Ides of March is the date on the Roman Calendar that corresponds with March 15. In 44 BC, the date became notorious as the date of assassination of Roman General Julius Caesar. The death of Caesar made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history as one of the events that marked the transition from the historical period known as the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. Legend has it that Caesar met his demise shortly after being warned by a seer that harm would come his way during the Ides of March.
However, this day also became notorious for being one in which bad things happen. As per the Gregorian calendar, this day falls on March 15.
As many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius, were involved in Caesar’s assassination. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, “The Ides of March are come”, implying that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied “Aye, Caesar; but not gone.”
Caesar’s death was a closing event in the Roman Republic crisis and triggered the civil war that would result in the rise to power of his adopted heir Octavian.
While the Ides of March is not an official holiday, there are some people who do celebrate it. That’s because Caesar’s assassination was not only what many historians view as the turning point for the Western civilisation but also because it was seen as the first day of spring on the Roman calendar.
People in many parts of the world celebrate this day either by watching the Julius Caesar play or by having a Roman-themed dinner.