Latin quotes with translation

Explore well-known and useful Latin quotes, phrases and sayings. In Latin with translation.


Julius Caesar photo

„There are also animals which are called elks [alces "moose" in Am. Engl.; elk "wapiti"]. The shape of these, and the varied colour of their skins, is much like roes, but in size they surpass them a little and are destitute of horns, and have legs without joints and ligatures; nor do they lie down for the purpose of rest, nor, if they have been thrown down by any accident, can they raise or lift themselves up. Trees serve as beds to them; they lean themselves against them, and thus reclining only slightly, they take their rest; when the huntsmen have discovered from the footsteps of these animals whither they are accustomed to betake themselves, they either undermine all the trees at the roots, or cut into them so far that the upper part of the trees may appear to be left standing. When they have leant upon them, according to their habit, they knock down by their weight the unsupported trees, and fall down themselves along with them.“
Sunt item, quae appellantur alces. Harum est consimilis capris figura et varietas pellium, sed magnitudine paulo antecedunt mutilaeque sunt cornibus et crura sine nodis articulisque habent neque quietis causa procumbunt neque, si quo adflictae casu conciderunt, erigere sese aut sublevare possunt. His sunt arbores pro cubilibus: ad eas se applicant atque ita paulum modo reclinatae quietem capiunt. Quarum ex vestigiis cum est animadversum a venatoribus, quo se recipere consuerint, omnes eo loco aut ab radicibus subruunt aut accidunt arbores, tantum ut summa species earum stantium relinquatur. Huc cum se consuetudine reclinaverunt, infirmas arbores pondere adfligunt atque una ipsae concidunt.

—  Julius Caesar, book Commentarii de Bello Gallico

Book VI
De Bello Gallico
Original: (la) Sunt item, quae appellantur alces. Harum est consimilis capris figura et varietas pellium, sed magnitudine paulo antecedunt mutilaeque sunt cornibus et crura sine nodis articulisque habent neque quietis causa procumbunt neque, si quo adflictae casu conciderunt, erigere sese aut sublevare possunt. His sunt arbores pro cubilibus: ad eas se applicant atque ita paulum modo reclinatae quietem capiunt. Quarum ex vestigiis cum est animadversum a venatoribus, quo se recipere consuerint, omnes eo loco aut ab radicibus subruunt aut accidunt arbores, tantum ut summa species earum stantium relinquatur. Huc cum se consuetudine reclinaverunt, infirmas arbores pondere adfligunt atque una ipsae concidunt.

Virgil photo

„Toil conquered the world, unrelenting toil“
Labor omnia vicit<!--uicit--> improbus et duris urgens in rebus egestas.

—  Virgil, Georgics

Book I, lines 145–146 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough).
Compare: Labor omnia vincit ("Work conquers all"), the state motto of Oklahoma.
Georgics (29 BC)
Original: (la) Labor omnia vicit<!--uicit-->
improbus et duris urgens in rebus egestas.
Context: Toil conquered the world, unrelenting toil, and want that pinches when life is hard.

Hannibal photo

„I will either find a way, or make one.“
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.

—  Hannibal military commander of Carthage during the Second Punic War -247 - -183 BC

Latin proverb, most commonly attributed to Hannibal in response to his generals who had declared it impossible to cross the Alps with elephants; English translation as quoted in Salesmanship and Business Efficiency (1922) by James Samuel Knox, p. 27.
Original: (la) Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.

Augustus photo

„Behold them, conquerors of the world, the toga-clad race of Romans!“
En Romanos, rerum dominos, gentemque togatam!

—  Augustus founder of Julio-Claudian dynasty and first emperor of the Roman Empire -63 - 14 BC

Said disparagingly of a group of men in cloaks, quoting Virgil's The Aeneid. Augustus allowed only those wearing a toga and no cloak to enter the Forum; in Suetonius, Divus Augustus, paragraph 40. Translation: Robert Graves, 1957.
Original: (la) En Romanos, rerum dominos, gentemque togatam!

Augustus photo

„My dear Tiberius, you must not give way to youthful emotion or take it to heart if anyone speaks ill of me; let us be satisfied if we can make people stop short at unkind words.“
Aetati tuae, mi Tiberi, noli in hac re indulgere et nimium indignari quemquam esse, qui de me male loquatur; satis est enim, si hoc habemus ne quis nobis male facere possit.

