What does the phrase "praise from Caesar" mean and where does it come from?
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The full phrase is usually "Praise from Caesar is praise indeed".
The earliest I can find for the full phrase is 1903's The Smart Set: a Magazine of Cleverness, Volume 9:
The earliest I can find for the shorter phrase is 1876's Archaeologia Cantiana, Volume 10:
The next is closer to our phrase's meaning, from 1889's New Englander and Yale review: Volume 50:
It means someone has given you a very great compliment, typically in a situation where a compliment would be hard to earn. Caesar was the ruler of Rome and at the time one of the most powerful rulers in the world. To be complimented by him was one of the greatest honors possible, thus the current meaning.
Praise from Caesar means praise on an action from the top person in that field.
Michael Jordan praising your basketball technique. Albert Einstein praising your scientific ability Pavarotti praise singing Etc Etc
After a battle Ceasar looked around and noticed an old Centerian, all bloodied, but still standing. He expressed his admiration for the old warrior's prowess. That's the praise you're talking about, when a young genuis compliments an old master.
protected by tchrist Nov 14 '15 at 13:56
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