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Beware: It's The Ides Of March

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Beware: It's The Ides Of March

Diversions

Beware: It's The Ides Of March

Beware: It's The Ides Of March

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/101922505/101922479" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Today is the Ides of March. In Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar is warned to beware the day — the prophecy comes true when Caesar is assassinated. But we don't hear a lot about the ides of any other month. Why?

Host Liane Hansen speaks with Georgianna Ziegler, reference head of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., to find out what that meant in Shakespeare's time.

Correction March 17, 2009

In the interview, we said the "ides" was "the 15th of the month and it really is the middle of the month." In fact, in the ancient Roman calendar the "ides" refers to the 15th day of March, May, July, or October or the 13th day of the other months.

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