Quintus Curtius Rufus

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Quintus Curtius Rufus was a Roman historian, writing probably during the reign of the Emperor Claudius (41–54 AD) or Vespasian. His only surviving work, De Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni, or Historiae Alexandri Magni, is a biography of Alexander the Great in Latin in ten books, of which the first two are lost, and the remaining eight are incomplete. His work is fluidly written, and while superficial study reveals the authors errors regarding geography, chronology and technical military knowledge, a detailed study reveals his focusing instead on character and protests against those Emperors of his times whom he considered tyrants.


Historiarum Alexandri Magni Macedonis Libri Qui Supersunt[edit]

  • Ad deteriora credenda proni metu.
    • Fear makes men believe the worst.
    • IV, 3, 22.
  • Efficacior omni arte imminens necessitas.
    • Necessity when threatening is more powerful than device of man.
    • IV, 3, 23.
  • Ubi explorari vera non possunt, falsa per metum augentur.
    • When the truth cannot be clearly made out, what is false is increased through fear.
    • IV, 10, 10.
  • Sæpe calamitas solatium est nosse sortem suam.
    • It is often a comfort in misfortune to know our own fate.
    • IV, 10, 27.
  • Nihil potest esse diuturnum cui non subest ratio.
    • Nothing can be lasting when reason does not rule.
    • IV, 14, 19.
  • Breves et mutabiles vices rerum sunt, et fortuna nunquam simpliciter indulget.
    • The fashions of human affairs are brief and changeable, and fortune never remains long indulgent.
    • IV, 14, 20.
  • Ubi intravit animos pavor, id solum metuunt, quod primum formidare cœperunt.
    • When fear has seized upon the mind, man fears that only which he first began to fear.
    • IV, 16, 17.
  • Consuetudo natura potentior est.
    • Habit is stronger than nature.
    • V, 5, 21.
  • Equidem æterna constitutione crediderim nexuque causarum latentium et multo ante destinatarum suum quemque ordinem immutabili lege percurrere.
    • For my own part I am persuaded that everything advances by an unchangeable law through the eternal constitution and association of latent causes, which have been long before predestinated.
    • V, 11, 10.
  • Parva sæpe scintilla contempta magnum excitavit incendium.
    • A small spark neglected has often roused to a great inferno.
    • VI, 3, 11.
  • Patria est ubicumque vir fortis sedem elegerit.
    • A brave man's country is wherever he chooses his abode.
    • VI, 4, 13.
  • Altissima quæque flumina minimo sono labuntur.
    • The deepest rivers flow with the least sound.
    • VII, 4, 13.
  • Canis timidus vehementius latrat quam mordet.
    • A cowardly cur barks more fiercely than it bites.
    • VII, 4, 13.
  • Culpam majorum posteri luunt.
    • Posterity pays for the sins of their fathers.
    • VII, 5.
  • Stultus est qui fructus magnarum arborum spectat, altitudinem non metitur.
    • He is a fool who looks at the fruit of lofty trees, but does not measure their height.
    • VII, 8.
  • Non est diuturna possessio in quam gladio ducimus; beneficiorum gratia sempiterna est.
    • That possession which we gain by the sword is not lasting; gratitude for benefits is eternal.
    • VIII, 8, 11.
  • Desperatio magnum ad honeste moriendum incitamentum.
    • Despair is a great incentive to honorable death.
    • IX, 5, 6.
  • Festinatio tarda est.
  • Res secundæ valent commutare naturam, et raro quisquam erga bona sua satis cautus est.
    • Prosperity can change man's nature; and seldom is any one cautious enough to resist the effects of good fortune.
    • X, 1, 40.

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