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Beware the Ides of March” ~~

There probably isn’t a one of us that doesn’t remember that foreboding line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar along with that other famous line “Et tu Brute?” – signifying the dying ruler’s incredibility at the betrayal of his closest friend and ally.

Technically “Ides” describes the 15th of the months of March, May, July and October and the 13th day of the other months.

Consistent with Roman numerals which often use specific key numbers as the reference point for other numbers – X and IX, V and VII, the Roman calendar used three specific dates as the reference for other dates. “Ides”,”Kalends” for the first day of the month and “Nones” for the 7th day of March, May, July and October and the 5th day for other months.

Other days in the Roman calendar are named based upon these three – for example March 3rd would have been called V Nones, signifying five days before Nones (they counted inclusively for those of you that might think my math is off).

Since we do not use the Roman calendar and our days are marked with numbers and not Ides and Nones, the line imparts both infamy and foreboding today whenever it is heard thanks to the literary wonder of Shakespeare.

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