Today, March 17, 2013, is St. Patrick's Day, of course. It also marks the day - 1,933 years ago - when the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Verus died of (most likely) a plague-induced infection at the Legionary Fort at Vindobona (Vienna, Austria). His death is notable in that it could be said to mark the end of Classical Antiquity and the beginning of the Early Middle Ages. From this day forward, the (Western) Roman Empire began its' centuries-long slide toward collapse, while, at the same time, commencing the long and rocky rise of the European nation-states and Western Civilization.
So, while you are raising a pint (or two) of Guinness, take but a moment to remember dear Marcus Aurelius and the world that died with him.
7:26 AM PT: CORRECTION ALERT!! Marcus Aurelius actually died on March 17, 180 A.D. - which, of course was 1,833 years ago today! Sorry for the subtraction error. oldroshi