Phaedrus, fully Gaius Julius Phaedrus

Phaedrus, fully Gaius Julius Phaedrus
15 B.C.
50 A.D.

Roman Fabulist, Writer, probably Thracian Slave, recognized as first to Latinize entire books of fables, retelling in iambic metre the Greek prose Aesopic tales

Author Quotes

In outward show so splendid and so vain; 'tis but a gilded block without a brain.

The bow kept taut will quickly break, kept loosely strung, it will serve you when you need it.

Whatever happens must be borne with a calm mind.

Aggression unchallenged is aggression unleashed.

It is destruction to the weak man to attempt to imitate the powerful.

The humble are in danger when those in power disagree.

Whoever is detected in a shameful fraud is ever after not believed even if they speak the truth.

An alliance with a powerful person is never safe.

It is the part of a fool to give advice to others and not himself to be on his guard.

The humble suffer when the mighty disagree.

Wisdom is always an overmatch for strength.

An alliance with the powerful is never to be trusted.

Life is nearer every day to death.

The intelligence of few perceives what has been carefully hidden in the recesses of the mind.

Witticisms please as long as we keep them within boundaries, but pushed to excess they cause offense.

And yet even in reaching for the beautiful there is beauty, and also in suffering whatever it is that one suffers en route.

Little people easily find safety in obscurity.

The lovers, indeed, regret the good they have done, once their desire is off. Those who have no love, on the contrary, have never flattering opportunity to repent, because it is not by constraint, but freely, as if they excellently occupied property from their homes that they are, to the extent of their means, good friends. Lovers also consider, and the damage caused to their love interests and largesse they had to make; then adding the trouble they have had, they think long have already paid their loved fair price for favors received. Against by those who are not enamored cannot and excuse the business neglected by love, nor to account past sufferings, nor allege family disputes they have had. Free from all these evils, it remains for them to rush to act in what they believe they must give them pleasure.

You know, Phaedrus, writing shares a strange feature with painting. The off-springs of painting stand there as if they are alive, but if anyone asks them anything, they remain most solemnly silent. The same is true of written words. You'd think they were speaking as if they had some understanding, but if you question anything that has been said because you want to learn more, it continues to signify just that very same thing forever. When it has once been written down, every discourse rolls about everywhere, reaching indiscriminately those with understanding no less than those who have no business with it, and it doesn't know to whom it should speak and to whom it should not. And when it is faulted and attacked unfairly, it always needs its father's support; alone, it can neither defend itself nor come to its own support.

But of the heaven which is above the heavens, what earthly poet ever did or ever will sing worthily?

Love is a serious mental disease.

The mind ought sometimes to be amused, that it may the better return to thought, and to itself.

Do not leave the riches to men of virtue, but virtue, riches, and all other property, both private and public.

Man is a prisoner who has no right to open the door of his prison and run away... A man should wait, and not take his own life until God summons him.

The mind ought sometimes to be diverted that it may return the better to thinking.

Author Picture
First Name
Phaedrus, fully Gaius Julius Phaedrus
Birth Date
15 B.C.
Death Date
50 A.D.

Roman Fabulist, Writer, probably Thracian Slave, recognized as first to Latinize entire books of fables, retelling in iambic metre the Greek prose Aesopic tales