I is for Ides

Only the ides of March, May, July, and October are on the 15th; the rest are on the 13th.

Vincenzo Camuccini-The Ides of March. 1800.

When one hears of ides, it is almost always the Ides of March, which is March 15. And when one thinks of the Ides of March, one inevitably contemplates the assassination of Julius Caesar by his foes and so-called friends in 44 B.C.

Of course, the telling of the tale by William Shakespeare is the most well-known portrayal of the leader’s murder. There are at least 27 different movies and TV shows named Julius Caesar in the IMDB.

An iteration of Caesar’s death I hadn’t been familiar with is The Ides of March: A Novel by Thornton Wilder. From the Amazon description: “The Ides of March, first published in 1948, is a brilliant epistolary novel set in Julius Caesar’s Rome. Thornton Wilder called it ‘a fantasia on certain events and persons of the last days of the Roman republic.’ Through vividly imagined letters and documents, Wilder brings to life a dramatic period of world history and one of history’s most magnetic, elusive personalities.” Moreover, Jerome Kilty turned the book into a 1971 play.

I never saw it, but Episode No. 89 of the TV show Xena was called IDES OF MARCH.

Here’s a look at March 15 in history. Incidentally, the ides of a month is not necessarily on the 15th. In fact, only the ides of March, May, July, and October are on the 15th; the rest are on the 13th.

George Clooney began filming the movie Ides of March, about a Democratic governor campaigning in presidential primaries, in Cincinnati, Ohio in February 2011, continuing into March. Perhaps even on the 15th? Or would that be tempting fate?

There are a few songs called Ides of March, including one by Iron Maiden, but I thought I’d end with a song by a group called Ides of March, doing a live version of their #2 1970 hit Vehicle.
ABC Wednesday – Round 8

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

43 thoughts on “I is for Ides”

  1. Thank you for this post! I learned something new because I had never heard of the Ides of March. I didn’t read Julius Ceasar by good old William. I should have, but…. it’s too difficult.

  2. I taught Julius Caesar for years and can’t quite shake the idea of The Ides of March! It seems fairly appropriate for this day and age!

  3. Interesting, informative and I’ve heard about Ides of March but never really was interested until I read this post!! Great Idea!!

  4. Just have to quote from a British’Carry On’ movie…as Caesar is stabbed he shouts;
    “Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it infamy!”. Always makes me giggle!
    Jane x

  5. Great choice for I and such a lot of interesting information about the drama that surrounds this particular Ides of March.

  6. I thought you would be just the person that would have a good Ides of March posting! I couldnt think of any Ides photos to post. Thanks for posting the interesting facts!

  7. Ah Roger! You’ve taken me back to Grade 12 Literature when we both read AND viewed (live) Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar! Not one of my favourites, but still and all extremely memorable, not only for the Ides of March. Have a great week,

    ABCW Team

  8. I was first introduced to Caesar by Asterix, where he always nags Brutus (Et tu, Brute). Iron Maiden have introduced me to many authors, books and movies (Coleridge, Dune, The Prisoner) and I love them for that.

  9. For the longest time I never knew Ides referred to the full moon. When coupled with Julius Caesar’s death and the soothsayer’s warning, it takes on a much more interesting meaning.

  10. I love the Cumuccini painting for all the wrong reasons, I think its all the arms raised that makes me laugh, although the main group of the guilty is very effective. Your Ides of March is an interesting meditation on history for the day.

  11. oh how very Interesting a story. Never heard of it before, i have to admit. Iron Maiden is about to visit Athens, Greece soon. Please have a good Wednesday.

  12. Another new set of facts I was unaware of…. You continue to be a great teacher of new things to me… Thanks.

  13. Yeah, I like your choice for song. Brings me back to wild and crazy days. 🙂 Until yesterday, when I finally looked it up, I didn’t know that the ides refers to full moons. I suppose there was one last night. The Wilder novel sounds interesting. I’ve put it on my list to find. Thanks.

  14. Hey Roger, better watch out with those snappy comebacks to Denise and Evie. I hear she’s very good with a frying pan!

  15. Ideas of March?? It’s my first time to hear this things. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks also for the visit and comment.

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