Quote by Julius Caesar?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by BrettAM, Aug 27, 2002.

  1. Does anyone remember a month or so back, to when we had that debate about whether one would vote for Bush again? Well, anyway, in that thread someone posted a quote by Julius Caesar regarding patriotism and how it is truly a double edged blade. I have been trying to find that quote to stick it in my sig in light of some recent personal events, but I haven't been able to dig up that old thread, does anyone have this quote?
  2. Perfect! Thanks a million.
  3. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    I have read that the quote is incorrectly attributed to Caesar.

    However, that quote is certainly no less meaningful in these days of war rhetoric, as the Bush administration tramples upon the Constitution. IMO.
  4. I have read that as well. However, I think that it perfectly illustrates the dangers of the current attitude within our citizenry, such patriotism will be our downfall I fear.
  5. You Win!

  6. I got Clinton, Blair and Thatcher. Who are the other stiffs?
  7. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    That's not Thatcher; it's former US Secretary of State Madelaine Albright.

    I'm not sure who the others are, either, though a number of them look familiar.
  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
  9. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I agree with that quote 100%. We have given up our rights in the name of "freedom" when it's just the government using that as a mask to hide their agendas.
  10. Sorry 'bout that. My bad.

  11. Ahhhhhh, now I get it... the only tragedy that I haven't read and that's the one that has it!
  12. Well I went to specifically look it up and found that I'm wrong. It's not Shakesphere.

    It is the most stated quote on the Web, but is not listed in orginial context.

    Therefore, it is only ATTRIBUTED TO JULES CAESAR.
    Where it came from is anyones guess.
    Even scholar's cannot find the referrence.
    This quote seems to have become quite popular on the web:

    "Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the
    citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a
    double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the
    mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the
    blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no
    need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry,
    infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their
    rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I
    have done. And I am Caesar." -- Julius Caesar

    Seems to me to be unauthentic (though perhaps ancient with a creative
    translation). Anybody know for sure?

    John D. Muccigrosso Classics Department
    jmuccigr@drew.edu Drew University
    Voice (973) 408-3029 Madison, NJ 07940
    FAX (973) 408-3150 http://www.depts.drew.edu/classics/
    The best answer is:
    Certainly this looks pretty fishy.
    I'm not even sure if there is a one-word term for "patriotism" in Latin-- this is part of being _pius_, to be sure, but the rhetorical context here requires that it be immediately distinguished from other kinds of _pietas_. Then, too, I'm not a Caesar fan, in general, but this "quotation" doesn't reasonably describe either Caesar's foreign wars (which were undertaken for other motives) or his
    civil ones (in which "patriotism" played no role). And: in what context would he have said this? This
    warning assumes that Caesar has obtained sole power, but it could only be addressed to the inhabitants of a state in which there is some
    plurality of power. This condition never obtained between Caesar's triumph and his assassination, and it is not clear that he anticipated its return after his death.

    Finally, brethren, it is badly written in a way somehow characteristic of web-scribbling. "Emboldens the blood"? "Need in
    seizing"? Blecch.

    The writer would have made his point more effectively if he had dropped the pseudonym and its attendant bombast. But then, I suppose,
    the sentiment would seem rather like the truism it is (not necessarily an untruth).

    What if someone later said it, and those little quirky phrases are transcription/translation errors common to the internet? Perhaps whoever said it meant "And I am Caesar" in a figurative way...not
    actually stating his name...and someone took that to mean whoever said it just be Julius Caesar?

    Of course, it could also be something some angry liberal arts student made up one night and tacked on JC to...but it does make me wonder if
    it's a total hoax or just a bad interpretation of what someone relatively powerful (not necessarily western) really DID say.