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Latin Quotes

ancient rome

Classic quotes, sayings and proverbs in Latin.

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  Justice
Latin phraseIniuria non excusat iniuriam.

Injustice does not justify injustice.

—  Latin phrase

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Latin phraseTestis unus, testis nullus.

One witness is no witness.

—  Latin phrase

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  Laws
Latin proverbDura lex, sed lex.

Tough law but still a law.

—  Latin proverb

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Saint Thomas AquinasLex malla, lex nulla

Bad law, no law.

—  Saint Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274, Italian Dominican friar & philosopher

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CiceroLegum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus.

We are slaves of the law in order to be free.

—  Cicero, 106-43 BC, Roman orator & statesman

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CiceroInter arma silent leges.

Law stands mute in the midst of arms.

—  Cicero, 106-43 BC, Roman orator & statesman

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CiceroSalus populi suprema lex.

The welfare of the people is the ultimate law.

—  Cicero, 106-43 BC, Roman orator & statesman

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  Kings
Ultima ratio regum.

The final argument of kings.

—  Latin motto engraved on the cannons of Louis XIV

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Latin proverbRex non potest peccare.

The king can do no wrong.

—  Latin proverb

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  Politics
Latin phraseVox populi, vox dei.

The voice of the people is the voice of God.

—  Latin phrase

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  Noncompliance
Old TestamentNon serviam!

I will not serve!

—  Old Testament

(Attributed to Lucifer, but originates from the Vulgate [Jeremiah] referring to the rejection of God by the people of Israel)

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  War & Peace
HoraceBellaque matribus detestata…

War hated by mothers…

—  Horace, 65-8 BC, Roman poet

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CiceroPecunia nervus belli.

Moneys is the soul of war.

—  Cicero, 106-43 BC, Roman orator & statesman

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CiceroInter arma silent leges.

Law stands mute in the midst of arms.

—  Cicero, 106-43 BC, Roman orator & statesman

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  Arms
CiceroCedant arma togae.

Let arms yield to the toga.

—  Cicero, 106-43 BC, Roman orator & statesman

(meaning: let military power give way to civil power)

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  Greeks
VirgilTimeo Danaos et dona ferrentes.

Be afraid of the Greeks bearing gifts.

—  Virgil, 70-19 BC, Roman poet

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  False Appearances
CiceroEsse quam videri.

To be, rather than to seem.

—  Cicero, 106-43 BC, Roman orator & statesman

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Latin proverbBarba non facit philosophum.

A beard does not make a philosopher.

—  Latin proverb

  
  Questions
QuintilianQuis, quid, ubi, quibus auxiliis, cur, quomodo, quando?

Who, what, where, with what, why, how, when.

—  Quintilian, 35-96 AD, Roman rhetorician

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  Truth & Lies
SenecaVeritas odit moras.

Truth hates delay.

—  Seneca, 4 AD-65 AD, Roman philosopher

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  Words
Latin phraseVerba volant, scripta manent.

Spoken words fly away, written words remain.

—  Latin phrase

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  Art
Latin phraseNatura, artis magistra.

Nature [is] the mistress of art.

—  Latin phrase

  
  Writing
ApellesNulla dies sine linea.

Not a day without a line.

—  Apelles, 4th cent. BC, Ancient Greek painter

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Latin phraseQui scribit, bis legit.

Who writes, reads twice.

—  Latin phrase

  
  Thinking
René DescartesCogito ergo sum.

I think therefore I exist.

—  René Descartes, 1596-1650, French philosopher

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  Philosophy
Latin proverbBarba non facit philosophum.

A beard does not make a philosopher.

—  Latin proverb

  

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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou