Do you know what „The Idas of March“ are?

In the play “Julius Caesar” by W. Shakespeare, a prophet to whom the ancient Romans believed to have supernatural powers in predicting of future, tells Caesar to be careful of “the March’s Ida”. This isn’t anything mysterious, but prophet tells to Caesar, in fact, to keep himself on the 15th of March. According to the Roman calendar, Idas are on the 13th day of March, May, July and October. In these months, Idas are on the 15th day. In the play “Julius Caesar”, the prophet foretells that something terrible will happen to Caesar on the 15th of March. And, it did. The Caesar was assassinated on the 15th of March.

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The Roman calendar is a combination of confusion and superstition. In this calendar, there were 12 months: Marcius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, December, Januarius and Februarius. New Year, according to the Roman calendar, fell on the 1st of March. This was valid until 153 B.C.E., when the 1 January was designated for the New Year holiday and when it is determined that the new calendar year begins.

Year after year, the Roman calendar was influenced and changed by senior officials of Rome. These were the chief priests so-called “Pontifices”. They watched the sky every month and hoped the new moon appears. When they saw a moon, they used to decide how many days should pass to “nona”, a special day of the month. Ida had been the day when the moon is full. The first day of the month, according to the Roman calendar, was called the “calenda”. The Roman calendar was filled with confusion and superstition. Each year has a different length. J. Caesar finally making changes to the calendar 46 years B.C.E. Since then the calendar was uniformed. After these decisions and changes so-called “Julian calendar” (named after J. Caesar) has been using in Europe for hundreds of years.

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