Latin quotes with translation

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


Isidore of Seville photo

„Letters are signs of things, symbols of words, whose power is so great that without a voice they speak to us the words of the absent; for they introduce words by the eye, not by the ear.“
Litterae autem sunt indices rerum, signa verborum, quibus tanta vis est, ut nobis dicta absentium sine voce loquantur. Verba enim per oculos non per aures introducunt.

—  Isidore of Seville, book Etymologiae
Etymologiae, Litterae autem sunt indices rerum, signa verborum, quibus tanta vis est, ut nobis dicta absentium sine voce loquantur. Verba enim per oculos non per aures introducunt. Bk. 1, ch. 3, sect. 1; p. 96.

Cato the Elder photo

„Grasp the subject, the words will follow.“
Rem tene, verba sequentur.

—  Cato the Elder politician, writer and economist (0234-0149) -234 - -149 BC
Rem tene, verba sequentur. Cato's advice to orators (as quoted in Julius Victor, Art of Rhetoric. p. 197, Orell.; see also Wilhelm Sigismund Teuffel, Teuffel's History of Roman literature, Vol. 1 (1873), p. 158) Cf. Dionysius Halicarnassensis, De Isocrate, ch. 12: "βούλεται δὲ ἡ φύσις τοῖς νοήμασιν ἕπεσθαι τὴν λέξιν, οὐ τῇ λέξει τὰ νοήματα." [Νature has it that style is in the service of thought, not the other way around.] Variant translations: Stick to your subject, and words will follow. Get hold of the matter, the words will come of themselves. Lay hold of the subject, and the words will follow. Keep to the subject and the words will come. Grasp the point, the words will follow. Seize the subject; the words will follow. Stick to the point; the words will follow. Master the facts; the words will follow. Lay hold of the substance, the words will follow. Hold fast to the matter, the words will come. Hang onto your meaning, and the words will come. Have a grip of your theme and the words will come. Hold the idea and the words will follow. Stick to the meaning, and the words will take care of themselves.

Pope Alexander VI photo

„For the salvation of their soul.“
Pro salutae animae sua.

—  Pope Alexander VI pope of the Catholic Church 1492-1503 1431 - 1503
Pro salutae animae sua. As pope, to Cardinal Ximenes on the why he saw no reason to hinder his son Cesare Borgia's renunciation of the Purple (August, 1498), as quoted in The Life of Cesare Borgia (1912) by Rafael Sabatini, Chapter V: The Renunciation of the Purple.

Nero photo

„What an artist dies in me!“
Qualis artifex pereo.

—  Nero Emperor of Ancient Rome, 5th and last of the Julio-Claudian dynasty 37 - 68
Variant translations: What an artisan I am in dying! So great an artist, I die! Like an artist, I die. Truly... an artist is about to perish. Quoted in ""Nero"" - Page 51 by Edward Champlin - History - 2003

Nero photo

„Translation: I wish I could not write.“
Vellem nescire literas.

—  Nero Emperor of Ancient Rome, 5th and last of the Julio-Claudian dynasty 37 - 68
Vellem nescire literas. Variant translation: I wish I were illiterate. Quoted in " De Clementia" - Chapter 1, Book 2 by Lucius Annaeus Seneca.

Sueton photo

„Caesar overtook his advanced guard at the river Rubicon, which formed the frontier between Gaul and Italy. Well aware how critical a decision confronted him, he turned to his staff, remarking: "We may still draw back but, once across that little bridge, we shall have to fight it out."“
Consecutusque cohortis ad Rubiconem flumen, qui provinciae eius finis erat, paulum constitit, ac reputans quantum moliretur, conversus ad proximos: "Etiam nunc," inquit, "regredi possumus; quod si ponticulum transierimus, omnia armis agenda erunt."

