Quotes by Marcus T. Cicero

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Marcus Tullius Cicero (January 3, 106 BC - December 7, 43 BC) was an orator, statesman, political theorist, lawyer and philosopher of Ancient Rome. He is considered by many to be amongst the greatest of the Latin orators and prose ...

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Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.

A room without books is like a body without a soul.
Ability without honor is useless.
While there's life, there's hope.
What sweetness is left in life, if you take away friendship? Robbing life of friendship is like robbing the world of the sun. A true friend is more to be esteemed than kinsfolk.
To the sick, while there is life there is hope.
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.
I am not ashamed to confess I am ignorant of what I do not know.
Life is nothing without friendship.
I prefer the most unfair peace to the most righteous war.
The greater the difficulty, the greater the glory.
Friends are proved by adversity.
I never admire another's fortune so much that I became dissatisfied with my own.
They condemn what they do not understand.
A friend is, as it were, a second self.
It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own.
It is the nature of every person to error, but only the fool perseveres in error.
Orators are most vehement when their cause is weak.
The good of the people is the greatest law.
There is no place more delightful than one's own fireplace.
The causes of events are ever more interesting than the events themselves.
Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.
Sweet is the memory of past troubles.
The pursuit, even of the best things, ought to be calm and tranquil.
All pain is either severe or slight, if slight, it is easily endured; if severe, it will without doubt be brief.
The injuries that befall us unexpectedly are less severe than those which are deliberately anticipated.
Rightly defined philosophy is simply the love of wisdom.
Before beginning, plan carefully.
Great is the power of habit. It teaches us to bear fatigue and to despise wounds and pain.
The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.
No one can be brave who considers pain to be the greatest evil in life, or can they be temperate who considers pleasure to be the highest good.
To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.
The noblest spirit is most strongly attracted by the love of glory.
The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt, the mobs should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence.
As you have sown so shall you reap.
There is pleasure in calm remembrance of a past sorrow.
The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct.
Knowledge which is divorced from justice, may be called cunning rather than wisdom.
The foundation of justice is good faith.
Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. If no use is made of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge.
Every man can tell how many goats or sheep he possesses, but not how many friends.
Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.
Fear is not a lasting teacher of duty.
That last day does not bring extinction to us, but change of place.
He cannot be strict in judging, who does not wish others to be strict judges of himself.
What an ugly beast the ape, and how like us.
I add this, that rational ability without education has more often raised man to glory and virtue, than education without natural ability
If we are not ashamed to think it, we should not be ashamed to say it.
No liberal man would impute a charge of unsteadiness to another for having changed his opinion.
There is nothing so absurd that some philosopher has not already said it.
Let reason govern desire.
To disregard what the world thinks of us is not only arrogant but utterly shameless.
Superstition is an unreasoning fear of God.
He does not seem to me to be a free man who does not sometimes do nothing.
Justice consists of doing no one injury, decency in giving no one offense.
There never was a great soul that did not have some divine inspiration.
Hatreds not vowed and concealed are to be feared more than those openly declared.
Hatred is inveterate anger.
The eyes like sentinel occupy the highest place in the body.
It shows a brave and resolute spirit not to be agitated in exciting circumstances.
A man of courage is also full of faith.
Brevity is a great charm of eloquence.
Brevity is the best recommendation of speech, whether in a senator or an orator.
When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff.
There is no one so old as to not think they may live a day longer.
Advice in old age is foolish; for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road the nearer we approach to our journey's end.
We should not be so taken up in the search for truth, as to neglect the needful duties of active life; for it is only action that gives a true value and commendation to virtue.
A sensual and intemperate youth translates into an old worn-out body.
As I approve of a youth that has something of the old man in him, so I am no less pleased with an old man that has something of the youth. He that follows this rule may be old in body, but can never be so in mind.
Victory is by nature insolent and haughty.
It is better to receive than to do injury.
You will be as much value to others as you have been to yourself.
In everything truth surpasses the imitation and copy.
Time destroys the speculation of men, but it confirms nature.
Thrift is of great revenue.
A man's own manner and character is what most becomes him.
The multitude of fools is a protection to the wise.
Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.
Whatever that be which thinks, understands, wills, and acts. it is something celestial and divine.
All things tend to corrupt perverted minds.
There is no fortune so strong that money cannot take it.
The soil of their native land is dear to all the hearts of mankind.
