Why did Nietzsche like Julius Caesar so much?



Nietzsche seems to have a certain fascination with figures like Goethe and Julius Caesar. I was wondering why this is the case. Why, specifically, does Nietzsche look up to Caesar so much. Why does he consider him to be so close to the overman ideal? I would also like to know why he had respect for Brutus. Thank you. I'm very interested in your answers.

David Smith

Posted 2016-12-16T13:38:10.590

Reputation: 319

1I have not seen such comments in Nietzsche, but here goes. Nietzsche thought of himself as a tough guy, and Caesar was a tough guy, so Caesar was great. Then Brutus killed Caesar, making Brutus a tougher guy, and so even greater. – Mark Andrews – 2017-01-31T06:44:26.083

no-one mentions power without pity. or culture – None – 2017-02-13T20:41:53.720


See Nietzsche and ubermensch and compare his admiration for J.C. and Napoleon.

– Mauro ALLEGRANZA – 2016-12-16T13:54:16.770

You can see the second of the Untimely Meditations : On the Use and Abuse of History for Life (1874), Ch.7, for the reference to the "great men".

– Mauro ALLEGRANZA – 2016-12-17T13:36:15.380



In my personal opinion, Nietzsche as almost every philosopher that I know, looked at the mortal life through the concept of syllogisms.

In case of humans, with syllogism you can simply devide people into 'übermensch' and undermensch (sic!).

And he simply liked the 'über' ones more that the other :)

Additional notes: In German language prefix über has connotation of superiority, transcendence, excessiveness, or intensity. -mensch mean man.

As you see this traits match perfectly with the description of Julius Ceasar. That would mean that Nietzsche saw the impersonation of the Übermensch concepts in him.


Posted 2016-12-16T13:38:10.590

Reputation: 121

indeed, my question is why this is. – David Smith – 2017-02-14T23:10:58.037

Welcome to philosophy and thanks for the answer! Is there any chance you could unpack this a little further -- not in comments but by editing your answer to indicate why this is a persuasive answer to the question for you, and maybe some pointers towards some research which could confirm it?

– Joseph Weissman – 2017-02-18T16:07:04.283

@JosephWeissman thank you for your feedback. I will edit the answer and elaborate further on this topic. I will need to find some free time though, so it might need to wait for a bit. – cogitovirus – 2017-02-20T18:47:29.660

@JosephWeissman - answer updated! – cogitovirus – 2017-03-09T22:27:45.390


The obvious answer is 'power' 'lack of pity' and 'art' -- the latter being less Caesar like, more Goethe, at least without the Christ like modifier.

He was also very fond of himself, and Nietzsche was, and is, particularly influential, in art. The gloss may help, though Nietzsche, like any philosopher, has phases of thought, and he doesn't just do ethics.


Posted 2016-12-16T13:38:10.590