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All library services will be closed on Wednesday, June 19th in observance of Juneteenth. Early voting will still be available at Riverfront Library and Will Library from 9am-5pm.

The History Extra Podcast: Beware the Ides of March

“Beware the Ides of March!” was roughly the warning Gaius Julius Caesar received before he was assassinated on March 15, 44 BC. In The History Extra Podcast with Rob Attar and Barry Strauss, you learn about the plot to assassinate Gaius Julius Caesar and what occurred during his assassination. Strauss, a history professor at Cornell University, provides fascinating details about this infamous day in history.

At the beginning of the episode, you learn about Caesar’s initial caution to join senators in the senate on March 15 due to warnings he received from a soothsayer and his wife Calpurnia. She was a wise politician and it is probable she knew the doom that awaited Caesar. His abuse of power made him many enemies in Rome. The conspiring senators sent Decimus to Caesar’s quarters to quell his fears. Besides Decimus talking to him, he was afraid of looking weak. These factors played a role in convincing him to go to the senate where he met his fate. 

Once in the senate, the sixty conspiring senators trapped Caesar in the chamber. They blocked him off from other senators, so none of his friends could come to his aid. Additionally, they distracted Mark Antony outside the chamber and he was not there when Caesar was attacked. The first senator to strike Caesar was Publius Servilius Casca who stabbed him in the neck. Depending on the historian, he was stabbed twenty-three times, thirty-five times, or another estimated number. Though it is legend that Caesar spoke to Brutus before he died, Strauss believes he simply groaned before he passed away.

The History Extra Podcast is a fascinating and engaging podcast. Listeners will be amazed by the facts and stories told by Barry Strauss. I highly recommend this podcast series to anyone interested in learning the true story behind the phrase “Beware the Ides of March!”   

Michael Walsh is an Adult Services Librarian that works at the Will Library. He is currently reading The Women by Kristin Hannah.

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