“Beware the Ides of March” says a soothsayer to potential Roman ruler Julius Caesar in the second scene of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. An arrogant Caesar ignores the warning, which proved to be a fatal mistake. On March 15, 44 B.C. Caesar’s friend Marcus Brutus and 60 other co-conspirators assassinated Caesar in the Roman Senate.
While the literary reference has fascinated scholars and readers for centuries, and will forever be attributed to Caesar’s death, the Ides of March is today considered the spring equinox. In Caesars time, they used a lunar calendar, which considered the ides of any month as the first day of the full moon.
According to Wikipedia.org, the term “ides” was used for the 15th day of March, May, July, and October. It referenced the 13th day of the remaining months. The Ides of March celebrated the god Mars with a military parade.
Jennifer Vernon of National Geographic News has written that everything changed in Rome after Caesar’s assassination. Despite repeatedly rejecting the kingship, in February 44 B.C. Caesar eagerly agreed to become "dictator for life" over Rome.