Julius Caesar

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Veni, vidi, vici.

Gaius Iulius Caesar (Classical Latin: GAIVS IVLIVS CÆSAR) (13 July 100 BC - 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman religious, military, and political leader. He played an important part in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. His conquest of Gaul extended the Roman world all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, with the first Roman invasion of Britain in 55 BC. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest military geniuses of all time, as well as a brilliant politician and one of the ancient world's strongest leaders.

For the famous play by William Shakespeare, see Julius Caesar.


  • Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres.
  • Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae.
    • Of all these, the Belgians are the bravest/strongest .
    • Caesar suffered his greatest military defeat at the hands of the Belgians, the humiliation reaching Rome, and infuriating the man who then set out on one of Rome's biggest campaigns to crush the Republic's most feared rebels once and for all.
    • De Bello Gallico, Book I, Ch. 1
We have not to fear anything, except fear itself.
  • Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.
    • Men willingly believe what they wish.
    • De Bello Gallico, Book III, Ch. 18
  • Sunt item, quae appellantur alces. Harum est consimilis capris figura et varietas pellium, sed magnitudine paulo antecedunt mutilaeque sunt cornibus et crura sine nodis articulisque habent neque quietis causa procumbunt neque, si quo adflictae casu conciderunt, erigere sese aut sublevare possunt. His sunt arbores pro cubilibus: ad eas se applicant atque ita paulum modo reclinatae quietem capiunt. Quarum ex vestigiis cum est animadversum a venatoribus, quo se recipere consuerint, omnes eo loco aut ab radicibus subruunt aut accidunt arbores, tantum ut summa species earum stantium relinquatur. Huc cum se consuetudine reclinaverunt, infirmas arbores pondere adfligunt atque una ipsae concidunt.
    • De Bello Gallico, Book VI
    • There are also animals which are called elks [alces = moose in Am. Engl. Elk = Wapiti]. The shape of these, and the varied colour of their skins, is much like roes, but in size they surpass them a little and are destitute of horns, and have legs without joints and ligatures; nor do they lie down for the purpose of rest, nor, if they have been thrown down by any accident, can they raise or lift themselves up. Trees serve as beds to them; they lean themselves against them, and thus reclining only slightly, they take their rest; when the huntsmen have discovered from the footsteps of these animals whither they are accustomed to betake themselves, they either undermine all the trees at the roots, or cut into them so far that the upper part of the trees may appear to be left standing. When they have leant upon them, according to their habit, they knock down by their weight the unsupported trees, and fall down themselves along with them.
    • De Bello Gallico, Book VI
  • Alea iacta est.
    • The die is cast.
    • Suetonius, Divus Iulius, paragraph 33 [1]
    • Said when crossing the river Rubicon with his legions on 10 January, 49 BC, thus beginning the civil war with the forces of Pompey. The Rubicon river was the boundary of Gaul, the province Caesar had the authority to keep his army in. By crossing the river, he had committed an invasion of Italy.
    • This was originally a quote from the playwright Menander.
  • Galia est pacata.
    • Gaul is subdued.
    • Written in a letter with which Caesar informed the Roman Senate of his victory over Vercingetorix in 52 BC
  • Sed fortuna, quae plurimum potest cum in reliquis rebus tum praecipue in bello, parvis momentis magnas rerum commutationes efficit; ut tum accidit.
    • Fortune, which has a great deal of power in other matters but especially in war, can bring about great changes in a situation through very slight forces.
    • The Civil War, Book III, 68
  • Nihil nobis metuendum est, praeter metum ipsum.
    • We have not to fear anything, except fear itself.
    • By legend, Caesar told it to his wife Calpurnia, who was praying him not to go to the Senate, where, as she saw in dream, he would die.
    • Note: at the First Inaugural Address for New Deal project, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said: So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself [...] .


  • As a rule, men worry more about what they can't see than about what they can.
  • I would rather be first in a little Iberian village than second in Rome.
    • On his way to Spain
  • It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.
  • Tu quoque, Brute, fili mi?
    • You too, Brutus, my son?
    • This appeared in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar as "Et tu, Brute" ("And you, also, Brutus?"), though Caesar's actual last words are unknown. They have been reported to be Greek, not Latin: "Καὶ σὺ τέκνον;" meaning "And you, child?"

The future of the world rests on my shoulders and the gods of the seas genatalia rest in my hand

  • To prefer my friendship to that of those who have always been his and my bitter enemies, by whose machinations the country has been brought to its present impasse.
    • In a request from Caesar to Pompey for a resolution to the impending civil war.


  • 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.
    • This statement by an unknown author has also been wrongly attributed to William Shakespeare, but there are no records of it prior to late 2001. It has been debunked at Snopes.com and About.com

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Caesar's own writings

Ancient historians on Caesar

Secondary sources