Ides of March: What Is It? Why Do We Still Observe It?
Once simply a time to settle accounts, March 15—the Ides of March—is linked to prophecies of misfortune, thanks to Caesar and Shakespeare.
Thanks to Shakespeare's indelible dramatization, March 15—also called the Ides of March—is forever linked with the 44 B.C. assassination of Julius Caesar, and with prophecies of doom.
"That line of the soothsayer, 'Beware the ides of March,' is a pithy line, and people remember it, even if they don't know why," said Georgianna Ziegler, head of reference at Washington, D.C.'s Folger Shakespeare Library.
Until that day Julius Caesar ruled Rome. The traditional Republican government had been supplanted by a temporary dictatorship, one that Caesar very much wished to make permanent.