96 Ovid Quotes That Give Insight Into Life
Sulmo, Italy, Roman Republic
Publius Ovidius Naso, renowned by his pen name Ovid was a Roman poet. He is counted among the most influential poets in Latin literature. He was born in 43 BC and worked as a poet of great influence under the rule of Roman Emperor Augustus. Ovid was sent into exile by the Emperor Augustus to the Black Sea and although the reasons might not be known, the poet had himself said that it was due to ‘a poem and a mistake.’ He is most famous for his seminal work ‘Metamorphoses’, a book on mythology that was collected in a total of 15 books and is considered to be one of the most important works of literature in the Latin language. In addition to that, Ovid had also written two hugely popular poems on love, titled ‘Amores’ and ‘Ars Amatoria’, which further enhanced his status as perhaps the greatest Latin poet to have ever lived. Ovid’s work was not only regarded as path breaking but in addition to that, his style went on to influence literature and the arts of the modern age. Ovid’s books, poems and other writings bear some of his noted thoughts which are popolar as his quotations and are frequently quoted by people. Following are some of his sayings and quotes by Ovid that would certainly throw a light on the thought process of one of the greatest poets.
Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in these. Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish. Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence. Perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim. (Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.) I grabbed a pile of dust, and holding it up, foolishly asked for as many birthdays as the grains of dust, I forgot to ask that they be years of youth. Fas est ab hoste doceri.
One should learn even from one's enemies. Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.”
"Be patient and tough; one day this pain will be useful to you. Happy are those who dare courageously to defend what they love. I am the poet of the poor, because I was poor when I loved; since I could not give gifts, I gave words. Omnia mutantur, nihil interit (everything changes, nothing perishes). Give me the waters of Lethe that numb the heart, if they exist, I will still not have the power to forget you. We are ever striving after what is forbidden, and coveting what is denied us. Anything cracked will shatter at a touch. I am dragged along by a strange new force. Desire and reason are pulling in different directions. I see the right way and approve it, but follow the wrong. Love will enter cloaked in friendship's name. It's a kindness that the mind can go where it wishes. If you would be loved, be lovable Dignity and love do not blend well, nor do they continue long together. A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man's brow. Nothing is stronger than habit. Every lover is a soldier. God himself helps those who dare. Thus I am not able to exist either with you or without you; and I seem not to know my own wishes. I flee who chases me and chase who flees me. Love is the force that leaves you colorless Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all. Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop. In our play we reveal what kind of people we are All things change; nothing perishes. Saepe creat molles aspera spina rosas" - "Often the prickly thorn produces tender roses Neither can the wave that has passed by be recalled, nor the hour which has passed return again. Eurydice, dying now a second time, uttered no complaint against her husband. What was there to complain of, but that she had been loved? The cause is hidden. The effect is visible to all. Greatly he failed, but he had greatly dared. All right, boy, skewer me. I've dropped my defenses,
I'm an easy victim. Why, by now
Your arrows practically know their own way to the target
And feel less at home in their quiver than in me. Nitimur in vetitum" -- "We strive after the forbidden Barbarus hic ego sum, quia non intelligor illis.
(In this place I am a barbarian, because men do not understand me.) Or that writing a poem you can read to no one
is like dancing in the dark. He who can believe himself well, will be well. In the make-up of human beings, intelligence counts for more than our hands, and that is our true strength. There is a certain pleasure in weeping Someday this pain will be useful to you My purpose is to tell of bodies that have been changed into shapes of different kinds. Qui non est hodie eras minus aptus erit. He who is not prepared today will be less so tomorrow. When all the other animals, downcast looked upon the earth, he [Prometheus] gave a face raised on high to man, and commanded him to see the sky and raise his high eyes to the stars. It's right to learn, even from the enemy. Brass shines with constant usage, a beautiful dress needs wearing,
Leave a house empty, it rots. I am a shipwrecked man who fears every sea. Poetry comes fine spun from a mind at peace. Their useless torches on dry hedges throw,
That catch the flames, and kindle all the row;
So burns the God, consuming in desire,
And feeding in his breast a fruitless fire Our native soil draws all of us, by I know not what sweetness, and never allows us to forget. Bene vixit, bene qui latuit."
(To live well is to live concealed.) Fortune resists half-hearted prayers. Medicine sometimes snatches away health, sometimes gives it. Blemishes are hid by night and every fault forgiven; darkness makes any woman fair. It is convenient that there be gods, and, as it is convenient, let us believe there are. Darkness makes any woman fair. Hurry to your goal together. That is full bliss when man and woman lie equally conquered. The burden which is well borne becomes light. Right it is to be taught even by the enemy. Venus is kind to creatures as young as we;
We know not what we do, and while we’re young
We have the right to live and love like gods. By yielding you may obtain victory Today is truly the Golden Age: gold buys hornor, gold procures love For no god may undo what another god has done... The spirited horse, which will try to win the race of its own accord, will run even faster if encouraged. What is harder than rock, or softer than water? Yet soft water hollows out hard rock. Persevere. You will go most safely by the middle way. Video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor. A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn. A prince should be slow to punish, and quick to reward. My hopes are not always realized, but I always hope. Even as a cow she was lovely. The man who has experienced shipwreck shudders even at a calm sea. He loved a lifeless thing and he was utterly and hopelessly wretched. She made up prayers and said them,
Worshipping unknown gods with unknown singing,
Her customary magic, which would cover
The white moon’s face and darken the sun with cloud. And besides, we lovers fear everything ...et ignotas animum dimittit in artes, naturamque nouat. (to arts unknown he bends his wits, and alters nature.) And now I have finished the work, which neither the wrath of Jove, nor fire, nor the sword, nor devouring age shall be able to destroy. Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.
And he sets his mind to unknown arts. Not knowing what he sees, he adores the sight; That false face fools and fuels his delight Our native land charms us with inexpressible sweetness, and never, never allows us to forget that we belong to it.
Only she is chaste whom none has invited
A ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward.
All other creatures look down toward the earth, but man was given a face so that might turn his eyes toward the stars and his gaze upon the sky.
Be bold, take courage... and be strong of soul.
Her clear conscience mocked rumour’s mendacity, But we are a mob prone to credit sin.
Agamemnon escaped with his life From land battles and sea storms, then fell to his wife. And he sets his mind to unknown arts