Quotations by Julius Caesar


All bad precedents begin with justifiable measures.

Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) Roman general and statesman [Gaius Julius Caesar]
“On the Punishment of the Catiline Conspirators,” 9 (63 BC)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Feb-11
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It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) Roman general and statesman [Gaius Julius Caesar]
(Attributed)
Added on 6-Aug-07 | Last updated 6-Aug-07
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People readily believe what they want to believe.

Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) Roman general and statesman [Gaius Julius Caesar]
The Gallic Wars [De Bello Gallico], Book 3, sec. 18 (49 BC)

Alt. trans.: "Men believe that willingly which they wish to be true."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
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No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.

[Nemo est tam fortis, quin rei novitate perturbetur.]

Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) Roman general and statesman [Gaius Julius Caesar]
The Gallic Wars [De Bello Gallico], Book 6, ch. 39 (49 BC)
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "No one is so courageous as not to be disconcerted by the suddenness of the affair." [tr. McDevitte and Bohn]
Added on 23-Jun-14 | Last updated 23-Jun-14
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But, you may say, who will complain of a decree which is passed against traitors to their country? Time, I answer, the lapse of years, and Fortune, whose caprice rules the nations. Whatever befalls these prisoners will be well deserved; but you, Fathers of the Senate, are called upon to consider how your action will affect other criminals. All bad precedents have originated in cases which were good; but when the control of the government falls into the hands of men who are incompetent or bad, your new precedent is transferred from those who well deserve and merit such punishment to the undeserving and blameless.

Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) Roman general and statesman [Gaius Julius Caesar]
In Sallust, The War with Cataline [tr. Loeb Classical Library (1921, rev. 1931)]

Full http://penelope.uchicago.edu/thayer/e/roman/texts/sallust/bellum_catilinae*.html.
Added on 11-May-12 | Last updated 11-May-12
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My wife should be as much free from suspicion of a crime as she is from a crime itself.

[Meos tam suspicione quam crimine iudico carere oportere.]

Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) Roman general and statesman [Gaius Julius Caesar]
In Suetonius, Life of Caesar

Popularly, "Caesar’s wife must be above reproach" or "beyond reproach."

Caesar was called to be a witness against Clodius, who was charge with having  defiled sacred rites and having an affair with Pompeia, Caesar's wife.  Caesar said he had investigated and found out nothing to prove the Pompeia's fidelity.  When asked why, then, he had divorced her, he gave this answer.

Alt. trans.: "I judge it necessary for my kin to be as free from suspicion as from the charge of wrongdoing."

Alt. trans.: "I wished my wife to be not so much as suspected." [in Plutarch, “Caesar,” Parallel Lives [tr. Dryden (1693)]].
Added on 3-Mar-11 | Last updated 28-Dec-16
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The actions of those who hold great power, and pass their lives in a lofty station, are known to all the world. So it comes to pass that in the highest position there is the least freedom of action.

Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) Roman general and statesman [Gaius Julius Caesar]
Speech, Roman Senate

In Sallust, The War with Catiline, 51.12 [tr. Rolfe (1921)]
Added on 31-Mar-14 | Last updated 31-Mar-14
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