Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beware the Ides of March

March 15th. A day that has certainly left its mark on history.

In modern times, we use the ides to remember the fateful day when Julius Caesar was murdered by a group of 60 conspirators. What you may not have known, however, is that the ides were days of celebration even in ancient times.

March, named after the Roman god of war, Mars, took the 15th as a day of celebration for the deadly god. With a yearly festival marked by military parades, the Ides of March held significance long before Caesar was stabbed 23 times on the steps of the Theater of Pompey.

Caesar was assassinated by this group of Roman senators due to fear of the impending death of democracy. Caesar, having been elected "dictator perpetuo" by the Senate, was feared to be conspiring to overthrow the democracy of the republic with tyrannical rule. Ironically, Caesar's death led to civil war, the election of his heir Octavian to the throne of emperor, and the eventual dissipation of the republic in favor of the very empire that the assassins had hoped to avoid.

So on this most fateful day, let us learn from the mistakes of yesteryear. For the path to hell is paved in good intentions, more often than not. But also let us remember a time when men felt it was their duty to stand up and defend their democracy, by any means necessary.

So light that Guitar Fire. Will this year's Ides of March be another goose-stepping parade honoring the absoluteness of the control of the military complex? Or will we instead remember the outlast of the rebellion?

The choice is yours, and yours alone.

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