Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Cicero, fully Marcus Tullius Cicero, anglicized as Tully NULL

Roman Philosopher, Statesman, Lawyer, Political Theorist, and Roman Constitutionalist, considered one of Rome's greatest Orators and Prose Stylists

"It is a trait of fools to perceive the faults of others but not their own. "

"The chief way to gain good will is by good deeds. "

"No greater curse in life can be found than knavery that wears the mask of wisdom. "

"The origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. "

"The safety of the people shall be their highest law. "

"There is no better way to convince others then first to convince oneself. "

"The sufferings of the mind are more severe than the pains of the body. "

"There is nothing so characteristic of narrowness and littleness of soul as the love of riches. "

"To give and receive advice – the former with freedom and yet without bitterness, the latter with patience and without irritation – is peculiarly appropriate to genuine friendship. "

"To live according to nature is the highest good; that is, to lead a life regulated by conscience and conformed to virtue and temperance. "

"We were born to unite with our fellowmen, and to join in community with the human race. "

"When arms speak, the laws are silent. "

"When I reflect on the nature of the soul, it seems to me by far more difficult and obscure to determine its character while it is in the body, a strange domicile, than to imagine what it is when it leaves it, and has arrived in the empyreal regions, in its own and proper home."

"Whatever that which feels, which has knowledge, which wills, which has the power of growth, it is celestial and divine, and for that reason must of necessity be eternal. "

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

"Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book."

"Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century: Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others; Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected; Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it; Refusing to set aside trivial preferences; Neglecting development and refinement of the mind; Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do."

"Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief."

"The life given us, by nature is short; but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal. "

"What is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious."

"Politicians are not born; they are excreted."

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

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues."

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear."

"Life is nothing without friendship."

"Never injure a friend, even in jest."

"A happy life consists in tranquility of mind."

"As for myself, I can only exhort you to look on Friendship as the most valuable of all human possessions, no other being equally suited to the moral nature of man, or so applicable to every state and circumstance, whether of prosperity or adversity, in which he can possibly be placed. But at the same time I lay it down as a fundamental axiom that "true Friendship can only subsist between those who are animated by the strictest principles of honour and virtue." When I say this, I would not be thought to adopt the sentiments of those speculative moralists who pretend that no man can justly be deemed virtuous who is not arrived at that state of absolute perfection which constitutes, according to their ideas, the character of genuine wisdom. This opinion may appear true, perhaps, in theory, but is altogether inapplicable to any useful purpose of society, as it supposes a degree of virtue to which no mortal was ever capable of rising."

"The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter."

"Where is there dignity unless there is honesty?"

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

"I criticize by creation, not by finding fault."

"Your enemies can kill you, but only your friends can hurt you."

"To be content with what we possess is the greatest and most secure of riches."

"Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself."

"Neither can embellishments of language be found without arrangement and expression of thoughts, nor can thoughts be made to shine without the light of language."

"The life of the dead is placed on the memories of the living. The love you gave in life keeps people alive beyond their time. Anyone who was given love will always live on in another's heart."

"If you would abolish covetousness, you must abolish its mother, profusion."

"Time obliterates the fictions of opinion, and confirms the decisions of nature."

"Men decide far more problems by hate, love, lust, rage, sorrow, joy, hope, fear, illusion or some other inward emotion, than by reality, authority, any legal standard, judicial precedent, or statute."

"The best Armour of Old Age is a well spent life preceding it; a Life employed in the Pursuit of useful Knowledge, in honourable Actions and the Practice of Virtue; in which he who labours to improve himself from his Youth, will in Age reap the happiest Fruits of them; not only because these never leave a Man, not even in the extremest Old Age; but because a Conscience bearing Witness that our Life was well-spent, together with the Remembrance of past good Actions, yields an unspeakable Comfort to the Soul."

"Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body."

"We are bound by the law, so that we may be free."