Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beware The Ides Of March...!

I didn't want anyone to think that I forgot about the Ides of March!

If it weren't for Shakespeare, many folks would not even know about the 15TH of March and it's contribution to the infamy of ancient Roman politics! The Bard wrote quite a good play about  Roman politics in his Tragedy of Julius Ceasar! Pretty good reading if you have the time!

The ides of March: Julius Caesar is murdered

Julius Caesar, the "dictator for life" of the Roman Empire, is murdered by his own senators at a meeting in a hall next to Pompey's Theatre. The conspiracy against Caesar encompassed as many as sixty noblemen, including Caesar's own protege, Marcus Brutus.

Caesar was scheduled to leave Rome to fight in a war on March 18 and had appointed loyal members of his army to rule the Empire in his absence. The Republican senators, already chafing at having to abide by Caesar's decrees, were particularly angry about the prospect of taking orders from Caesar's underlings. Cassius Longinus started the plot against the dictator, quickly getting his brother-in-law Marcus Brutus to join.

Caesar should have been well aware that many of the senators hated him, but he dismissed his security force not long before his assassination. Reportedly, Caesar was handed a warning note as he entered the senate meeting that day but did not read it. After he entered the hall, Caesar was surrounded by senators holding daggers. Servilius Casca struck the first blow, hitting Caesar in the neck and drawing blood. The other senators all joined in, stabbing him repeatedly about the head.

Marcus Brutus wounded Caesar in the groin and Caesar is said to have remarked in Greek, "You, too, my child?" In the aftermath of the assassination, Antony attempted to carry out Caesar's legacy. However, Caesar's will left Octavian in charge as his adopted son. Cassius and Brutus tried to rally a Republican army and Brutus even issued coins celebrating the assassination, known as the Ides of March. Octavian vowed revenge against the assassins, two years later Cassius and Brutus committed suicide after learning that Octavian's forces had defeated theirs at the Battle of Philippa in Greece.

Antony took his armies east, where he hooked up with Caesar's old paramour, Cleopatra. Octavian and Antony fought for many years until Octavian prevailed. In 30 B.C., Antony committed suicide. Octavian, later known as Augustus, ruled the Roman Empire for many more years.

Seems to me that politics haven't changed much since the Roman times, except that in today's world the politicians wouldn't be able to work together long enough to do anything like this!

Of course, that's just my opinion...for what it's worth!

Coffee outside this morning! I'm baking bread today, so we'll have some for tomorrow. OK?


Ben in Texas said...

What? Baking bread and can't have any till tomorrow? What's wrong with fresh outta the oven with butter and grape jelly? :-)

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

I remember in high school we had to translate that story in Latin. I don't think the kids today know the story or what the heck Latin is! Still remember the declension endings: 'o' or 'm' 's' 't' 'mus' 'tis' 'n' 't'. Four years of Latin made me really good at crossword puzzles! Coffee sounds good, I'll bring the honey biscuits!

HermitJim said...

Hey Ben...
I figured that no one would stick around until the bread was done! If you want, wait till it's done and we will split some! I have plenty of butter and jelly!

Never better than when it's fresh from the oven!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!

Hey Phyllis...
Honey biscuits sure sound good to me!

Never did take Latin in school! I had enough trouble with English!

Thanks for dropping by today!

Bob Mc said...

We were required to take a foreign language in high school. I took 1 year of Latin and that was enough! Switched to Spanish which seemed much more practical. I remember reading of the Ides of March and the assignation of Julius Caesar, but I think it was in some other class.

HermitJim said...

Hey Bob...
I never did well with the foreign languages in school! Tried Spanish, but did very badly at it!

Then again, I wasn't too bright back then!

Thanks so much for coming by today!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks for the history lesson, HJ and with friends like JC had who needs enemies?
Homemade bread sure sounds good cause we're having sausage, peppers, and onions for dinner.

Gorges Smythe said...

Amazing, the most powerful person in the world was killed with sharp little pieces of metal, and yet his son never called for "dagger control!"

BBC said...

There is some dispute as to if he was stabbed 22 or 33 times. Not that it makes much difference, you can pretty much gut a man in one swipe.

JOJO said...

Great Post.
I agree don't have to learn much in school these days about such history. I guess they don't think that stuff is important anymore.

Fresh hot bread? YUMMY