Friday, March 15, 2013

Beware of the Ides of March!

Are you superstitious? I’m not,  but I never step on a sidewalk crack

 or open an umbrella inside 

Just to be on the safe side, mind you.

And I get a queasy feeling if a black cat passes in front of my car.

The Ides of March (March 15) was just a date on the Roman calendar (Idus Martias) corresponding with our date of March 15.

But it became a fateful date, one forever to be associated with bad luck, when Caesar was assassinated on that date in 44 BC, at the foot of a statue of Pompey where the Roman Senate was meeting, by a group of about 60 conspirators who called themselves "the liberators." One of the leaders was Marcus Brutus.

Before Caesar went to the theater of Pompey to attend the Senate meeting, he had been given advice not to go, but he didn't listen.

The Death of Caesar (1798) by Vincenzo Camuccini
image credit: Wikipedia

William Shakespeare brought us the line "Beware the Ides of March!" in his play, Julius Caesar: Here is the relevant passage:

Caesar:  Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry "Caesar!" Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.

Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.

Caesar: What man is that?

Brutus: A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

Well, apparently Caesar wasn’t superstitious either, and look what happened to him.

Nope, I’m not superstitious. But I’m taking extra special care today, just in case.  


  1. I´m aware of the examples you listed and lots of more, which I don´t remember just right now, but seem to ignore them, though I won´t open an umbrella inside ; ).
    I never knew these were related to March 15th !

    1. The superstitions mentioned are not directly related to March 15; I think they may be related to "Black Magic."

      Ides of March would be a superstition related only to Caesar, but generally an unlucky day for those who so believe.

  2. Great first picture - now that's what I would call a crack. Is that your own sidewalk?
    Interesting that the Ides of March is just one day. It sounds like at least a week. Do all the months of the year have "Ides", I wonder? Just not as famous - who ever heard of the "Ides of June", after all?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Beware the Ides of June on the 13th very appropriate date.Ida

    3. Beryl, no not my sidewalk and feet, although we do have a few cracks on our driveway due to tree roots. Re your question, from what I read, yes, other months have Ides on the old Roman Calendar.

      Ida, now you've got me. What's the 13th of June. Your birthday, perhaps?

  3. When my G/mother told me never to open an umbrella in the house,I immediately walked around with one open,same with the lilac put some in a vase in the drawing room.looking back I often wonder how they managed to put up with me!!!

    I walk under ladders,cracks these old wives tales are meant to be broken.It is now 8pm,4 hours til midnight will I survive tee hee,bah humbug.

    No I have not been drinking,well only tea.....think I had better away to the naughty step.Ida

    1. Ida, you were a rebel, weren't you? Now do tell us more about the lilac in the drawing room vase!

      Old wives tales! That was the expression I was looking for. In this day and age it would be called Urban Legends!

      You are too funny! Good for you to stir things up a bit.

  4. Beware the Ides of March - a good quote, often tossed about in our house in jocular moments. And we missed it yesterday - I was at an early St Patrick's day lunch. Hope that doesn't bring bad luck. I don't walk on pavement cracks either, tho not superstitious. Why is that?
    PS Ida is so funny, guess she knows all the Ides jokes.

    1. Enjoying a St. Patrick's day lunch was much more constructive than worrying about bad luck on the Ides of March!

      I hope Ida will further entertain us with her Ides jokes.

  5. The feet do look like yours! Only thing I'm superstitious about is the black cat running across the road and I can't stand it!

    I always thought only March and May had the "Ides" thing - have a friend born on May 15 and she always says that's whats wrong with her.

    1. Lots of different beliefs out there about the Ides.

      I do have Crocs but mine aren't pink; wish they were!

  6. i'm not at all superstitious, but some superstitions are there for a reason. opening an umbrella in the house is something i do to let it dry over the bathtub, but i've almost knocked things over. it'd probably be safer to let it dry in a protected spot outside. ;)

  7. I was never allowed to open my umbrella in my home. And the tradition continued, My mother always said it brought bad luck.
    I think a lot of these sayings, come from the very old days. She used to say..
    "if we break a mirror" it will bring seven years of bad luck.
    Don't walk under the ladder but around it.
    The cat must be totally black
    Nice one .. I liked this.
    well written .. Ides of March, a saying i was brought up with.

    1. Another one we did as children: When walking, if the two of you split and went on opposite sides of a tree of anything else blocking the way, we'd say "Bread and Butter." Anyone ever heard that one?

      We did the ladder thing too.

      Oh, I just remembered another thing (not in the same category of superstitious things but Old Wives Tales I suppose). It had to do with dropping eating utensils. Drop a knife and it meant a man was coming to visit; a fork, a woman; and can't remember who was coming for a visit if you dropped a spoon. Anyone else remember this?

    2. First comment above intended for Divers and Sundry;

      Second response for Val.



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