Apropos of the murder of Gaius Julius Caesar, the late V. I. Arnold told the following amusing story in pages 89-90 of his "Yesterday and Long Ago":


Long ago, Caesar gave a vivid description of the Gaul's national character: affectation and striving for theatricality, big promises, and ineffectuality. He stated that it was not possible to rely on the Gaul's promises to defend Rome from the Germans: if a German regiment crossed the Rhine, the Gauls would hide in bushes and would never fight.

According to Caesar's words, their troops were not able to fight, and they were also not able to cross the Alps: for this they would need good food and fine wines, but even with these they would be frozen before reaching a pass. The Gauls were always ready to sign any treaty profitable to them, but they would never honour it. Thus, there was only one way to defend Rome: to conquer Gaul.

Caesar developed a plan which could ensure a peaceful future for Europe. For this it was necessary to create a coalition with tribes that occupied a territory which is now in Russia, and then to attack the Germans from the East. Caesar had to inform the leaders of his army, who had fought with him in the Gallic war, about his plans for a new campaign; but the veterans preferred to grow cabbage, grapes, and apples on lands they had received from the Empire. Therefore, to avoid a new war and to save their gardens they had to kill Caesar when he came to the Roman Forum to obtain money for this campaign. Thus, Caesar's plan to ensure peace in Europe failed...

Does anybody here know if the previous account was the official version of Julius Caesar's murder in the schools of the Soviet Union once? Outrageous as you may find it, I have heard tell that, at some point of time, the famous Soviet mathematician Anatoly Fomenko put forward some historical claims which were even wilder than those by Arnold which one can find in the aforementioned book (yes, the one on Caesar's stabbing in the Ides of March of 44 BC is not the only outrageousness therein).


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No, I assure you, this nonsense was not taught at schools, at least in Soviet Union (I am not sure what is possible in Russia now). This is just a typical Russian "pop historian" interpretation, a genre pseudo-history quite popular with some Russian circles. In general V.I.Arnold's writing on history (including history of mathematics) cannot be taken seriously, though you are right, they are far from the outrageous delirium of Fomenko.

EDIT. Perhaps "popular in some circles" is an understatement. Since the break up of the Soviet Union a huge wave of this sort of pop history flooded Russian bookshops and later Internet. There is nothing like this in European countries or US. Books by Fomenko and his followers occupy whole shelves in the book stores and apparently sell well. It is actually a strange sociological phenomenon, which needs a scientific explanation.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, well here in the US we have whole shelves about secret Templar conspiracies and technology copied from the aliens who crashlanded at Roswell (and that's the less crazy stuff), so you needn't feel alone. $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 23:33

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