While thinking of Green Beer two days from now, we should remember the following:
(Sorry, but I hold an English degree. Shakespeare is in my blood.)
If you've heard the warning, "Beware the Ides of March," then it's probably due to the works of William Shakespeare. The Roman ruler, Julius Caesar, was assassinated on the Ides of March - March 15, 44 B.C.E. In Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, a soothsayer tells Caesar who is already on his way to the Senate (and his death), "Beware the ides of March." Caesar replies, "He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass."
According to historical writer C.J.S. Thompson in The Mystery and Romance of Astrology, the unidentified soothsayer from Shakespeare's play was a Roman astrologer by the name of Spurinna. According to Thompson (and confirmed in Plutarch's account of the story written in 75 A.D.) it was sometime prior to the fateful day of March 15 that Spurinna had first given Caesar the famous warning to "beware of the Ides of March." The astrologer, Spurinna, had warned Caesar that on the Ides of March, he would be in great danger.
If, however, Julius Caesar took care on that one day - then all would be well.
According to Plutarch's account, Caesar had previously made the wise decision to stay within the safety of his bedroom chambers on the 15th of March. However, Caesar's "friend" Decimus (Albinus) Brutus (not Marcus Brutus) managed to convince him that the astrologer's warnings were nothing more than superstitious foolishness. So Julius Caesar decided to attend the Senate on the 15th of March. On his way to the Senate, Caesar "accidentally" met up with the astrologer. Upon seeing the astrologer, Caesar confidently informed Spurinna: "The Ides of March are come." Spurinna answered, "Yes, they are come, but they are not past." Later that day - on March 15, 44 B.C.E - Caesar's enemies assassinated him in the Pompey theater, at the foot of Pompey's statue, where the Roman Senate was meeting that day in the temple of Venus.
Another theory, as to why Caesar might have seemingly been ignoring the ominous warning of Spurinna, is that perhaps Julius Caesar got the dates of the warning mixed up. He may have been thinking that the Ides of March fell on the 13th.
In the ancient Roman calendar, each of the 12 months had an "ides." In March, May, July and October, the ides fell on the 15th day. In every other month, the ides fell on the 13th. The word "ides" was derived from the Latin "to divide." The ides were originally meant to mark the full moon - but since the solar calendar months and lunar months were of different lengths, the ides quickly lost their original intent and purpose.
Using this theory, forgetful Caesar would have been very careful and stayed home on the 13th of March, but on the 15th of March his guard was down.
<small>[ 03-15-2005, 12:16 PM: Message edited by: DavidEB310 ]</small>