Marcus Tullius Cicero quotes

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Marcus Tullius Cicero

Birthdate: 3. January 106 BC
Date of death: 7. December 43 BC
Other names:Marcus T. Cicero, Цицерон

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Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman politician and lawyer, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.

His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose, not only in Latin but in European languages up to the 19th century, was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. According to Michael Grant, "the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language". Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary distinguishing himself as a translator and philosopher.

Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement. It was during his consulship that the second Catilinarian conspiracy attempted to overthrow the government through an attack on the city by outside forces, and Cicero suppressed the revolt by executing five conspirators without due process. During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the traditional republican government. Following Julius Caesar's death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. He was proscripted as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and consequently executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BC after having been intercepted during attempted flight from the Italian peninsula. His severed hands and head were then, as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed in the Roman Forum.

Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs, humanism, and classical Roman culture. According to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, "the Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, and only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity." The peak of Cicero's authority and prestige came during the 18th-century Enlightenment, and his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers and political theorists such as John Locke, David Hume, Montesquieu and Edmund Burke was substantial. His works rank among the most influential in European culture, and today still constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for the writing and revision of Roman history, especially the last days of the Roman Republic.

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Quotes Marcus Tullius Cicero

„A room without books is like a body without a soul.“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero
Attributed to Cicero in J. M. Braude's Speaker's Desk Book of Quips, Quotes, & Anecdotes (Jaico Pub. House, 1966), p. 52. Dennis McHenry in a 2011 post at theCAMPVS.com http://thecampvs.com/2011/08/03/cicero-on-books-and-the-soul/ identified a source for the exact form of words in the essay "On the Pleasure of Reading" http://books.google.com/books?id=0YfQAAAAMAAJ&dq=cicero%20%22room%20without%20books%22%20%2B%22contemporary%20review%22&pg=PA240#v=onepage&q&f=false by Sir John Lubbock, published in The Contemporary Review, vol. 49 (1886) https://archive.org/details/contemporaryrev55unkngoog, pp. 240–51 https://archive.org/stream/contemporaryrev55unkngoog#page/n250/mode/2up, in which Lubbock wrote that "Cicero described a room without books as a body without a soul" (p. 241). The same sentence may also be found on p. 61 https://archive.org/stream/thepleasuresofli01lubbuoft#page/60/mode/2up of Lubbock's collection The Pleasures of Life. Part I. 18th edition (London and New York : Macmillan and Co. 1890) https://archive.org/details/thepleasuresofli01lubbuoft, in a lecture titled "A Song of Books". McHenry suggested that Lubbock may have had in mind the words "postea vero quam Tyrannio mihi libros disposuit mens addita videtur meis aedibus" at Cicero, Ad Atticum 4.8, which are translated by E. O. Winstedt on p. 293 https://archive.org/stream/letterstoatticus01ciceuoft#page/292/mode/2up of Cicero: Letters to Atticus I (London : William Heinemann, and New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons 1912) https://archive.org/details/letterstoatticus01ciceuoft "Since Tyrannio has arranged my books, the house seems to have acquired a soul", and by Evelyn Shuckburgh on p. 234 https://archive.org/stream/cu31924012541433#page/n283/mode/2up of The Letters of Cicero. Vol. I. B. C. 68–52 (London : George Bell and Sons 1908) https://archive.org/details/cu31924012541433 "Moreover, since Tyrannio has arranged my books for me, my house seems to have had a soul added to it" (although the Latin word " mens http://athirdway.com/glossa/?s=mens", rendered "soul" by both Winstedt and Shuckburgh, is more usually translated by the English "mind"). D. R. Shackleton Bailey in Cicero's Letters to Atticus (Harmondsworth : Penguin Books 1978), p. 162, translated "And now that Tyrannio has put my books straight, my house seems to have woken to life".

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„Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero
As quoted in InfoWorld https://books.google.gr/books?id=qjgEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA49&dq=, Vol. 23, No. 16, 16 April 2001, p. 49.

„For there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions.“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero
Context: For there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. Whoever neglects this law, whether written or unwritten, is necessarily unjust and wicked. Book I, section 42; Translation by C.D. Yonge)

„There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil.“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero
Context: There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil. Whether it enjoins or forbids, the good respect its injunctions, and the wicked treat them with indifference. This law cannot be contradicted by any other law, and is not liable either to derogation or abrogation. Neither the senate nor the people can give us any dispensation for not obeying this universal law of justice. It needs no other expositor and interpreter than our own conscience. It is not one thing at Rome and another at Athens; one thing to–day and another to–morrow; but in all times and nations this universal law must for ever reign, eternal and imperishable. It is the sovereign master and emperor of all beings. God himself is its author,—its promulgator,—its enforcer. He who obeys it not, flies from himself, and does violence to the very nature of man. For his crime he must endure the severest penalties hereafter, even if he avoid the usual misfortunes of the present life. De Re Publica [Of The Republic], Book III Section 22; as translated by Francis Barham Variant translations: True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions. And it does not lay its commands or prohibitions upon good men in vain, though neither have any effect on the wicked. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst penalties, even if he escapes what is commonly considered punishment. As translated by Clinton W. Keyes (1928)<!-- ; in De Re Publica, De Legibus (1943), p. 211 -->

