171 Top Quotes By Cicero To Abide When The Alarm Bell Rings
Philosopher, Political Theorist
Arpinum, Roman Republic, modern Arpino, Lazio, Italy
Cicero was an illustrious Roman lawyer, orator, philosopher, consul, political theorist, constitutionalist, and politician. He was an ardent believer in the Roman Republic and was a part of the army for a short span of time; thereafter he started his career as a lawyer. He gained the reputation of a lawyer, who took risky cases and got success in them. The Senate gave him the title of ‘Pater Patriae,’ meaning ‘Father of The Country’ for his courageous endeavours. His writings and other works include 900 letters, 58 orations, books of rhetoric, poems, and philosophical and political treatises. We have rounded some famous and notable quotes, and sayings by Cicero, who is remembered as the greatest Roman orator. Go through the collection of quotes and sayings by Cicero which are till date quoted widely.
The long time to come when I shall not exist has more effect on me than this short present time, which nevertheless seems endless. We forget our pleasures, we remember our sufferings. Freedom is a possession of inestimable value. Even if you have nothing to write, write and say so. 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. The study and knowledge of the universe would somehow be lame and defective were no practical results to follow. No poet or orator has ever existed who believed there was any better than himself. No one has the right to be sorry for himself for a misfortune that strikes everyone. O wretched man, wretched not just because of what you are, but also because you do not know how wretched you are! Justice is the set and constant purpose which gives every man his due. No one was ever great without some portion of divine inspiration. He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason. The only excuse for war is that we may live in peace unharmed. Next to God we are nothing. To God we are Everything. People do not understand what a great revenue economy is. For how many things, which for our own sake we should never do, do we perform for the sake of our friends. There are more men ennobled by study than by nature. In everything, satiety closely follows the greatest pleasures. A man's own manner and character is what most becomes him. He does not seem to me to be a free man who does not sometimes do nothing. All pain is either severe or slight, if slight, it is easily endured; if severe, it will without doubt be brief. Hatreds not vowed and concealed are to be feared more than those openly declared. Fear is not a lasting teacher of duty. The eyes like sentinel occupy the highest place in the body. What one has, one ought to use: and whatever he does he should do with all his might. Like associates with like. I add this, that rational ability without education has oftener raised man to glory and virtue, than education without natural ability. Ability without honor is useless. No one can give you better advice than yourself. 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. Natural ability without education has more often attained to glory and virtue than education without natural ability. Liberty consists in the power of doing that which is permitted by the law. What is thine is mine, and all mine is thine. That last day does not bring extinction to us, but change of place. Of all nature's gifts to the human race, what is sweeter to a man than his children? 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. Nothing stands out so conspicuously, or remains so firmly fixed in the memory, as something which you have blundered. According to the law of nature it is only fair that no one should become richer through damages and injuries suffered by another. The best interpreter of the law is custom. The false is nothing but an imitation of the true. Laws should be interpreted in a liberal sense so that their intention may be preserved. Those wars are unjust which are undertaken without provocation. For only a war waged for revenge or defense can be just. 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. The precepts of the law are these: to live honestly, to injure no one, and to give everyone else his due. Freedom is a man's natural power of doing what he pleases, so far as he is not prevented by force or law. Thrift is of great revenue. Great is our admiration of the orator who speaks with fluency and discretion. Rightly defined philosophy is simply the love of wisdom. 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. Honor is the reward of virtue. A tear dries quickly when it is shed for troubles of others. So near is falsehood to truth that a wise man would do well not to trust himself on the narrow edge. True nobility is exempt from fear. The nobler a man, the harder it is for him to suspect inferiority in others. I criticize by creation - not by finding fault. Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks in great and honorable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself. You will be as much value to others as you have been to yourself. 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. We must conceive of this whole universe as one commonwealth of which both gods and men are members. Rather leave the crime of the guilty unpunished than condemn the innocent. Nothing is so strongly fortified that it cannot be taken by money. 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. The good of the people is the greatest law. What gift has providence bestowed on man that is so dear to him as his children? If we are not ashamed to think it, we should not be ashamed to say it. Nature abhors annihilation. In honorable dealing you should consider what you intended, not what you said or thought. True glory takes root, and even spreads; all false pretences, like flowers, fall to the ground; nor can any counterfeit last long. Peace is liberty in tranquillity. When you are aspiring to the highest place, it is honorable to reach the second or even the third rank. Nature has planted in our minds an insatiable longing to see the truth. For a tear is quickly dried, especially when shed for the misfortunes of others. Time destroys the speculation of men, but it confirms nature. Rashness belongs to youth; prudence to old age. Cannot people realize how large an income is thrift? Frivolity is inborn, conceit acquired by education. Hatred is inveterate anger. Great is the power of habit. It teaches us to bear fatigue and to despise wounds and pain. It is foolish to tear one's hair in grief, as though sorrow would be made less by baldness. Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body. Not cohabitation but consensus constitutes marriage. Never injure a friend, even in jest. It is the nature of every person to error, but only the fool perseveres in error. The greatest pleasures are only narrowly separated from disgust. The spirit is the true self. The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation? 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. 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. 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. There is nothing so absurd that some philosopher has not already said it. Orators are most vehement when their cause is weak.
Though silence is not necessarily an admission, it is not a denial, either.
Any man is liable to err, only a fool persists in error.
Whatever you do, do with all your might.
Every man can tell how many goats or sheep he possesses, but not how many friends.
The enemy is within the gates; it is with our own luxury, our own folly, our own criminality that we have to contend.
The pursuit, even of the best things, ought to be calm and tranquil. Nothing is more unreliable than the populace, nothing more obscure than human intentions, nothing more deceptive than the whole electoral system.