- History & Culture
The Ides of March—a day of murder that forever changed history
The assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C still resonates as a day of infamy. Here's how the plot unfolded.
For ancient Romans living before that event, however, an ides was merely one of several common calendar terms used to mark monthly lunar events. The ides simply marked the appearance of the full moon.
But Romans would soon learn to beware the Ides of March. That iconic phrase came to represent a day of abrupt change, setting off a ripple of repercussions throughout Roman society and beyond.
By the time of Caesar, Rome had a long-established republican government headed by two consuls with joint powers. Praetors were one step below consuls in the power chain and handled judicial matters. A body of citizens forming the Senate proposed legislation, which general people's assemblies then approved by vote. A special temporary office, that