—  Augustus founder of Julio-Claudian dynasty and first emperor of the Roman Empire -63 - 14 BC

Suetonius, Divus Augustus, paragraph 51. Translation: Robert Graves, 1957.
Original: (la) Aetati tuae, mi Tiberi, noli in hac re indulgere et nimium indignari quemquam esse, qui de me male loquatur; satis est enim, si hoc habemus ne quis nobis male facere possit.

Augustus photo

„The whole of Italy swore allegiance to me.“
Iuravit in mea verba tota Italia.

—  Augustus, book Res Gestae Divi Augusti

XXV, 3-4. Translation by Thomas Bushnell
Res Gestae Divi Augusti
Original: (la) Iuravit in mea verba tota Italia.

Augustus photo

„Whatever is done well enough is done quickly enough.“
Sat celeriter fieri, quidquid fiat satis bene.

—  Augustus founder of Julio-Claudian dynasty and first emperor of the Roman Empire -63 - 14 BC

In Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars, II., 25.
Cf. Shakespeare, Macbeth I. vii, "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly".
Original: (la) Sat celeriter fieri, quidquid fiat satis bene.

Augustus photo

„Goodbye, Livia; remember our marriage!“
Livia, nostri coniugii memor vive, ac vale!

—  Augustus founder of Julio-Claudian dynasty and first emperor of the Roman Empire -63 - 14 BC

Said to his wife Livia on his deathbed; in Suetonius, Divus Augustus, paragraph 99. Translation: Robert Graves, 1957.
Original: (la) Livia, nostri coniugii memor vive, ac vale!

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola photo

„Nor can anyone rightly choose his own doctrine from all, unless he has first made himself familiar with all of them. Moreover, there is in each school something distinctive, which it has not in common with any other.“
Nec potest ex omnibus sibi recte propriam selegisse, qui omnes prius familiariter non agnoverit. Adde quod in una quaque familia est aliquid insigne, quod non sit ei commune cum caeteris.

—  Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, book Oration on the Dignity of Man

30. 196-197
Oration on the Dignity of Man (1496)
Original: (la) Nec potest ex omnibus sibi recte propriam selegisse, qui omnes prius familiariter non agnoverit. Adde quod in una quaque familia est aliquid insigne, quod non sit ei commune cum caeteris.

Marcus Tullius Cicero photo

„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?“
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? ([http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/cicero/orator.shtml#120 120])

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero Roman philosopher and statesman -106 - -43 BC

Variant translation: To be ignorant of the past is to be forever a child.
Chapter XXXIV, section 120
Orator Ad M. Brutum (46 BC)
Original: (la) 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? ( 120 http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/cicero/orator.shtml#120)
Variant: Not to know what happened before you were born is to be a child forever. For what is the time of a man, except it be interwoven with that memory of ancient things of a superior age?

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Terence photo

„Fortune favours the brave.“
Fortis fortuna adiuvat.

—  Terence, Phormio

Variant translation: Fortune assists the brave.
Act I, scene 4, line 25 (203).
Cf. Virgil, Aeneid, Book X, line 284: "Audentes fortuna iuvat."
Phormio
Original: (la) Fortis fortuna adiuvat.

Horace photo

„I am not bound over to swear allegiance to any master; where the storm drives me I turn in for shelter.“
Nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri, quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes.

—  Horace, book Epistles

Book I, epistle i, line 14
Epistles (c. 20 BC and 14 BC)
Original: (la) Nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri,
quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes.

Marcus Annaeus Seneca photo

„Let us live – we must die.“
Vivamus, moriendum est.

—  Marcus Annaeus Seneca Roman scholar -54 - 39 BC

Book II, Chapter VI; translation from Michael Winterbottom, Declamations of the Elder Seneca (London: Heinemann, 1974) vol. 1 p. 349
Some editions of Seneca prefer the reading Bibamus, moriendum est (Let us drink – we must die).
Controversiae
Original: (la) Vivamus, moriendum est.

Marcus Annaeus Seneca photo

„It is wrong not to give a hand to the fallen; this law is universal to the whole human race.“
Iniquum est conlapsis manum non porrigere; commune hoc ius generis humani est.

