March 15, 44 BC
How Diarrhea Changed the World
On this day in 44 BC Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate by a cadre of Senators who called themselves “the Liberators.”
During Caesar’s reign the Roman Empire achieved an unprecedented amount of power and land area, stretching from Britain to Africa to the Middle East. Caesar conquered Gaul and led the first Roman invasion of Britain.
The Roman Civil War of 50 BC divided the Romans between Caesar and Pompey. Caesar emerged victorious and became the undisputed ruler of the Roman Empire.
It was theorized by Cassius Dio that the main reason behind the conspiracy to murder Caesar was that he refused to rise, as was the custom, when he met with a delegation of Senators who informed Caesar of the honors they had bestowed upon him. And that the reason he did not rise, was not out of a lack of appreciation for the Senate, but of a severe case of diarrhea.
The doom associated with the Ides of March acquired new potency in 1939 when Adolf Hitler strode into Czechoslovakia without firing a shot, thanks to Western leaders, and proclaimed “Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist.”