Jeff’s Latin Quote Page
On this page are many quotes that I have collected in my small amount
of time dealing with Latin.

Ipsa scientia potestas est.
Knowledge itself is power.

Gutta cavat lapidem non vi sed saepe cadendo.
Dripping hollows out rock, not with force but by falling often.

In virtute sunt multi ascensus.
In excellence there are many degrees.

Salus populi suprema lex.
The safety of the people is the highest law.

Aspirat primo Fortuna labori.
Fortune smiles upon our first effort.

Ab ovo usque ad mala.
From the egg right to the fruits. (From soup to nuts.)

Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit.
There has not been any great talent without an element of madness.

Excitabat fluctus in simpulo.
He was stirring up billows in a ladle.(He was raising a tempest in a teapot.)

Nullum saeculum magnis ingeniis clausum est.
To great talents no era is closed.

Saepe creat molles aspera spina rosas.
Often the prickly thorn produces tender roses.

Medici graviores morbos asperis remediis curant.
Doctors cure the more serious diseases with harsh remedies.
-Curtius Rufus

Num barbarorum Romulus rex fuit?
Romulus was not a king of barbarians, was he?

Divina natura dedit agros, ars humana aedificavit urbes.
The divine nature produced the fields, human skill has built cities.

Colossus magnitudinem suam servabit etiam si steterit in puteo.
A giant will keep his size even though he will have stood in a well.

Qui non est hodie cras minus aptus erit.
 He who is not prepared today will be less so tomorrow.

Ora et labora.
Pray and labor.

Otium sine litteris mors est et hominis vivi sepultra.
Leisure without literature is death, or rather the burial of a living man.

Materiam superabat opus.
The workmanship was better than the subject matter.

O praeclarum custodem ovium lupum!
An excellent protector of sheep, the wolf!

Tarditas et procrastinatio odiosa est.
Delay--putting things off until tomorrow--is hateful.

Quos amor verus tenuit, tenebit.
Those whom true love has held, it will go on holding.

Patria est communis omnium parens.
Our native land is the common parent of us all.

Amor tussisque non celantur.
Love, and a cough, are not concealed.

A cane non magno saepe tenetur aper.
A boar is often held by a not-so-large dog.

Non est ad astra mollis e terris via.
There is no easy way from the earth to the stars.

Etiam capillus unus habet umbram.
Even one hair has a shadow.
-Publilius Syrus

Culpam poena premit comes.
Punishment closely follows crime as its companion.

Trahimur omnes laudis studio.
We are all led by our eagerness for praise.

Gladiator in arena consilium capit.
The gladiator is making his plan in the arena(i.e., too late).

Rident stolidi verba Latina.
Fools laugh at the Latin language.

Inhumanitas omni aetate molesta est.
Inhumanity is harmful in every age.

Vos vestros servate, meos mihi linquite mores.
You cling to your own ways and leave mine to me.

Non omnes qui habent citharam sunt citharoedi.
Not all those who own a musical instrument are musicians.

Quid rides?...De te fabula narratur.
What are you laughing at? The joke's on you.

Ut sementem feceris ita metes.
As you sow so will you reap.

Dente lupus, cornu taurus petit.
The wolf attacks with his fang, the bull with his horn.

Non est ars quae ad effectum casu venit.
That which achieves its effect by accident is not art.

Fallaces sunt rerum species.
The appearances of things are deceptive.

Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes.
It is foolish to fear that which you cannot avoid.
-Publilius Syrus

Per varios usus artem experientia fecit.
Through different exercises practice has brought skill.

Risu inepto res ineptior nulla est.
There is nothing more foolish than a foolish laugh.

Facilius per partes in cognitionem totius adducimur.
We are more easily led part by part to an understanding of the whole.

Qui dedit beneficium taceat; narret qui accepit.
Let him who has given a favor be silent; let him who has received it tell it.

Legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus.
We are slaves of the laws in order that we may be able to be free.

Assiduus usus uni rei deditus et ingenium et artem saepe vincit.
Constant practice devoted to one subject often outdoes both intelligence and skill.

Exigo a me non ut optimis par sim, sed ut malis melior.
I require myself not to be equal to the best, but to be better than the bad.

Sedit qui timuit ne non succederet.
He who feared he would not succeed sat still. (For fear of failure, he did nothing.)

Saepe ne utile quidem est scire quid futurum sit.
Often it is not even advantageous to know what will be.

