Today, Mr. Caesar would be surrounded by a coterie of armed guards in dark glasses. He would probably not be walking around the forum unprotected and in a bed-sheet all by himself. He might not even talk to Messrs. Brutus, Casca, and Tillius directly, but rather have his people set up discussions (especially as the pretext was a petition which Tillius Cimber wanted to conference about on his exiled brother).
He was 56 years old.
Two thousand years and many hundreds and thousands of political assassinations later, it would seem that we are not objectively safer today than we were back in the day. Today we carry automated weapons under our coats. We crash large aircraft into tall buildings. We drive explosives-laden trucks into embassies. The knives of the Ides seem rather primitive. Maybe this is the lesson we have learned in the meantime: how to kill each other better.
We like to shoot celebrities best. The media loves us when we do it. It does not stop us from shooting and blowing up regular people as well - it is not always easy to get next to a celebrity. Sometimes you just take who you can get. Shooting celebrities takes the focus off you and flips around the headlines. We read: FAMOUS GUY SHOT instead of LOCAL WACKO SHOOTS SOMEBODY.
The anniversary of the Ides of March reminds me about this human failing, about our all-too-easy recourse to violence in thought, word, and deed as a means to an end. But it also tells us something about our own Coliseum-mentality. We may not actually shoot anyone in our lifetimes (and let's hope that we do not get around to it either), but it seems we enjoy the gore a little bit too much. We take just a little too much pleasure from gruesome photos and shocking headlines. It is not the media's fault - they go with what sells. And if it is selling, it means we are buying.
Maybe it means that we humans are not endemically violent, but rather just hungry for the attention. Brutus was only famous, after all, because he killed Caesar. He was probably otherwise just a regular boring guy in the Senate. "The evil that men do," quoth Mark Anthony (via Shakespeare), "lives after them."
But only if it gets posted on Facebook.