To properly celebrate the Ides of March, there are a few things you should know….
The Ides of March (March 15) isn’t a holiday but it is an occasion remarked upon enough times that it might inspire you to throw a spontaneous party or to mark it in some way that helps to inform you a little more about Roman history. This article is a step back in time to help you celebrate an event in human history.
1. Know what the Ides of March is. This is the date when Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44BC. It also marks the first day of the Roman new year and the first day of spring in the Roman calendar.
2. A popular phrase, “Beware the Ides of March”, originates from Shakespeare and refers to impending doom. In Julius Caesar (Act 1, scene 2, 15–19), a soothsayer relates to Caesar “Beware the ides of March”, warning Caesar of his impending death.
3. Read Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series – books based on this era. They are The First Man in Rome, The Grass Crown, Fortune’s Favourites, Caesar’s Women, Caesar, The October Horse and Antony and Cleopatra
4. Learn how to spell assassin. Assassin is a word with fascinating origins. First used in the 1520’s , the word is believed to be derived from a secret society called the Hashshashin, a group that was said to have murdered others.
5. Hold a toga party. Romans wore a variety of clothing but the toga is perhaps the best known.
6. Eat food that the Romans might have eaten – basic food that was well salted and filled with aromatic herbs. Bake a Roman cake. Serve with some apples, figs and grapes.
7. Have some wine. The Romans enjoyed their wine, so this is a good excuse for a glass or two on the Ides of March.
8. Book a trip to Rome. If you’ve been thinking about visiting Rome and Italy, maybe the Ides of March is a perfect day to make that booking.