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Inspirational Reads

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Volume XV

March 13, 2009

Great Caesar's ghost! Today is the two thousandth and fifty-third anniversary of the soothsayer telling Julius Caesar to "beware the ides of March." Okay, I don't know if today is that day, but I think that it was a couple of days before Brutus and Cassius went all stabby-stabby in the Theatre of Pompey when the seer warned Caesar to watch hisself on the ides.

Time for some genuine edumication, kids. The "ides" is the fifteenth day of March, May, July and October. For all the other months, it is the thirteenth (so, the Ides of April is April 13). The phrase, in Latin, is "Idus Martias" (ee-deuce mar-tea-oss), and literally means "the half division of March". It is thought to celebrate the full moon of the month, and as March celebrates Mars, the Roman God of War, it was a day filled with military parades and celebrations of the vast Roman legions.

Being that Caesar was quite the military man, what better day to name himself emperor of Rome? None, and so, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar summoned together the Roman Senate in order to inform them that he would now be dictator of Rome for life...which he was. It just happened to be a title he held for all of five minutes. As soon as the title was bequeathed, the senators, led by Cassius and Brutus, decided that Caesar would be better fit as the dictator for life of Switzerland (Helvetica) and thusly filled him full of holes.

In Shakespeare's interpretation of the events, Caesar fought back valiantly until he saw his good friend, Brutus, among the assassins. Once recognizing the brute, Caesar projected, for all to hear--especially those seated in the back--"Et tu, Brutei? Then fall, Caesar." However, according to various reports, Caesar actually said "Kai su, teknon?" (Greek for "And you, child?"), while Plutarch says that Caesar simply hoisted his toga over his head and suffered the pointy ends of the Senators' bared bodkins.

How timely, then, is this week's Latin lesson? Very, is the answer you should be looking for, along with "wow, I shouldn't be wearing this shirt. I shall remove it now."

Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare!

Pronounced: "Saint-ee-oh oll-ee-kwose toe-gah-tose cone-trah may cone-spear-are-aye!"

The best time to work this into conversation, of course, is during a toga party in which there will be individual acts of perversion SO profound and disgusting that decorum prevents listing them here.

They took the bar! The whole fucking bar!

17 comments:

Sassy Britches said...

Nice one with the Swiss cheese.

Gwen said...

The only swords I ever encountered while wearing a toga weren't made of metal but of flesh.

Chemgeek said...

The 15th of March is also when our local Dairy Queen opens for the season. The kids are all abuzz with excitement.

Cowguy said...

I'm naked for the rest of the day.

Someone high five me!

No the other hand!

Anna Russell said...

Toga! Toga! Toga!

I've always wondered what the Ides of March were, so thanks for clearing that up (for some reason that sounded sarcastic, but I didn't mean it to).

Kimizzy said...

I feel totally prepared for my annual toga party tonight. Thanks, MJenks!

red said...

Rome was a really good show.

Anonymous said...

Husband:
Here's a little ditty I picked up several years ago to help me remember...
In March, July, October, May
The IDES fall on the 15th day
The NONES the 7th.
The rest besides
take 2 days less
For Nones and Ides.

And don't forget the Kalends.

Will Shannon said...

Yes, but what of Berwyn, Illinois's own The Ides of March, who wrote the rocktacular song "Vehicle?"

Here's another question: why the hell did we never have a toga party in college?

Kirch in laurel leaves and a bedsheet stained with beer would have been hilarious.

coolred38 said...

Over here in the Middle East they sort of do the toga thing all year round...wrapped up in billowy cloths (sheets) more or less. Sadly...not much beer to be had.

Giggle Pixie said...

Ahhh...this takes me back to the toga parties of my college years...

BeckEye said...

I can't now think of the Ides of March without thinking of that line from Hairspray (the newest one), when Zac Efron's friend says, "The ideas of March? How can a month have an idea?"

Soda and Candy said...

Best Use of an Animal House Photo Ever.

; )

PS - I learn new things from you all the time and I love it!

TishTash said...

How do you say, "I think some people in suits are plotting against me?"

Less Toga fun, more real life because paranoia aside, I think Suits are trying to take me down.

Lisa-tastrophies said...

I think it is fate that you posted a toga-inspired (if not at least a toga wearing people inspired) blog on the starting day of Spring Break. Now I am off to find some frat parties and a few beer bongs................

Ok, not really but it was a nice thought for about 3 seconds until my age-reality snapped back :-)

Sass said...

I love how you can educate me...but make me giggle at the same time.

Ahhh....love it.

Nej said...

From history, to pop culture. A very well-rounded education you have provided today.

Love it!!! thanks!!!! :-)