caesar

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Caesar's wife must be above suspicion

If one is involved with a famous or prominent figure, one must avoid attracting negative attention or scrutiny. Julius Caesar allegedly used the phrase to explain why he divorced his wife, Pompeia. After my son's scandal derailed my presidential bid, I understood why Caesar's wife must be above suspicion.
See also: above, must, suspicion, wife

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

appeal to Caesar

appeal to the highest possible authority.
The allusion is to the claim made by the apostle Paul to have his case heard in Rome, which was his right as a Roman citizen: ‘I appeal unto Caesar’ (Acts 25:11).
See also: appeal, caesar

Caesar's wife

a person who is required to be above suspicion.
This expression comes ultimately from Plutarch 's account of Julius Caesar 's decision to divorce his wife Pompeia . The libertine Publius Clodius , who was in love with Pompeia, smuggled himself into the house in which the women of Caesar's household were celebrating a festival, thereby causing a scandal. Caesar refused to bring charges against Clodius, but divorced Pompeia; when questioned he replied ‘I thought my wife ought not even to be under suspicion’.
See also: 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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