Have you ever heard the phrase, Beware of the Ides of March? It’s a phrase uttered by a soothsayer to Julius Caesar before his eventual death. The Ancient Romans considered the Ides of March as a lucky day. The Ides of March falls on the 15th of March, which is considered a day of the full moon. Unfortunately for Caesar, it turned out to be anything but a lucky day.
According to historians, Caesar was stabbed to death by the members of the Senate who called themselves liberatores or liberators. They conspired to kill Caesar because Caesar had declared himself a dictator perpetuo or a dictator in perpetuity. Being a dictator perpetuo made him close to a monarch, and his assassins felt that they needed to get rid of him.
Despite being stabbed twenty-three times, he managed to utter the famous words, and you too Brutus? (Et tu Brute). If I were stabbed twenty-three times, I doubt I would have the strength to stay alive, much less utter some last words. However this is Caesar who we’re talking about, so I guess it’s not that surprising.
Even to this day, Caesar’s assassination is still a point of interest for many historians. According to some historians Caesar’s last words were not et tu Brute but ista quidem vis est, which means why, this is violence. There are others who say that he had said nothing and others who say he hid his face in his toga when he saw Brutus betray him.
We may never know what really happened, but one thing is clear, we will always be fascinated by the story of the Ides of March, which happens to be the anniversary of his death.