In Act II, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a striking clock sparks the following dialogue between Brutus and another conspirator:
- Brutus. Peace! count the clock.
- Cassius. The clock hath stricken three.
In The Lives of the Twelve Caesars (De Vita Caesarum), the Roman historian Suetonius reports that more than 60 were joined in the plot to assassinate Caesar, including Gaius Cassius and Marcus Junius Brutus. So what’s wrong with Shakespeare’s account?
The Romans used sundials and water clocks (clepsydra) to mark the time – not mechanical clocks. Thus, no clocks were striking the hours in Caesar’s time. In short, Shakespeare’s reference to a striking clock was anachronistic.
The Securities and Exchange Commission posts many of its forms in PDF format on its website. In reviewing the posted Form 10-K, I noted numerous errors, inconsistencies and even anachronisms. Can you find them too? (In a future post, I’ll give you my answers.)