Orange County

Twittersphere abuzz with glee and gloom on the Ides of March. What's it all about?

A variety of busts of Julius Caesar, one of the most famous of Romans, are included in an exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum in this file photo. The Ides of March was a Twitter trend Thursday, and many organizations responded with posts.
A variety of busts of Julius Caesar, one of the most famous of Romans, are included in an exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum in this file photo. The Ides of March was a Twitter trend Thursday, and many organizations responded with posts. South Carolina State Museum

The Ides of March was trending on Twitter Thursday, and everyone from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill to the JFK Library weighed in.

Most people know the phrase from William Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar," in which a soothsayer tells him "Beware the Ides of March," or March 15, 44 B.C., the day recently proclaimed Roman "dictator in perpetuity" Caesar was assassinated by members of the Roman senate intent on restoring republican government. The JFK Library posted a facsimile of then-future president John F. Kennedy's high school report card, which included a Latin class with a section dealing with Caesar.

He got a 67.

Ides in the Roman calendar referred to what the Romans considered the midpoint, the 13th or 15th, of most months, the 15th in March.

While some associated the day with gloom, others chose to remember the day with humor. One tweet showed a plastic bottle of Caesar salad dressing with a knife stuck in it, a gallows humor pun on the Shakespeare play.

Algonquin Books posted a tweet to "counteract the bad vibes" associated with the day. Algonquin posted a link to an InStyle magazine article by Sally Kohn titled "How Meeting a Former White Supremacist Changed the Way I Understood Hate."

Algonquin Books will publish Kohn's book "The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity" April 10. Kohn's InStyle article has a message similar to the book, said Debra Linn, director of digital marketing for Algonquin Books.

Linn said she has been aware of the Ides of March since she read "Julius Caesar." She created the Twitter post because "it just clicked in my head," she said.

“To my mind it's very much the opposite of the sense of dread” associated with the day, Linn said of Kohn's upcoming book. She said the Ides of March is "a fun myth that a lot of people like to buy into, but this book has a very different message.”

If the Ides of March did not go well for you, remember the words from another literary work, "After all, tomorrow is another day."

Cliff Bellamy; 919-419-6744, @CliffBellamy1
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