chases armed robbers after Stratford-upon-Avon jewellery raid

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Yes, you read that right. Shakespeare’s ghost apparently witnessed an armed robbery and decided to take chase! John Jarvis, and self-professed Shakespeare street performer, saw three men armed with sledgehammers and a crowbar break into a jewellery shop and grab a few items. The ghost decided to give chase. You can read the details here. He did manage to knock one down. We can only hope he cried out, “You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!”(Henry IV)

While the ghost of Shakespeare wanders the streets as a Jacobean Batman, The Globe Theater is, for the first time, streaming a live performance of A Midsummer’s Night Dream, tomorrow evening. For those in the U.S. it will be live starting at 11:00am, depending on which time zone you are in. From the Globe’s Facebook page:

From 6.30pm GMT on Sunday 11 September, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be broadcast for audiences around the world to enjoy for free as part of the Shakespeare Lives festival: http://po.st/DreamLiveBBC

From stories of ghosts to fairy kings and queens, this is a weekend such stuff as dreams are made on.

 

Works Referenced

BBC News online
The Globe Theater Facebook
William Shakespeare Folgers Print