Updated version. This post simply wasn’t complete without Violet, the Dowager Countess.
“Beware the Ides of March.” This phrase refers, of course, to the soothsayer’s warning to Roman Emperor Julius Caesar prior to his assassination in 44 B.C. Incidentally, the word “ides” comes from a Latin word meaning “to divide,” as the day divides the month in half.
While I’ve always thought of this date as a one-off in terms of warnings, http://www.smithsonionmag.com lists ten reasons to beware this fateful date. Number one is the event just cited. Here’s the rest of the list:
A raid on Southern England, 1360; Samoan Cyclone, 1889; Czar Nicholas II Abdicates His Throne, 1917; Germany Occupies Czechoslovakia, 1939; A Deadly Blizzard on the Great Plains, 1941; World Record Rainfall, 1952; CBS Cancels The Ed Sullivan Show, 1971; Disappearing Ozone Layer, 1988; and A New Global Health Scare, 2003.
I’m not sure how the cancellation of The Ed Sullivan Show can be equated with the gravity of Germany occupying Czechoslovakia, but there you have their list. I can think of other things way more alarming associated with the Ides of March than Ed saying “very big shew” for the last time. As a classical music lover, two examples are the rock group Ides of March’s song “Vehicle” and worse, Iron Maiden’s song “Ides of March” on their Killers album.
So keep your eyes open today for raids and invasions, weather and health disasters, and the disappearance of your favorite television program.
Et tu, Julian Fellowes? Then fall, Downton Abbey.
Death of Caesar by Vincenzo Camuccini
Downton Abbey: indiewire.com