‘Beware the Ides of March:’ A History Beyond the Shakespearean Play ‘Julius Caesar’ #history #Englishliterature #amwriting

I thought that I almost missed it. Today is the Ides of March. I know St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, overtakes this day. But unless you’re into it a great deal, the Ides of March, isn’t a reason to drink green beer all day. Rickard’s Red or something along lose lines, might work better.

Credit: Someecards.com

The first time I learned about today was in grade ten in Mr. G’s English class. He was one of my favorite high school teachers. And a hilarious guy, who had no aversions to mocking his students. We made of fun mocked him and each other (in a friendly manner), in each class he taught in grade ten.

We also studied William Shakespeare’s, Julius Caesar, where this vital passage appears early in the play:


Who is it in the press that calls on me?

I hear a tongue shriller than all the music

Cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.


Beware the ides of March.


What man is that?


A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

(Julius Caesar Act I.ii. 15–19).

Later on, we learned these lines are foreshadowing Caesar’s death. According to enotes.com, on Shakespeare’s famous play, these lines occur during “Lupercalia, an ancient Roman religious holiday. Caesar, [a] Roman dictator,” is making his way “through the streets before an appearance” in front of “the ‘press’ (crowd).” From the busy streets, a soothsayer issues this famous warning. As well, Caesar, a “superstitious man,” does not take the “soothsayers” words without a great deal of worry and consideration.

As well, the ‘ides’ of March always occurs on the “15th,” but which day of the month the ‘ides'” occurs in each calendar month “depends on a complicated system of calculation.” It was “Caesar himself [who] established” the ‘Ides’ when he “instituted the Julian calendar, a precursor” of our modern calendar. Also, the “‘ides’ of January, for example, “always occurs on the”13th,” but the ‘ides’ of March, May, July and October” happen on the “15th” of these months.

“The [significance] of the ‘Ides of March’ for Caesar is that [it’s] the day [he’s] assassinated by a group of conspirators, including Brutus and Cassius. Despite numerous and improbable portents [foreshadowing and allusion] —the soothsayer’s warning” a “fearsome thundering,” along with Caesers’ “wife’s dreams of his murder,” and other signs, in Shakespeare’s play, mean Caesar can’t ignore the future he faces. Despite all this, he “ventures forth on the ides to meet his doom.”

Credit: Someecards.com

Also, the site History.com can provide us with more historical insight into this unusual day. Their staff write that “Gaius Julius Caesar,” was “stabbed to death in the Roman Senate house by 60 conspirators, led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus.”

Caesar, who was “born into the Julii, an ancient” but not “distinguished Roman aristocratic family, began his political career in 78 B.C. as a prosecutor for the anti-patrician Popular Party.” From there, “[he] achieved. . . influence in the party” through his “reformist ideas” and skills as an “orat[or].” He also “aided Roman imperial efforts by raising a private army to combat the king of Pontus in 74 B.C. ”

Caesar was [also] an ally of Pompey” who was the “recognized head of the Popular Party.” He “essentially took over this position after Pompey left Rome in 67 B.C.,” when Pompey chose to become commander of Roman forces in the east. As well, by “63 B.C., Caesar was elected pontifex maximus, or ‘high priest,” allegedly by heavy bribes. Two years later, he was made governor of Farther Spain and in 60 B.C., [he] returned to Rome,” with “ambitio[ns] for the office of consul. The consulship” was the “highest office in the Roman Republic, [and was] shared by two politicians on an annual basis.”

The “Consuls commanded the army, presided over the Senate by execut[ing the Senate’s] decrees, and represented the state in foreign affairs. Caesar formed a political alliance–the so-called ‘First Triumvirate’–with Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus.” While the “majority of the Roman Senate, . . . opposed Caesar,” his “land reforms won him popularity” among Roman Citizen’s and, eventually, the Senate.

Credit: someecards.com

Also, in “58 B.C., Caesar was given four Roman legions in Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum.” He “demonstrated brilliant military talents as he expanded the Roman Empire and his reputation. Among other achievements, Caesar conquered all of Gaul, made the first Roman inroads into Britain, and won devoted supporters in his legions.” Nevertheless, Caesar’s “successes . . . aroused Pompey’s jealousy, leading to the collapse of their political alliance in 53 B.C.”

