Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Meaning of “Like Caesar’s Wife-Above Suspicion” phrase of Idiom, definition and synonyms use in sentence.

Meaning of “Like Caesar’s Wife-Above Suspicion” phrase of Idiom, definition and synonyms use in sentence.

Like Caesar’s Wife-Above Suspicion

“The rare red-brown six penny Barbados, un-perforated is not altogether above suspicion.”—Philatclist (January 1, 1867).

This phrase is generally used to indicate any person, or action, which, it is felt, ought to be untainted by any moral flaw. The words “above suspicion” have become so much a part of English idiom that they are often used to suggest a shadow of doubt about the genuineness of anything. It is erroneous, however, to quote the phrase in the form in which it is here given; for Pompcia, the wife of Julius Cesar, was not above suspicion. On the contrary, it was precisely because there might be a rankling suspicion in ‘he public -mind, if not in Cesar’s own, that she had been involved in an “affair” with Publius Clodius, that the great Roman divorced her.

Clodius was one of the “smart set” of Roman society: “as ‘insolent,” says Plutarch, “as he was wealthy.” During a religious festival in honour of the goddess ” Bona ” (Greek: ” Gynaika “), and exclusively for women, who themselves performed the rites, Clodius, disguised as a woman, contrived, by the help of Pompeia’s maid, to obtain access to the house of Cesar. While awaiting his “mistress,” and avoiding the lights, he was found by a maiden, who pressed him to play with her. His voice betrayed him, and the affrighted maiden ran shrieking to well-lit apartments. Being found hiding in the maid’s room, Clodius was unceremoniously bundled into the street

Rome soon buzzed with excited gossip. Caesar had put away his wife, but refrained front publicly accusing Clodius, who had, nevertheless, to be brought to heel for his offence against the public conscience and the gods. When asked at the public examination to explain the seeming paradox of his having divorced his wife, though he had brought no charge against her paramour, Caesar replied: “I would have the chastity of my wife not only clear of guilt, but of the very suspicion of it.” Hence, in using this incident as a metaphor to illustrate an argument, or point a moral, one must be careful to say that so-and-so, “like Caesar’s wife, should be above suspicion.”


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