Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Ides of March

Today is the March 15th or more famously known as the Ides of March.  Given I took 4 years of Latin in high school, the Ides of March and the events that happened on that day in the year 44BC was something that I heavily studied.  Despite the fact that I studied it quite intensely in high school, I forgot a lot of it.  So to refresh my memory I did a quick read of Wikipedia concerning the Ides of March.  So in case anyone is interested, here's the scoop!

The Ides of March is a phrase that we all seem to become acquainted with during high school literature classes when William Shakespeare is studied.  Shakespeare famously used the line "Beware the Ides of March" in his play "Julius Caesar".  Of course the play is fiction but it is based upon historical fact.  In reality Julius Caesar, the first emperor of Rome was assassinated on the Ides of March in the year 44BC.  The "Ides" was a name the Romans applied to the mid-point of the month, so in the case of March, it was March 15th.

Wikipedia describes the etymology of the word Ides and particularly the Ides of March as the following: "The word Ides comes from the Latin word "Idus" and means "half division" especially in relation to a month. It is a word that was used widely in the Roman calendar indicating the approximate day that was the middle of the month. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other months.[1] The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held."

When he was assassinated Caesar was famously reported to have said "Et tu Brute" (in English "And you Brutus") in reference to one of his closest friends Marcus Junius Brutus.  Well, I should be honest and say I don't know if that was a reported historical fact or if it was a line popularized by Shakespeare from this play.

 (The assassination of Caesar has been a popular topic of painters.  These are just a few of the many paintings that have been made on the topic.)

Brutus was one of the ringleaders of the plot against Caesar.  After the assassination of Caesar, things did not turn out too well for Brutus.  Once Caesar's adopted son Octavian become a leader in Rome, he kind of had it in for Brutus.  As was common in Roman times, everybody got their armies and did what men with armies tend to do - kill each other.  Brutus came out the loser in a series of battles and on October 23, 42BC, he did what guys back then did when they lost battles - he killed himself rather than surrender to Octavian.

What makes the Ides of March a slightly more interesting story is that Caesar was supposedly warned by a fortune teller to "Beware the Ides of March".  He didn't take to much stock in what the fortune teller told him and he ended up paying the price.  Had I been Caesar I think I would have slept in that day!

Just a little diversion from my typical stories of all the crap going on in my life.  Speaking of which.....  I had an appointment with my surgeon today.  The appointment turned out to be with his nurse practitioner, but it was a good appointment.  The pain levels I have been experiencing in the last several days have gone down dramatically since they prescribed the steroids.  Needless to say, my whole outlook on life is a tab bit different now that my pain levels are going down.  I cannot tell you how absolutely happy I am going to be when I don't have any pain and I don't have to take any pain pills, muscle relaxants and steroids.  It will be a great day!

This blog has now reached a milestone!  As of today's published entry, I have now published 500 different blog entries.  Very few personal blogs reach this number of entries.  I guess I am kind of proud of myself for having the tenacity to continue to publish this thing.  On top of that my subscriber base continues to grow.  There are now over 100 subscribers through blogger, another 40 or so through Feedblitz e-mail and almost 10 through Facebook's Network blog feature.  Yay!  I think I will have to go out and celebrate this weekend.

I look forward to when I will be able to announce that I have published 1000 blog entries.  Hopefully the next 500 are going to be full of a lot of happiness, adventure and good tidings.  With the appointment today about my back, you can be darn sure that you will again be reading of hikes and other outdoor adventures.

I think that is about it for the evening.  It is getting late and I am getting sleepy.  I hope so much you all have had good days and that the Ides of March have brought good things to you!

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

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