Roman Philosopher, Statesman, Lawyer, Political Theorist, and Roman Constitutionalist, considered one of Rome's greatest Orators and Prose Stylists
"Beware of an inordinate desire for wealth. Nothing is so revealing of narrowness and littleness of soul than love for money. Conversely, there is nothing more honorable or noble than indifference to money, if one doesn’t have any; or than genuine altruism and well-doing if one does have it."
"Everything morally right derives from one of four sources: it concerns either full perception or intelligent development of what is true; or the preservation of organized society, where every man is rendered his due and all his obligations are faithfully discharged; or the greatness and strength of a noble, invincible spirit; or order and moderation in everything said and done, whereby there is temperance and self-control."
"For not only is Fortune herself blind, but she generally causes those men to be blind whose interest she has more particularly embraced. Therefore they are often haughty and arrogant; nor is there anything more intolerable than a prosperous fool. And hence we often see that men who were at one time affable and agreeable are completely changed by prosperity, despising their old friends, and clinging to the new."
"For every man’s nature is concealed with many folds of disguise, and covered as it were with various veils. His brows, his eyes, and very often his countenance, are deceitful, and his speech is most commonly a lie."
"He is an eloquent man who can treat humble subjects with delicacy, lofty things impressively, and moderate things temperately."
"If you pursue good with labor, the labor passes away but the good remains; if you pursue evil with pleasure, the pleasure passes away and the evil remains."
"In all one's life one ought not to stray a nail's breadth from the straight path of conscience."
"In so far as the mind is stronger than the body, so are the ills contracted by the mind more severe than those contracted by the body."
"It is a man’s own dishonesty, his crimes, his wickedness, and boldness, that takes away from him soundness of mind; these are the furies, these the flames and firebrands, of the wicked."
"It is not virtue, but a deceptive copy and imitation of virtue, when we are led to the performance of duty by pleasure as its recompense."
"No man can be brave who thinks pain the greatest evil; nor temperate, who considers pleasure the highest good."
"Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to continue always a child. If no use is made of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge."
"Nothing is so great an adversary to those who make it their business to please as expectation."
"Now friendship may be thus defined: a complete accord on all subjects human and divine, joined with mutual good will and affection. And with the exception of wisdom, I am inclined to think nothing better than this has been given to man by the immortal gods."
"The altogether courageous and great spirit has, above all, two characteristics. First, he is indifferent to outward circumstances. Such a person is convinced that nothing but moral goodness and propriety are worth admiring and striving for. He knows he ought not be subject to any person, passion, or accident of fortune. His second characteristic is that when his soul has been disciplined in this way, he should do things that are not only great and highly useful, but also deeds that are arduous, laborious and fraught with danger to life and to those things that make life worthwhile."
"The first bond of society is marriage; the next, our children; then the whole family and all things in common."