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Who said that with great power comes great responsibility?

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November 27, 2014 11:53PM

Despite what Marvel and the movies would have us believe, this epic and powerful quote does not come from a Hollywood script writing team but from the revolutionary ridden and passionate literary haven that was 19th century France.

Credit has been given to Stan Lee writer of Spiderman, Franklin D Roosevelt, and even Winston Churchill at various stages; however, the first literary record of this can be attributed to Francois-Marie Arouet aka Voltaire.

Much like Victor Hugo, Voltaire was disturbed by the sickening abuse of authority and privilege by those in power whilst the poor and deprived starved and suffered around him.

Much of Voltaire's work reflects on this theme, however it was in "�uvres de Voltaire, Volume 48" that we first hear the direct use of this phrase. [EDIT: This is highly questionable. There is nothing I could find in Voltaire's work that was actually resembling this quote. Instead, the quote seems to come from William Lamb, a former English Prime Minister, as said in 1817:
Hansard, Thomas Curson. "Habeus Corpus Suspension Bill." The Parliamentary Debates From The Year 1803 To The Present Time. Vol. 36. London: T.C. Hansard, 1817. 1127. Print.

Check out page 1127 of the publication on google books; left top.]

Of course in Spiderman's case it was just as apt as when first directed at those who Voltaire believed to be wicked, corrupt and everything that was rotten in France at the time.

Source:

Voltaire. Jean, Adrien. Beuchot, Quentin and Miger, Pierre, Auguste. "�uvres de Voltaire, Volume 48." Lefèvre, 1832 Such a basic tenet is easy to find among the great and moderate thinkers all the way back to the bronze age. I'd like to put a credit in for Jesus Christ "To those who much is given much is required" Luke 12:48 circa 30 AD. No doubt others will find something similar amongst the Greek philosophers.