The Ides of March: This is what March 15 once meant and why the date suddenly turned sour


HOUSTON – “Beware the Ides of March” is a famous line from the William Shakespeare play “Julius Caesar” about the real-life assassination of the Roman leader at the hands of mutinous senators in 44 B.C.

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Ides of March

In the play, Caesar was told to be wary of the date by a soothsayer on the way to the capitol. He didn't heed that warning and it spelled his doom. 

The warning stuck and somehow got attached to the real-life date, not only for poor Julius, but for the average Joe as well.

That's not to say all March 15ths have been rosy affairs. As Smithsonian.com reported, several other terrible events have happened on this date in history, such as a French rape and pillaging raid in England in 1360, a deadly blizzard in 1941 on the Great Plains that left at least 60 people dead, and world record rainfall in 1952 of 73.62 inches on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion.

But is the Ides of March any worse than any other day? Probably not. So we’ll leave you with this fact: the Ides of March was once actually a celebrated date because it signaled the start of a new year, according to History.com.

Maybe one day the Ides of March will again have a hopeful meaning, but probably not until Shakespeare falls out of fashion. And in that case, it could very well be a very long time.

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