VENI, VIDI, VICI
It is translated as “I came, I saw, I conquered”.
It is a Latin phrase, popularly attributed to Julius Caesar. He is supposed to have used it in a letter to Roman Senate around 46 BC after he had defeated Pharnaces II of Pontus at the Battle of Zela.
According to historians like Plutarch and Suetonius, Caesar had said it. While Plutarch says that Caesar had used the phrase while giving an account of the battle to a friend at Rome; Suetonius says, that he displayed as an inscription among show pieces of a procession after his triumph.
Since then, the phrase has been used in various military contexts all over till modern times. It is basically a mark of swift victory.
ET TU BRUTE?
This phrase is again attributed to Julius Caesar.
It is also a Latin phrase meaning “And You Brutus” or “You Too Brutus”. It was supposedly the last words of Julius Caesar said to his friend Marcus Brutus at the time of his assassination.
However, there is no evidence that Caesar actually said these words and the popularity of the phrase is wholly accounted to William Shakespeare`s play Julius Caesar, in which these are the last words of Caesar at the time of assassination.
The quotation is widely used to signify utmost betrayal by an unexpected person like a friend.
IF THEY DON`T HAVE BREAD LET THEM EAT CAKE
This phrase is commonly attributed to Marie Antoinette, though there is no record of this phrase ever being said by her.
It was supposed to be said by the Queen, wife of King Louis XVI of France, on being reported that the peasants do not have bread to eat due to a famine. The statement shows the selfishness of aristocracy and their attitude towards common populace.
But, modern historians assert that the phrase was most probably said by another princess or queen which came earlier than her and that the historical evidence portray the situation contrary to that which has been generally regarded.
No anti-imperialist at the time of the French Revolution (which happened at the time of the same king and queen) attributed the phrase to her and it was much after her death that she became famous as its speaker.
Moreover the queen was in all probability a generous person disposed towards charity.
Maybe, it was the people who put the words in the mouth of the queen after the French Revolution and the execution of the Royal Couple, to make them look deserving death in the wake of revolution.
ABLE WAS I ERE I SAW ELBA
Napoleon Bonaparte never said it, but it is attributed to him as it clearly in one sentence describes his career. This sentence which is a palindrome, was first published in U.S. periodical in 1848, much after his death in 1821.
The sentence describes the career of Napoleon in a single sentence. Napoleon had taken the Europe by sway with his military capabilities so much that the whole Europe collectively organized themselves against him and defeated him at the Battle of Leipzig.
Finally he was exiled to the island of Elba for a long time. Though he escaped the island and again managed to regain the French throne and raise a strong army, he was only able to reign for about hundred days before being defeated in the Battle of Waterloo.
Thus, the quote aptly describes the his career as before being exiled to Elba he was able and strong.
An engineering graduate, currently pursuing MBA. Loves to read novels, specially classics. Likes to think random ideas in free time. A history lover, wants to learn as much about civilizations, religions, cultures as he can. Dreams of becoming a writer someday.