Beware of the Ides of March

If you’ve read William Shakespeare’s, “Julius Caesar,” you’ve heard this line before, but many people are still unaware that March 15 marks the death of an important ruler in Roman history.

This year, on the 2056th anniversary of Caesar’s death, take some time to remember history like the Romans do.

He was assassinated in 44 B.C. and Romans and tourists alike commemorate his death by laying flowers at the remains of his temple within the Roman Forum. From a reenactment of his murder to a toga run, Romans pride themselves on honoring such an important figure in the history of their city. In ancient times, the phrase “the Ides of March” was often understood to signify the death of Caesar, but now many forget its significance.

Shakespeare tells us that this Roman dictator was warned of his death by a Soothsayer, but chose to ignore the warning. Ultimately, he was stabbed outside the Roman Senate by a band of conspirators, including his friend, Marcus Brutus, and was left to die at the foot of the Pompey Statue. His remains were cremated and more than two-thousand years later he is still remembered as a vital part of Roman society.

The ides, according the Roman calendar, usually fall between the 13 and the 15 of each month.

Watch an Italian news clip about the commemoration of Caesar’s death.

Written by OSIA National Office Intern, Carol Cummings. Cummings is a senior at American University, majoring in print journalism, with a minor in Italian.


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