What do you do when you’re outnumbered ten-to-one, you’re trapped inside a walled city with the enemy at the gate, you’re running out of food, and as the battle drags into the second month, there’s no end in sight?

Dr. Tim McNeese, Associate Professor of History and author of more than 120 books, will answer these questions and more during the annual Ides of March event hosted by the Clayton Museum of Ancient History on March 21. Tickets include a multi-course Turkish meal and a presentation from McNeese.

The siege of Constantinople in 1453 is an exciting story that has implications for the world today, says McNeese, who authored a book on the topic in 2003. There were many sieges on this important city over several hundred years prior to 1453, “but this was the last one, and because of how it ends, it is pretty fateful,” said McNeese.

A new development in this battle is the introduction of heavy cannon. “At the heart of things, the siege of Constantinople is a physics lesson...what happens when you lob a thousand pound cannon ball at a thousand year old wall? You’ll have to come to the event to find out,” he joked.

How does this tie into previous years’ Ides of March events? McNeese is happy to explain. “Constantinople is the last urban center of the old Roman empire...with the fall of Constantinople you are seeing the last of the ancient world falling away.”

McNeese notes that the future of the Muslim world, of siege warfare, and all of Western civilization is impacted by the outcome of this battle. “The ending is tragic, but it’s a story worth telling,” he said.

The Ides of March event will begin with extended hours for viewing the Clayton Museum of Ancient History, from 5:30 to 6:30. During this time, Junior Docents will be presenting information about some of the items in the collection. The museum contains many items pertaining to ancient Rome, including military artifacts.

Dinner and McNeese’s lecture will run from 6:30 to 8:00. The dinner menu includes tastes from Turkey including pomegranate salad, lamb, lemon chicken, couscous, eggplant, and baklava to top things off.

No tickets are required for the museum viewing and Junior Docent presentations. Tickets for the dinner and lecture portion of the event are $25 and may be reserved online at www.york.edu/ides or by calling (402)363-5621. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Visit the website or call for more information about sponsorship levels. Seating is limited and this event tends to sell out. Patrons are encouraged to reserve tickets early to ensure access.

The dinner and lecture will be held in the Miller Room of the Mackey Center on the York College campus (1125 E 8th St, York).