caesar

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Caesar's wife must be above suspicion.

Prov. The associates of public figures must not even be suspected of wrongdoing. (The ancient Roman Julius Caesar is supposed to have said this when asked why he divorced his wife, Pompeia. Because she was suspected of some wrongdoing, he could not associate with her anymore.) Jill: I don't think the mayor is trustworthy; his brother was charged with embezzlement. Jane: But the charges were never proved. Jill: That doesn't matter. Caesar's wife must be above suspicion. When the newspapers reported the rumor that the lieutenant governor had failed to pay his taxes, the governor forced him to resign, saying, "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion."
See also: above, must, suspicion, wife

Caesar's wife

A woman whose ethics should not be questioned. A Roman emperor's wife was deemed to be above reproach; if her morals were called in question, it was a serious problem to her husband's image and political and social power. The phrase came down over the centuries to be applied to any woman, married to a leader or not, whose behavior was—or should be—beyond criticism. (According to the historian Suetonius, what Julius Caesar actually said translates as “My wife should be as much free from suspicion of a crime as she is from a crime itself.”)
See also: wife
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