—  Marcus Annaeus Seneca Roman scholar -54 - 39 BC

Book I, Chapter I; slightly modified translation from Norman T. Pratt Seneca's Drama (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983) p. 140
Controversiae
Original: (la) Iniquum est conlapsis manum non porrigere; commune hoc ius generis humani est.

Marcus Annaeus Seneca photo

„All things Death claims. To perish is not doom, but law.“
Omnia mors poscit. Lex est, non poena, perire.

—  Marcus Annaeus Seneca Roman scholar -54 - 39 BC

From Epigrammata: De Qualitate Temporis 7, 7 as quoted in L. De Mauri, Angelo Paredi, Gabriele Nepi, 5000 proverbi e motti latini https://books.google.gr/books?id=hjiMpXCMCvsC&printsec=, Hoepli Editore, 1995, p. 384 and Hubertus Kudla, Lexikon der lateinischen Zitate https://books.google.gr/books?id=2Vtf_GVrdbgC&dq=, C. H. Beck, 2007, p. 416. The full text can be found in Anthologia Latina I, fasc. 1 (Walter de Gruyter, 1982) https://books.google.gr/books?id=PHWq0avQcGIC&pg=, ed. by D. R. Shackleton Bailey, p. 164. Harold Edgeworth Butler ( Post-Augustan Poetry: From Seneca to Juvenal https://books.google.gr/books?id=2gR48lrVJ-cC&dq=, Library of Alexandria, 1969, ch. 2, sec. 2) attributes De Qualitate Temporis to Seneca the Younger.
Misattributed
Original: (la) Omnia mors poscit. Lex est, non poena, perire.

Marcus Annaeus Seneca photo

„Some laws are not written, but are more decisive than any written law.“
Quædam iura non scripta, sed omnibus scriptis certiora sunt.

—  Marcus Annaeus Seneca Roman scholar -54 - 39 BC

Book I, Chapter I; slightly modified translation from Norman T. Pratt Seneca's Drama (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983) p. 140
Controversiae
Original: (la) Quædam iura non scripta, sed omnibus scriptis certiora sunt.

Hannibal photo

„Let us ease the Roman people of their continual care, who think it long to await the death of an old man.“
Liberemus diuturna cura populum Romanum, quando mortem senis exspectare longum censent. (Latin, not original language)

—  Hannibal military commander of Carthage during the Second Punic War -247 - -183 BC

Last words according to Livy "ab urbe condita", Book XXXIX, 51.
Original: (la) Liberemus diuturna cura populum Romanum, quando mortem senis exspectare longum censent. (Latin, not original language)

Julius Caesar photo

„The immortal gods are wont to allow those persons whom they wish to punish for their guilt sometimes a greater prosperity and longer impunity, in order that they may suffer the more severely from a reverse of circumstances.“
Consuesse enim deos immortales, quo gravius homines ex commutatione rerum doleant, quos pro scelere eorum ulcisci velint, his secundiores interdum res et diuturniorem impunitatem concedere.

—  Julius Caesar, book Commentarii de Bello Gallico

Book I, Ch. 14, translated by W. A. McDevitte and W. S. Bohn
De Bello Gallico
Original: (la) Consuesse enim deos immortales, quo gravius homines ex commutatione rerum doleant, quos pro scelere eorum ulcisci velint, his secundiores interdum res et diuturniorem impunitatem concedere.

Francesco Maria Grimaldi photo

„Light propagates and spreads not only directly, through refraction, and reflection, but also by a fourth mode, diffraction.“
Lumen propagatur seu diffunditur non solum Directe, Refracte, ac Reflexe, sed etiam alio quodam quarto modo, Diffracte.

—  Francesco Maria Grimaldi Italian physicist 1618 - 1663

Physico-mathesis de lumine, coloribus, et iride, aliisque adnexis libri duo: opus posthumum, published in Bologna (1665), http://books.google.com/books?id=FzYVAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPP27,M1 Proposition I.
Original: (la) Lumen propagatur seu diffunditur non solum Directe, Refracte, ac Reflexe, sed etiam alio quodam quarto modo, Diffracte.

Galén photo

„Every animal is sad after coitus except the human female and the rooster.“
Triste est omne animale post coitum, praeter mulierem gallumque

—  Galén Roman physician, surgeon and philosopher 129 - 216

Galen (30-200 A.D.), in: Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, (1973), p. 19.
Latter day attributions
Original: (la) Triste est omne animale post coitum, praeter mulierem gallumque

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

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