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It has been nicknamed Caput mundi ("capital of the world"), la Città Eterna ("the Eternal City"), Limen Apostolorum ("threshold of the Apostles"), la città dei sette colli ("the city of the seven hills") or simply l'Urbe ("the City").
A - D
- Si fueris Romæ, Romano vivito more;
Si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi.
- When I am at Rome I fast as the Romans do; when I am at Milan I do not fast. So likewise you, whatever church you come to, observe the custom of the place, if you would neither give offence to others, nor take offence from them.
- Another version of St. Ambrose's advice. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
- Despise this union of discordant races! To defend oneself by alliance is proof of cowardice.
- I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.
- When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday: when I am at Milan I do not. Do the same. Follow the custom of the church where you are.
- St. Augustine gives this as the advice of St. Ambrose to him. See Epistle to Januarius, II. 18. Also Epistle 36. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
- When in Rome do as the Romans
- Common paraphrase of the above.
- Now conquering Rome doth conquered Rome inter,
And she the vanquished is, and vanquisher.
To show us where she stood there rests alone
Tiber; and that too hastens to be gone.
Learn, hence what fortune can. Towns glide away;
And rivers, which are still in motion, stay.
- Joachim du Bellay, Antiquitez de Rome (third stanza of this poem taken from Janus Vitalis). Translation by William Browne, from a Latin version of the same by Janus Vitalis, In Urbem Romam Qualis est hodie. See Gordon Goodwin's ed. of Poems of William Browne. Translation also by Spenser, in Complaints. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
- Every one soon or late comes round by Rome.
- Robert Browning, Ring and the Book, V, 296. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
- When they are at Rome, they do there as they see done.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), III. 4. 2.
- O Rome! my country! city of the soul!
- When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall;
And when Rome falls—the World.
- O Rome! My country! City of the soul!
- George Gordon, Lord Byron in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812).
- You cheer my heart, who build as if Rome would be eternal.
- Cuando á Roma fueres, haz como vieres.
- Y á Roma por todo.
- Quod tantis Romana manus contexuit annis
Proditor unus iners angusto tempore vertit.
- What Roman power slowly built, an unarmed traitor instantly overthrew.
- Claudianus, In Rufinum, II. 52. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
- Leave for a while thy costly country seat;
And, to be great indeed, forget
The nauseous pleasures of the great:
Make haste and come:
Come, and forsake thy cloying store;
Thy turret that surveys, from high,
The smoke, and wealth, and noise of Rome;
And all the busy pageantry
That wise men scorn, and fools adore:
Come, give thy soul a loose, and taste the pleasures of the poor.
- A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome's decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.
- Will Durant, Caesar and Christ (1944), Epilogue, p. 665.
E - H
- The traveler who has contemplated the ruins of ancient Rome may conceive some imperfect idea of the sentiments which they must have inspired when they reared their heads in the splendor of unsullied beauty.
- Yes, I have finally arrived to this Capital of the World! I now see all the dreams of my youth coming to life... Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in Italian Journey (1816).
- It was scarcely possible that the eyes of contemporaries should discover in the public felicity the latent causes of decay and corruption. This long peace, and the uniform government of the Romans, introduced a slow and secret poison into the vitals of the empire. The minds of men were gradually reduced to the same level, the fire of genius was extinguished, and even the military spirit evaporated. The natives of Europe were brave and robust. Spain, Gaul, Britain, and Illyricum, supplied the legions with excellent soldiers, and constituted the real strength of the monarchy. Their personal valour remained, but they no longer possessed that public courage which is nourished by the love of independence, the sense of national honour, the presence of danger, and the habit of command. They received laws and governors from the will of their sovereign, and trusted for their defence to a mercenary army. The posterity of their boldest leaders was contented with the rank of citizens and subjects. The most aspiring spirits resorted to the court or standard of the emperors; and the deserted provinces, deprived of political strength or union, insensibly sunk into the languid indifference of private life.
- Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1838), chapter 2, third paragraph from the end, p. 32.
- Veuve d'un peuple-roi, mais reine encore du monde.
- [Rome] Widow of a King-people, but still queen of the world.
- Gabriel Gilbert, Papal Rome. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
- Rome was ruined more by neglect of agriculture, and giving no attention to useful trade and commerce, than by the invasion of barbarians.
- Walter Harte Essays on Husbandry (1764), p. 11.
- Rome, Rome, thou art no more
As thou hast been!
On thy seven hills of yore
Thou sat'st a queen.
- Felicia Hemans, Roman Girl's Song. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
- Omitte mirari beatæ
Fumum et opes strepitumque Romæ.
- Cease to admire the smoke, wealth, and noise of prosperous Rome.
- Horace, Carmina, III. 29. 11. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
I - L
- The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth. ... Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. ... In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.’
- In tears I tossed my coin from Trevi's edge.
A coin unsordid as a bond of love—
And, with the instinct of the homing dove,
I gave to Rome my rendezvous and pledge.
And when imperious Death
Has quenched my flame of breath,
Oh, let me join the faithful shades that throng that fount above.
- Robert Underwood Johnson, Italian Rhapsody. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
- Tous chemins vont à Rome; ainsi nos concurrents
Crurent, pouvoir choisir des sentiers différents.
- All road's lead to Rome, but our antagonists think we should choose different paths.
- Jean de La Fontaine, Le Juge Arbitre, Fable XII. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
- What's Rome to me, what business have I there?
- I who can neither lie, nor falsely swear?
- Nor praise my patron's undeserving rhymes,
- Nor yet comply with him, nor with his times?
- A thousand roads lead men forever to Rome.
- Alaine de Lille in Liber Parabolarum (1175).
M - P
- Rome, old lady of the world, in the name of our glorious dead who gave their life to make wonderful days possible, we salute you!
- Benito Mussolini, a phrase said after marching on Rome in 1922.
- Rome was not built in a day.
- See the wild Waste of all-devouring years!
How Rome her own sad Sepulchre appears,
With nodding arches, broken temples spread!
The very Tombs now vanish'd like their dead!
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays, Epistle to Addison. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
Q - T
- I am in Rome! Oft as the morning ray
Visits these eyes, waking at once I cry,
Whence this excess of joy? What has befallen me?
And from within a thrilling voice replies,
Thou art in Rome! A thousand busy thoughts
Rush on my mind, a thousand images;
And I spring up as girt to run a race!
- Samuel Rogers, Rome. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
- I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.
- New Rome will be destroyed by the attacks of new vandals.
- Dejan Stojanovic in Circling, ”New Vandals,” Sequence: “A Warden with No Keys” (1993).
- Utinam populus Romanus unam cervicem haberet!
- The story of Romulus and Remus being suckled by a wolf is not a meaningless fable. The founders of every State which has risen to eminence have drawn their nourishment and vigor from a similar wild source. It was because the children of the Empire were not suckled by the wolf that they were conquered and displaced by the children of the Northern forests who were.
- From the dome of St. Peter's one can see every notable object in Rome... He can see a panorama that is varied, extensive, beautiful to the eye, and more illustrious in history than any other in Europe.
- Mark Twain in The Innocents Abroad (1869).
- The teacher reminded us that Rome's liberties were not auctioned off in a day, but were bought slowly, gradually, furtively, little by little; first with a little corn and oil for the exceedingly poor and wretched, later with corn and oil for voters who were not quite so poor, later still with corn and oil for pretty much every man that had a vote to sell—exactly our own history over again.
- Mark Twain, "Purchasing Civic Virtue," Mark Twain in Bernard DeVoto, ed., Eruption (1940), p. 68–69.
- Rome wasn't all built in a day.
- Li Proverbe au Vilain (ca. 1190).
U - Z
- Sit Romana potens Itala virtute propago