Ides March

Ides March

Beware the Ides of March! That is what I would say if I were superstitious, but luckily I am not. Today marks the 15th day of March in the Roman calendar, which is labeled as the Ides of March. The meaning of Ides is not so dreadful; in fact, it is not bad at all. The word “Ides” is derived from the Latin word “Idus” which translates to “half division”, mainly relating to this period in the month. The term ides was used for the 15th day of other months as well, including May, July, and October. It was also used for the 13th day of the other months. The Ides of March, contrary to my first statement, was a festive day celebrating the Greek god Mars, usually with a military parade.

The forewarnings that I’ve been hearing today are related to a historical event that occurred on this day many years from now. A little more than 2,000 years ago (44 B.C.), Julius Caesar, a Roman emperor, was killed. He was stabbed 23 times to death in the Roman Senate by a group of conspirators led by Marcus Julius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. The group also consisted of 60 additional members.

Plutarch, a Greek historian, philosopher, biographer, and essayist, is referenced for most of this historic information. According to Plutarch, a seer (or prophet) has foreseen that Caesar would be in danger no later than the Ides of March. Ironically, on his way to his location of assassination (the Theatre of Pompey), Caesar encountered that seer and joked the “The Ides of March have come”, which meant that the prophecy was false.

Due to that unfortunate day in the Roman history, people have grown to believe this date is bad or unlucky. Anything that goes wrong on this day will be blamed on that historic event; sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy, which is the psychological term meaning, if you assume something bad will happen, it will. At least that’s the philosophy of Benjamin Radford of LiveScinece and I’m right there with him. The point is bad things happen everyday, just because something crazy happened years ago, doesn’t make it an unlucky day. That’s like expecting awesome things to happen every Christmas or Independence Day and we all know those days can and have gone terribly wrong for us at least once in our lifetimes.
I hope no one is superstitious today in NCAA Tornament…

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