—  Sueton, book The Twelve Caesars
The Twelve Caesars, Julius Caesar, Consecutusque cohortis ad Rubiconem flumen, qui provinciae eius finis erat, paulum constitit, ac reputans quantum moliretur, conversus ad proximos: "Etiam nunc," inquit, "regredi possumus; quod si ponticulum transierimus, omnia armis agenda erunt." Ch. 31

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

Alcuin photo

„And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness.“
Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit.

—  Alcuin English scholar and abbot 735 - 804
Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit. Variant translation: We should not listen to those who like to affirm that the voice of the people is the voice of God, for the tumult of the masses is truly close to madness. Works, Epistle 127 (to Charlemagne, AD 800)

Virgil photo

„Each of us bears his own Hell.“
Quisque suos patimur manis.

—  Virgil, Aeneid
Aeneid (29–19 BC), Book VI, Quisque suos patimur manis. Line 743

Cyprian photo

„There is no salvation outside the Church.“
Salus extra ecclesiam non est.

—  Cyprian Bishop of Carthage and Christian writer 200 - 258
Salus extra ecclesiam non est. Letter to Jubaianus (AD 256), Letter 73

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Quintilian photo

„We give to necessity the praise of virtue.“
Laudem virtutis necessitati damus.

—  Quintilian ancient Roman rhetor 35 - 96
De Institutione Oratoria (c. 95 AD), Laudem virtutis necessitati damus. Book I, Chapter VIII, 14 Compare: "To maken vertue of necessite", Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, "The Knightes Tale", line 3044

Sidonius Apollinaris photo

„Death may overwhelm them, but not fear; unconquerable they stand their ground, and their courage well-nigh outlives their lives.“
Mors obruit illos,<br/>non timor; invicti perstant animoque supersunt<br/>jam prope post animam.

—  Sidonius Apollinaris, book Carmina
Carmina, Mors obruit illos, non timor; invicti perstant animoque supersunt jam prope post animam. Carmen 5, line 251; vol. 1 p. 83.

Tertullian photo

„Man is one name belonging to every nation upon earth. In them all is one soul though many tongues.“
Omnium gentium unus homo, uarium nomen est, una anima, uaria uox, unus spiritus, uarius sonus, propria cuique genti loquella, sed loquellae materia communis.

—  Tertullian Christian theologian 155 - 220
Context: Man is one name belonging to every nation upon earth. In them all is one soul though many tongues. Every country has its own language, yet the subjects of which the untutored soul speaks are the same everywhere. De Testimonio Animae (The Testimony of the Soul), 6.3

Gaio Valerio Catullo photo

„Idleness ere now has ruined both kings and wealthy cities.“
Otium et reges prius et beatas perdidit urbes.

—  Gaio Valerio Catullo, list of poems by Catullus
Carmina, Otium et reges prius et beatas perdidit urbes. LI, last lines

John Amos Comenius photo

„Aristotle compared the mind of man to a blank tablet on which nothing was written, but on which all things could be engraved. … There is, however, this difference, that on the tablet the writing is limited by space, while in the case of the mind, you may continually go on writing and engraving without finding any boundary, because, as has already been shown, the mind is without limit.“
Aristoteles hominis animum comparavit tabulae rasae, cui nihil inscriptum sit, inscribi tamen omnia possint. … Hoc interest, quod in tabula lineas ducere non licet, nisi quousque margo permittat: in mente usque et usque scribendo, et sculpendo, terminum nusquam invenies quia (ut ante monitum) interminabilis est.

—  John Amos Comenius Czech teacher, educator, philosopher and writer 1592 - 1670
Aristoteles hominis animum comparavit tabulae rasae, cui nihil inscriptum sit, inscribi tamen omnia possint. … Hoc interest, quod in tabula lineas ducere non licet, nisi quousque margo permittat: in mente usque et usque scribendo, et sculpendo, terminum nusquam invenies quia (ut ante monitum) interminabilis est. The Great Didactic (Didactica Magna) (Amsterdam, 1657) [written 1627–38], as translated by M. W. Keatinge (1896). Cf. Aristotle, De anima, III, 4, 430a: "δυνάμει δ' οὕτως ὥσπερ ἐν γραμματείῳ ᾧ μηθὲν ἐνυπάρχει ἐντελεχείᾳ γεγραμμένον· ὅπερ συμβαίνει ἐπὶ τοῦ νοῦ."

