A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by American Horse, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    On this day, March 14th, known as the Ides of March, an event took place which ever since has been imbedded in the collective minds of humanity, at least of that part of humanity beyond the Oriental world. We individually and collectively respond to thoughts of what we were doing on the day of the assination of JFK, or of a more recent memory, Nine-Eleven. These are moments of personal trauma, but no single day's events have had the impact of just one event more than twenty and a half centuries ago, and likewise has been affected by this trauma ever since.

    "What is the best death?" That was the question Gaius Julius Caesar asked of his guests on the evening before the last day of the Ides of March, to guests gathered in his home. His own answer was, "A sudden one." The next morning, after a fitful night of nightmares his wife begged him not to go to the Senate, saying that she had dreamed of seeing him covered in blood. A like-minded servant sought to provide a deterrent by causing an ancestral picture to fall from the wall, to be taken as a bad omen.

    But one of his closest friends , Decimus Brutus, who was also one of the conspirators —urged him to attend the Senate if only to adjourn it courteously.

    A friend who had learned of the plot came to warn him in person, but Caesar had already left. On his way to the Senate he met a soothsayer who had once told him, "Beware the ides of March”. But Caesar, smiling, said that the ides had come and all was well, “But they have not passed,” answered the soothsayer. While Caesar was offering the usual sacrifice before Pompey’s theater, where the Senate was to meet, a tablet informing him of the conspiracy was handed to him. He ignored it, and there is a tradition that says that it was found in his hand after his death.

    One of Caesar’s favorite Generals, detained Antony from the meeting at the Senate by conversation. When Caesar entered the theater, he was approached by a faked petition asking Caesar to pardon the petitioner's brother from banishment, which Caesar refused. The Petitioner/Conspirator then followed after Caesar grabbing at his toga. This had been the pre-arranged signal: Some 60 men pressed themselves around him, and all of them had drawn daggers from under their togas. Suetoneus says that the "Liberators" flung themselves upon him without delay." and another historian said that when Marcus Brutus rushed at him Caesar said, in Greek, "You too, my child?". The Greek historian Appian says that “When Brutus struck him Caesar ended all resistance; drawing his robe over his face and head, and he submitted to the blows and fell at the foot of Pompey’s statue; with 23 stab wounds.

    “One wish had been granted to the most complete man antiquity had produced.” wrote philosopher and historian Will Durant in his book Caesar and Christ” The Story of Civilization Part III.

    For a glimpse of a re-enactment of how it went down watch this short 2-1/2 minute video, called Hail Caesar, [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQrC1DgzFgQ&feature=PlayList&p=71391832951D1A0D&playnext=1&index=60"]Hail Caesar[/ame] from HBO's ROME. (If your are interested in watching, after clicking on the full U-Tube Video screen a series of vignettes flow cleanly from one to the next with no further prompting.)

    With this event began days of chaos in the streets, a funeral pyle to burn the murdered ‘Dictator’s’ remains, a civil war lasting 17 years, and a re-ordering of, and a new shape of government and society from that moment forward

    The assassination of Caesar was the seminal event of Western Civilization, changing forever the Roman Republic which had been founded 465 years earlier in 509 BC, into an Empire ruled over by a First Citizen in the entity of the Principate, and finally by an Emperor all to continue for another 15 centuries to the year 1453 with the fall of New Rome, at Constantinople.

    There is no other historical moment that is so imbedded in the collective minds of the world. The word Caesar in classical Latin (pronounced Kai (rhymes with eye)-Zar (rhymes with bar) is the derivative of the German word Kaiser, and the Russian word Czar, and the Kaisers and Czars would rule with their own version of Caesar's name in Germany and Russia into the last century.

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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  2. 007
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    007 Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Funny.... and now here America has a Ceasar we need taken out too. Alas it won't be done with daggers though, more so by a civil revolution.

    Course if a little fighting goes on, I won't complain. I'll join in.
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I always thought the 'ides of March' was 15 March?
     
  4. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    Actually it is the 7 days prior to and including the 15th, and was the 14th at the time of Caesar, but the 15th on the modern calendar. Today the 14th is recognized as the fateful day.

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  5. Jon
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    Jon The CPA

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    Yeah, problem is...today is the 13th.
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Silly thing I know, but I can find nothing that supports that supposition. Everything I find refers to the 15th-even party invitations!
     
  7. Jon
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    Jon The CPA

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    No, he's right. While the Ides was the 15th on the Roman calendar in Caesar's time, it is the equivalent of the 14th on our calendar.

    I still just don't get why we're talking about it today...the 13th.

    EDIT: I guess I should be more clear. The "ides" of March is still the 15th, because ides is more or less a term for "middle" as it represented the moon in half-phase. More specifically, what was the 15th of March in 44 BC is really the 14th in modern times.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  8. Jon
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    Jon The CPA

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    Oddly enough, I referred to Pelosi, Reid, and Obama as a "triumvirate" not too long ago. The comparisons just keep on pouring in.

    If Biden stabs Obama in the back, I don't think he'll get the same treatment as Brutus, though.
     
  9. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Ya know, the confluence of related events on given dates always interested me.

    On March 13th of 1925, Tennessee Governor Austin Peay signed the law prohibiting teaching of evolution. We all know the trial that his led to.

    But did you know that on March 13th of 1938 Clarence Darrow died at 80?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  10. Jon
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    Jon The CPA

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    March 13 Events in History

    March 13, 1861 Jefferson Davis signs bill authorizing use of slaves as soldiers
    March 13, 1869 Arkansas legislature passes anti-Klan law
     

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