The Roman Senate supported Pompey and asked Caesar to give up his army, which [of course,] he refused to do.” As well, in “January [of] 49 B.C., Caesar led his legions across the Rubicon River from Cisalpine Gaul to Italy, . . . declaring war against Pompey and his forces. Caesar made early gains in the[ir] civil war, defeating Pompey’s army in Italy and Spain.”

However, he “was later forced into retreat in Greece. In August 48 B.C., with Pompey in pursuit, Caesar paused near Pharsalus, setting up camp at a strategic location. When Pompey’s senatorial forces fell upon Caesar’s smaller army, they were entirely routed, and Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was assassinated by an officer of the Egyptian king.” Thus, Caesar rose to power in the Roman Republic as a dictator and sole consul member.

Credit: Someecards.com

Finally, History.com notes that “Caesar was. . . appointed Roman consul and dictator, but before settling in[to] Rome, he traveled around the empire for several years [to] consolidat[e] his rule,” through military might and oration. “In 45 B.C., he returned to Rome and was made dictator [of Rome] for life.

As sole Roman ruler, Caesar launched ambitious programs of reform within the empire. The most lasting of these was his establishment of the Julian calendar.” Except for “slight modifications” and certain “adjustment[s to the calendar] in the 16th century, [it] remains in use today.” Caesar also “planned new imperial expansions in central Europe and to the east.

In the midst of these vast “ambitions, Caesar “was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C., by a group of conspirators, who[m] believed . . . his death would lead to the restoration of the Roman Republic.” Nonetheless, “the result of the ‘Ides of March’ was to plunge Rome into a fresh round of civil wars,” including Caesar’s once powerful supporter from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra, Marc Anthony.

However, “Octavian, Caesar’s grand-nephew,” emerged as the “first Roman emperor, Augustus” Caesar. He “destroy[ed] the Roman Republic forever,” but did manage to bring the Romans into an age of peace called Pax Romana.

According to Wikipedia, what this age of peace meant was that, the Roman Empire expanded little and had to defend itself little against enemies, until the “Third Century.” Around this time, the Roman empire began its descent in power, especially, in Western Europe.

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – The Invisible Man’s Disappearance #amwriting #flashfiction

Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

Credit: Enisa

Tom Sawyer scratched his head. “This here’s the bust of our invisible man?”

“The poor fellow had terrible burns and injuries. His scar tissue means that he can never be totally invisible again,” said Captain Nemo.

“That right?”

Nemo frowned perturbed. “Dr. Jekyll said the invisibility potion only affected our friend’s epidermis but once that was burnt off in the explosion, it meant he would have obvious scarring.”

“He saved us all, ya know. I thought his skin would heal. I wouldn’ta left so long but there’s been rumors. Some say, Allan’s alive, that he dug his way out of his grave. I had ta investigate.” Tom spit on the flour, angry at himself.

“This is true. It’s said Africa would never let Allan Quatermain die. As for our invisible friend, Mina told me he was handsome once. Having half his head and face deformed was difficult for him.” Mina Harker appeared in the hallway suddenly.

“We haven’t seen him yet, Mrs. Harker, Ma’am, but the Captain and I were talking about him.”

She touched the invisible man’s bust. “There’s no telling where our friend went. However, I heard most of your conversation.” Mina tapped her ears inducting her improved vampire senses.

“Earlier you said you had been searching for Allan when you left us. Maybe the invisible man is searching for someone to help him too? Did you find Allan?”

Tom shook his head and Mina smiled, “Young Tom, Allan Quatermain is alive. He’s a youth like you now, but with much more experience at hiding. African Shamans have brought him back to life to fight with us again. I saw him in a vision; a great evil is coming and Allan is the key to stopping it.”

Mina tossed back her hair. “Once we find Allan, he will help us unravel our other friend’s disappearance.”

“Then it’s settled,” Captain Nemo said. “I will tell the crew to sail towards North Africa. There, our next adventure begins.”

©Mandibelle16. (2017)All Rights Reserved.

PhotoChallenge/ Sunday Writing Prompt: A Fairy Tale with a Bad Ending: Maleficent #amwriting #fiction #photochallenge

Thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photochallenge. I’m combining prompts with The Sunday Writing Prompt of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie and using the title prompt tale: A Fairytale with a Very Bad End.

