Memo esto, be mindful of. . .

Latin maxims to live by


Quiquid latine dictum sit altum viditur
Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.

For people whose old schools or universities have Latin mottos, somehow using this ancient language adds weight or "gravitas" to the saying which is supposed to continue to provide moral guidance even long after they have left their institution of learning.

Who would disagree with Cicero, the intrepid Roman statesman and orator who said:
Brevis tempus aetatis satis est longum ad bene honesteque vivendum.

In English, Cicero's words sound just as insightful:
A short term on earth is long enough for a good and honourable life.

Honour, virtue, sincerity, liberty, duty, prudence, knowledge and living the blameless life integer vitae are the goals that the citizens of the great Republic of Rome strove (before the state was hijacked by Julius Caesar and the emperors).

No one wants to hear preachy and self-righteous statements, but here are some time-tested Latin maxims that are still pertinent in
today’s amoral environment:



ipsa quidem virtus pretium sibi
virtue is indeed its own reward
Claudian


id agas tuo te merito ne quis oderit
take care that no one hates you justly
Publilus Syrus


in candore decus
there is honour in sincerity


in virtute posita est vera felicitas
true happiness is centered in virtue
Seneca


magnum vectigal est parsimonia
thrift is a great revenue
Cicero


crescat  scientia, vita excolatur
where knowledge increases, life is enriched


incertum est quo te loco mors expectet, itaque in omni loco illam expecta
it is uncertain in what place death awaits you; therefore be ready for death in every place
Seneca

longum iter est per praecepta, breva et efficax per exempla
teaching by precept is a long road, but brief and beneficial is the way by example
Seneca


malo benefacere tantumdem est periculum quantum bono malefacere
to do good to the bad is a danger as great as to do bad to the good
Platus


medium tenuere beati
blessed are they who have kept a middle course


mira quaedam in cognoscendo suavitas et delectatio
there is a certain wonderful sweetness and delight in gaining knowledge





Contents page | Proverbs to live by | Integer Vitae


Source: The Routledge Dictionary of Latin Quotations by Jon R Stone (2005)

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