Today’s Holiday: the Ides of March

March 15, 2016.


For years, the Ides of March have been seem as a day of foreboding.


On this day in 44 BCE, Julius Caesar was assassinated by the Roman senate.

imageHonestly, this fact alone wouldn’t create much of a scare. We don’t beware the day Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, so why should we beware today?

The fear of today actually comes from a famous Shakespeare quote, “Beware the Ides of March,” which was spoken by a soothsayer in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar.

Ever since, people have been noting tragic and strange occurences on this day throughout history. Truth be told, there aren’t any more tragedies that have occured on this day than on any other day. People just freak out about them more.

And actually, all of the tragedies seem to have averted worse tragedies. For example, one of the often-mentioned tragedies is the Apia Cyclone of 1889. The Pacific tropical cyclone that swept through Apia, Samoa managed to beach/wreck six ships, three of which belonged to the U.S. and three of which belonged to Germany. More than 200 sailors died.

imageThis may all seem rather terrible, but this disaster actually averted a war. The warships were lined up in the harbor because of fight between the U.S., Germany, and Britain over who would lay claim to the Samoan islands. If the nations had fought, the death toll most likely would have been far greater.

Also, on this day in 1360, King Edward III of England was interrupted during his raid on France when he discovered that the French were raiding southern England at the same time. The French government was falling apart at the time, and this event, among others, led Edward to sign the Treaty of Brétigny, finally ending the Hundred Years’ War and leading to a period of peace.

image.jpegAnd Julius Caesar himself was assassinated because he was becoming far too powerful. In fact, he had just been given the title of Dictator Perpetuo, or “dictator for life.” If he had lived on, he most likely would have become unstoppable, a man akin to Napoleon or Stalin.

Though it is uncertain what exactly would have happened if these disasters had never occured, but it seems to be that the Ides of March should be celebrated as a day of avoided disaster.

Whether you agree with me or not, there is not doubt that this is a very prominent day in history.

Have a wonderful day of celebration!


Picture Sources:

wikipedia Apia Cyclone

wikipedia Ides of March