Credit: Jeff Simpson

Maleficent stared from her dim dungeon-like castle eyeing King Stefan’s daughter, Aurora, playing in a wide open field.

She whispered to Crow, “They’re supposed to be watching her those three dim-witted fairies. When I was a good fairy, I watched my charges closely. How foolish they are, I could end her life now.”

Crow cawed, “She’s but ten years old and it isn’t her fault Stefan is her father. She doesn’t know what he did to you to become king.”

“Quiet, Crow. I’m thinking.”

“You think a great deal but never do much. Aurora knows what her fate is, those ignorant fairies told her. Now, whenever she can, she escapes to this field to play. She has no care for danger or death. Sometimes she sits and stares into the sky crying.”

“Why should I be merciful to her because she knows she will prick her finger and die in six-years? I owe her nothing. She is a means to an end.”

Crow cocked his head. “She is not responsible for her father’s crimes anymore than your parents were responsible for leaving you alone to rule the Marsh; your parents did not intend to die. Aurora, does not want to die either. Why not raise her yourself and find a way to undo the curse? Simply losing her will hurt Stefan deeply as the queen can’t have more children.”

Maleficent pinched the bridge of her nose. “I cannot undo such a powerful curse and I will not do Stefan any favours despite Aurora’s innocence. He raped me Crow, I was helpless. He cut off my wings. I will not save the girl.”

“You may change your mind yet. You have watched her for years and have become fond of her. You hate that she’s putting herself in peril now.”


“Yes, you have this soft smile on your face when you watch Aurora. You never smile that way except with her.”

Maleficent’s voice went cold. “In that case . . . ” she pointed her wand at the blond beauty. Heart beating loudly in her ears, she struck the small girl down. Aurora death was instant and a single tear slipped down the dark fairy’s cheek.

“Now, you see, Crow? I have ended her life. I’m not attached to her and we will bury Aurora’s body in the Marshes. Aurora’s early death will bring Stefan greater pain. He will live his life not knowing what happened to his daughter. His queen will die in grief.”

Tears dropped as diamonds from Crows’ coal-black eyes and wouldn’t stop. “I do not think Stefan is the most evil being in the kingdom. You are the person most full of evil. Just as he lost his heart to become king and hurt you, you have ended the life of an innocent child and are no better.”

“I meant for you to truly act as Aurora’s Godmother — not to kill her. You should’ve been the one to guard and protect her; I thought you loved her.”

“Love is as treacherous as running off alone to a field . . .”

Crow’s caw was forlorn. “Aurora could’ve had a new beginning with us, but I cannot serve a fairy whose heart has become black with revenge, with blood on her hands from an innocent’s death. How far you have fallen, Maleficent.”

“Stefan is not responsible for your evil deeds; you are responsible for your own crimes.”

Crow bowed once and flew away forever. Maleficent was left alone and inside her chest her heart’s ache was perpetual.

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: T-Rex For Real #flashfiction #amwriting

Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

Credit: Yinglan Z. 2017

For many months after watching Jurassic Park, Jacob had been terrified of the giant Tyrannosaurus-Rex before his dad presented him with Iggy, a stuffed T-Rex. Iggy fought T-Rex in Jacob’s nightmares so that he was no longer afraid of dinosaurs when his dad took him to Jurassic World, the new dinosaur theme park.

Unfortunately, mayhem broke out in the theme park and Jacob found himself wedged into a tiny space, crying and clinging to Iggy. Eventually, he snuck out of his hiding spot, running towards the boat dock where men from the army shouted, “Run faster.”

He trembled when he heard the T-Rex roar right behind him, covering him in slobber. Jacob had learned that a T-Rex could only eat you if you moved, so he stood completely still. When Iggy slipped to the ground Jacob thought his life was over. Instead, the T-Rex carefully picked up Iggy with his teeth and stomped off into the jungle.

Jacob woke up, swaddled in his dad’s arms, a helicopter taking them back to safety. He hoped that the T-Rex liked Iggy. Maybe the T-Rex was afraid of a bigger dinosaur? The thought had never occurred to him before.

