Marcus Terentius Varro

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Marcus Terentius Varro (116 BC27 BC) was a Roman scholar and philosopher. He is believed to have written more than 600 volumes, but of these only three volumes on agriculture, five on the Latin language, and a few fragments have survived.


  • Postremo nemo aegrotus quidquam somniat tam infandum, quod non aliquis dicat philosophus.
    • No sick man's monstrous dream can be so wild that some philosopher won't say it's true.
    • Eumenides, fragment 6, from Saturae Menippeae; translation from J. Wight Duff Roman Satire: Its Outlook on Social Life (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1964) p. 90.

De Re Rustica[edit]

English quotations are taken from the Loeb Classical Library translation by William Davis Hooper, as revised by Harrison Boyd Ash. [1]

  • Portam itineri dici longissimam esse.
    • The longest part of the journey is said to be the passing of the gate.
    • Bk. 1, ch. 2
  • Crescunt animalia quaedam minuta, quae non possunt oculi consequi, et per aera intus in corpus per os ac nares perveniunt atque efficiunt difficilis morbos.
    • There are bred certain minute creatures which cannot be seen by the eyes, which float in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose and there cause serious diseases.
    • Bk. 1, ch. 12
  • Divina Natura dedit agros, ars humana ædificavit urbes.
    • It was divine nature which gave us the country, and man's skill that built the cities.
    • Bk. 3, ch. 1


  • Vir Romanorum eruditissimus.
    • The most learned of all Romans.
    • Quintilian Institutio Oratoria Bk. 10, ch. 1, para. 95; translation by H. E. Butler. [2]

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