Latin Proverbs

By | December 3, 2013

Sayings of Latin origin

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets, and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet. (Source)

  • By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn.
  • Beware the tyranny of the minority.
  • Better late than never.
  • Believe that you have it, and you will have it.
  • Believe nothing and be on your guard against everything.
  • Be on your guard against a silent dog and still water.
  • Bad is want which is born of plenty.
  • All things are cause for either laughter or weeping.
  • All the hours wound, the last one kills.
  • A poor joke must invent its own laughter.
  • A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit.
  • A mind conscious of innocence laughs at the lies of rumor.
  • A man is not where he lives, but where he loves.
  • A man devoid of religion is like a horse without a bridle.
  • A learned man has always wealth in himself.
  • You can never consider that as your own which can be changed.
  • Who loves me loves my dog.
  • Who loses honor can lose nothing else.
  • Whatever you do, do with all your might.
  • What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you.
  • What soberness conceals, drunkenness reveals.
  • What is worthwhile must needs be difficult.
  • What is viler than to be laughed at?
  • We start to die when we are born, and the end depends on the beginning.
  • We lose the certain things, while we seek the uncertain ones.
  • We hate whom we have injured.
  • We are content to forgo joy when pain is also lost.
  • We all envy other people’s luck.
  • Vices creep into our hearts under the name of virtue.
  • Vice is nourished by concealment.
  • Unless what we do is useful, glory is vain.
  • To win a war quickly takes long preparation.
  • To relax the mind is to lose it.
  • To have nothing is not poverty.
  • To condemn by a cutting laugh comes easily to all.
  • Those who are once found to be bad are presumed so forever.
  • The will cannot be compelled.
  • The tears of an heir are laughter under a mask.
  • The stupid fear fortune, the wise endure it.
  • The reward of a thing rightly done is to have done it.
  • The remedy for injuries is to forget them.
  • The people want to be deceived.
  • The more you give in, the more you have to give in.
  • The knowledge of sin is the beginning of salvation.
  • The happier the time, the more quickly it passes.
  • The future struggles against being mastered.
  • The face is the portrait of the mind; the eyes, its informers.
  • The doctor is to be feared more than the disease.
  • Talk of the devil and he’ll appear.
  • Stupidity is a force unto itself.
  • Speech both conceals and reveals the thoughts of men.
  • Sickness shows us what we are.
  • Revenge is a confession of pain.
  • Respect is greater from a distance.
  • Repentant tears wash out the stain of guilt.
  • Ready money is ready medicine.
  • Rare is agreement between beauty and modesty.
  • Practice is the best master.
  • Power acquired by guilt was never used for a good purpose.
  • Poverty is death in another form.
  • Possessions dwindle: I mourn their loss. But I mourn the loss of time much more, for anyone can save his purse, but none can win back lost time.
  • Our fears always outnumber our dangers.
  • Opportunity has hair in front, behind she is bald; if you seize her by the forelock, you may hold her, but, if suffered to escape, not Jupiter himself can catch her again.
  • Often there is eloquence in a silent gaze.
  • Often a silent face has voice and words.
  • Of no worldly good can the joy be perfect, unless it is shared by a friend.
  • Nothing reaches the intellect before making its appearance in the senses.
  • No matter her past, when a chambermaid marries a lord she becomes a lady.
  • No man ever became wicked all at once.
  • No man can swim ashore and carry his baggage with him.
  • No gain satisfies a greedy mind.
  • No gain is as certain as that which proceeds from the economical use of what you already have.
  • Never take the antidote before the poison.
  • Never give a child a sword.
  • Nature is our mother.
  • Many promises impair confidence.
  • Many meet the gods, but few salute them.
  • Make haste slowly.
  • Live your own life, for you will die your own death.
  • Light grieves can speak, but deeper ones are dumb.
  • Let a fool hold his tongue, and he will pass for a sage.
  • Laugh, if you are wise.
  • Keep quiet and people will think you a philosopher.
  • It is the part of a good shepherd to shear his flock, not to skin it.
  • It is easier to pull down than to build up.
  • If you always live with those who are lame, you will yourself learn to limp.
  • If there is no wind, row.
  • Idleness is ever the root of indecision.
  • I don’t want the cheese; I just want to get out of the trap.
  • He who walks with the lame learns how to limp.
  • He that would live for aye, must eat sage in May.
  • He makes his home where the living is best.
  • He fishes well who uses a golden hook.
  • He fights with spirit as well as with the sword.
  • He alone is wise who can accommodate himself to all contingencies of life; but the fool contends, and struggling, like a swimmer, against the stream.
  • Hay is more acceptable to an ass than gold.
  • Hatred is a settled anger.
  • Haste manages all things badly.
  • Habit causes love.
  • Good health and good sense are two great blessings.
  • Glory is the shadow of virtue.
  • Fortune is fickle and soon asks back what he has given.
  • Fortune favors the bold, but abandons the timid.
  • Forgetting trouble is the way to cure it.
  • Fear not a jest. If one throws salt at thee thou wilt receive no harm unless thou hast sore places.
  • Fashion is more powerful than any tyrant.
  • Every madman thinks all other men mad.
  • Eloquence avails nothing against the voice of gold.
  • Each man’s character shapes his fortunes.
  • Each man makes his own shipwreck.
  • Deliberation often loses a good chance.
  • Deliberate often — decide once.
  • Dawn is the friend of the muses.
  • Danger can never by overcome without taking risks.
  • Censure pardons the ravens but rebukes the doves.

Latin: Latium the region of central Italy
Latin was originally spoken in Latium, in the Italian Peninsula. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language, initially in Italy and subsequently throughout the Roman Empire. Vulgar Latin developed into the Romance languages, such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Romanian. Latin, Greek and French have contributed many words to the English language. Latin and Ancient Greek roots are used in theology, biology, and medicine.

Latium is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Latium was originally a small triangle of fertile, volcanic soil on which resided the tribe of the Latins or Latians.

The ancient language of the Latins, the tribesmen who occupied Latium, was to become the immediate predecessor of the Old Latin language, ancestor of Latin and the Romance languages. Latium has played an important role in history owing to its status as the host of the capital city of Rome, at one time the cultural and political centre of the Roman Empire. Consequently, Latium is home to celebrated works of art and architecture.

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