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Tale Weaver: Poem – Free Verse – “Super Women” #poetry #amwriting #taleweavers #dVerse 

Thanks to Michael of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Tale Weaver Prompt #135 in Princess Charming, a female heroine saving Prince Charming. Also, thanks to Grace of Poet’s Pub for hosting open link night. 


Credit: Google for Reuse


They say that, 

Real heros have capes, tights;

Uniforms and Bat lights. 
They shoot webs, 
Like spiders but from, 

Their palms. 

Flying and leaping, 

Over tall buildings. 

Their technology is —

Top of the line. 

They’re stoic, tough, 


Male bonding and showmanship.

Strong shields guard,  

Robatic armour too. 

Glowing hearts of uranium, 

And flying suits. 

Hands pulsing lasors. 

With green hoods, 

Piercing arrows. 

Strength that’s incalculable

They’re ages old, 

Hundreds or Thousands. 

There human or from, 

Other dimensions, worlds. 

Becoming angry, 

Mean and green. 
Are blinded but powerful. 

Yet few will notice, 

Female superheroes, 

Their tough outer layers. 
They’ve a solid insistence, 

For the good of mankind. 

They sacrifice as a —

Black Widow or a mutant, 

Causing storms. 

The Mockingbird or a Scarlet Witch.

The Wolverine’s friend, Rogue. 

Women know, 

How being gentle, 

Is as mighty as Thor’s hammer. 

How sensitivity with honed, 

Physical skills, 

Has an authentic glory. 

Not understanding, 

Why men keep warring. 

Even though —

They know they must. 

So, they do too, 

Wonder Womans and —  

Super girls, 

Their skirts shorter. 

Slipping into —

Dark corners, 

To hide their tears;

Heroic tears 

As in a man’s world —

Most men don’t recognize, 

The first Wonder Woman, 

In their life, 

Gave birth to them. 

Nurtured them, 

Their superpowers hidden, 

To be the best — 



©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 




©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Sunday Photo Fiction: The Horsemen’s Head #flashfiction #amwriting #SleepyHollow

Thanks to Alastair Forbes for hosting SPF. 


Credit: A Mixed Bag – Alistair Forbes


Ichabode Crane was observing the dim forest when he noticed the bald head buried beneath the tree of death. Each morning it was Ichabode’s job to discover what the headless horseman had left behind from his nights decapitating helpless citizens.  

Today he found two headless corpses half-buried. He shivered thinking of the literal trail of blood that often followed the horseman. 

Though Ichabod was a medical doctor, he’d never found any heads attached to the bodies the horseman discarded. His heart pounded and he began to sweat as he clawed the head from the ground with his fingers. 

The hair felt dirty and greasy. The waxen skin was warm and he was sure the head had soulless eyes beneath its lids. While he stared, Ichabod’s hands shook. The blood running from the head’s eyes, suddenly, caught his attention as they began to open of their own accord. 

Coal eyes with pupils as red as poppies, alerted Ichabod this head belonged to the horseman. Ichabod drank from his trusty flask, whiskey and opium to numb him. 

But perhaps he drank too much. When he awoke, the head lay on his lap and Ichabod rested against the horrid tree. The moon exposed him and his opium veil faded. He felt too alert. The head’s mouth fell open revealing carnivorous teeth. 

Soon, the thundering footsteps of the black horse and the armed body of the headless horseman could be heard. He screeched as the horseman took one slice at his neck, but then, Ichabod offered the horseman the head. 

The horseman dropped his sword and went to his knees on the ground. He took the head in his gnarled hands and placed it on his neck. The horseman growled, a sound of rage in a demonic tongue. 

He gazed at Ichabod, “Run, go now. I will spare you for returning my head. Everyone else in Sleepy Hollow will join me in death.” 

Ichabod had never considered himself a coward but he ran anyways, never peering behind him as screams filled the night. 

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.  

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Quadrille – “The Shire”  #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry 

Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW. 


Credit: J.S. Brand


 Up to The Shire, 

Rounded doors. 

Tall ones warned, 

Lintel’s short. 

Beams are low, 

Pantry’s full; 

Bread, jam, wine. 

Safe from intruders. 

Into our Shire home, 

Scrolled furniture, 

Comfortable repose. 

