Quotes by Publius Cornelius Tacitus

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It is a weakness of your human nature to hate those whom you have wronged.

Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so.
So, as you go into battle, remember your ancestors and remember your descendants.
The more corrupt the state, the more laws.
Greater things are believed of those who are absent.
Candor and generosity, unless tempered by due moderation, leads to ruin.
Forbidden things have a secret charm.
The hatred of relatives is the most violent.
The love of fame is the last weakness which even the wise resign.
A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all.
The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.
Seek to make a person blush for their guilt rather than shed their blood.
Many who seem to be struggling with adversity are happy; many, amid great affluence, are utterly miserable.
Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards.
Prosperity is the measure or touchstone of virtue, for it is less difficult to bear misfortune than to remain uncorrupted by pleasure.
It is less difficult to bear misfortunes than to remain uncorrupted by pleasure.
When a woman has lost her chastity she will shrink from nothing.
Posterity will pay everyone their due.
They make a wilderness and call it peace.
Posterity gives every man his true value.
All enterprises that are entered into with indiscreet zeal may be pursued with great vigor at first, but are sure to collapse in the end.
The repose of nations cannot be secure without arms. Armies cannot be maintained without pay, nor can the pay be produced without taxes.
Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader.
No one would have doubted his ability to reign had he never been emperor.
In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous.
Those in supreme power always suspect and hate their next heir.
All bodies are slow in growth but rapid in decay.
Even the bravest men are frightened by sudden terrors.
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace.
In all things there is a law of cycles.
Abuse if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself irritated, you will be thought to have deserved it.
If we must fall, we should boldly meet the danger.
The brave and bold persist even against fortune; the timid and cowardly rush to despair though fear alone.
All things atrocious and shameless flock from all parts to Rome.
Things forbidden have a secret charm.
Noble character is best appreciated in those ages in which it can most readily develop.
Old things are always in good repute, present things in disfavor.
We see many who are struggling against adversity who are happy, and more although abounding in wealth, who are wretched.
To plunder, slaughter and rape they give the false name of empire, and where they make a solitude they call it peace. Tacitus Tacitus Agricola 30.
As for myself, may the sweet Muses, as Virgil says, bear me away to their holy places where sacred streams do flow, beyond the reach of anxiety and care, and free from the obligation of performing each day some task that goes against the grain. May I no longer have anything to do with the mad racket and the hazards of the forum, or tremble as I try a fall with white-faced Fame. I do not want to be roused from sleep by the clatter of morning callers or by some breathless messenger from the palace; I do not care, in drawing my will, to give a money-pledge for its safe execution through anxiety as to what is to happen afterwards; I wish for no larger estate than I can leave to the heir of my own free choice. Some day or other the last hour will strike also for me, and my prayer is that my effigy may be set up beside my grave, not grim and scowling, but all smiles and garlands, and that no one shall seek to honour my memory either by a motion in the senate or by a petition to the Emperor.

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