Today is the Ides of March, and it looks like this time around no Roman dictators will be killed. On March 15th in 44 BC Julius Caesar was assassinated, and many of us remember Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, in which he was warned to beware the Ides of March. What are the Ides? The Romans divided their calendar month into three parts, with three specific days serving as benchmarks, based on the phases of the moon. The first day of the month was marked by the new moon and was called the Kalends (from which we get the word calendar;) A week later came the Nones, marked by the first quarter moon – and you can tell we don’t use a lunar calendar anymore because the moon is waning gibbous today; and the middle of the month, the 13th day or in some cases the 15th, when the moon was full - that was the Ides. These terms are not familiar to us today, but they were well-known to the Romans, and also to Europeans in Shakespeare’s time.