Marcus Tullius Cicero

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Marcus Tullius Cicero (3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman politician and lawyer, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.

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The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.

A home without books is a body without soul.

Take from a man his reputation for probity, and the more shrewd and clever he is, the more hated and mistrusted he becomes.

Nothing stands out so conspicuously, or remains so firmly fixed in the memory, as something which you have blundered.

Live as brave men, and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts.

Sweet is the memory of past troubles.

He does not seem to me to be a free man who does not sometimes do nothing.

Natural ability, without education, has more often attained to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.

If I err in belief that the souls of men are immortal, I gladly err nor do I wish this error which gives me pleasure to be wrested from me while I live.

I add this, that rational ability without education has oftener raised man to glory and virtue, than education without natural ability.

The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity, and the brute by instinct.

No sane man will dance.

He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason.

So near is falsehood to truth that a wise man would do well not to trust himself on the narrow edge.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.

The spirit is the true self. The spirit the will to win and the will to excel are the things that endure.

Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.

Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.

I never heard of an old man forgetting where he had buried his money! Old people remember what interests them: the dates fixed for their lawsuits and the names of their debtors and creditors.

Freedom is a man's natural power of doing what he pleases, so far as he is not prevented by force or law.

Frivolity is inborn conceit acquired by education.

In a disordered mind, as in a disordered body, soundness of health is impossible.

A letter does not blush.

When you are aspiring to the highest place it is honorable to reach the second or even the third rank.

Love is the attempt to form a friendship inspired by beauty.

Nothing is so strongly fortified that it cannot be taken by money.

In honorable dealing you should consider what you intended not what you said or thought.

The harvest of old age is the recollection and abundance of blessing previously secured.

The long time to come when I shall not exist has more effect on me than this short present time which nevertheless seems endless.

Just as the soul fills the body so God fills the world. Just as the soul bears the body so God endures the world. Just as the soul sees but is not seen so God sees but is not seen. Just as the soul feeds the body so God gives food to the world.

The magistrates are the ministers for the laws the judges their interpreters the rest of us are servants of the law that we all may be free.

We should not be so taken up in the search for truth as to neglect the needful duties of active life, for it is only action that gives a true value and commendation to virtue.

Ability without honor is useless.

No poet or orator has ever existed who believed there was any better than himself.

What gift has providence bestowed on man that is so dear to him as his children?

We must conceive of this whole universe as one commonwealth of which both gods and men are members.

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.

Laws should be interpreted in a liberal sense so that their intention may be preserved.

True glory takes root and even spreads, all false pretences like flowers fall to the ground, nor can any counterfeit last long.

I am not ashamed to confess that I am ignorant of what I do not know.

A tear dries quickly when it is shed for troubles of others.

Every man can tell how many goats or sheep he possesses but not how many friends.

If you pursue good with labor the labor passes away but the good remains, if you pursue evil with pleasure the pleasure passes away and the evil remains.

Nothing is so unbelievable that oratory cannot make it acceptable.

Whatever you do do with all your might.

Hatreds not vowed and concealed are to be feared more than those openly declared.

O wretched man wretched not just because of what you are but also because you do not know how wretched you are!

No one has the right to be sorry for himself for a misfortune that strikes everyone.

Glory follows virtue as if it were its shadow.

For how many things which for our own sake we should never do do we perform for the sake of our friends.

In everything truth surpasses the imitation and copy.

Death is not natural for a state as it is for a human being for whom death is not only necessary but frequently even desirable.

Laws are silent in time of war.

No one can give you better advice than yourself.

It shows nobility to be willing to increase your debt to a man to whom you already owe much.

It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own.

The best interpreter of the law is custom.

The countenance is the portrait of the soul and the eyes mark its intentions.

The sinews of war are infinite money.

True nobility is exempt from fear.

Of all nature's gifts to the human race what is sweeter to a man than his children?

The rule of friendship means there should be mutual sympathy between them each supplying what the other lacks and trying to benefit the other always using friendly and sincere words.

There is nothing so absurd that some philosopher has not already said it.

A man of courage is also full of faith.

It is not by muscle speed or physical dexterity that great things are achieved but by reflection force of character and judgment.

You will be as much value to others as you have been to yourself.

As I approve of a youth that has something of the old man in him so I am no less pleased with an old man that has something of the youth. He that follows this rule may be old in body but can never be so in mind.

Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.

I criticize by creation - not by finding fault.

Our character is not so much the product of race and heredity as of those circumstances by which nature forms our habits by which we are nurtured and live.

What is permissible is not always honorable.

What is thine is mine and all mine is thine.

Even if you have nothing to write write and say so.

Liberty consists in the power of doing that which is permitted by the law.

A friend is as it were a second self.

The nobler a man the harder it is for him to suspect inferiority in others.

The eyes like sentinel occupy the highest place in the body.

Nothing is more unreliable than the populace nothing more obscure than human intentions nothing more deceptive than the whole electoral system.

Next to God we are nothing. To God we are Everything.

The higher we are placed the more humbly we should walk.

