The Ides of March

The Ides of March, which is a day on the Roman calendar that marks March 15, was a very influential day in Roman history. This day was the day of many religious observances in ancient Rome, but today it is remembered for a much more tragic and sinister event. On March 15, 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was assassinated in a plot led by Roman Senators Brutus and Cassius.

The exact number of plotters in the assassination differs, but it is generally accepted that there were as many as 60 people involved. The reason he was targeted is because the Senate was concerned he was becoming too powerful. Many of the senators under him were very envious of his position, and they wanted to get rid of him. Caesar was going to set off to war on the eighteenth of March, and he had arranged people to run Rome in his absence. This made the senators terribly upset, and they developed a plot to kill Caesar in an upcoming meeting.

It is unclear whether or not Caesar had been tipped off on a possible assassination attempt, but a close ally to Caesar, Marc Antony, had caught wind of it and tried to warn him. However, he was blocked from entering the meeting hall to warn him. When Caesar entered the hall, he was surrounded by senators wielding daggers and knives. He was then jumped by one senator, suffering a stab wound to the neck, and the rest of them attacked him after. Caesar had initially fought back from the first attacker, but then gave up his struggle. Brutus, who was supposed to have been the heir to Caesar, had stabbed him in the stomach, and Caesar muttered the now famous line, “Et tu, Brute?” which translates to “And you, Brutus?”

What followed the assassinations were a series of battles between Greek troops led by Brutus and Cassius and Roman troops led by Marc Antony. After the Greek troops suffered defeat, Cassius and Brutus both committed suicide, and the same fate would meet Antony later when he lost in battle to Octavian. Octavian, also known as Augustus, would go on to lead Rome for many years, and he became the first Emperor of Rome.