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Virgil61

Quotation attributed to Cicero--Fact or Fake?

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Anyone have an idea where this quotation attributed to Cicero can be found?

 

Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions and laughed delightedly at his licentiousness and thought it very superior of him to acquire vast amounts of gold illicitly. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the 'new, wonderful good society' which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean 'more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.

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I don't have a full copy of Cicero and with a quick browse through the Lacius Curtis site relevant to Cicero I couldn't see anything there however (although this may be wrong) the earliest dateable citation for this quote is listed on another site suggested as being by "Florida Supreme Court Justice Millard F. Caldwell, purported to have been published in 1965".

 

I did find the 'purported' article here where it is cited as:

 

Cicero's Prognosis

-- by --

 

THE HONORABLE MILLARD F. CALDWELL

Justice - Supreme Court

Tallahassee, Florida

 

Presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.

 

October 7-9, 1965, Columbus, Ohio

 

Reprinted March, 1996

 

 

This may well be another case of a 'quotation' being falsely attributed to an ancient source for a particular purpose or an accidental misquotation but in either case the attribution to Cicero appears to have outrun the 'original' on the Web.

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I don't have a full copy of Cicero and with a quick browse through the Lacius Curtis site relevant to Cicero I couldn't see anything there however (although this may be wrong) the earliest dateable citation for this quote is listed on another site suggested as being by "Florida Supreme Court Justice Millard F. Caldwell, purported to have been published in 1965".

 

I did find the 'purported' article here where it is cited as:

 

Cicero's Prognosis

-- by --

 

THE HONORABLE MILLARD F. CALDWELL

Justice - Supreme Court

Tallahassee, Florida

 

Presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.

 

October 7-9, 1965, Columbus, Ohio

 

Reprinted March, 1996

 

 

This may well be another case of a 'quotation' being falsely attributed to an ancient source for a particular purpose or an accidental misquotation but in either case the attribution to Cicero appears to have outrun the 'original' on the Web.

 

I found the same source. I think you're probably on to something, I'm leaning towards the false attribution theory. Seems to happen a lot on the internet.

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Two things that make this quote suspect.

 

First Caesar - and the comment about 'illicit wealth' suggests we are talking of Caius Julius Caesar the dictator - only celebrated the one triumph. So Cicero would know the plural was wrong.

 

Secondly, Caesar never talked of a 'new society'. His entire propaganda effort was based on his having stabilized the old one - a line that was pushed by his heir Augustus even while he was creating a new society.

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Two things that make this quote suspect.

 

First Caesar - and the comment about 'illicit wealth' suggests we are talking of Caius Julius Caesar the dictator - only celebrated the one triumph. So Cicero would know the plural was wrong.

 

Secondly, Caesar never talked of a 'new society'. His entire propaganda effort was based on his having stabilized the old one - a line that was pushed by his heir Augustus even while he was creating a new society.

 

Good catch. This is why I buy your books.

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