Veni Vidi Vici

The phrase "I came, I saw, I conquered" is attributed to which historical figure?

And the answer: Julius Caesar.    

The Latin phrase veni, vidi, vici translates to "I came, I saw, I conquered." It's attributed to Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, written in a letter to the Roman Senate around 47 BCE, after he had achieved a quick victory.

Photo credit: public domain. 

Julius Caesar was a ruler who liked to keep score. Known for recording his wartime experiences, Caesar had a significant addiction for the books. But first, some context.

From 50-63 BCE, Julius Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey ruled Rome as the First Triumvirate. All three were prominent Roman politicians who aimed to circumvent Rome's governmental system of checks and balances, which were in place to prevent any one man from gaining too much power. While a now-unconventional form of leadership, the three worked together to barter and conquer as much as they could, often benefitting from what the other had to offer.

However, they weren't quite the best of friends. When Crassus died in 53 BCE, there was nothing to stop the leaders from feuding, each grappling for power they believed was owed to themselves alone. Pompey, along with all but two members of the senate, demanded that Caesar disband his army and end his term as governor. Caesar refused and led his army toward Rome, provoking a civil war. Pompey and his counsel promptly fled Rome, fearing Caesar's wrath, and died in Egypt under Egyptian ruler Ptolemy XIII, where Caesar found him some years later.

Caesar, on his way back to Rome, was invigorated by the win and sought to conquer more land on the way. He won the land of Pharnaces, who ruled the Cimmerian Bosporus in a quick and easy battle – to Caesar, this was icing on the cake. He later reflected on the battle in his notes, stating veni, vidi, vici.

And now, a joke.

Why was Julius Caesar the first dictator of Rome?

He was the only one with the Gaul to try it.

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