As referenced earlier in the week, this is a busy and fun time of the year for people who enjoy classical history and dipping into the hagiography of the Catholic church. Which is true: I haven't been quite this busy blogging for three or four years, at least. Four entries in one week? Amazing.
And what have I talked about? Oh, the usual things. I've just rehashed the fact that I like desserts (especially pie), drinking, and redheads. Nothing new here, I know. Hope you were sitting down for that shocking revelation.
I glossed over the murder of Caesar for the Ides of March post in favor of the murder of Odoacer, Rex Italiae, since I felt like mixing things up a bit for the Ides of March post this year. Same with St. Patrick: I didn't so much discuss Patrick's life, legend, and legacy so much as I focused on some of the peripherals that are associated with Irish "history" and St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
Anyway, as is known, Julius Caesar was murdered in the Theater of Pompey on the Ides of March--March 15th--because various senators were worried that he had accrued too much power for himself and the Republic was moving toward rule by a single citizen...which, of course, happened a few years after Caesar's murder. His murder was the thing that precipitated the end of the Republic; I think we call that irony.
Caesar was stabbed 23 times, and according to some "forensic" studies I've read, only one of the stab wounds was really deep enough to kill him. It may have been that murder was not what was on the senators' minds when they attacked him, but more just to teach him a lesson. Although, 23 stab wounds is quite a lesson. What they didn't tell you is that there was one last senator in the group who had a bunch of lemon juice to pour in those wounds. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment!
Famously (thanks in part to Shakespeare's dramatization of the event), Caesar withstood the attack until he saw his friend Brutus among the attackers. In the play, Caesar asked aloud "Et tu, Brute? Then here falls Caesar." In actually, he probably said "Kai su, teknon?" (according to Roman historian Suetonius, at least), which means "And you, child?" in Greek. Whichever is more correct is debatable (not like we can ask anyone, unless the Doctor shows up to clarify Caesar's final moments), but I like to think that right before asking either of these questions, Caesar queried the senators as such:
|That's no dagger.|
Translation in the hovertext (I remembered how to do it).