The soothsayer's warning to Julius Caesar, "Beware the Ides of March," has forever imbued that date with a sense of foreboding. But in Roman times the expression "Ides of March" did not really evoke a dark mood—it was simply the standard way of saying "March 15." Surely such a fanciful expression must signify something more than merely another day of the year? Not so. In fact even in Shakespeare's time, sixteen centuries later, audiences attending his play Julius Caesar wouldn't have blinked twice upon hearing the date called the Ides.
But Julius Caesar's bloody assassination on March 15, 44 B.C., forever marked March 15, or the Ides of March, as a day of infamy. It has fascinated scholars and writers ever since. For ancient Romans living before that event, the ides simply marked the appearance of the full moon. But the Ides of March assumed a whole new identity after the events of 44 B.C. The phrase came to represent a specific day of abrupt change that set off a ripple of repercussions throughout Roman society and beyond.
This month keeping to the above idea, it would be great if the 'Vaanikars' the name suggested for the members of Vaani by Gopali Ghosh could get interested in the idea to write about an insignificant thing or a phrase that becomes significant when written in a context.
Any future writing exercise ideas are welcome.
by The Editor
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