Beware the Ides of March and other Roman connections – by Ray Hudson

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Ray Hudson
Ray Hudson
Ray Hudson

You Don’t Say: Volume 63

March, the month named after Mars, the Roman God of War, does seem to be a time of turbulence in the affairs of both nature and humans. When the month begins, it is still winter, and when it exits, it is spring! So the time worn phrase, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, often holds true as the harsh weather of winter gives way to the warmer spring days.

It sure wasn’t a very good month for Roman Emperor Julius Caesar. As it turned out, he had been warned by his soothsayer (psychic advisor) to beware the Ides of March. In 44 BC, after being proclaimed dictator in perpetuity (meaning forever), some Roman Senators, fearing the Roman Republic would end in tyranny as a result of the declaration, decided to shorten the period of perpetuity by stabbing him in the rotunda, a round room. Others more correctly believe he was stabbed in the back and front – twenty-three times. The date was March 15, the middle day of March called the ides. The assassination backfired, and the Roman republic was replaced by an emperor after all.

Another major event of March is the celebration of the feast of St. Patrick on March 17, when, it seems, the whole world wants to be Irish (Patrick being the patron Saint of Ireland). The real Patrick, was born into a Roman Britain family in the fourth century (long, long ago). His father and grandfather were priests in the early Christian Church. At sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders and forced to work as a shepherd for six years. He claimed he was told by God to flee to the coast where a ship would take him back to Britain, which there was and it did. He became a priest, returning to northern and western Ireland, where he ministered to the people. By the seventh century he was revered as a saint.

The modern attraction of St. Patrick’s day (everyone loves a party, but none more than the Irish) likely evolved from a mix of the Christian celebration and the remaining legends of the pagan beliefs, which included “little people” otherwise known as Leprechauns. This type of fairy wasn’t cute and cuddly as modern cartoons portray them. They could be lustful, nasty, capricious, they’re tricksters and magicians, “who may delight you one day, and if you displeased them, kill you the next.”

More March Trivia:
– March 13 Daylight Savings
time starts where the evenings get longer, complete with cheaper sunset rounds at the golf course and phototropic children who won’t go to bed until it gets dark.

– March 20 Spring springs at 04:30 (4:30 am) UTC, the day and night are the same length as first day of Spring (also known as the vernal equinox) occurs as the sun crosses the tropic of cancer moving us closer to summer.

– March 1917 Czar Nicholas II Abdicates His Throne

– March 1939 Germany Occupies Czechoslovakia

– March 1952, World record rainfall on the island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean, with a 24 hour rainfall of 73.62 inches

– March 1971 CBS cancels the Ed Sulllivan Show after 23 years

You are now equipped to March right through the month to April and beyond, but don’t step on any leprechauns on the way!

Toora loora loora…..