Nullus est liber tam malus ut non aliqua parte prosit.
There is no book so bad that it is not profitable on some part.
-Pliny the Younger

Difficile est tenere quae acceperis nisi exerceas.
It is difficult to retain what you may have learned unless you should practice it.
-Pliny the Younger

Struit insidias lacrimis cum femina plorat.
When a woman weeps, she is setting traps with her tears.
-Dionysius Cato

Praeceptores suos adulescens veneratur et suspicit.
A young man respects and looks up to his teachers.

Amoto quaeramus seria ludo.
Joking aside, let us turn to serious matters.

Potest ex casa magnus vir exire.
A great man can come from a cabin.

Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim.
Be patient and tough; some day this pain will be useful to you.

Libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.
Men gladly believe that which they wish for.

Cito fit quod dii volunt.
What the gods want happens soon.

Omnia iam fient fieri quae posse negabam.
Everything which I used to say could not happen will happen now.

Mendacem oportet esse memorem.
A liar must be good at remembering.

Leve fit, quod bene fertur, onus.
The burden which is borne well becomes light.

Mus uni non fidit antro.
A mouse does not rely on just one hole.

Quaedam iura non scripta sed omnibus scriptis certiora sunt.
Some laws are unwritten but they are better established than all written ones.
-Seneca Rhetor

Vitanda est improba siren desidia.
One must steer clear of the wicked temptress, Laziness.

Timendi causa est nescire.
Ignorance is the cause of fear.

Aliquando et insanire iucundum est.
It is sometimes pleasant even to act like a madman.

Credula vitam spes fovet et melius cras fore semper dicit.
Credulous hope supports our life, and always says that tomorrow will be better.

In alio pediculum, in te ricinum non vides.
You see a louse on someone else, but not a tick on yourself.

Nec verbum verbo curabis reddere fidus interpres.
As a true translator you will take care not to translate word for word.

Quam se ipse amans sine rivali!
Himself loving himself so much without a rival!

Simia quam similis, turpissima bestia, nobis!
How like us is that very ugly beast the monkey!

Bonitas non est pessimis esse meliorem.
It is not goodness to be better than the worst.

 Canis timidus vehementius latrat quam mordet.
A timid dog barks more violently than it bites.
-Curtius Rufus

Diligentia maximum etiam mediocris ingeni subsidium.
Diligence is a very great help even to a mediocre intelligence.

Clementia tua multas vitas conservat.

Salve, o patria!

Fama volat
(from Lidia in Poland)

Ab alio expectes alteri quod feceris.
Expect (the same treatment from another) that you give to you neighbor.
-Publilius Syrus 2

Abite, molesti!
Go away, pests!

ad Kalendas Graecas
until the Greek Kalends (means it will never happen; there were no Kalends in the Greek calendar)

Adulescens sperat se diu victurum esse; senex potest dicere se diu vixisse.
A young man hopes that he will live a long time; an old man is able to say that he has lived a long time.
-Cicero, On Old Age XIX.68

Adversus incendia excubias nocturnas vigilesque commentus est.
Against the dangers of fires, Augustus conceived of the idea of night guards and watchmen.
-Suetonius, Life of Augustus 30

Alea iacta est.
The die has been cast.
-Suetonius, Caesar 32

Higher, faster, stronger
-Motto of the olympic games

Avarus animus nullo satiatur lucro.
A greedy mind is satisfied with no (amount of) gain.
-Publilius Syrus 55

Caelum, non animum, mutant, qui trans mare currunt.
Those who run off across the sea change their climate but not their mind.
-Horace, Epistles I.II.27

Canis timidus vehementius latrat quam mordet.
A timid dog barks more fiercely than he bites.
-Q. Curtis Rufus, Exploits of Alexander VII.4.13

Da mihi multa basia.
Give me many kisses.

Debemus iram vitare.
We must shun anger.

Decerno quinquaginta dierum supplicationis.
I move for 50 days of thanksgiving
-Phil. xiv.II

Diem dulcem habe
Have a nice day

Dimidium donare Lino quam credere totum qui mavult, mavult derdere dimidium.
Whoever prefers to give linus half rather than trust him with the whole, prefers to lose the half.
-Martial, Epigrams I.75

Ego instabam ut mihi responderet.
I kept urging him to answer.

Ego vos hortor ut amicitiam omnibus rebus humanis anteponatis.
I urge you to set a friendship before all other human affairs.
-Cicero, On Friendship V.17

Est vir vino abstinentissimus!
He is a man most absinent from wine!

Exegi monumentum aere perennius.
I have erected a monument more lasting than bronze.
-Horace, Odes III.30.1

Fama nihil est celerius.
Nothing is swifter than rumor.
-Vergil, Aeneid IV.174

Good luck!

