15 March

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Beware the Ides of March

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Bloody Caesar

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In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a soothsayer warns the hero to “Beware the Ides of March!” – and, in due course, the emperor is assassinated on that self-same date.

George Clooney took The Ides of March as a title for his political thriller film, for today's date is for ever associated with doom and desolation. Rather unromantically, the Ides marked the middle of the month for Romans, and because March was sacred to the war god, Mars, Romans would usually hold a military parade in his honour.

So unless you are a Roman emperor, you have little to fear today, though if you can lay your hands on some Clamato juice it's well worth remembering Caesar with that quirky Canadian mix, the Bloody Caesar.

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