From "The Genealogy of Morals" (see here):

Rome felt that the Jews were something contrary to nature itself, something like its monstrous polar opposite. In Rome the Jew was considered "guilty of hatred again the entire human race." And that view was correct, to the extent we are right to link the health and the future of the human race to the unconditional rule of aristocratic values, the Roman values.

This is from the first essay where he describes the dichotomy of master/slave-morality. The Jews are described as "priests" who build their status in Roman society by subverting the moral foundations of it by inverting the notions of "good (noble) and bad (not noble)" into "good (weak) and evil (powerful)".

About the hatred of priests he says:

As is well known, priests are the most evil of enemies—but why? Because they are the most powerless. From their powerlessness, their hate grows into something immense and terrifying, to the most spiritual and most poisonous manifestations.

I understand the part about "hatred" of Roman society, but I fail to understand how this applies to the "entire human race"?

2 questions:

  1. Why is this considered as "hatred again the entire human race"?
  2. "guilty of hatred again the entire human race." is stated as a quote. Is there any source on this? Couldn't find it.


  • Welcome to SE Philosophy! Thanks for your contribution. Please take a quick moment to take the tour or find help. You can perform searches here or seek additional clarification at the meta site. Don't forget, when someone has answered your question, you can click on the arrow to reward the contributor and the checkmark to select what you feel is the best answer.
    – J D
    Nov 20, 2020 at 19:32
  • Annals by Tacitus, Bk.XV. 44, probably; it is a deformed quote but the original "odium generis humani" is also an ambiguous genitive.
    – sand1
    Nov 20, 2020 at 21:15
  • It's a bit contrived. Obviously, in the Jewish roman wars, the Jews just fought to regain independence after having been invaded (same as other peoples invaded by Rome). But as propaganda, it could have been claimed that the Jews want to destroy the roman order. And if the roman order is necessary for the human race to flourish, the Jewish rebellion does not seem to just fight against roman interest, but against the interests of the human race, which can be labeled hatred against the human race. Nietzsche uses this historical propaganda to illustrate ideas of good and evil.
    – tkruse
    Nov 23, 2020 at 1:40

1 Answer 1


This claim is understandable within the broader framework of Nietzsche's argument, and in fact, he is quite specific about what he means here. Notice that he says that the Romans are correct in their view of the Jews "...to the extent we are right to link the health and the future of the human race to the unconditional rule of aristocratic values..." (emphasis added). (Note that Nietzsche does not give references for this claim, but it is not attributed to any particular Roman; he uses it as a general description of the attitude of "the Romans".)

In the Geneology, Nietzsche argues in favour of the idea that these values (e.g., nobility, efficacy, bravery, etc.) constitute the proper means of human flourishing. In this quote he is observing that these values are required for the health and future of the human race. By inverting these values, the Judeo-Christian moral code condemns these good values as evils and presents vices (weakness, powerlessness, meekness, etc.) as virtues. As Nietzsche sees it, to the extent that one follows the latter morality (what he elsewhere calls the "slave morality"), one undermines the necessary values for the health of the human race. This undermines humanity generally; it does not just undermine the Romans. Thus Nietzsche agrees with the Romans that "the Jew" ("the priest", etc.) is guilty of hatred of the entire human race.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .