Talk:Cicero

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Bold quotes?[edit]

I see that some quotes are in bold, some are not. I'm curious as to the reason for the bold ones. Should this be fixed? Magnoliasouth 00:12, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

See the discussion at Wikiquote:Village_pump#Random_quotes_that_are_bold-faced.3F ~ Kalki 00:26, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Discussion archived at Wikiquote:Village_pump_archive_8#Random_quotes_that_are_bold-faced.3FOttoMäkelä (talk) 09:27, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Apparently, this quote was made up back in the 80s and attributed to Cicero. I removed it as such. I couldn't find any direct link to the Roman ever saying this. See link for more details: http://groups.google.co.uk/group/alt.quotations/browse_thread/thread/d0c75b3069548f17?tvc=2

The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.

Legisset[edit]

  • Quam cum suavissima et maxima voce legisset, admirantibus omnibus "quanto" inquit "magis miraremini, si audissetis ipsum!"

is currently translated

  • He spoke with a charming full voice, and when everyone was applauding, "how much", he asked, "would you have applauded if you had heard the original?"

My Latin may be a bit rusty, but surely "legisset" should be "he read" rather than "he spoke"? I recognise that it's a fairly dynamic translation, but it seems to me that being a bit more literal here would prepare the reader for the explanation of the context which follows. Is the translation also quoted, or is it an in-house affair which can be altered without causing confusion? 81.33.108.177 19:00, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Unsourced[edit]

Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Cicero.

With original Latin[edit]

  • Respublica est consensus iuris et communio utilitatis
    • The Republic is a common law and the common good
  • Appetitus Rationi Pareat
    • Let your desires be ruled by reason.
  • Omnium rerum principia parva sunt.
    • The beginnings of all things are small.
  • Si vis doceri, doce
    • If you want to learn, teach
  • Suum Cuique.
    • To each his own.
  • Vi Et Armis.
    • By force and arms.
  • Vi Victa Vis.
    • Force overcome by force.

Translations[edit]

  • A bad peace is always better than a good war.
  • A happy life consists in tranquillity of mind.
  • A life of peace, purity, and refinement leads to a calm and untroubled old age.
  • A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation.
  • All action is of the mind and the mirror of the mind is the face, its index the eyes.
  • Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.
  • As the old proverb says "Like readily consorts with like."
  • Be sure that it is not you that is mortal, but only your body. For that man whom your outward form reveals is not yourself; the spirit is the true self, not that physical figure which and be pointed out by your finger.
  • Everyone has the obligation to ponder well his own specific traits of character. He must also regulate them adequately and not wonder whether someone else's traits might suit him better. The more definitely his own a man's character is, the better it fits him.
  • Freedom is a possession of inestimable value.
  • Freedom is participation in power.
  • Friends, though absent, are still present.
    • Friends, though absent, are present still.
  • He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason.
  • He removes the greatest ornament of friendship, who takes away from it respect.
  • I will go further, and assert that nature without culture can often do more to deserve praise than culture without nature.
  • If we are forced, at every hour, to watch or listen to horrible events, this constant stream of ghastly impressions will deprive even the most delicate among us of all respect for humanity.
  • In men of the highest character and noblest genius there is to be found an insatiable desire for honour, command, power, and glory.
  • In so far as the mind is stronger than the body, so are the ills contracted by the mind more severe than those contracted by the body.
  • It is a great thing to know our vices.
  • It is a true saying that "One falsehood leads easily to another".
  • Let arms give place to the robe, and the laurel of the warriors yield to the tongue of the orator.
  • Liberty is rendered even more precious by the recollection of servitude.
  • Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts.
  • Men decide far more problems by hate, love, lust, rage, sorrow, joy, hope, fear, illusion, or some other inward emotion, than by reality, authority, any legal standard, judicial precedent, or statute.
  • Natural ability without education has more often attained to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.
  • Nature herself has imprinted on the minds of all the idea of God.
    • I went looking for the source of this quote (other than the game CivIV) and found nearly nothing. I couldn't find a quote that also included a source. The closest nature/God quote I could find was from "On Old Age" "..I follow Nature, the best of guides, as I would a god, and am loyal to her commands." which isn't close at all. ~
      • De Natura Deorum, Liber I, Pars XVI (book 1, chapter 16): talking about Epicurus, "Solus enim vidit primum esse deos, quod in omnium animis eorum notionem impressisset ipsa natura", only he (Epicurus) saw that the gods exist because in every soul these notions [the existence of the gods discussed in previous chapters] are imprinted by nature herself.

I insist on the plural of gods, it is improper (I'm being polite) to use "God" as a tranlation here.

