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Ides of March (Grade 5)

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Ides of March

“Beware the Ideas of March”

That’s the warning the soothsayer gives in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, but what does the phrase mean? In the play, it was a warning that something bad would happen on the Ides of March. Sure enough the soothsayer’s warning came true, and Julius Caesar was assassinated on that day.

However, in Roman history the Ides of March isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the Romans used the Ides of March simply as a way of referring to March 15. In fact, each month of the year had an Ides. In March, May, July, and October, the Ides fell on the 15th. In all other months, it fell on the 13th.

After the assassination of Julius Caesar, people would refer to the Ides of March when talking about his assassination, rather than saying “on the day Caesar was assassinated. It was similar to how people today all know what people are talking about when they mention September 11th.

Today, however, some people think of the Ides of March much like they think about Friday the 13th. It is a day to be cautious. The Ides of March usually falls around the same time as the full moon too, which is something else people associate with dark and evil activity.
What does the Ides of March actually represent on the calendar?
  1. An ominous day
  2. The 15th of March
  3. The Date of Caesar's assassination
  4. A special holiday
What does the word IDES most likely mean?
  1. The 13th of the month
  2. The 15th of the month
  3. The middle of the month
  4. The worst day of the month
What did the Ides of Month come to represent for Romans?
  1. Caesar's assassination
  2. Friday the 13th
  3. A Roman holiday
  4. Soothsayer's day
Why does the author mention September 11th?
  1. To show an ominous day in American history
  2. To explain how people referred to the Ides of March
  3. To highlight another day like Friday the 13th
  4. To take attention away from the Ides of March
Why are some people afraid on the Ides of March?

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