Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a Latin phrase found in the work of the Roman poet Juvenal from his Satires. It is translated as "Who will guard the guards themselves?", though it is known by variant translations, such as "Who watches the watchers?" and "Who will watch the watchmen?". The original context deals with the problem of ensuring marital fidelity, though the phrase is now used more to refer to the problem of controlling the actions of persons in positions of power, an issue discussed by Plato in the Republic, it is not clear whether the phrase was written by Juvenal, or whether the passage in which it appears was interpolated into his works. The phrase, as it is quoted in Latin, comes from the Satires of Juvenal, the 1st–2nd century Roman satirist. Although in its modern usage the phrase has universal, timeless applications to concepts such as tyrannical governments, uncontrollably oppressive dictatorships, police or judicial corruption and overreach, in context within Juvenal's poem it refers to the impossibility of enforcing moral behaviour on women when the enforcers are corruptible: Modern editors regard these three lines as an interpolation inserted into the text.
In 1899 an undergraduate student at Oxford, E. O. Winstedt, discovered a manuscript containing 34 lines which some believe to have been omitted from other texts of Juvenal's poem; the debate on this manuscript is ongoing, but if the verses are not by Juvenal, it is that it preserves the original context of the phrase. If so, the original context is as follows: This phrase is used to consider the embodiment of the philosophical question as to how power can be held to account, it is sometimes incorrectly attributed as a direct quotation from Plato's Republic in both popular media and academic contexts. There is no exact parallel in the Republic, but it is used by modern authors to express Socrates' concerns about the guardians, the solution to, to properly train their souls. Several 19th-century examples of the association with Plato can be found dropping "ipsos". John Stuart Mill quotes it thus in Considerations on Representative Government, though without reference to Plato. Plato's Republic though was hardly referenced by classical Latin authors like Juvenal, it has been noted that it disappeared from literary awareness for a thousand years except for traces in the writings of Cicero and St. Augustine.
In the Republic, a putatively perfect society is described by Socrates, the main character in this Socratic dialogue. Socrates proposed a guardian class to protect that society, the custodes from the Satires are interpreted as being parallel to the Platonic guardians. Socrates' answer to the problem is, in essence, that the guardians will be manipulated to guard themselves against themselves via a deception called the "noble lie" in English; as Leonid Hurwicz pointed out in his 2007 lecture on accepting the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, one of Socrates' interlocutors in the Republic, Glaucon goes so far as to say "it would be absurd that a guardian should need a guard." The question "Who watches the Watchmen?" Frequently appears in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' graphic novel Watchmen, but the phrase is seen in its entirety only on the closing page of Issue 11. Moore stated in an interview that the title of the series related directly to this question, although at the time of the interview Moore did not know where the sentence originated.
Science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein chose the original Latin phrase as the motto of the Solar Patrol, as depicted in his 1948 novel Space Cadet; the internet comedy group LoadingReadyRun made a video parodying the question of'Who watches the Watchmen?', proposing that the Watchmen watch the city, the'Neighbourhood Watchmen Watching Organisation' watch the Watchmen, the'Watching The Neighbourhood Watchmen Watching Organisation Organisation' watch the Neighbourhood Watchmen Watching Organisation, Geoff watches the'Watching The Neighbourhood Watchmen Watching Organisation Organisation'. An unnamed person is seen to be watching Geoff; the independent film The Guards Themselves by Kyle C. Sullivan and Ian Conn takes its title from this phrase, it tells the tale of a group of so-called anarchists who appear to be villains endeavoring to overthrow the government and who are thwarted by heroic vigilantes. However, the government in their city is corrupted by an villainous group of five oligarchs, the vigilantes are out for publicity.
An episode of Inspector Morse references this quote. Whilst speaking with the prison governess Hilary Stephens in an Oxford college, Morse encounters his former college chaplain. Upon finding out that the head of a prison is off prison premises he asks "quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Morse finds it amusing since the chaplain says this every time the two meet, only this time it is "remotely apposite". An episode of the animated series The Simpsons refers to this philosophical question. In episode 1F09, "Homer the Vigilante", when Homer is talking about having abused his vigilante powers, his elder daughter Lisa asks, "If you're the police, who will police the police?" Homer responds, "I don't know. Coast Guard?"It appears in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels heard from Sir Samuel Vimes, commander of the City Watch. He answers it in Thud!, though briefly, with the line "I do". When asked who watches over him, he follows it up with "I do, too", it appears in Feet of Clay and I Shall Wear Midnight.
It first appears in Gu
The Rochefoucauld Grail is a four-volume 14th-century illuminated manuscript. Three volumes were Amsterdam, Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, MS 1, it contains the Lancelot-Grail cycle in French prose, the oldest and most comprehensive surviving version of the legend of King Arthur and the Holy Grail. The leaves are about 405 mm by 295 mm, are written in two columns, by a number of scribes. Two other complete versions of the text are held by the British Library, Additional MSS 10292-10294 of c. 1315 and MS Royal 14. E.iii, both produced by the same team of scribes. The hides of about two hundred cows would have been used in the manuscript's production. A few planks of wood and several yards of string would have been used for the original binding; the four volumes were created in Flanders or Artois for the French nobleman Guy VII, Baron de Rochefoucauld around the years 1315 to 1325. There are "baronial arms and standard of Rouchfoucauld inserted later" indicating ownership at that point, the four volumes may have belonged to the Rochefoucauld family until the 18th century, but were dispersed by the 1720s.
The three volumes in Amsterdam were acquired in two separate purchases by the 19th-century English antiquary and book collector Sir Thomas Phillipps and have subsequently been sold twice. Dr. Timothy Bolton of Sotheby's said of the ex-Amsterdam volumes, "It is a monumental format, with 107 miniatures, each a dazzling jewel of early Gothic illumination; the scenes have a riotous energy... lofty towers poking through the borders... and figures tumbling out on to the blank page as they fall or scramble to escape their enemies." The three volumes were sold by its previous owner, Mr Joost Ritman, for the benefit of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetically in Amsterdam. It had been on loan to that library; the Rochefoucauld Grail in artdaily.org The Rochefoucauld Grail in The Guardian 11 November 2010