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Latin Quotes

ancient rome

Classic quotes, sayings and proverbs in Latin.

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  Great Causes
Wolfgang GoetheVi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.

Living by the power of truth I conquered the universe.

—  Wolfgang Goethe, 1749-1832, German poet & philosopher

  
  Necessity
JuvenalPanem et circenses.

Bread and circuses.

—  Juvenal, 1st-2nd cent. AD, Roman satiric poet

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  Planning
SenecaGladiator in arena consilium capit.

The gladiator is formulating his plan in the arena.

—  Seneca, 4 AD-65 AD, Roman philosopher

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  Hope
Latin phraseDum spiro spero.

While I breathe, I hope.

—  Latin phrase

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  Limits
Latin phraseNe plus ultra.

No further.

—  Latin phrase

(impassable obstacle)

  
  Security
JuvenalQuis costodiet ipsos custodies?

Who will guard the guards?

—  Juvenal, 1st-2nd cent. AD, Roman satiric poet

Latin proverbVia trita, via tuta.

The beaten path is the safe path.

—  Latin proverb

  
  Searching
Latin proverbNon quis, sed quid.

Not who but what.

—  Latin proverb

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  Decisions
Julius CaesarAlea jacta est.

The die is cast.

—  Julius Caesar, 101-14 BC, Roman general & Consul

(when crossing Rubicon river to attack Rome)

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  Action
HoraceCarpe diem.

Seize the day.

—  Horace, 65-8 BC, Roman poet

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Latin phraseRes, non verba.

Actions not words.

—  Latin phrase

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  Being Busy
HoraceIn medias res.

In the middle of things.

—  Horace, 65-8 BC, Roman poet

  
  Doing
Latin phraseAge quot agis.

Do what you do.

—  Latin phrase

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  Experience
Latin proverbQuod nocet, saepe docet.

What harms, often teaches.

—  Latin proverb

  
  Change
Latin phraseMutatis mutandis.

Once the necessary changes having been made.

—  Latin phrase

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  Readiness
Latin phraseLibens-Volens-Potens

Ready-Willing-Potent

—  Latin phrase

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  Dedication
Latin phraseAge quot agis.

Do what you do.

—  Latin phrase

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Latin proverbMultum, non multa.

Much, not many.

—  Latin proverb

(meaning: take much care but not of many things; [replace 'take care' with 'learn' or whatever])

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  Work
Ora et Labora.

Pray and Work.

—  Motto of the Benedictine Order

  
  Doctors
HippocratesPrimum, non nocere.

First, do no harm

—  Hippocrates, 460-377 BC, Ancient Greek physician, the 'Father of Medicine'

(however the origin is uncertain; Hippocrates' works do not include this precise phrase)

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  Manipulation
Latin phraseDivide ut regnes.

Divide and conquer.

—  Latin phrase

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  Leadership
SenecaNemo autem regere potest nisi qui et regi.

No one is able to rule unless he is also able to be ruled.

—  Seneca, 4 AD-65 AD, Roman philosopher

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  Money
CiceroPecunia nervus belli.

Moneys is the soul of war.

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

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  The Rich
SenecaMagna servitus est magna fortuna.

A great fortune is a great slavery.

—  Seneca, 4 AD-65 AD, Roman philosopher

Latin proverbDives aut iniquus est, aut iniqui haeres.

A rich man is either a knave, or the heir of a knave.

—  Latin proverb

  
  Property
Latin phraseRes nullius.

Nobody's

—  Latin phrase

(for things like the sun)

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  Cost & Price
JuvenalOmnia cum pretio.

Everything with a price.

—  Juvenal, 1st-2nd cent. AD, Roman satiric poet

  
  Corruption
Latin phraseCorruptio optimi pessima est.

The corruption of the best is the worst.

—  Latin phrase

  
  Temptation
Gospel of MarkVada retro me, Satana.

Get off my back, Satan

—  Gospel of Mark ‐ 8:33

(from the Vulgate, spoken by Jesus to Peter)

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  Sports
Citius, Altius, Fortius.

Faster, Higher, Stronger

—  Motto of the Olympic Games

(initially, a motto of Pierre de Coubertin’s school)

  
  Drinking
Pliny the ElderIn vino veritas.

Truth in wine.

—  Pliny the Elder, 23-79 μ.X., Roman natural philosopher

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  Cause & Effect
Latin phraseDe malo, bonum.

Bad from the good.

—  Latin phrase

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Latin proverbNon quis, sed quid.

Not who but what.

—  Latin proverb

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Latin phrasePost hoc, ergo propter hoc.

After this, therefore, because of this.

—  Latin phrase

(logical fallacy)

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  Results
OvidExitus acta probat.

The result justifies the deed.

—  Ovid, 43 BC-17 AD, Roman poet

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  Victory & Defeat
Julius CaesarVeni, vidi, vici.

I came, I saw, I won.

—  Julius Caesar, 101-14 BC, Roman general & Consul

(message to the Senate after his victory over Pharnaces of Pontus in 47 BC)

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  Fame & Glory
Latin proverbFama volat.

Fame flies.

—  Latin proverb

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HoraceNon omnis moriar.

I shall not wholly die.

—  Horace, 65-8 BC, Roman poet

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Latin phraseSic transit gloria mundi.

Thus passes the glory of the world.

—  Latin phrase

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  Mistakes
Latin proverbErrare Humanum est.

To err is human.

—  Latin proverb

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HoraceSplendide mendax.

Splendidly false.

—  Horace, 65-8 BC, Roman poet

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  Irreversible
Julius CaesarAlea jacta est.

The die is cast.

—  Julius Caesar, 101-14 BC, Roman general & Consul

(when crossing Rubicon river to attack Rome)

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  Loss
CiceroMale parta male dilabuntur.

What has been wrongly gained is wrongly lost.

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

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  Danger
Latin phraseHannibal ad portas.

Hannibal at the gates.

—  Latin phrase

(Roman alert when Hannibal was approaching to Rome, around 217 BC)

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  Degradation
CiceroO tempora! Ο mores!

O, the times! O, the morals!

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

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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou