Is it anywhere noted that Louis XIV ever said “I am the state”?
It is not noted in any reliable source that Louis XIV ever said “I am the state” and seems to have been a later invention by either disreputable historians or popular culture. It seems unlikely that King Louis XIV would even say this phrase as he was well aware that he was not in control of the state and that his power was balanced by the influence of powerful nobles.
In relation to the state, King Louis is reported to have said on his deathbed that: “Je m’en vais, mais l’État demeurera toujours”—“I am going away, but the State will always remain.”. This statement also shows that the king was aware that he was not the entirety of the state, but may be misunderstood as the opposite.