Veni, vidi, vici

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Veni, vidi, vici (IPA /weːniː wiːdiː wiːkiː/ or /veni vidi viʧi/) is a famous Latin phrase coined by Roman general and consul Julius Caesar in 47 BC; Caesar used the phrase as the full text of his message to the Roman senate describing his recent victory over Pharnaces II of Pontus in the Battle of Zela. Caesar's terse remark -- translated as "I came, I saw, I conquered", or even "came, saw, conquered" -- simultaneously proclaimed the totality of his victory and served to remind the senate of Caesar's military prowess (Caesar was still in the midst of a civil war); alternatively, the remark can be viewed as an expression of Caesar's contempt for the patrician senate, traditionally representing the most powerful group in the Roman Republic.


[edit] Use in society today

Today it is a common Latin term used often in business and sometimes in social competition. Jokingly, an executive might sign a profitable contract and utter the phrase. Many popular media also place it in the mouths of different Roman figures. The comic Asterix sees the various centurions crossing the two protagonists using the phrase quite often, or variations thereof.

[edit] Television/Movies

  • The phrase has been misconceived as a sort of "magic word." The television show Doug from Nickelodeon applied the term as such. The three words in the phrase are very similar, suggesting a sort of chant or spell rather than language in the modern sense.
  • In Ghostbusters, Bill Murray made a parody of this line by saying while referring to a ghost: "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass."
  • In Ernest Goes to Jail, Jim Varney's character Ernest P. Worrell says this after a bomb goes off: "I came, I saw, I got blowed up."
  • In an early episode of Johnny Bravo, a relatively recently retired show from Cartoon Network, Johnny Bravo made a parody of this line after getting injured prior to his collapse: "I came, I saw, I broke a hip."
  • In the original pilot to the series The Black Adder, the family crest read "Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos" which translates roughly as "I came, I saw, I castrated the bastards."
  • In the TV show The Vicar of Dibley, the Horton motto is "veni, vidi, spurius brutus deitrum covi". It means "I came, I saw, I tore the thick bastards limb from limb".
  • Tigger proclaims “I came, I sawed, I hammered” in a Winnie the Pooh video.
  • In an episode of Clone High, the clone of Julius Caesar uses a parody of the phrase, saying, "Veni, vidi, booyah."
  • In Ocean's Eleven, Rubin stated that a man who tried to rob a casino was killed, he said "He came, He grabbed, They conquered."
  • In the episode "Needle in a Haystack" of House M.D., Gregory House says "Veni, vidi, vici" to Wilson to state his victory in a bet with Cuddy for a handicapped parking space.
  • It was also used by self-centered character Ari Gold on HBO Original series Entourage

[edit] Music

  • Tawdry Hepburn the San Francisco indie-rock loungecore group, repeats "veni vidi vici" in the refrain of its hit single entitled Sink, a song about mythic female dominance originally penned by Jackie O. Nasstie and the San Francisco rock group Apocalipstick.
  • In "Encore", a rap single recorded by Jay-Z from his 2003 album The Black Album, as well as in "Numb / Encore", co-recorded with Linkin Park, Jay-Z refers to this line by singing:
I came, I saw, I conquered
From record sales, to sold out concerts
  • In the song "Get Back" by Ludacris, Ludacris says: "I came, I saw, I hit him right dead in the jaw."
  • Garage punk band The Hives named their second full length album Veni Vidi Vicious, obviously a play on the Julius Caesar quote.
  • "You Came, You Saw, You Conquered" is the title of a song by Phil Spector, Irvin Levine, & Toni Wine, recorded by the Ronettes:
Ooh, you came, you saw, you conquered all the love in me
Oh baby, you came, you saw, you turned your lovin' right on at me.
  • "Beware! Criminal" by Incubus features a chorus with the line "you came, you saw, you conquered..."
  • Virgin Steele, an American epic-metal band, have a 10-minute song named "Veni Vidi Vici" on their 1998 album Invictus.
  • Highland, a German Dance/Hip Hop band, released a song in 2001 named "Veni Vidi Vici".
  • The title song for the hit Broadway musical "Mame" (written by Jerry Herman) contains the lyrics:
You came, you saw, you conquered
And absolutely nothing is the same
  • Rapper Ja Rule's first album is entitled Venni Vetti Vecci, a play on Caesar's line.
  • In Blink 182's song, "Adam's Song", the second verse begins, "I never conquered, rarely came".
  • On Apple Computer's website for their product iPod, one of the suggested laser engravings is 'iCame, iSaw, iPod'.
  • Alizée (Mylene Farmer's protege) has a song called Veni, Vidi, Vici on album Gourmandises.
  • In Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the song "Here I Am" sung by Christine Colgate: "So Veni, Vidi, Vici, folks; let's face it--"
  • In the Groundswell (3 Four) song, "I Dare You," the lyrics include: Veni, Vidi, Vici, it's just so catchy - it's like a virus"

[edit] Literature

  • In his Discworld novel Jingo, Terry Pratchett's character Samuel Vimes speculates on other possible phrases (Veni, vermini, vomui - I came, I got ratted, I threw up; Visi, veneri, vamoosi - I visited, I caught an embarrassing disease, I ran away), and decides that "he probably made it up first, and then went off to see somewhere and conquer it".
  • Also in Discworld, the character of Havelock Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork coins the phrase "Veni, vici, Vetinari".
  • Orson Scott Card's book, Ender's Game, has Veni Vidi Vici as the title for Chapter 11.
  • In 1066 and All That by W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman, the Britons, who are using the earlier pronunciation, mistakenly believe that Caesar has called them "Weeny, Weedy, and Weaky," and give up.
  • In Spies by Michael Frayn, Stephen Wheatley is bullied at school, where he is known as "Weeny weedy Wheatley."
  • In Batman: The Long Halloween the phrase was written on the top of Carlos Falcone's tombstone

[edit] Other

  • Apple Computer gave attendees of its 2006 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) a t-shirt with the phrase "Veni. Vidi. Codi" - "I came. I saw. I coded."
  • 'Veni, Vidi, Wiki' was the tagline of WikiCamp, an unconference on Wikis held at Chennai, India.
  • Another alternative is Veni, Vidi, Volo domum redire ("I came, I saw, I want to go home"). This is often cited as "Veni, Vidi, Volo in domum redire," but the use of the preposition is ungrammatical. (The correct usage is, interestingly, illustrated in the well-known phrase Romani ite domum, "Romans go home," from Monty Python's Life of Brian.)
  • It has been used on the cover of Marlboro cigarettes on the small logo with the two lions. "Veni Vidi Vici" can also be found on the coat of arms of Philip Morris International, producer of Marlboro cigarettes.
  • In the 1990s, T-shirts were available with the line, "Veni, vidi, veggie: I came. I saw. I had a salad."
  • In the popular MMORPG EverQuest, there is a knockoff of Veni, Vidi, Vici. An NPC in the Planes of Mischief named Vinny V. D'Vicci.
  • There is a level on the computer game Anno 1602, on the campaign On his majesty's service.
  • The computer game The Settlers II used the phrase as its subtitle.
  • sell t-shirts bearing the slogan "Veni, vidi, Vidić", a reference to Manchester United's imposing Serbian centre back Nemanja Vidić[1].
  • In Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, Razoff the Hunter sometimes says the line "I came, I saw, I kicked some butt!"
  • The phrase can be seen in the player's Trophy Room in Unreal Tournament.
  • The phrase is the motto for the US Army Sniper School, Ft. Benning, GA. It is however spelled "Vini, Vidi, Vici."
  • From a more modern perspective, "Vini, Vidi, Velcro," I came, I saw, I stuck around.
  • In some Dungeons & Dragons circles, the parody phrase "Veni, Vidi, Cerebros consumpsi" (Literally "I came, I saw, I ate his brain") is sometimes used in reference to the infamous villain race, the Illithids
  • Vueling Airlines named "Veni, Vidi, Vueling" one of its Airbus A320