Have you heard of Albert Einstein quote, “Remember Capitol of Rome was once saved by cackling of geese“?
Well, actually it was a sarcastic remark uttered by professor Albert Einstein back in 1932.
The full line is:
“…Remember that the Capitol of mighty Rome was once saved by the cackling of its faithful geese”.
This Einstein’s mischievous remark, was a scathing response to a conservative women’s group, the Daughters of the American Revolution who was against his visit to the United States.
These women protested about his left-wing belief. He had been associated with organizations that are more or less associated with Communism or Socialism.
For the uninitiated, this line is a reference to an ancient Roman myth about the night, the loud cackling of geese that alerted or woke up the Romans from their sleep, when the Gauls were about to attacked them.
According to history, it was back in 387 B.C.
The Gauls were attacking Rome. For their safety, the Romans quickly moved up to a strong fortress at the summit of a steep hill.
It was called Capitol, one of the seven hills of Rome.
The Gauls were having a tough time entering this impregnable hilltop hideout.
During the time of war, when food supplies were dwindling fast.
Not only the Romans did not kill and ate these birds, they still fed their much-needed food to their geese instead.
It is because according to their tradition, these geese were the property of the goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter, queen of Heaven, and goddess of war.
It was one dark night, when the Gauls quietly climbed up to the Capitol hill, without the knowledge of the sentinels and not even waking up the dogs.
But it was the geese which noticed the presence of the enemies, and started cackling loudly and flapping their wings frantically.
The commotion and din aroused a distinguished soldier by the name of Marcus Manlius who was on guard nearby.
As soon as he realized what was happening, Manlius sprang into action and at the same time called out the rest to fight back.
Here is a simple animated version of “How The Geese Saved Rome”.
The German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein likened the protesting group of angry American women as a gaggle of noisy geese.
And he himself as a dangerous foreigner approaching their country, just like the Gallic soldier who attacked Rome.
In addition to his mockery, Einstein also mentioned the Minotaur, the monster with the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull found in a Greek mythology.
This about “women as cackling geese who wanted to save Rome” and “Minotaur” quotation was published in Mein Weltbild, Amsterdam: Querido Verlag, 1934.
It is also found in his book “Ideas And Opinions” under the title, “REPLY TO THE WOMEN OF AMERICA” on page 7-8.
Never yet have I experienced from the fair sex such energetic rejection of all advances; or if I have, never from so many at once.
But are they not quite right, these watchful citizenesses? Why should one open one’s doors to a person who devours hard-boiled capitalists with as much appetite and gusto as the Cretan Minotaur in days gone by devoured luscious Greek maidens, and on top of that is low-down enough to reject every sort of war, except the unavoidable war with one’s own wife? Therefore give heed to your clever and patriotic womenfolk and remember that the Capitol of mighty Rome was once saved by the cackling of its faithful geese.