This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Quotes of Cicero

Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) he lived in the years 106-43 BCE). He was one of the largest, if not the greatest Roman speaker. Promoter of Greek philosophy and politician. Supporter of optimates. He came from an old equestrian family.

  • “But certainly there is nothing better, or more excellent, or more beautiful than the world”
    • latin: [Atqui certe nihil omnium rerum melius est mundo, nihil praestantius, nihil pulchrius, nec solum nihil est]
    • source: Cicero, De natura deorum, II
  • “Problem requiring an Archimedes”
    • latin: [πρόβλημα Ἀρχιμήδειον est]
    • description: problem difficult to solve
    • source: Cicero, Ad Atticum, 12, 4
  • “Arguments to be weighed, not counted”
    • latin: [Argumenta non numeranda, sed ponderanda sunt]
    • source: Cicero, De oratore, II, 76
  • “We are slaves of the law so that we may be able to be free”
    • latin: [Legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus]
    • source: Cicero, Pro Cluentio, 53.146
  • “For not only is Fortune blind herself, but as a rule she even blinds those whom she has embraced”
    • latin: [Non enim solum ipsa fortuna caeca est, sed eos etiam plerumque efficit caecos, quos complexa est]
    • source: Cicero, De Amicitia, 54
  • “The whole life of philosophers is the meditation of death”
    • latin: [Tota philosophorum vita commentatio mortis est]
    • source: Cicero, Tusculanae Quaestiones, II.30
  • “Virtue is perfected reason”
    • latin: [virtus est perfecta ratio]
    • source: Cicero, De legibus, I, 16, 45
  • “To conceal is one thing; to be silent is another thing”
    • latin: [Aliud est celare, aliud tacere]
    • source: Cicero, De officiis, III, 14
  • “What he sees frequently causes him no astonishment even though he does not know how it happened. If something happens which he never saw before he considers it a portent”
    • latin: [Quod crebro videt non miratur, etiamsi cur fiat nescit. Quod ante non vidit, id si evenerit, ostentum esse censet]
    • source: Cicero, De Divinatione, II. 22
  • “Nothing can possibly seem expedient that is not morally right”
    • latin: [Quod honestum non est, id ne utile quidem]
    • source: Cicero, De Officiis, 78
  • “A man’s own manner and character is what most becomes him”
  • “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”
    • latin: [Equi donati dentes non inspiciuntur]
    • source: Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, 15, 17
  • “The greatest theater for virtue is conscience”
    • latin: [Nullum theatrum virtuti conscientia maiorest]
    • source: Cicero, Tusculanarum disputationum omnes, I.64
  • “The health of the people should be the supreme law”
    • latin: [Salus populi suprema lex]
    • source: Cicero, De Legibus, III, III, VIII
  • “Nothing is good, except what is honorable, nothing evil, except what is disgraceful”
    • latin: [Nihil bonum nisi quod honestum, nihil malum nisi quod turpe]
    • source: Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, 10.4.4
  • “Good men would prosper and bad men come to grief”
    • latin: [Bene bonis, male malis]
    • source: Cicero, De Natura Deorum, III, 32, 80
  • “Use is the best master”
    • latin: [Usus magister est optimus]
    • source: Cicero, De Oratore, III
  • “Parents are dear, children dear, relations, friends. But our country alone has embraced all the dearest ties of all”
    • latin: [Cari sunt parentes, cari liberi, propinqui, familiares, sed omnium caritates patria una complexa est]
    • source: Cicero, De Officiis, I, XVII
  • “Other I”
    • latin: [Alter ego]
    • description: Cicero described this way a friend, who in his opinion is “the greatest of all the gifts from the gods”.
    • source: Cicero, De Amicitia
  • “To commit the same error twice”
    • latin: [Bis ad eundem lapidem offendere]
    • source: Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, 10, 20, 2
  • “Philosophy is the art of life”
    • latin: [Ars est philosophia vitae]
    • source: Cicero, De finibus, III, 4
  • “Philosophy is the cultivation of the soul”
    • latin: [Cultura animi philosophia est]
    • source: Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, II, 5
  • “When to an excellent and admirable natural disposition there is added a certain system and training of education, then from that combination arises an extraordinary perfection of character”
    • latin: [Cum ad naturam eximiam et illustrem accessit ratio quaedam conformatioque doctrinae, tum illud nescio quid praeclarum ac singulare existere]
