Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Publius Syrus

Syrian-born Latin Writer of Maxims, Roman Slave and Poet

"A man's own character is the arbiter of his fortune."

"A weapon should be taken from, not given to, an angry man."

"A wise man dreads an enemy, however insignificant."

"An angry lover tells himself many lies."

"An angry man is again angry with himself when he returns to reason."

"Anger's way is to regard nothing."

"Avarice is as destitute of what it has, as poverty of what it has not."

"Bad character never lacks an instructor."

"Confidence is the only bond of friendship."

"Debt is bitter slavery to an honorable man."

"Deliberation teaches wisdom."

"Depend not on fortune, but on conduct."

"Despise death and you have conquered every fear."

"Even when there is no law, there is conscience... An evil conscience is often quiet, but never secure."

"Every day should be passed as if it were to be our last."

"Expect to be treated by others as you treat others."

"Fear is a hindrance to all virtue."

"Forgive an enemy and you win friends without cost."

"He gives twice who gives quickly to the needy."

"He is less disappointed who is promptly refused."

"He is most free from danger, who, even when safe, is on his guard."

"He is safe from danger who is on guard even when safe."

"He who helps the guilty shares the crime."

"He who is contented with his lot has the greatest and surest riches."

"He who is unable to rule over himself is surely unfit to rule over others."

"He who lives only for himself is truly dead to others."

"He who waits to be asked lessens his service."

"He whom many fear, has himself many to fear."

"Honor adorns the honorable; the dishonorable it brands."

"How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself."

"In a heated argument we lose sight of the truth."

"In calamity any rumor is believed."

"In quarreling the truth is always lost."

"It is a kindness to refuse gently what you intend to deny."

"It is well to learn caution by the misfortunes of others."

"It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are."

"Learn to see in another's calamity the ills which you should avoid."

"Malice swallows the greater part of its own venom."

"Many receive advice, only the wise profit by it."

"Meet an accusation with silence and you make it sharper."

"Modesty cannot be taught, it must be born."

"Most tyrannous is the authority of custom."

"No one is a good man unless he is good to all."

"No one knows what he can do till he tries."

"Nothing can be done at once hastily and prudently."

"Nothing is benefited by delay except anger."

"Observation, not old age, brings wisdom."

"One ungrateful man does an injury to all who stand in need of aid."

"Pardon one offence, and you encourage the commission of many."

"Prosperity begets friends; adversity proves them."