  • Nature herself makes the wise man rich.
  • Neither can embellishments of language be found without arrangement and expression of thoughts, nor can thoughts be made to shine without the light of language.
  • Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.
  • No one can speak well, unless he thoroughly understands his subject.
  • Nothing quite new is perfect.
  • Our span of life is brief, but is long enough for us to live well and honestly.
  • Our thoughts are free.
  • Politicians are not born; they are excreted.
  • Reason should direct and appetite obey.
  • Strain every nerve to gain your point.
  • Such praise coming from so degraded a source, was degrading to me, its recipient.
  • The absolute good is not a matter of opinion but of nature.
  • The evil implanted in man by nature spreads so imperceptibly, when the habit of wrong-doing is unchecked, that he himself can set no limit to his shamelessness.
  • The first duty of a man is the seeking after and the investigation of truth. (This quote is highlighted on the page with an accompanying picture. It might be a corruption of a passage from De Officiis, translated variously as "…the distinguishing property of man is to search for and to follow after truth" and "…the search after truth and its eager pursuit are peculiar to man.")
  • The man who backstabs an absent friend, nay, who does not stand up for him when another blames him, the man who angles for bursts of laughter and for the repute of a wit, who can invent what he never saw, who cannot keep a secret — that man is black at heart: mark and avoid him.
  • The name of peace is sweet, and the thing itself is beneficial, but there is a great difference between peace and servitude. Peace is freedom in tranquility, servitude is the worst of all evils, to be resisted not only by war, but even by death.
  • The strictest law often causes the most serious wrong.
  • The wise are instructed by reason; ordinary minds by experience; the stupid, by necessity; and brutes by instinct.
  • There are some duties we owe even to those who have wronged us. There is, after all, a limit to retribution and punishment.
  • There is no duty more obligatory than the repayment of kindness.
  • Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.
  • To be content with what one has is the greatest and truest of riches.
  • We are obliged to respect, defend and maintain the common bonds of union and fellowship that exist among all members of the human race.
  • What is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious.
  • What we call pleasure, and rightly so is the absence of all pain.
  • When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men's minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind.
  • Where is there dignity unless there is honesty?
  • The Six Mistakes of Man
  1. The illusion that personal gain is made up of crushing others.
  2. The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.
  3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it.
  4. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences.
  5. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit of reading and study.
  6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.
  • You're trying to refute me by quoting things I've said or written myself. That's confronting me with documents that have already been sealed! You can reserve that method for people who only argue according to fixed rules. But I live from one day to the next! If something strikes me as probable, I say it; and that is how, unlike everyone else, I remain a free agent.
  • The sinews of war are infinitive money.
    • if this is for real, the translation is a bit iff. ~ Ningauble 16:18, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

The Enemy Within[edit]

What about the one that has made internet rounds in the past few years, "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious, but it cannot survive treason from within...." It's always attributed to Cicero, but I've never found any evidence to support that claim, or any context. Should it be under misattributed?


Reply: it is a heavy paraphrase of Cicero from a 1965 speech, "Cicero's Prognosis", by Florida Supreme Court Justice, Millard F. Caldwell, who spoke at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc (October 7-9, 1965, Columbus, Ohio). Here is the full text: http://www.aapsonline.org/brochures/cicero.htm

Gratitude[edit]

Cicero did not ever write anything that directly translates to “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” What he actually wrote was etenim, iudices, cum omnibus virtutibus me adfectum esse cupio, tum nihil est quod malim quam me et esse gratum et videri. haec enim est una virtus non solum maxima sed etiam mater virtutum omnium reliquarum.[1].

The second sentence translates to “For this virtue is not only the greatest of virtues, but also the mother of all others.”, but “this” is incorrectly substituted in many translations.

There are many later writings and early printings that make the connection, but not the direct substitution. Among them is the 1630 printing of Encyclopaedia septem tomis distincta, by Johann Heinrich Alsted. It reads: “Nam gratitudo, ut Cicero, ait pro Planco, virtus est non solum maxima, sed etiam mater virtutum omnium reliquarum.” (Vol. 2., p. 1297, col. 2)[2]. That seems to be a fair summary and a direct reference to the word “gratitude”, but not even Alsted makes the direct substitution in the quotation.

The 1882 printing of Hoyt and Ward's The Cyclopædia of Practical Quotations, goes so far as to replace the original Latin haec with Gratus animus, and translates that to “A thankful heart” (p. 533, col. 2) [3].

The 1884 printing of Day's Collacon substitutes “this” with “[a] grateful mind”. (p. 344, col. 1)[4].

The switch to “gratitude” might have started as late as the late 20th century.

A current University of Chicago translation more accurately includes an original meaning lost in many later translations, that of not merely feeling grateful, but also of showing gratitude: “...the being and appearing grateful. For this one virtue is not only the greatest, but is also the parent of all the other virtues.”[5].

Thus, in this Wikipedia entry, I am substituting “Gratitude” with “Being and appearing grateful”. Danorton (talk) 21:02, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Paceni? ((fixed))[edit]

"Equidem ad paceni hortari non desino"

As far as I can tell "paceni" is not a version of any Latin word, but when I google "equiem ad pacem hortari non desino", I get a ton of results. Would someone who knows more about Latin and/or about Cicero than me like to check and see if the quote on the main page should be altered?

  • You are correct. Clearly someone misread the letter "m" as "ni". 75.208.218.239 17:14, 15 January 2014 (UTC)