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Dale’s Daily Data: Ides of March

A British Museum bust of Julius Caesar (Getty Images

Beware the Ides of March – it was on this date in 44 B.C. – Roman dictator Julius Ceasar was murdered by as many as 60 of his own senators, including his own protegy, Marcus Brutus.

Caesar was scheduled to leave Rome to fight in a war and appointed loyal members of his army to rule the Empire while he was gone. His senators already hated him because they were sick of all the decrees he made and then on top of it they were forced to take orders from his assistants.  Cassius started the plot and was able to convince his brother-in-law Marcus Brutus to join in.

Caesar should have known so many of his senators hated him, but he dismissed his security force just before he was to leave. He was even handed a warning note as he entered the senate meeting that day but didn’t read it. It told him to Beware the Ides of March.  Ides in Latin means to divide – in this case – Beware of the halfway point of March – something he failed to do.  After he entered the hall with Antony, Caesar was surrounded by senators holding daggers. Cassius struck the first blow, hitting Caesar in the neck and drawing blood. The other senators all joined in, stabbing him repeatedly in the head.

Brutus inflicted the final wound, stabbing Caesar in the groin and it was then that Caesar is said to have remarked “Et Tu Brute”, “You, too, Brutus?”


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