Caesar Pronunciation?

Jul 2010
Perfidious Albion
Finally, remember that for the most part, Latin was ONLY a written language, Romans invented this written language early in their history, then decided that their written language, and it's pronunciation, would remain static. This led to the rift between written High Latin, and the spoken, Vulgar Latin. So even then, the only people who would say [IU-lee-us KAI-sar] would just be trying to sound smart. (Or talking to the man himself I suppose, he was the king after all.)
During the later Empire this was the case, but during the 1st century BC Latin was spelled pretty much as it was pronounced (at least among the upper classes; the poor would have had their own pronunciations, much like today -- viz. Claudius Pulcher changing his name to Clodius to sound more common). The literary forms of any language are generally a bit old-fashioned, but because Latin authors tended to try and emulate the style of the classical authors like Virgil and Cicero, literary Latin became somewhat fossilised over the course of the Empire, until by the end it was quite different to what was used in day-to-day speech. (Kind of like if English authors wrote in the style of Shakespeare and the King James Bible.)
Jan 2013
I always thought the first C is a strong pronunciation of C+K. My last name starts with c and ends with c. However, iit's pronounced differently, first C is C+K, the second was C+k.
That's how I pronounce Caesar


Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
I have always understood his name to be pronounced 'Yooleeus Kaisahr' with the 'ai' sounding like 'I' as in aisle.

But what about his praenomen? Was it Gaius or Kaius?


Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
Another spanner: when I was student, I had a lecturer who insisted upon calling Cesare Borgia 'Chessary'. I had it in my head that his name was 'Sezar' but might have accepted Seezar. Every time he said 'Chessary' I felt my jaw tighten. He might've been right but I found it very annoying nonetheless!
It's pronounced how it spelled in Italian: Ce-Se-Re

In English it would be something like Chey-Zuh-Ray


Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
As for Caesar, which Latin dialect are we talking about?

"Caesar" would have been pronounced differently depending on whether it was court Latin or vulgar Latin. Then it would have depended on Caesar's preference.

I would say Caesar the name was pronounced with an "S" - due to his support base - whereas Caesar the title was "K."