The expression “Beware the Ides of March” is a popular phrase found in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,1601. The line is the soothsayer’s message to Caesar warning him of his death.
Significance of the Ides of March? None!!!
It’s basically the Roman way of saying “March 15th”. The notion of Ides being a dangerous day is one that wasn’t a known fact until the great William Shakespeare wrote about it. Each month has an Ides (usually the 15th Day), according to the Roman Calendar. The Ides of March was notable for the Romans as the deadline for settling debts. So it wasn’t significantly associated with death until 1601.
The story of Julius Caesar is one of a determined young man with an eye for power. His date of birth remains a bone of contention with the exact date unknown (12 or 13 July 100 BC), While Caesar was a proclaimed “dictator for life” (Latin: “dictator perpetuo”), he still received warning about the Ides pf March 44 BC. Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus (Cassius). After ignoring the soothsayer, as well as his wife Calpurnia’s premonitions, Caesar went to the senate, where the conspirators approached him with a fake petition. He rejected the petition and Cassius and others stab him. The last person to stab him was Marcus Junius Brutus (Brutus), an ally to Caesar. At this point Caesar utters the famous line “Et tu Brute?” (And you Brutus?), after which he dies. (From William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar)
It was after this day that the Ides of March became associated with death. These days, the Ides of March passes by each year pretty much unnoticed….So if anything goes wrong on this day. just don’t read too much into it….just “Beware the Ides of March” else you might meet your own BRUTUS!!!
N.B: You can read more on Julius Caesar (the man and the play) to understand the events that preceded his unfortunate death.