Beware the Ides of March!

Beware the Ides of March! We all know that phrase, but it seems odd that it has crept into the language, since we know few other facts about Roman history. The meaning of “Ides” is a bit confusing to us in the modern world, as these comics show.

Interestingly, the Ides of March were notable in Rome as a deadline for settling debts.


  1. “We all know that phrase, but it seems odd that it has crept into the language, since we know few other facts about Roman history.”

    Well, it didn’t enter the vernacular directly through the Romans. It was Shakespeare who embedded it in the English language. Even Bucky Katt’s knowledge of it is clearly Shakespearean:

    The Ides of March were also a decent band:

  2. Here’s a strip in which Janis gives the Latin derivation:

    P.S. Having lots of technology is not always an advantage.

    P.P.S. @ DemetriosX – Here’s the “Fuzzy Shakespeare” strip, embedded:

  3. Foxtrot did a better “Eyes of March” gag. The costumes would have been more impressive in color, but this was 2002, long before daily comics were routinely colored in:

  4. @ dvandom – As one might expect, Asimov did his homework. The “Ides” fall (or rather “fell”) on the 15th only in March, May, July, and October, and on the 13th in all other months.

  5. You mean it’s not the Ideas of March? :-p

    Google tells me that Ide is a surname. If one of those people was a composer, you could have a collection called The Marches of Ide.

  6. @ Brian – Foxtrot Classics is one of those exceedingly rare re-run features at GoComics that stays in sequence with the original calendar.

  7. You have to be a super geezer to remember, but from 1918 to 1954, US federal income tax returns and payments were due on March 15. I’m a geezer (75) who knows that trivial fact from a Nero Wolfe story, but can’t remember which one.

  8. Ooten, I think we must have had this conversation topic before. I remember that, but not only didn’t remember what Nero Wolfe story it was, I was unsure it might not have been an Ellery Queen.

    The context was Archie making a joke about the IRS taking us for a ride … the “rides of March” he called it. But then dismissed it as a bit of a stretch, and because not many people would remember that tax day had been in March.

    It may have been in the same place that he wanted to call the hubub of non-union actors “a din of inEquity”.

  9. After the tiniest bit of research, the previous thread turns out to be . I mentioned those same two jokes, and Shrug identified the Rides of March one as occurring in “And Be a Villain” (so Ooten is right about it being a Nero Wolfe story, or rather novel).

  10. Huh! I thought I recognized that opening brass sting on that Ides of March video — at first I thought it was just one of those cultural osmosis things, but just now it finally connected: that’s the main theme for The Incredibles theme music! Doo-doo-doot du-dooo!

  11. Someone at the syndicate cares about the Foxtrot reruns. It might be Amend himself, as the strip is in original syndication for Sundays.

  12. Second comic – not sure of the name of it – ARGGGGHHHHH!!

    I really don’t need reminders that April 15th is coming!! I am having the worst and craziest tax season I have lived through in 60 plus years of tax seasons. (Dad and Mom both accountants – used to play with old blank tax forms as a child and started making photocopies for him when fairly young.) And this is one of THOSE tax seasons (even though I am down to a handful of clients) – maybe the craziest I have been through.

  13. @ Meryl – I talked to my dad last night; he said he was about to leave for a meeting with his tax accountant, which astonished me. I asked him why he was doing such a thing 26 days earlier than usual… 😉

  14. By any chance is this tax season especially bad for tax preparers because of the scaling down of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit? I’m glad I got out of the tax prep business. It was bad enough in 2020 with all the old people who were angry because the public libraries were closed and AARP wasn’t doing the usual free tax preparation. Not to mention the newly retired finding out that the tax services charge a LOT if you have a 1099-R.

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