| Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.|
|AUTHOR:||Marcus Tullius Cicero (10643 B.C.)|
|QUOTATION:||I am a Roman citizen.|
(Civis Romanus sum.)
|ATTRIBUTION:||MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO, Against Verres (In Verrem), part 2, book 5, section 57.Cicero, The Verrine Orations, trans. L. H. G. Greenwood, vol. 2, p. 629 (1935).|
This was a proud boast when few were citizens. It was enough to stop arbitrary condemnation, bonds and scourging, because Roman citizenship granted the right to be tried in Roman courts.
On June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy spoke to the crowd in Berlin, West Germany: Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis Romanus sum. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is Ich bin ein Berliner
. All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner.Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, pp. 524, 525.