Publilius Syrus

From Wikiquote
(Redirected from Syrus)
Jump to: navigation, search

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]

Note: Many different editions of the Sententiae have been published, each with significant variation as to the inclusion and exclusion of quotes.

  • Alienum aes homini ingenuo acerba est servitus.
    • Bitter for a free man is the bondage of debt.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Audendo virtus crescit, tardando timor.
    • Valour grows by daring, fear by hesitating.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Contra imprudentem stulta est nimia ingenuitas
    • Being excessively clever is foolish when teaching the ignorant.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Formosa facies muta commendatio est.
    • A beautiful face is a silent commendation.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Fortuna cum blanditur, captatum venit.
    • When Fortune flatters, she does it to betray.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Fortunam citius reperias quam retineas.
    • It is more easy to get a favor from Fortune than to keep it.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Fortuna vitrea est: tum cum splendet frangitur.
    • Fortune is like glass - the brighter the glitter, the more easily broken.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Honesta turpitudo est pro causa bona.
    • For a good cause, wrongdoing is honourable.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Inopiae desunt multa, avaritiae omnia.
    • To poverty many things are lacking, to avarice everything is lacking.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Inopi beneficium bis dat, qui dat celeriter.
    • He doubly benefits the needy who gives quickly.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Invitat culpam qui peccatum praeterit
    • He invites crime who ignores sin.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Iudex damnatur ubi nocens absolvitur.
    • The judge is condemned when the guilty is absolved.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
      • Adopted by the original Edinburgh Review magazine as its motto
  • Malum est consilium, quod mutari non potest.
    • Bad is the plan, which cannot be changed.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Necessitas dat legem, non ipsa accipit.
    • Necessity gives the law without itself acknowledging one.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Proximum ab innocentia tenet locum verecunda peccati confessio.
  • Stultum facit fortuna, quem vult perdere.
    • Whom Fortune wishes to destroy she first makes mad.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition
  • Taciturnitas stulto homini pro sapientia est.
    • Let a fool hold his tongue and he will pass for a sage.
      • From R. A. H. Bickford-Smith edition


Disputed[edit]

The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus, a Roman Slave: from the Latin[edit]

English quotations from The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus, a Roman Slave: from the Latin, English translation by Darius Lyman, Jun., A. M., with a Sketch of the Life of Syrus, published by L.E. Barnard & co. (1856)

  • As men, we are all equal in the presence of death.
    • Maxim 1
  • There is no penalty attached to a lover's oath.
    • Maxim 23
  • 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
  • To spare the guilty is to injure the innocent.
    • Maxim 113
  • Many receive advice, few profit by it.
    • Maxim 149
  • Have courage, or cunning, when you deal with an enemy.
    • Maxim 156
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • A cock has great influence on his own dunghill.
    • Maxim 357
  • To forget the wrongs you receive, is to remedy them.
    • Maxim 383
  • Put such confidence in your friend, that he shall find no cause to become an enemy.
    • Maxim 402
  • Practice is the best of all instructors.
    • Maxim 439
  • A noble spirit finds a cure for injustice in forgetting it.
    • Maxim 441
  • He who is bent on doing evil, can never want occasion.
    • Maxim 459
  • Never find your delight in another's misfortune.
    • Maxim 467
  • The fear of death is more to be dreaded than death itself.
    • Maxim 511
  • 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 cause.
    • Maxim 545
  • Nothing can be done at once hastily and prudently.
    • Maxim 557
  • We desire nothing so much as what we ought not to have.
    • Maxim 559
  • It is only the ignorant who despise education.
    • Maxim 571
  • Don't 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
  • We should provide in peace what we need in war.
    • Maxim 709
  • God looks at the clean hands, not the full ones.
    • Maxim 715
  • 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
  • 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
  • It is a consolation to the wretched to have companions in misery.
    • Maxim 995
  • 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


Misattributed[edit]

  • In tranquillo esse quisque gubernator potest.
    • In a calm sea anyone can be the helmsman.
  • Velox consilium sequitur paenitentia.
    • A hasty decision is followed by repentance.
      • Found in the Sententiae Falso (False Sententiae) section of the Woelfflin edition
  • Lepores duo qui insequitur, is neutrum capit.
    • Who chases two rabbits captures neither.
      • Found in the Sententiae Falso (False Sententiae) section of the Woelfflin edit
  • Honesta fama melior pecunia est.
    • A good reputation is more valuable than money.
      • Found in the Sententiae Falso (False Sententiae) section of the Woelfflin edit
  • Homo tacere qui nescit, nescit loqui.
    • One who does not know how to be silent, does not know how to speak.
      • Found in the Sententiae Falso (False Sententiae) section of the Woelfflin edit
  • Familiarity breeds contempt.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:


Sententiae:[edit]

Note: Many different editions of the Sententiae have been published, each with significant variation as to the inclusion and exclusion of quotes.

Latin[edit]

English[edit]