Beware the Ides of March. Almost everyone knows that the phrase comes from the story of the assassination of Julius Caesar, most familiarly in the Shakespeare version, although "The Life of Augustus," written by Nicolauas of Damascus, contains what is thought to be the earliest narrative of the plot to murder Julius Caesar, based in part on eyewitness accounts. But, not everyone knows that The Ides Of March is also a band [flash intro] (best known for the song "Vehicle") [YouTube], an epistolatory novel by Thornton Wilder (with forward by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.), an instrumental song by Iron Maiden [YouTube], and two paintings, one by Edward Poynter and one by Andrew Wyeth.
Today is the Ides of March. What is the Ides of March? It is March 15th in the ancient Roman calender, the first day of the Roman New Year and the first day of spring. The Roman calender refered to days by names not numbers, thus each month has an Ide day, although not always on the 15th. The Ides of March is best known as the day Julius Caesar was assasinated in the Senate (44 BC) and made famous by the Shakespeare line "Beware the Ides of March". It modern times it has come to symbolize foreboding and bad luck. Iggy Pop sang about it prophetically with todays current events, and in Rome where it all started it's a good day to Toga Party.