Whatever is done without ostentation, and without the people being witnesses of it, is, in my opinion, most praiseworthy: not that the public eye should be entirely avoided, for good actions desire to be placed in the light; but notwithstanding this, the greatest theater for virtue is conscience.
He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason.
Nothing is so unbelievable that oratory cannot make it acceptable.
A tear dries quickly when it is shed for troubles of others.
In everything, satiety closely follows the greatest pleasures.
We are motivated by a keen desire for praise, and the better a man is the more he is inspired by glory. The very philosophers themselves, even in those books which they write in contempt of glory, inscribe their names.
Rashness belongs to youth; prudence to old age.
Let the punishment be proportionate to the offense.
Reason should direct and appetite obey.
In the master there is a servant, in the servant a master.
Study carefully, the character of the one you recommend, lest their misconduct bring you shame.
Can there be greater foolishness than the respect you pay to people collectively when you despise them individually?
It is foolish to tear one's hair in grief, as though sorrow would be made less with baldness.
A good orator is pointed and impassioned.
Great is our admiration of the orator who speaks with fluency and discretion.
There are more men ennobled by study than by nature.
I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity.
So near is falsehood to truth that a wise man would do well not to trust himself on the narrow edge.
Peace is liberty in tranquillity.
A letter does not blush.
The magistrates are the ministers for the laws, the judges their interpreters, the rest of us are servants of the law, that we all may be free.
A community is like the ones who govern it.
Since an intelligence common to us all makes things known to us and formulates them in our minds, honorable actions are ascribed by us to virtue, and dishonorable actions to vice; and only a madman would conclude that these judgments are matters of opinion, and not fixed by nature.
Honor is the reward of virtue.
We think a happy life consists in tranquility of mind.
The harvest of old age is the recollection and abundance of blessing previously secured.
What gift has providence bestowed on man that is so dear to him as his children?
Nothing is so strongly fortified that it cannot be taken by money.
Friendship makes prosperity brighter, while it lightens adversity by sharing its grieves and anxieties.
Friendship is the only thing in the world concerning the usefulness of which all mankind are agreed.
Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered.
Glory follows virtue as if it were its shadow.
True glory takes root, and even spreads; all false pretences, like flowers, fall to the ground; nor can any counterfeit last long.
Empire and liberty.
They are eloquent who can speak low things acutely, and of great things with dignity, and of moderate things with temper.
People do not understand what a great revenue economy is.
It is a shameful thing to be weary of inquiry when what we search for is excellent.
Nothing so cements and holds together all the parts of a society as faith or credit, which can never be kept up unless men are under some force or necessity of honestly paying what they owe to one another.
No well-informed person ever imputed inconsistency to another for changing his mind.
Great is the power, great is the authority of a senate that is unanimous in its opinions.
The mansion should not be graced by its master, the master should grace the mansion.
Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks in great and honorable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself.
What one has, one ought to use: and whatever he does he should do with all his might.
As fire when thrown into water is cooled down and put out, so also a false accusation when brought against a man of the purest and holiest character, boils over and is at once dissipated, and vanishes and threats of heaven and sea, himself standing unmoved.
Like associates with like.
When you are aspiring to the highest place, it is honorable to reach the second or even the third rank.
You must become an old man in good time if you wish to be an old man long.
Old age, especially an honored old age, has so great authority, that this is of more value than all the pleasures of youth.
No one is so old as to think he cannot live one more year.
Every stage of human life, except the last, is marked out by certain and defined limits; old age alone has no precise and determinate boundary.
The foolishness of old age does not characterize all who are old, but only the foolish.
Virtue is its own reward.
The sinews of war, a limitless supply of money.
A person who is wise does nothing against their will, nothing with sighing or under coercion.
There is wickedness in the intention of wickedness, even though it be not perpetrated in the act.
Nothing contributes to the entertainment of the reader more, than the change of times and the vicissitudes of fortune.
True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrong-doing by its prohibitions. And it does not lay its commands or prohibitions upon good men in vain, though neither have any effect on the wicked. It is a sin to try to to [sic] alter this law, nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst penalties, even if he escapes what is commonly considered punishment.
As I give thought to the matter, I find four causes for the apparent misery of old age; first, it withdraws us from active accomplishments; second, it renders the body less powerful; third, it deprives us of almost all forms of enjoyment; fourth, it stands not far from death.
I am a Roman citizen.
For of all gainful professions, nothing is better, nothing more pleasing, nothing more delightful, nothing better becomes a well-bred man than agriculture.
The administration of government, like a guardianship ought to be directed to the good of those who confer, not of those who receive the trust.