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The assassination of the first self-appointed Roman Emperor, Gaius Julius Caesar, by Roman Senators, made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history. Although March (Martius) was the third month of the Julian calendar, in the oldest Roman calendar it was the first month of the year. The holidays observed by the Romans from the first through the Ides often reflect their origin as new year celebrations.
The Romans did not number days of a month sequentially from the first through the last day. Instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones (5th or 7th, depending on the length of the month), the Ides (13th or 15th), and the Kalends (1st of the following month). The Ides occurred near the midpoint, on the 13th for most months, but on the 15th for March, May, July, and October. The Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon, reflecting the lunar origin of the Roman calendar. On the earliest calendar, the Ides of March would have been the first full moon of the new year.Most pre-modern calendars the world over were lunisolar, combining the solar year with the lunation by means of intercalary months. The Julian calendar abandoned this method in favor of a purely solar reckoning while conversely the 7th-century Islamic calendar opted for a purely lunar one.
The Ides of each month was sacred to Jupiter, the Romans’ supreme deity. The Flamen Dialis, Jupiter’s high priest, led the “Ides sheep” (ovis Idulius) in procession along the Via Sacra to the arx, where it was sacrificed.
— excerpted and edited from Wikipedia.org