[History] Beware the Ides of March…But Why??

A fun post for those interested in Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s words and history in general.

Read Martin Stezano’s article here, courtesy of The Old Town Cryer Blog.

Old Town Crier

Beware the Ides of March…But Why??

By Martin Stezano

It’s unlikely even Shakespeare could have predicted how his famous phrase would have evolved.

Not only did William Shakespeare’s words stick, they branded the phrase with a dark and gloomy connotation that will forever make people uncomfortable. It’s probable that many people who use the phrase today don’t know its true origin. In fact, just about every pop culture reference to the Ides—save for those appearing in actual history-based books, movies or television specials—makes it seem like the day itself is cursed.

But the Ides of March actually has a non-threatening origin story. Kalends, Nones and Ides were ancient markers used to reference dates in relation to lunar phases. Ides simply referred to the first full moon of a given month, which usually fell between the 13th and 15th. In fact, the Ides of March once signified the new year…

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[Literature] My Second-Ever Chinese Language Book Purchase

You may have noticed a severe dearth if posts here at AMOT… That’s because I moved to China to do a bit of work. Since I’m here, I thought I’d raid the local bookstore, translator in hand, and see if I could find something that would inspire me to finally learn Chinese. Here is the fruit of my labor – a collection of poems by Li Po.

As for that first book, is was Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian.

Earliest ancient Chinese musical instruments unearthed in tomb complex

From the rather odd archaeological website, Ancient Origins:

China Daily reports the musical finds were uncovered in the tomb complex in Hubei province. A plucked string instrument was found, known as the “Se”. Thousands of years ago, the long, flat board instruments were fitted with 50 strings of twisted silk, and were instruments for the elite used in rituals and sacrificial offerings. Eventually the instrument evolved into the guzheng, notes Wikipedia. The se is one of the most important Chinese stringed instruments to be created, but there are very few modern musicians who can play the se.

Interesting, indeed! Read more here.