Monday, March 15, 2010

Beware The Ides of March

In high school, I took Latin. Among the many things I learned in those four years, one was the story of Julius Caesar's death.

Caesar was due at the Senate one morning in 44 BC. Tillius Cimber presented Caesar with a petition to recall his exiled brother, Caesar waved him away, and Cimber pulled down Caesar's tunic. Servilius Casca then brandished his dagger and tried for Caesar's neck. The entire group jumped in and began attacking Caesar, includng Brutus, his closest confidante. Caesar tried to run away, but he tripped and fell and the men continued stabbing him. He was stabbed 23 times.

The phrase "beware the ides of March" comes from Plutarch by way of Shakespeare. Plutarch wrote that Caesar was warned of a great evil that would befall him on the ides of March (the ides being the 15th of the month for March, May, July and October). Shakespeare then dramatized this in Julius Caesar by writing that he must "beware the ides of March."

I also learned how to say, "The farmer's house is in Italy."

Casa agricolae est in Italia.


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