Marcus Tullius Cicero Quotes

A friend is, as it were, a second self.

A home without books is a body without soul.

A letter does not blush.

A man of courage is also full of faith.

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

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

Ability without honor is useless.

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

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.

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

An unjust peace is better than a just war.

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

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

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.

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.

Brevity is a great charm of eloquence.

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

Cannot people realize how large an income is thrift?

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

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

Empire and liberty.

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

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

Fear is not a lasting teacher of duty.

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

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

Freedom is a possession of inestimable value.

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

Glory follows virtue as if it were its shadow.

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

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

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

Hatred is inveterate anger.

Hatred is settled anger.

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

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

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

Honor is the reward of virtue.

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

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

I criticize by creation – not by finding fault.

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

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.

I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

In everything truth surpasses the imitation and copy.

In everything, satiety closely follows the greatest pleasures.

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

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.

In time of war the laws are silent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Laws are silent in time of war.

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

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.

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

Like associates with like.

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

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

Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.

More law, less justice.

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

Nature abhors annihilation.

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

Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.

Never injure a friend, even in jest.

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

No obligation to do the impossible is binding.

No one can give you better advice than yourself.

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

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

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

No sane man will dance.

Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.

Not cohabitation but consensus constitutes marriage.

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

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

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

Nothing is so unbelievable that oratory cannot make it acceptable.

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

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

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

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

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.

Orators are most vehement when their cause is weak.

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.

Peace is liberty in tranquillity.

People do not understand what a great revenue economy is.

Rashness belongs to youth; prudence to old age.

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

Rightly defined philosophy is simply the love of wisdom.

Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.

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

Sweet is the memory of past troubles.

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

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

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

The best interpreter of the law is custom.

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

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

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

The false is nothing but an imitation of the true.

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

The good of the people is the greatest law.

The greater the difficulty, the greater the glory.

The greatest pleasures are only narrowly separated from disgust.

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

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

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

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

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.

The more laws, the less justice.

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

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

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

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

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.

The safety of the people shall be the highest law.

The sinews of war are infinite money.

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

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

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

There are more men ennobled by study than by nature.

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

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.

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

Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.

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

Thrift is of great revenue.

Time destroys the speculation of men, but it confirms nature.

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

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

To live is to think.

To some extent I liken slavery to death.

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

True nobility is exempt from fear.

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

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.

We forget our pleasures, we remember our sufferings.

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

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.

What an ugly beast the ape, and how like us.

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

What is permissible is not always honorable.

What is thine is mine, and all mine is thine.

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

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

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.

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

Whatever you do, do with all your might.

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

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

While there’s life, there’s hope.