„When the young die I am reminded of a strong flame extinguished by a torrent; but when old men die it is as if a fire had gone out without the use of force and of its own accord, after the fuel had been consumed“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero
Context: When the young die I am reminded of a strong flame extinguished by a torrent; but when old men die it is as if a fire had gone out without the use of force and of its own accord, after the fuel had been consumed; and, just as apples when they are green are with difficulty plucked from the tree, but when ripe and mellow fall of themselves, so, with the young, death comes as a result of force, while with the old it is the result of ripeness. To me, indeed, the thought of this "ripeness" for death is so pleasant, that the nearer I approach death the more I feel like one who is in sight of land at last and is about to anchor in his home port after a long voyage. section 71 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2007.01.0039%3Asection%3D71

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„This law cannot be contradicted by any other law, and is not liable either to derogation or abrogation. Neither the senate nor the people can give us any dispensation for not obeying this universal law of justice. It needs no other expositor and interpreter than our own conscience.“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero
Context: There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil. Whether it enjoins or forbids, the good respect its injunctions, and the wicked treat them with indifference. This law cannot be contradicted by any other law, and is not liable either to derogation or abrogation. Neither the senate nor the people can give us any dispensation for not obeying this universal law of justice. It needs no other expositor and interpreter than our own conscience. It is not one thing at Rome and another at Athens; one thing to–day and another to–morrow; but in all times and nations this universal law must for ever reign, eternal and imperishable. It is the sovereign master and emperor of all beings. God himself is its author,—its promulgator,—its enforcer. He who obeys it not, flies from himself, and does violence to the very nature of man. For his crime he must endure the severest penalties hereafter, even if he avoid the usual misfortunes of the present life. De Re Publica [Of The Republic], Book III Section 22; as translated by Francis Barham Variant translations: True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions. And it does not lay its commands or prohibitions upon good men in vain, though neither have any effect on the wicked. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst penalties, even if he escapes what is commonly considered punishment. As translated by Clinton W. Keyes (1928)<!-- ; in De Re Publica, De Legibus (1943), p. 211 -->

„Therefore the wise man is always happy.“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero
Context: Now since perturbations of mind create misery, while quietness of mind makes life happy, and since there are two kinds of perturbations, grief and fear having their scope in imagined evils, inordinate joy and desire in mistaken notions of the good, all being repugnant to wise counsel and reason, will you hesitate to call him happy whom you see relieved, released, free from these excitements so oppressive, and so at variance and divided among themselves? Indeed one thus disposed is always happy. Therefore the wise man is always happy. Book V, chapter 15, section 43; translated by Andrew P. Peabody

„We are not born for ourselves alone“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero
Context: We are not born for ourselves alone; a part of us is claimed by our nation, another part by our friends. Book I, section 22

„Were my protests against the downfall of our country wrong, because you might think they showed ingratitude?“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero
Context: Nevertheless, let us imagine that you could have killed me. That, Senators, is what a favour from gangsters amounts to. They refrain from murdering someone; then they boast that they have spared him! If that is a true favour, then those who killed Caesar, after he had spared them, would never have been regarded as so glorious — and they are men whom you yourself habitually describe as noble. But the mere abstention from a dreadful crime is surely no sort of favour. In the situation in which this "favour" placed me, my dominant feelings ought not to have been pleasure because you did not kill me, but sorrow because you could have done so with impunity. However, let us even assume that it was a favour; at any rate the best favour that a gangster could confer. Still, in what respect can you call me ungrateful? Were my protests against the downfall of our country wrong, because you might think they showed ingratitude? Philippica II, Sections 5 & 6, as translated by Michael Grant, in Cicero : Selected Works (1960), Part One: Against Tyranny; Ch. 3: Attack on an Enemy of Freedom: The Second Philippic against Antony, p. 104 Variant translation: What kind of favour is it to abstain from doing evil?

„For fear is but a poor safeguard of lasting power; while affection, on the other hand, may be trusted to keep it safe for ever.“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero
Context: And we recently discovered, if it was not known before, that no amount of power can withstand the hatred of the many. The death of this tyrant (Julius Caesar), whose yoke the state endured under the constraint of armed force and whom it still obeys more humbly than ever, though he is dead, illustrates the deadly effects of popular hatred; and the same lesson is taught by the similar fate of all other despots, of whom practically no one has ever escaped such a death. For fear is but a poor safeguard of lasting power; while affection, on the other hand, may be trusted to keep it safe for ever. Book II, section 7; translation by Walter Miller

„The distinguishing property of man is to search for and to follow after truth.“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero
Context: The distinguishing property of man is to search for and to follow after truth. Therefore, when relaxed from our necessary cares and concerns, we then covet to see, to hear, and to learn somewhat; and we esteem knowledge of things either obscure or wonderful to be the indispensable means of living happily.* From this we understand that truth, simplicity, and candour, are most agreeable to the nature of mankind. To this passion for discovering truth, is added a desire to direct; for a mind, well formed by nature, is unwilling to obey any man but him who lays down rules and instructions to it, or who, for the general advantage, exercises equitable and lawful government. From this proceeds loftiness of mind, and contempt for worldly interests. Book I, section 13 Variant translation: Above all, the search after truth and its eager pursuit are peculiar to man. And so, when we have leisure from the demands of business cares, we are eager to see, to hear, to learn something new, and we esteem a desire to know.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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