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Beware the Ides of March . . .


The 501 Blog, Baltimore, MD  The Ides of March is an ominous phrase indeed! Stay safe and cozy in your apartment. Find out more about March 15th by reading today's post.


What does a band, a movie, and a date in the middle of March have in common? A name — the Ides of March. The Ides of March goes back to the Roman calendar, marking the time of the month when the full moon appeared. The word “ides” derives from a Latin word which means “to divide” and that’s what the ides do, it divides the days of the full moon from the waxing and waning moon. In the Roman calendar, each month had an ides, with the date falling on the 15th in March, May, July, and October. (The rest of the months the ides fall on the 13th.)


Incidentally, the Romans also had a name for the first day of the month, kalends. It is from this word that we get the word calendar.  Like kalends, the ides may have fallen into disuse, except for the fact that the term became immortalized, when it was used in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, when a fortune teller tells Caesar to “beware the Ides of March” in a cautionary moment. In the play — and in real life — Caesar was assassinated on March 15th. (For more information about the Ides of March check out the history channel.)


The Ides of March is also a movie directed by George Clooney (also an actor in the movie); it focuses on,  “An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.” (According to IMDb). Perhaps politics never changes from Roman times to modern times.


Not to be left out, the American rock band, The Ides of March, originating in Berwyn, Illinois (a western suburb of Chicago) has been around since 1966. Their 1973 hit, the song "Vehicle," put them on the map and they continued to tour and record. From 1973 to 1990 the band was on hiatus but reunited to appear in their home town’s “Summerfest” festival. They have been an active band since that time, and in 2014 produced a 50-Year celebration. Check out their music on Youtube.


So, whether your plans for the 15th include heading out on the town in Houston, Texas, or simply staying in and watching Julius Caesar, now you know why you should, “beware the Ides of March.” Thanks for reading The 501 Blog today!