Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

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

"A liar is not believed even though he tell the truth."

"A man's own manner and character is what most becomes him."

"A man of courage is also full of faith."

"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."

"Courage is nothing less than indifference to hardship and pain."

"Do not hold the delusion that your advancement is accomplished by crushing others."

"Every living creature loves itself."

"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."

"Everything you reprove in another, you must carefully avoid in yourself."

"Enmity is anger waiting for a chance for revenge."

"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."

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent [mother] of all others."

"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."

"Hatred is a settled anger."

"Grief is not natural but a matter of belief or opinion."

"Fortune favors the bold."

"He is an eloquent man who can treat humble subjects with delicacy, lofty things impressively, and moderate things temperately."

"I judge moderation to be the greatest virtue."

"Honor is the reward of virtue."

"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."

"In prosperity let us most carefully avoid pride, disdain, and arrogance."

"In a promise, what you thought, and not what you said, is always to be considered."

"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 enough to acquire wisdom, it is necessary to employ it."

"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."

"It is difficult to persuade mankind that the love of virtue is the love of themselves."

"It is scandalous to stumble twice over the same stone."

"It is the blot and disgrace of the age to envy virtue."

"Many wish not so much to be virtuous, as to seem to be."

"No man can be brave who thinks pain the greatest evil; nor temperate, who considers pleasure the highest good."

"Morals today are corrupted by our worship of riches."

"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."

"No one dies too soon who has finished the course of perfect virtue."

"Nothing counterfeit can be lasting."

"Nothing is generous, if it is not at the same time just."

"No phase of life can be free from duty."

"Nothing is more disgraceful than insincerity."

"Nothing is so great an adversary to those who make it their business to please as expectation."

"Piety is the foundation of all virtues."

"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 consciousness of having done a splendid action is itself a sufficient reward."

"The best audience for the practice of virtue is the approval of one’s own conscience."

"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 dutifulness of children is the foundation of all virtues."

"The face is the image of the soul, and the eyes are its interpreter."

"The existence of virtue depends entirely upon its use."

"The first bond of society is marriage; the next, our children; then the whole family and all things in common."

"The greatest incitement to sin is the hope of not being punished."