We forget our pleasures we remember our sufferings.

Peace is liberty in tranquillity.

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.

The only excuse for war is that we may live in peace unharmed.

Rather leave the crime of the guilty unpunished than condemn the innocent.

What one has one ought to use: and whatever he does he should do with all his might.

Old age: the crown of life our play's last act.

The greatest pleasures are only narrowly separated from disgust.

While there's life there's hope.

It is foolish to tear one's hair in grief as though sorrow would be made less by baldness.

Those wars are unjust which are undertaken without provocation. For only a war waged for revenge or defense can be just.

To know the laws is not to memorize their letter but to grasp their full force and meaning.

It might be pardonable to refuse to defend some men but to defend them negligently is nothing short of criminal.

Never injure a friend even in jest.

Thrift is of great revenue.

What then is freedom? The power to live as one wishes.

No obligation to do the impossible is binding.

Like associates with like.

Empire and liberty.

Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.

Great is the power of habit. It teaches us to bear fatigue and to despise wounds and pain.

Any man is liable to err only a fool persists in error.

Orators are most vehement when their cause is weak.

There are more men ennobled by study than by nature.

Any man can make mistakes but only an idiot persists in his error.

All pain is either severe or slight if slight it is easily endured, if severe it will without doubt be brief.

The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil.

The study and knowledge of the universe would somehow be lame and defective were no practical results to follow.

If we are not ashamed to think it we should not be ashamed to say it.

One who sees the Supersoul accompanying the individual soul in all bodies and who understands that neither the soul nor the Supersoul is ever destroyed actually sees.

A man's own manner and character is what most becomes him.

If you have no confidence in self you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence you have won even before you have started.

Friendship improves happiness and abates misery by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.

Though silence is not necessarily an admission it is not a denial either.

Cannot people realize how large an income is thrift?

What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship? Robbing life of friendship is like robbing the world of the sun. A true friend is more to be esteemed than kinsfolk.

The safety of the people shall be the highest law.

To live is to think.

When you have no basis for an argument abuse the plaintiff.

Hatred is settled anger.

In doubtful cases the more liberal interpretation must always be preferred.

What nobler employment or more valuable to the state than that of the man who instructs the rising generation?

Brevity is a great charm of eloquence.

Rashness belongs to youth, prudence to old age.

Freedom is a possession of inestimable value.

Hatred is inveterate anger.

Honor is the reward of virtue.

As fire when thrown into water is cooled down and put out, so also a false accusation when brought against a man of the purest and holiest character boils over and is at once dissipated and vanishes and threats of heaven and sea himself standing unmoved.

In everything satiety closely follows the greatest pleasures.

In time of war the laws are silent.

An unjust peace is better than a just war.

I never admire another's fortune so much that I became dissatisfied with my own.

People do not understand what a great revenue economy is.

Never go to excess but let moderation be your guide.

The good of the people is the greatest law.

If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need.

The pursuit even of the best things ought to be calm and tranquil.

Advice in old age is foolish, for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road the nearer we approach to our journey's end.

In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power.

It is the nature of every person to error but only the fool perseveres in error.

Rightly defined philosophy is simply the love of wisdom.

That last day does not bring extinction to us but change of place.

The greater the difficulty the greater the glory.

No one was ever great without some portion of divine inspiration.

Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks in great and honorable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself.

Not cohabitation but consensus constitutes marriage.

This is the truth: as from a fire aflame thousands of sparks come forth even so from the Creator an infinity of beings have life and to him return again.

Let us not listen to those who think we ought to be angry with our enemies and who believe this to be great and manly. Nothing is so praiseworthy nothing so clearly shows a great and noble soul as clemency and readiness to forgive.

To some extent I liken slavery to death.

Knowledge which is divorced from justice may be called cunning rather than wisdom.

Nature abhors annihilation.

Virtue is a habit of the mind consistent with nature and moderation and reason.

According to the law of nature it is only fair that no one should become richer through damages and injuries suffered by another.

The precepts of the law are these: to live honestly to injure no one and to give everyone else his due.

Justice is the set and constant purpose which gives every man his due.

Before beginning plan carefully.

Great is our admiration of the orator who speaks with fluency and discretion.

Justice consists in doing no injury to men, decency in giving them no offense.

The false is nothing but an imitation of the true.

Time destroys the speculation of men but it confirms nature.

Fear is not a lasting teacher of duty.

The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.

I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity.

More law less justice.

What an ugly beast the ape and how like us.

Brevity is the best recommendation of speech whether in a senator or an orator.

Nature has planted in our minds an insatiable longing to see the truth.

The more laws the less justice.

The enemy is within the gates, it is with our own luxury our own folly our own criminality that we have to contend.

Thou shouldst eat to live, not live to eat.

For a tear is quickly dried especially when shed for the misfortunes of others.

Nothing is more noble nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.

We are motivated by a keen desire for praise and the better a man is the more he is inspired by glory. The very philosophers themselves even in those books which they write in contempt of glory inscribe their names.