Sweetest resting place;

Don’t force us, 

Come out. 

Adventure’s dangerous; 

But my blood, 

Pulsed madly, 

So I went. 

From The Shire, 

Then life, 

I lived well. 


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Writing Prompt: Poem – Quadrille – “Sound of Memory” #amwriting #poetry 

Thanks to Oriol of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this writing prompt from June 4, 2017. The words: Glass, Darth Vader, napkin, cellphone, lighter, book, anger, trouble, and mind, need to be used in this writing piece. 


Credit: Tom Pumford via UnSplash


Shattered glass urn, 

Anger when my,

Blood flows. 

Troubles compound,

Glass splinters, ashes; 

The lighter

Sets fire to your coffin. 

Memories profound, 

Death Vador sounds, 

Cellphone number remains, 

Your forever voice, 

Last message, 

Words memorized. 

My mind finds serenity, 

In your gifted books. 

Handwritten notes, 


Until we meet again. 


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse – “Jolly Sailor Boys” #amwriting #movies #mermaids #poetry

Thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the Photo Challenge. 


Credit: Natalie Fedajeva


I used to be a mermaid, 

They stole me from my sea.

My sisters cried and sang for me;

But no siren’s song, 

Could sway those ‘Jolly Sailor Boys.’ 

I used to be a mermaid, 

They stole me from my sea. 

Said I had to walk and run, 

But my legs were far too weak.

I stumbled, I fell,

These legs are pure Hell;

Some incantations, my tail was gone.  

I used to be a mermaid, 

They stole me from my sea. 

My tears required for eternal life, 

They fell in floods and showers, 

I drowned them in my tears. 

Gaia’s answer from the sky, 

Her thoughts of ‘Jolly Sailor Boys.’ 

My teeth tainted razors, 

Ripping throats for dread,

Of what a Captain would do to me, 

A creature pure, unperverted, 

Mermaid tears were dredged. 

I used to be a mermaid, 

They stole me from my sea.

A siren’s ancient rage awoke, 

Became my new morality.  

And though I long for waves, 

My sisters who live below;  

I cannot even swim in the corner, 

The ocean’s rejected me.  

It seems to me, my tears did mix,  

In some fountain of ancient yore;

My only place to freely swim, 

So I swam all the more. 

I used to be a mermaid, 

They stole me from my sea, 

Now I bathe in this youthful fountain, 

No immortality I wanted;

Only my home in open seas. 

I wasn’t given a choice, 

Only vast eternity. 

Forever I was altered, 

And one by one they drank; 

Those ‘Jolly Sailor Boys’ dead fell, 

Into the sea, their bodies compelled. 

I used to be a mermaid, 

They stole me from the sea

Brought me to gates of immortality,  

Trapped in a glass crate. 

And when some old spells, 

Had me walking regularly; 
I hummed my mother’s tune, 

Singing for the lost men, 

No more ‘Jolly Sailor Boys;’ 

For Gaia turned on them. 

I used to be a mermaid, 

They stole me from my sea

Though, I’m now no mermaid, 

I sing the same old tune, 

I’ll sing it long, in a siren’s song, 

Luring ‘Jolly Sailor Boys,’ 

That tore me from my sea; 

Because when I was once a mermaid, 

Those ‘Jolly Sailor Boys’ stole me. 


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Clang with the Trolley #amwriting #JudyGarland #flashfiction

Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

Credit: Yinglan Z

Each Christmas it is traditional for my family to watch Judy Garland’s Meet Me in St. Louis. The more times I watch it, the more it and Garland’s dazzling voice pull me in. By now I know the songs by heart and if not all of them, then at least the well-known “Trolley Song.”

The scene of Judy Garland’s character singing on the trolley is what comes into my mind whenever I see one and why today, I feel that I need to ride the trolley, wherever it may be going. Sure, it may take me places I have no idea where I am or why I ended up where I did. But it will also lead me to unexpected and interesting city jewels, waiting for discovery. 

As Garland’s character in the movie  did not want to leave St. Louis but at the same time possessed a yearning to explore, I have a connection to the trolley and wanting to explore the city because of  Garland’s famous song and her character’s adventurous spirit. 


“The Trolley Song” — Judy Garland 

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.