Sunday, April 13, 2008

Beware the Ides of April...

That's actually the original quote. It's a little known fact that William had a younger brother, Sven, that was a writer also. Sven wrote cookbooks, and that quote is from his best seller "Caesar Salads, 101 Variations". The quote is a warning about mid-April frosts and their effect on lettuce. William stole it for that little known play about some obscure Roman he did.

7 comments:

A Paperback Writer said...

Except that since April has 30 days, the Ides of April would be the 15th. I think Sven was stealing the quote, too -- from the local tax collecter, who was warning him of the dangers of an audit if he didn't pay.
But happy birthday anyway.

Max said...

Way back at the Ides of March, having no clue what an Ide was, I did a wikipedia search to find out. Before this post I decided to double check with my Encyclopaedia Britannica, Thirteenth Edition (1926). According to the E.B., first of all an Ide is not an Ide, it's just "the Ides" or "the Idus". It comes from an "obsolete verb iduare, to divide". Not that Ides itself isn't, at this point, obsolete. Anyway, according to both my sources, the Ides fall on the 13th or every month except 4, March, May, July and October, which have their Ides on the 15th. Talk about a realyl confusing way of doing things, they didn't simply cound the days of the months. The referred to the first day of the month as the Calendae, In March, May, July and October the 7th was called the Nonae, the rest of the months the Npnae was the 5th. And then the Ides. And dates referred to how far from the next one of these divisions. The last day of the month was called the "pridie Calendas", or "the day before the first day fo the next month". So, my sisters birthday would not be "January 17th", but instead we would say that her birthday was "the sixteenth day before the Calends of February". Hey Claudius, meet me on the corner of XXXIII South and V East at III in the afternoon on the day V before the Ides of August, MMVII, -k-? See ya then, dudus.

A Paperback Writer said...

Yes, but that was using a Julian calendar. You're the math teacher -- you can figure out what the correct Ides dates would be on the Gregorian calendar.

Max said...

Well, according to my encyclopeadia, the Ides for April, and 7 other months, fall on the 13th day from the beginning of the month. It doesn't specify which calendar it is referencing, but as a math teacher, I can say without a doubt that 13 days from the beginning of the month is 13 days from the beginning of the month, regardless of the calendar. The impression that I got from the readings was that the Ides were not based on any celestial positioning, such as the equinoxes or solstices, but merely a set amount of days from the change to a new month. So, in my humble opinion, the Ides of April is the 13th day from the beginning of the month or April, no matter when April begins.

A Paperback Writer said...

Yes, but it'd be 10 days off in most of Europe and 11 days off in the UK and here. So, April 13 on the Julian calendar (in Caesar's day) would actually be the 24th now... But March would, of course, be off as well.

Max said...

I think the problem is we are looking at this from two different points of view. I think you are comparing the day I was born on to where it would fall back in Caesar's day, whereas I'm looking at what would be called the Ides of April today. So from my point of view the 13th of April is the Ides of April, and when the beginning of April shifted by 10 or 11 days, the Ides shifted along with it. So, yes, my birthday by the old calendar would have fallen on the 3rd, (or second), and therefore would have not been the Ides. But, since my reference was to the current day, going by the current day calendar, I still stand by my original statement....

A Paperback Writer said...

I'm tired of this particular verbal banter. It's your blog and your birthday (well, it was when you posted this). I will bow out and let you win.
C'mon over and banter on my blog awhile. Or at least read my drama post from Friday or my current Anti-idiot-W-supporter post.