Latin Quotations

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Latin quotations and translations for various occasions and translations of Greek quotations; many provided by Ling Ouyang.

Greek and Latin Quotations Table

Latin Quotation English Translation Author Source of Citation Notes
Marmoream relinquo, quam latericiam accepi I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble. Augustus Suetonius Div Aug 28 Historical quote - Accomplishment - Actual quote is in the third person: Marmoream se relinquere, quam latericiam accepisset
Ita mali salvam ac sospitem rem p. sistere in sua sede liceat atque eius rei fructum percipere, quem peto, ut optimi status auctor dicar et moriens ut feram mecum spem, mansura in vestigio suo fundamenta rei p. quae iecero. May it be my privilege to have the happiness of establishing the commonwealth on a firm and stable basis and thus enjoy the reward which I desire, but only if I may be called the architect of the best possible government; and bear with me the hope when I die, that the foundations which I have laid for its future government, will stand deep and secure. Augustus Suetonius Div Aug 28 Historical quote - Politics
If I have played my part well, clap your hands, and dismiss me with applause from the stage. Augustus Suetonius Div Aug 99 Play-acting Spoken by Augustus on his death-bed. From a theatrical tag in Greek comedy
o puer, qui omnia nomini debes You, boy, who owe everything to a name Mark Antony Cicero Philippic 13.11 Insult What Antony said to Octavian
pro libertate eos occubuisse They died for liberty citizens of Nursia Suetonius Div Aug 12 Liberty - Slogan? After the battle of Mutina
iacta alea est The die is cast. Julius Caesar Suetonius Div Julius 32 No turning back Upon crossing the Rubicon Also written as "Alea iacta est". According to Plutarch (Caesar 32), these words were actually Greek - Anerriphtho kubos.
nullo adversante unopposed Tacitus Tacitus Annals 1.2 Politics referring to Augustus' reign
Eheu fugaces, Postume, Postume, labuntur anni, nec pietas moram, rugis et instanti senaectae, adferet indomitaeque morti. Alas, Postumus, the fleeting years slip by, nor will piety give any stay to wrinkles and pressing old age and untamable death. Horace Horace, Carmina, II. xiv.i Old age, time
Audentis Fortuna iuvat. Fortune favors the brave. Virgil Virgil, Aeneid X.284 Courage
Nil ego contulerim iucundo sanus amico. While I am sane I shall compare nothing to the joy of a friend. Horace Horace, Satires I.v.44 Friendship
Summum ius summa iniuria. More law, less justice. Cicero Cicero De Officiis I.10.33 Justice
Minus solum, quam cum solus esset. Never less alone than when alone. Cicero Cicero De Officiis III.1 Loneliness
Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres. All Gaul is divided into three parts. Julius Caesar Julius Caesar, De bello Gallico, 1.1.1 Geography
Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum. Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system. Cicero Cicero Pro Murena 36 Politics
O mihi praeteritos referat si Iuppiter annos. If only Jupiter would restore me those bygone years. Vergil Vergil Aeneid VIII.560 Nostalgia; spoken by Evander.
tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem What a lot of work it was to found the Roman race. Vergil Vergil Aeneid I.33 Roman Legendary History
tantaene animis caelestibus irae Is there so much anger in the minds of the gods? Vergil Vergil Aeneid I.11 Lasting grudges. Divine Power
Excudent allii spirantia mollius aera (credo equidem), vivos ducent de marmore vultus,
orabunt causas melius, caelique meatus describent radio et surgentia sidera dicent:
tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento
(hae tibi erunt artes), pacisque imponere morem,
parcere subiectis et debellare superbos.
Others may fashion more smoothly images of bronze (I for one believe it), evoke living faces from marble, plead causes better, trace with a wand the wanderings of the heavens and foretell the rising of stars. But you, Roman, remember to rule the peoples with power (these will be your arts); impose the habit of peace, spare the vanquished and war down the proud! Vergil Vergil Aeneid VI.847-853 Imperialism
Auferre trucidare rapere falsis nominis imperium, atque ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant. 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. Imperialism; spoken by Galgacus
Nostri coniugii memor vive, ac vale. Keep our marriage alive, and farewell. Augustus Suetonius Div Aug 99 Marriage, love; Augustus' last words.
solitudinem eius placuisse maxime crediderim, quoniam importuosum circa mare et vix modicis navigiis pauca subsidia; neque adpulerit quisquam nisi gnaro custode. caeli temperies hieme mitis obiectu montis quo saeva ventorum arcentur; aestas in favonium obversa et aperto circum pelago peramoena; prospectabatque pulcherrimum sinum. The solitude lends much appeal, because a sea without a harbour surrounds it. Even a modest boat can find few anchorage, and nobody can go ashore unnoticed by the guards. Its winter is mild because it is enclosed by a range of mountains which keeps out the fierce temperature; its summer is unequal. The open sea is very pleasant and it has a view of a beautiful bay. Tacitus Tacitus Annals IV.67 Geography
Oderint dum metuat Let them hate, as long as they fear. Accius Suetonius Gaius 30 Intimidation; From Accius' play, Atreus.
[Greek] Make haste cautiously. Augustus Suetonius Div Aug 25 Advice, haste
[Greek] Only that which is well done is quickly done. Augustus Suetonius Div Aug 25 Advice, well done, haste
[Greek] Better a cautious commander, and not a rash one. Augustus Suetonius Div Aug 25 Advice, caution, military advice
Veni, vidi, vici I came, I saw, I conquered. Julius Caesar one source: Suetonius Div Julius 37 Historical sayings - Accomplishment; In his Pontic triumph
Ruinis inminentibus musculi praemigrant. When collapse is imminent, the little rodents flee. Pliny the Elder Natural History Book VIII.103 Like rats deserting a sinking ship.
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Gill, N.S. "Latin Quotations." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Gill, N.S. (2021, February 16). Latin Quotations. Retrieved from Gill, N.S. "Latin Quotations." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 3, 2023).