The Ides Of March
The Ides of March is about doing things together! It is not just about stabbing, but about coming together to stab in groups!
The Ides Of March is almost upon us! March 15th was the date when Julius Caesar was stabbed to death for the purpose of preventing tyranny. 60 men, led by Brutus and Cassius, participated in the mass stabbing!
The story is well-known apart from its historic significance due to the artistry of the Bard of Stratford. William Shakespeare wrote his play from the perspective of a monarchist, thereby attributing to Brutus and Cassius the worst of possible motives, treason against the King!
Those of us who are familiar with the historical account, and understand democracies and republics see it in a much different way. Shakespeare was a man of his time and place, as we all are. His story and the historic story have lessons for us today.
The types of knives used
The Romans had a number of swords that went through a number of changes in styles and sizes. These were not the knives used for the assassination, probably because the length of a sword made concealment difficult.
There was a secondary knife, a shorter knife known as the pugio which was seemingly for backup, but not really a practical weapon for fighting. Most scholars believe that it may have served a more decorative purpose. This knife was not well suited to the sort of stabbing needed for such an assassination. For this reason, death was not quick and required many attempts over an extended period of time.
In fact, the event was so horrendous as to have been a deterrent to potential future episodes.
Many historians blame the lengthy and gruesome nature of this stabbing on the lack of expertise in killing among the attackers, but the fault was likely in the shape of the blade itself. It seems to be poorly designed for stabbing, and not even an excellent choice for slashing, and was probably responsible for the prolonged ordeal!
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