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]

Sententiae[edit]

  • 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.
  • There is no penalty attached to a lover's oath.
    • Maxim 23
  • The anger of lovers renews the strength of love.
    • Maxim 24
  • Ames parentem, si aequus est, si aliter, feras.
    • If your parent is just, revere him; if not, bear with him.
      • Maxim 27
  • 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
  • Contra impurdentem stulta est nimia ingenuitas
    • Being excessively clever is foolish when teaching the ignorant.
      • Maxim 123
  • He who helps the guilty, shares the crime.
    • Maxim 139
  • Many receive advice, few profit from 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
  • For him who loves labour, there is always something to do.
    • Maxim 219
  • Even a single hair casts its shadow.
    • Maxim 228
  • 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.
    • 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 est consilium, quod mutari non potest.
    • Bad is the plan, which cannot be changed.
    • 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
  • Either be silent or say something better than silence.
    • Maxim 960
  • Velox consilium sequitur paenitentia.
    • A hasty decision is followed by repentance.
    • Maxim 961
  • It is a consolation to the wretched to have companions in misery.
    • Maxim 995
  • Proximum ab innocentia tenet locum verecunda peccati confessio.
    • Confession of our faults is the closest 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]

  • As men, we are all equal in the presence of death.
  • Familiarity breeds contempt.
  • Necessity knows no law except to conquer.
    • Attributed to Syrus in By Advice of Counsel, Arthur Train
  • We should provide in peace what we need in war.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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Latin[edit]

English[edit]