The Quiz: What is ‘the Ides of March’?
A The 15th day of the month
B A day to beware
C The spring equinox
The Roman calendar didn’t number each day of a month from the first to the last day. Instead, Romans counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones (the fifth or seventh, nine days inclusive before the Ides), the Ides (the 13th for most months, but the 15th in March, May, July, and October), and the Kalends (the first of the following month).
If you’ve heard of the Ides of March, it’s probably because of the ominous warning, ‘Beware the Ides of March,’ in Shakespeare’s play, ‘Julius Caesar.’ The play depicts the assassination of Caesar here in the Roman Forum on the fateful day of March 15, 44 BCE.
The correct answer to this quiz is The 15th day of the month.