Publilius Syrus

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Publilius Syrus, a Latin writer of maxims, flourished in the 1st century BC. He was a native of Assyria and Assyrian by race, he was brought as a slave to Italy, but by his wit and talent he won the favour of his master, who freed and educated him.

Quotes[edit]

Sentences[edit]

Sententiae, a collection of maxims in verse form, given alphabetically (in Latin).

  • As men, we are all equal in the presence of death.
    • Maxim 1.
  • Inopi beneficium bis dat, qui dat celeriter.
    • Translation: He doubly benefits the needy who gives quickly.
    • Maxim 6.
  • To do two things at once is to do neither.
    • Maxim 7.
  • Alienum aes homini ingenuo acerba est servitus.
    • Translation: Bitter for a free man is the bondage of debt.
    • Maxim 14.
    • Variant translation: Debt is the slavery of the free.
  • The anger of lovers renews the strength of love.
    • Maxim 24.
  • Adversity shows whether we have friends, or only the shadows of friends.
    • Maxim 35.
  • The loss which is unknown is no loss at all.
    • Maxim 38.
  • Audendo virtus crescit, tardando timor.
    • Translation: Audacity augments courage; hesitation, fear.
    • Maxim 63.
    • Variant translation: Valour grows by daring, fear by holding back.
  • Honesta fama melior pecunia est.
    • Translation: A good reputation is more valuable than money.
    • Maxim 108.
  • He who helps the guilty, shares the crime.
    • Maxim 139.
  • Many receive advice, few profit by it.
    • Maxim 149.
  • While we stop to think, we often miss our opportunity.
    • Maxim 185.
  • Whatever you can lose, you should reckon of no account.
    • Maxim 191.
  • Even a single hair casts its shadow.
  • Honesta turpitudo est pro causa bona.
    • Translation: For a good cause, wrongdoing is virtuous.
    • Maxim 244.
  • What is left when honor is lost?
    • Maxim 265.
  • Fortune is not satisfied with inflicting one calamity.
    • Maxim 274.
  • When Fortune is on our side, popular favor bears her company.
    • Maxim 275.
  • Fortuna cum blanditur, captatum venit.
    • Translation: When Fortune flatters, she does it to betray.
    • Maxim 277.
  • Fortuna vitrea est: tum cum splendet frangitur.
    • Translation: Fortune is like glass - the brighter the glitter, the more easily broken.
    • Maxim 280.
  • Fortunam citius reperias quam retineas.
    • Translation: It is more easy to get a favor from Fortune than to keep it.
    • Maxim 282.
  • Formonsa facies muta commendatio est.
    • A beautiful face is a silent commendation.
    • Maxim 283.
  • There are some remedies worse than the disease.
    • Maxim 301.
  • Do not take part in the council, unless you are called.
    • Maxim 310.
  • Amid a multitude of projects, no plan is devised.
    • Maxim 319.
  • In sterculino plurimum gallus potest.
    • Translation: A cock has great influence on his own dunghill.
    • Maxim 357.
  • In tranquillo esse quisque gubernator potest.
    • Translation: Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.
    • Maxim 358.
  • To forget the wrongs you receive, is to remedy them.
    • Maxim 383.
  • Treat your friend as if he might become an enemy.
    • Maxim 402.
  • Iudex damnatur ubi nocens absolvitur.
    • Translation: The judge is condemned when the guilty is absolved.
    • Maxim 407
    • Adopted by the original Edinburgh Review magazine as its motto.
  • Practice is the best of all instructors.
    • Maxim 439.
  • A noble spirit finds a cure for injustice in forgetting it.
    • Maxim 441.
  • Necessitas dat legem non ipsa accipit.
    • Necessity gives the law without itself acknowledging one.
    • Maxim 444.
  • He who is bent on doing evil can never want occasion.
    • Maxim 459.
  • Never find your delight in another's misfortune.
    • Maxim 467.
  • Malum consilium est, quod mutari potest.
    • It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.
    • Maxim 469.
  • The fear of death is more to be dreaded than death itself.
    • Maxim 511.
  • Saxum volutum non obducitur musco
    • Translation: A rolling stone gathers no moss.
    • Maxim 524.
  • Never promise more than you can perform.
    • Maxim 528.
  • No one should be judge in his own case.
    • Maxim 545.
  • Nothing can be done at once hastily and prudently.
    • Maxim 557.
  • Quod vult habet, qui cupere quod sat est potest.
    • Translation: We desire nothing so much as what we ought not to have.
    • Variant translation: He has his wish, who wished but enough.
    • Maxim 559 [Mimi et aliorum sententiae 677].
  • It is only the ignorant who despise education.
    • Maxim 571.
  • Do not turn back when you are just at the goal.
    • Maxim 580.
  • No man is happy who does not think himself so.
    • Maxim 584.
  • He is a despicable sage whose wisdom does not profit himself.
    • Maxim 629.
  • Every day should be passed as if it were to be our last.
    • Maxim 633.
  • Money alone sets all the world in motion.
    • Maxim 656.
  • Be your money's master, not its slave.
    • Maxim 657.
  • It is a very hard undertaking to seek to please everybody.
    • Maxim 675.
  • God looks at the clean hands, not the full ones.
    • Maxim 715.
  • Invitat culpam qui peccatum praeterit
    • Translation: Pardon one offence and you encourage the commission of many.
    • Maxim 750.
  • It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.
    • Maxim 780.
  • No one knows what he can do till he tries.
    • Maxim 786.
  • They pass peaceful lives who ignore mine and thine.
    • Maxim 790.
  • Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.
    • Maxim 847.
  • Better to be ignorant of a matter than half know it.
    • Maxim 865.
  • Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them.
    • Maxim 872.
  • The greatest of empires, is the empire over one's self.
    • Maxim 891.
  • Stultum facit fortuna, quem vult perdere.
    • Translation: Whom Fortune wishes to destroy she first makes mad.
    • Maxim 911. One of the most famous renditions of the ancient Greek proverb (which is anonymous and dates to the 5th century BCE or earlier).
    • The provenance of the proverb and its English versions is at Wikipedia's Euripides page, under the heading "Misattributed".
  • Taciturnitas stulto homini pro sapientia est.
    • Translation: Let a fool hold his tongue and he will pass for a sage.
    • Maxim 914.
  • Avarice is as destitute of what it has, as what it has not.
    • Maxim 927.
  • The poor man is ruined as soon as he begins to ape the rich.
    • Maxim 941.
  • It is a consolation to the wretched to have companions in misery.
    • Maxim 995.
  • Proximum ab innocentia tenet locum verecunda peccati confessio.
    • Translation: Confession of our faults is the next thing to innocence.
    • Maxim 1060.
  • I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.
    • Maxim 1070.
  • Speech is a mirror of the soul: as a man speaks, so is he.
    • Maxim 1073.
  • Let your life be pleasing to the multitude, and it can not be so to yourself.
    • Maxim 1075.

Attributed[edit]

  • Familiarity breeds contempt.
  • Necessity knows no law except to conquer.
    • Attributed by By Advice of Counsel, Arthur Train
  • We should provide in peace what we need in war.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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