Festina lente.
Make haste slowly.
-Augustus Caesar

Fit in dies molestior.
He becomes more troublesome every day.

Flamma fumo est proxima.
Flame follows smoke.
-Plautus, Curculio I.i.53

Forsan miseros meliora sequentur.
For those in misery perhaps better things will follow.
-Vergil, Aeneid XII.153

Forti et fideli nihil est difficile.
Nothing is difficult for a brave and trustworthy man.

Gladiator in arena consilium capit.
The gladiator adopts a plan in the arena.
-Seneca, Epistulae Morales XXII

Heus! Ecquis camelum mieum videt
Hey! Anybody seen my camel

Homines id quod volunt credunt.
Men believe what they want to.
-Julius Caesar

Illud iterum dicere potes!
You can say that again!

Infinitus est numerous stultorum.
Infinite is the number of foolish people.

Ius et furi dicitur.
Justice is granted even to the thief.
-Seneca, On Benefits IV.28

lapsus calami / lapsus linguae
a slip of the pen / a slip of the tongue

Laudatur ab his, culpatu ab illis.
He’s praised by these and blamed by those.

Malum est consilium quod mutari non postest.
It’s a bad plan that can’t be changed.
-Publilius Syrus 403

Mantua me genuit, Calabri rapuere, tenet nunc Parthenope: cecini pascua, rura, duces.
Mantua gave me life, Calabria took it away, now Naples holds me: I sang of pastures, fields, and heroes.
-Inscribed on Vergil’s tomb

Manus manum lavat.
One hand washes the other. (non-literal: One good turn deserves another.)

Mea mihi conscientia pluris est quam omnium sermo.
My conscience is more to me than what the world says.
-Cicero, Letters to Atticus XII.28.2

Modum tenere debemus.
We must observe moderation.

more suo
in one’s own way

Moribus antiquis res stat Romana virisque
On customs and men of olden times the Roman state stands firm.

mos maiorum
the custom of the ancestors

mos pro lege
A long established custom has the force of law.

Multi famam, conscientiam pauci verentur.
Many fear their reputation, few their conscience.
-Pliny, Letters III.20

Non est locus istis homininbus in hac terra.
There is no place for these men on this earth.

Non te peto, piscem peto. Quid me fugis, Galle
It is not you I am aiming at, but the fish. Why do you flee from me, Gallus
-Quoted by Festus, 285M, 358L

nuces relinquere
to leave childhood behind
-Persius, Satires I.10

nullo more
without precedent, unparalleled

O tempora! O mores!
How times and customs have changed!
-Cicero, Orations against Catiline I.2

Odi et amo.
I love and hate.
-Catullus LXXXV

Omnia Romae cum pretio.
Everything is available in Rome—for a price!
-Juvenal, Satires III.183-184

Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis.
It is best to endure what you cannot change.
-Seneca, Maral Epistles CVII.9

Pauci viri sapientiam student.
Few men seek wisdom.

Philosophia est ars vitae.
Philosophy is the art of life.

Qui vult dare parva non debet magna rogare.
He who wishes to give little shouldn’t ask for much.

Quid est tam incertum quam talorum iactus
What is so uncertain as a cast of dice
-Cicero, De divinatione II.121

Quid est turpius quam ab aliquo illudi
What is more shameful than to be deceived by someone

quid pro quo
something for something

Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.
Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even bearing gifts.
-Vergil, Aeneid II.49

Quis creabitus arbiter bibendi
Who will be made master of the drinking

Quisquis amat, valeat; pereat qui nescit amare!
Bis tanto pereat, quisquis amare vetat!
Whoever’s in love, may he succeed; whoever’s not, may he perish!
Twice may he perish, whoever forbids me to love!

Res ipsa loquitur.
The facts speak for themselves.

Ridentem dicere verum quid vetat
What prevents me from speaking the truth wigh a smile
-Horace, Satires I.I.24-25

Scribe quam saepissime.
Write as often as possible.

Semper avarus eget.
The greedy one is always needy.

Siqua voles apte nubere, nube pari.
If you wish a suitable marriage, marry an equal.
-Ovid, Heroides IX.32

Socrates totius mundi se incolam et civem arbitrabatur.
Socrates thought himself an inhabitant and a citizen of the whole world.
-Cicero, Tusculan Disputations 5.108

Trahimur omnes studio laudis.
We are all attracted by the desire for praise.
-Cicero, Pro Archia poeta XI.26

Ubi fumus, ibi ignis.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Venienti occurrite morbo!
Meet the malady as it comes!
-Persius, Satires III.64

Videamus uter plus scribere possit.
Let us see who can write more.

Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur.
It is a wise man who speaks little.

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