Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Beware the Ides of March

Or maybe not. Superstition says bad things happen on March 15 -- the ides of March -- but the idea is really a misreading of Shakespeare. In Julius Ceasar, the Soothsayer foretells Caesar's murder in the Senate by saying, "Beware the ides of March." However, the warning is specific; not general.

In the complicated Roman calendar, the ides occurred once each month. It was the 15th day in March, May, July and October. It was the 13th day in the other months. "Beware the ides of March," is more like, "You'll hit a tree on Tuesday," than it is like, "Tuesdays are bad luck."

There's more on the ides of March in this article from the BBC.

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