Language – Veni, Vidi, Vici
This is a Latin phrase used to refer to swift and conclusive victory. Popularly such language is attributed to Julius Caesar. In 47 BC he wrote to the Roman Senate, after he had achieved victory at the Battle of Zela – in modern day Turkey – communicating by such language, in effect: “I came; I saw; I conquered”.
Since the time of Caesar, the phrase has been used frequently in military contexts. King Jan III of Poland alluded to it after the 17th century Battle of Vienna saying “Venimus, Vidimus, Dues Vicit” – “We came, we saw, God conquered”. More broadly, in modern idiom, it is used to denote a swift victory in any endeavour, including company takeover, property acquisition and sometimes product marketing.
Variations of the phrase have been used in other contexts, not all savoury:
- In the 1936 song “These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You),” the lyrics including “You came; you saw; you conquered me”.
- In the 1984 film “Ghostbusters”, one of the lead characters pronounced “We came; we saw; we kicked its ass!”: Bill Murray as Dr Peter Venkman
- In 2011, then US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton – referring to the death of Muammar Gaddafi – remarked “We came; we saw; he died”.