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The Ides of March, 44 BC

2050 years ago today, folks.

(If you're confused about how the maths add up, there, remember that there is no Year 0).

To mark this momentous occasion, let's see if you know more about Julius Caesar than the average first-year Ancient History student:

Poll #947018 Julius Caesar, an old Roman geezer

By the time he died, Julius Caesar was...

... a Roman emperor
... an imperator
... a princeps
... a dictator

Answers and explanations will be posted later today.


( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2007 08:36 am (UTC)
Ooh - something I'm reasonably confident I do know about Roman history. That and being an Iron Maiden fan, I read up on the Ides of March some time ago :)
Mar. 15th, 2007 08:40 am (UTC)
I was hoping you'd do something to mark the occasion.

Also, tricky poll that you almost tripped me up on!
Mar. 15th, 2007 09:03 am (UTC)
Yay icon! I'm afraid I don't have a Julie, but I'm more and more feeling the need for a Cicero. I think he'll be my next icon, when I'm given another space.

People are doing pretty well on the poll so far, actually. I don't really mind whether they spot the full range of right answers (she says, cryptically!), but as you doubtless well know, there is one wrong answer to this question which crops up regularly in first-year essays and really makes me want to tear my hair out!
(no subject) - rich_r - Mar. 15th, 2007 09:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Mar. 15th, 2007 09:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rich_r - Mar. 15th, 2007 09:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - swisstone - Mar. 15th, 2007 09:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Mar. 15th, 2007 09:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 15th, 2007 09:46 am (UTC)
I'm starting to wonder if I should have chosen two answers instead of one.
Mar. 15th, 2007 09:54 am (UTC)
There are two correct answers on the list. But I wouldn't expect most people to get both of them - you'd have to have studied Ancient History formally to know about the second one. The important thing is that you got the main one right - and didn't make the mistake many of my first-years make!
(no subject) - megamole - Mar. 15th, 2007 10:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sir_didymus - Mar. 15th, 2007 10:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Mar. 15th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sir_didymus - Mar. 15th, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_alchemist - Mar. 15th, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 15th, 2007 09:47 am (UTC)
I was confident but now I'm not....

I suspect I fell for a trap.
Mar. 15th, 2007 09:52 am (UTC)
As I said to rich_r above, do not worry! You haven't fallen for a trap at all. It's more like you have scored an A, but not quite an A* - and I would honestly expect very few people to make the A*. I will explain the full picture later.
Mar. 15th, 2007 10:21 am (UTC)
Not a clue... um... but it is true that he had a roman nose like in the comics right?
Mar. 15th, 2007 10:39 am (UTC)
Well, it was as Roman as the rest of him!

But in the terms you mean, I'd say he pretty much did, to judge from his coins.
Mar. 15th, 2007 10:21 am (UTC)
Though geekily I can make a correction that it is only 2050 years ago today if you allow a lot of corrections for sliding calendars.
Mar. 15th, 2007 10:41 am (UTC)
Oh, I know! This comes up with a vengeance every time I try to celebrate Claudius' birthday on the 1st August - see conversation in the notes of that post, half of which is missing because my correspondent threw a strop a few months later, and not only defriended me, but deleted every comment he'd ever maade in my LJ. Ever.

Thankfully Julius Caesar had at least sorted out the tricky issue of leap years by the time he died - but yes, further adjustments have been made since, so it all gets a bit confusing!
(no subject) - steer - Mar. 15th, 2007 11:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Mar. 15th, 2007 11:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - steer - Mar. 15th, 2007 12:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - megamole - Mar. 15th, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - steer - Mar. 15th, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Mar. 15th, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - steer - Mar. 15th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 15th, 2007 11:01 am (UTC)
You missed off the fith option: "...bleeding profusely".
Mar. 15th, 2007 11:26 am (UTC)
As, indeed, were half the conspirators, according to Plutarch!
Mar. 15th, 2007 11:10 am (UTC)
So much for my powers of observation - I've only just realized that's a Brutus coin, not a Caesar one. (And raises all sorts of interesting questions about Brutus' use of his own portrait, which was of course Caesar's innovation, and thus this coin shows Brutus buying into the idea of the personality cult that, in theory, he and the other assassins rejected when they stuck the knives in ...)
Mar. 15th, 2007 11:32 am (UTC)
Dude, put your glasses on! It's only one of the most famous coins ever to come out of the Roman world. As this article relates, good copies can sell for over $100,000.

You're right about the portrait issue, of course. Interestingly, if you look closely, Brutus is also sporting a beard - which at this time = mourning. I'm not sure if it's meant to indicate that he mourns for the death of Caesar, but nonetheless had to do it to bring about the liberty referenced on the other side, or he's mourning generally for the condition of the state and what's happened to him and his fellow-conspirators since the assassination. Probably the former, I think, but could be either.
Mar. 15th, 2007 11:54 am (UTC)
I went and took this very quickly before being really awake -- or having any caffeine -- so I'm using that as an excuse. I hope to hell I got it right, all things considered! I ruled one out absolutely (the one my students always get wrong), one I was pretty sure of, as it was a real title and last time I heard, it was granted several times by the Senate; one I assumed I was right about, in terms of a military title, but now I'm not sure; and one I really wanted to check, because I'm pretty sure it existed in a more nebulous form before Augustus, but was not used as a title qua title until he appropriated it ...
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:25 pm (UTC)
I can see the lines you're thinking along, although of course I can't really comment properly yet, until I 'officially' declare the poll closed and give the answers. But basically, you have nothing to worry about, and I'll explain the finer details (as I understand them, anyway!) later.
(no subject) - a_d_medievalist - Mar. 15th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Mar. 15th, 2007 02:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_d_medievalist - Mar. 15th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:16 pm (UTC)
I've never studied Roman history (except for fun) and can barely remember any of my Latin but if the second option means what I think it means then I'd go for that one too.
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
Good logic! ;)
Mar. 15th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
Do you find, by the way, that your students often confuse the one thing that Caesar definitely was, with a certain Greek word that begins with a tau?
Mar. 15th, 2007 06:18 pm (UTC)
Not really, but I think that may just be because I don't tend to set essay titles that would bring it up. Julius Caesar comes up in all sorts of contexts, and is often incorrectly glossed when he does. But I guess the confusion you're referring to would only really emerge in an essay asking directly about ancient systems of rule.
(no subject) - a_d_medievalist - Mar. 15th, 2007 08:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_d_medievalist - Mar. 15th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 43 comments — Leave a comment )

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