Thursday, March 15, 2007

Beware the Ides of March

From Plutarch, Caesar 63.5-6:
οὐ γὰρ ἂν φύσει γε συστῆναι ζῷον ἀκάρδιον. ἔστι δὲ καὶ ταῦτα πολλῶν ἀκοῦσαι διεξιόντων, ὥς τις αὐτῷ μάντις ἡμέρᾳ Μαρτίου μηνὸς ἣν Εἰδοὺς Ῥωμαῖοι καλοῦσι προείποι μέγαν φυλάττεσθαι κίνδυνον, ἐλθούσης δὲ τῆς ἡμέρας προϊὼν ὁ Καῖσαρ εἰς τὴν σύγκλητον ἀσπασάμενος προσπαίξειε τῷ μάντει φάμενος· „αἱ μὲν δὴ Μάρτιαι Εἰδοὶ πάρεισιν“, ὁ δ’ ἡσυχῇ πρὸς αὐτὸν εἴποι· „ναί, πάρεισιν, ἀλλ’ οὐ παρεληλύθασι.“
Or, in North's translation:
Furthermore there was a certain soothsayer that had given Caesar warning long time afore, to take heed of the day of the Ides of March, (which is the fifteenth of the month), for on that day he should be in great danger. That day being come, Caesar going unto the Senate-house, and speaking merrily unto the soothsayer, told him, "the Ides of March be come :" " so they be," softly answered the soothsayer, " but yet are they not past."

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