Titus Maccius Plautus (254 BC – 184 BC), born at Sassina, Umbria, was a comic playwright in the time of the Roman Republic. The years of his life are uncertain, but his plays were first produced between about 205 BC and 184 BC.
- The face that thou shalt smite in earnest is bound thereafter to be boneless.
- Amphitryon, Act I, scene i.
- Oh, are not the pleasures in life, in this daily round, trifling compared with the pains!
- Amphitryon, Act II, scene ii.
- Courage is the very best gift of all; courage stands before everything, it does, it does! It is what maintains and preserves our liberty, safety, life, and our homes and parents, our country and children. Courage comprises all things: a man with courage has every blessing.
- Amphitryon, Act II, scene ii.
- Nothing is there more friendly to a man than a friend in need.
- Epidicus, Act III, sc. iii, line 44.
- What is yours is mine, and all mine is yours.
- Trinummus, Act II, sc. ii, line 48.
- Not by age but by capacity is wisdom acquired.
- Trinummus, Act II, sc. ii, line 88.
- These things are not for the best, nor as I think they ought to be; but still they are better than that which is downright bad.
- Trinummus, Act II, sc. ii, line 111; reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
- There are occasions when it is undoubtedly better to incur loss than to make gain.
- Captivi, Act II, sc. ii, line, 77.
- You are seeking a knot in a bulrush.
- Patience is the best remedy for every trouble.
- Rudens, Act II, sc. v, line 71.
- If you are wise, be wise; keep what goods the gods provide you.
- Rudens, Act IV, sc. 7, line 3; reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
- One eye-witness weighs more than ten hearsays — Seeing is believing all the world over.
- Truculentus, Act II, Sc. 2, line 6.
- Consider the little mouse, how sagacious an animal it is which never entrusts its life to one hole only.
- Truculentus, Act IV, sc. iv, line 15.
- No guest is so welcome in a friend's house that he will not become a nuisance after three days.
- Miles Gloriosus, Act III, scene i.
- He whom the gods love dies young.
- From the Latin "Quem di diligunt adulescens moritur."
- Bacchides 816-17. Derived from Menander's The Double Deceiver; but only the Plautine version was known until the rediscovery of Menander in the 20th century; sometimes translated as "favor" instead of "love".
- In one hand he is carrying a stone, while he shows the bread with the other.
- I had a regular battle with the dunghill-cock.
- Aulularia, Act III, sc. 4, 13; reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
- It was not for nothing that the raven was just now croaking on my left hand.
- Aulularia, Act iv, sc. 3, 1; reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Referenced in "That raven on yon left-hand oak/(Curse on his ill-betiding croak!)/Bodes me no good", John Gay, ''Fables, Part I, The Farmer’s Wife and the Raven.
- Things which you do not hope happen more frequently than things which you do hope.
- Act I, scene iii, line 40.
- Each man reaps on his own farm.
- Act III, sc. 2, line 112; reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
- To blow and swallow at the same moment is not easy.
- Act III, sc. 2, line 104; reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
- Nothing is more wretched than a guilty conscience.
- Act V, scene i, line 14.
- Drink, live like the Greeks, eat, gorge.
- From the Latin "Bibite, pergraecamini, ese, ecfercite vos."
- Line 64 .
- You miss the point? The lady that spares her lover spares herself too little.
- , Act I, scene iii.
- The chap that endures hard knocks like a man enjoys a soft time later on.
- Asinaria, Act II, scene ii.
- I say, Libanus, what a poor devil a chap in love is!
- Asinaria, Act III, scene iii.
- Practice yourself what you preach.
- Asinaria, Act III, sc. iii, line 644.
- Lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit.
- Man is no man, but a wolf, to a stranger.
- Asinaria, Act II, sc. iv, line 495.
- Variant translation: A man is a wolf rather than a man to another man, when he hasn't yet found out what he's like.
- Often quoted as 'Homo homini lupus' [A man is a wolf to another man].