    • source: Cicero, Pro Archia, 15
  • “When they remain quiet, they actually approve of my conduct”
    • latin: [Cum quiescunt, probant]
    • description: słowa Cycerona przeciw Katylinie o zgromadzonych senatorach.
    • source: Cicero, In Catilinam, I 21
  • “The roots of stupidity are very deep”
  • “Hunger is the best cook”
    • latin: [Fames est optimus coquus]
  • “Hannibal at the gates”
    • latin: [Hannibal ad portas!]
    • source: Cicero, Philippicae 1, 5, 11
  • “History is life’s teacher”
    • latin: [Historia magistra vitae est]
    • source: Cyceron, De Oratore, II, 36
  • “By what other voice, too, than that of the orator, is history, the witness of time, the light of truth, the life of memory, the directress of life, the herald of antiquity, committed to immortality?”
    • latin: [Historia vero testis temporum, lux veritatis, vita memoriae, magistra vitae, nuntia vetustatis, qua voce alia nisi oratoris immortalitati commendatur?]
    • source: Cicero, De Oratore, II, 36
  • “Names are hateful”
    • latin: [Nomina sunt odiosa]
    • description: names should not be mentioned.
  • “For it is not the written but natural law, that it is lawful to repel force with force”
    • latin: [Est enim ea non scripta, sed nata lex, quod vim vi repellere licet]
  • “When, O Catiline, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end of that unbridled audacity of yours, swaggering about as it does now? Do not the nightly guards placed on the Palatine Hill—do not the watches posted throughout the city—does not the alarm of the people, and the union of all good men—does not the precaution taken of assembling the senate in this most defensible place—do not the looks and countenances of this venerable body here present, have any effect upon you? Do you not feel that your plans are detected? Do you not see that your conspiracy is already arrested and rendered powerless by the knowledge which every one here possesses of it? What is there that you did last night, what the night before— where is it that you were—who was there that you summoned to meet you—what design was there which was adopted by you, with which you think that any one of us is unacquainted? Shame on the age and on its principles!”
    • latin: [Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? Quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia? Nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati, nihil urbis vigiliae, nihil timor populi, nihil concursus bonorum omnium, nihil hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus, nihil horum ora voltusque moverunt? Patere tua consilia non sentis, constrictam iam horum omnium scientia teneri coniurationem tuam non vides? Quid proxima, quid superiore nocte egeris, ubi fueris, quos convocaveris, quid consilii ceperis, quem nostrum ignorare arbitraris? O tempora, o mores!]
    • description: first speech in the Roman Senate on October 8, 63 BCE.
    • source: Cicero, In Catilinam, I, 1
  • “It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others, and to forget his own”
    • latin: [Est proprium stultitiæ aliorum vitia cernere, oblivisci suorum]
    • source: Cicero, Tusculanarum Disputationum, III.30
  • “I am Roman citizen”
    • latin: [Civis Romanus sum]
    • description: by saying these words, a Roman citizen evaded the trial outside his home country.
    • source: Cicero, In Verrem 5, 57, 147
  • “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?”
    • latin: [Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. Quid enim est aetas hominis, nisi ea memoria rerum veterum cum superiorum aetate contexitur?]
    • source: Cicero, Orator, 120
  • “Any man is liable to a mistake; but no one but a downright fool will persist in error”
    • latin: [Cuiusvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare]
    • source: Cicero, The Twelfth Philippic, II
  • “Excess of liberty either in nations or in individuals turns into an excess of servitude”
    • latin: [Nimiaque illa libertas et populis et privatis in nimiam servitutem cadit]
    • source: Cicero, De Re Publica, I 68
  • “For even if the allotted space of life be short, it is long enough in which to live honourably and well”
    • latin: [Breve tempus aetis satis longum est ad bene honestumque vivendum]
    • source: Cicero, Cato Maior De Senectute, 70
  • “The one who suffers has a memory”
  • “When they remain silent, they cry out”
    • latin: [Cum tacent, clamant]
    • description: silence is more eloquent than speech.
    • source: Cicero, In Catilinam, I, 3
  • “We are slaves of the law so that we may be able to be free”
