Accius, Atreus, fragment 168
oderint dum metuant.
Let them hate me, as long as they fear me.
A line from the tragedy Atreus by Lucius Accius (170-86 BC), whose work survives only in fragments. This one, evidently spoken by the tyrannical Atreus himself, was much quoted, appearing in Seneca the Younger (On Anger 1.20.4), Cicero (On Duties 1.97), and most famously in Suetonius’ Life of Caligula 30: it was, we learn there, a line that the bad emperor particularly liked to quote.