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius photo

„In every adversity of fortune, to have been happy is the most unhappy kind of misfortune.“
Nam in omni adversitate fortunae infelicissimum est genus infortunii fuisse felicem.

—  Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius philosopher of the early 6th century 480
The Consolation of Philosophy · De Consolatione Philosophiae, Book II, Nam in omni adversitate fortunae infelicissimum est genus infortunii fuisse felicem. Prose IV, line 2

Pliny the Younger photo

„It is in the body politic, as in the natural, those disorders are most dangerous that flow from the head.“
Utque in corporibus sic in imperio gravissimus est morbus, qui a capite diffunditur.

—  Pliny the Younger Roman writer 61 - 113
Letters, Book IV, Utque in corporibus sic in imperio gravissimus est morbus, qui a capite diffunditur. Letter 22, 7.

Statius photo

„Hear oh hear, if my prayer be worthy and such as you yourself might whisper to my frenzy. Those I begot (no matter in what bed) did not try to guide me, bereft of sight and sceptre, or sway my grieving with words. Nay behold (ah agony!), in their pride, kings this while by my calamity, they even mock my darkness, impatient of their father's groans. Even to them am I unclean? And does the sire of the gods see it and do naught? Do you at least, my rightful champion, come hither and range all my progeny for punishment. Put on your head this gore-soaked diadem that I tore off with my bloody nails. Spurred by a father's prayers, go against the brothers, go between them, let steel make partnership of blood fly asunder. Queen of Tartarus' pit, grant the wickedness I would fain see.“
Exaudi, si digna precor quaeque ipsa furenti subiceres. orbum visu regnisque carentem non regere aut dictis maerentem flectere adorti, quos genui quocumque toro; quin ecce superbi —pro dolor!—et nostro jamdudum funere reges insultant tenebris gemitusque odere paternos. hisne etiam funestus ego? et videt ista deorum ignavus genitor? tu saltem debita vindex huc ades et totos in poenam ordire nepotes. indue quod madidum tabo diadema cruentis unguibus abripui, votisque instincta paternis i media in fratres, generis consortia ferro dissiliant. da, Tartarei regina barathri, quod cupiam vidisse nefas.

—  Statius, book Thebaid
Thebaid, Book I, Exaudi, si digna precor quaeque ipsa furenti subiceres. orbum visu regnisque carentem non regere aut dictis maerentem flectere adorti, quos genui quocumque toro; quin ecce superbi —pro dolor!—et nostro jamdudum funere reges insultant tenebris gemitusque odere paternos. hisne etiam funestus ego? et videt ista deorum ignavus genitor? tu saltem debita vindex huc ades et totos in poenam ordire nepotes. indue quod madidum tabo diadema cruentis unguibus abripui, votisque instincta paternis i media in fratres, generis consortia ferro dissiliant. da, Tartarei regina barathri, quod cupiam vidisse nefas. Line 73

Statius photo

„While spear in hand he repels the hounds agape to rend him.“
Tela manu, reicitque canes in vulnus hiantes.

—  Statius, book Thebaid
Thebaid, Book IV, Tela manu, reicitque canes in vulnus hiantes. Line 574 (tr. J. H. Mozley)

Statius photo

„The wood that crowns the peak of Nesis set fast in ocean.“
Silvaque quae fixam pelago Nesida coronat.

—  Statius, Silvae
Silvae, Book III, Silvaque quae fixam pelago Nesida coronat. i, line 148 (tr. J. H. Mozley)

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

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