  • “Therefore, true friendships are very hard to find among those whose time is spent in office or in business of a public kind. For where can you find a man so high-minded as to prefer his friend’s advancement to his own?”
    • latin: [Amicitiae difficillimae reperiuntur in iis, qui in honoribus reque publica versantur. Ubi enim istum invenies, qui honorem amici anteponat suo?]
    • source: Cicero, Laelius de amicitia, 64
  • “Surely nothing is more vital than the clear realization that we are born for justice”
    • latin: [Nihil est profecto praestabilius, quam plane intellegi, nos ad iustitiam esse natos]
    • source: Cicero, De Legibus, I.28
  • “Nothing blooms forever; generation succeeds generation”
    • latin: [Nihil enim semper floret, aetas succedit aetati]
    • source: Cicero, Philippics, 11.39
  • “Not to be greedy is wealth”
  • “Therefore, we do not use the proverbial “fire and water” on more occasions than we use friendship”
    • latin: [Itaque non aqua, non igni, ut aiunt, locis pluribus utimur quam amicitia]
    • source: Cicero, De Amicitia, VI.22
  • “There is nothing more unbearable than a fool who is prospering”
  • “For no part of life, neither public affairs nor private, neither in the forum notr at home, neither when acting on our own nor in dealings with another, can be free from duty”
    • latin: [Nulla enim vitae pars neque publicis neque privatis neque forensibus neque domesticis in rebus, neque si tecum agas quid, neque si cum altero contrahas]
    • source: Cicero, De Officiis, I.4
  • “I never yet heard of an old man that forgot where he had hid his treasure”
    • latin: [Nec vero quemquam senem audivi oblitum, quo loco thesaurum obruisset]
    • source: Cicero, De Senectute, 7
  • “There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it”
    • latin: [Nihil tam absurde dici potest quod non dicatur ab aliquo filosophorum]
    • source: Cicero, De Divinatione, II, 58.
  • “For not only is Fortune blind herself, but as a rule she even blinds those whom she has embraced”
    • latin: [Non enim solum ipsa Fortuna caeca est sed eos etiam plerumque efficit caecos quos complexa est]
    • source: Cicero, De Amicitia, 54
  • “That no individual, or combination of individuals, should be allowed to become too powerful; that politics is a professon, not a pastime for dilettantes”
    • description: Cicero in book.
    • source: Robert Harris, Dictator
  • “Let arms yield to the toga, let the victor’s laurel yield to the orator’s tongue”
    • latin: [Cedant arma togae, concedat laurea laudi]
    • description: let there be a peace
    • source: Cicero, De officiis, I, 22.
  • “Let him drink or depart”
    • latin: [Aut bibat aut abeat!]
    • description: wording emphasizing the nature of Roman banquets.
    • source: Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, V, 41
  • “Never less alone than when alone”
    • latin: [Nunquam minus solus quam cum solus]
    • source: Cicero, De Officiis, III.1
  • “No one is so old as to think that he cannot live one more year”
    • latin: [Nemo enim est tam senex qui se annum non putet posse vivere]
    • source: Cicero, Cato Maior de Senectute, 24
  • “Shame on the age and on its principles!”
    • latin: [O tempora! O mores!]
    • source: Cicero, In Catilinam, I, 1
  • “He has left, absconded, escaped and disappeared”
    • latin: [Abiit, evasit, excessit, erupit]
    • description: Cicero’s famous description of Catiline’s escape in the second Catiline oration.
    • source: Cicero, In Catilinam, II, 1, 1
  • “A friend in need is a friend indeed”
    • latin: [Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur]
    • description: quoting Ennius.
    • source: Cicero, Laelius de Amicitia, 17, 64
  • “The sinews of war, unlimited money”
    • latin: [Nervi belli, pecunia infinita]
    • source: Cicero, Philippics, V, II, 5
  • “Indeed, all rules respecting it are obvious to common view; for who is ignorant that it is the first law in writing history, that the historian must not dare to tell any falsehood, and the next, that he must be bold enough to tell the whole truth? Also, that there must be no suspicion of partiality in his writings, or of personal animosity?”
    • latin: [Nam quis nescit primam esse historiae legem, ne quid falsi dicere audeat? Deinde ne quid veri non audeat? Ne quae suspicio gratiae sit in scribendo? Ne quae simultatis?]
    • description: knows as: “The first law for the historian is that he shall never dare utter an untruth. The second is that he shall suppress nothing that is true. Moreover, there shall be no suspicion of partiality in his writing, or of malice”.
    • source: Cicero, De Oratore, II.XV.62
  • “Good for whom?”
    • latin: [Cui bono (fuerit)?]
    • description: Roman judge Lucius Cassius Longinus recommended using this question when examining the cases.
    • source: Cicero, Pro Milone, 12
  • “Poets are born such, orators become such”
    • latin: [Poetae nascuntur, oratores fiunt]
    • source: Cicero, Pro Archia, 8
  • “A room without books is like a body without a soul”
    • latin: [Postea vero quam Tyrannio mihi libros disposuit, mens addita videtur meis aedibus]
    • description: the sentence is known as the modern interpretation of Cicero’s text to Atticus: “Moreover, since Tyrannio has arranged my books for me, my house seems to have had a soul added to it”.
    • source: Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, 4.8
  • “A letter has no blushes”
    • latin: [Epistola (enim) non erubescit]
    • source: Cicero, Listy, 5, 12
  • “Work hardens one against pain”
  • “A friend is, as it were, a second self”
  • “Friend is a second self”
    • latin: [Amicus est tamquam alter ego]
    • source: Cicero, Epistulae ad familiares, 7,5.1
  • “I hear Socrates saying that the best seasoning for food is hunger; for drink, thirst”
    • latin: [Socratem audio dicentem, cibi condimentium essa famem, potionis sitim]
    • source: Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, II. 28
  • “Our country ought to be dearer to us than ourselves”
    • latin: [Decet cariorem esse patriam nobis quam nosmet ipsos]
    • source: Cicero, De Finibus, 3.64
  • “Habit is second nature”
    • latin: [Consuetudo (quasi) altera natura]
    • source: Cicero, De finibus, 5, 25, 74
  • “From things to be carried old age draws away”
    • latin: [A rebus gerendis senectus abstrahit]
    • source: Cicero, Cato Maior De senectute, VI
  • “Fear is not a long-term teacher of duty”
    • latin: [Timor, non diuturnus magister offici]
    • source: Cicero, Philippicae, 90.XXXVI
  • “Philosophy is the art of life”
    • latin: [Ars est philosophia vitae]
    • source: Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, III 7, 26
  • “Rich is the one who wishes no more than he has”
    • latin: [Dives est, cui tanta possesio est, ut nihil optet amplius]
    • source: Cicero, Paradoxa Stoicorum, 6
  • “In time of war the Muses fall silent”
    • latin: [Inter arma silent Musae]
    • source: Cicero, Pro Milone, IV.11
  • “W czasie wojny milczą prawa”
    • latin: [Inter arma enim silent leges]
    • description: later version of Cicero words.
    • source: Cicero, Pro Milone, IV.11
  • “I see the wolf”
    • latin: [Video lupum]
  • “With oars and sails”
    • latin: [Remis velisque]
    • description: with full speed.
    • source: Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, 3
  • “Choose who you love”
  • “Take the sun out of the universe when they deprive life of friendship, than which we have from the immortal gods no better, no more delightful boon”
    • latin: [Solem enim e mundo tollere videntur, qui amicitiam e vita tollunt, qua nihil a dis immortalibus melius habemus, nihil iucundius]
    • source: Cicero, De Amicitia, 47
  • “To kindle one fire by another”
    • latin: [Ab igne ignem]
    • source: Cicero, De officiis, 52
  • “Fight for altars and homes”
  • “The crux (or puzzle) of critics”
    • latin: [Crux criticorum]
    • source: Cicero, Pro milone, 12
  • “Life is brief, glory everlasting”
    • latin: [Vitae brevis cursus, gloriae sempiternus]
    • source: Cicero, Pro Sestius, 21.47
  • “To live is to think”
    • latin: [Vivere est cogitare]
    • source: Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, 5.38.112
  • “They have lived”
    • latin: [Vixere]
    • description: with this word, Cicero decided on execution of the conspirators who were accused of participating in the famous conspiracy of Catiline. What is more, those words used superstitious Romans to prevent an unfortunate calling of death at meetings.
    • source: Plutarch, Cicero, 22.2

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

Your financial help is needed, in order to maintain and develop the website. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server. I believe that I can count on a wide support that will allow me to devote myself more to my work and passion, to maximize the improvement of the website and to present history of ancient Romans in an interesting form.

Support IMPERIUM ROMANUM!

What's new in ancient Rome?

If you want to be up to date with news on the portal and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: