Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Sallust, full name Carus Valerius Sailustius Crispus NULL

Roman Historian

"Most honorable are services rendered to the State; even if they do not go beyond words, they are not to be despised."

"Neither soldiers nor money can defend a king but only friends won by good deeds, merit, and honesty."

"No grief reaches the dead."

"No man underestimates the wrongs he suffers; many take them more seriously than is right."

"No mortal man has ever served at the same time his passions and his best interests."

"No one has become immortal by sloth; nor has any parent prayed that his children should live forever; but rather that they should lead an honorable and upright life."

"One can ever assume to be what he is not, and to conceal what he is."

"Small communities grow great through harmony, great ones fall to pieces through discord. [Small endeavours obtain strength by unity of action: the most powerful are broken down by discord.]"

"The blessings of health and fortune, as they have a beginning, so they must also have an end. Everything rises but to fall, and increases but to decay."

"The fame that goes with wealth and beauty is fleeting and fragile; intellectual superiority is a possession glorious and eternal."

"The firmest friendship is based on an identity of likes and dislikes."

"The glory of ancestors sheds a light around posterity; it allows neither good nor bad qualities to remain in obscurity."

"The glory that goes with wealth is fleeting and fragile; virtue is a possession glorious and eternal.[ The glory of riches and of beauty is frail and transitory; virtue remains bright and eternal.]"

"The golden age is before us, not behind us."

"The higher your station, the less your liberty."

"The man who is roused neither by glory nor by danger it is in vain to exhort; terror closes the ears of the mind."

"The purpose of food is to relieve hunger and thirst, not to minister to caprice and luxury."

"The renown which riches or beauty confer is fleeting and frail; mental excellence is a splendid and lasting possession."

"The Romans assisted their allies and friends, and acquired friendships by giving rather than receiving kindness."

"The soul is the captain and ruler of the life of morals."

"The very life which we enjoy is short."

"There is a nobility without heraldry. Though I want the advantage of a noble birth, said Marius, yet my actions afford me a greater one; and they who upbraid me with it are guilty of an extreme injustice in not permitting me to value myself upon my own virtue, as much as they value themselves upon the virtue of others."

"They envy the distinction I have won; let them therefore, envy my toils, my honesty, and the methods by which I gained it."

"Think like a man of action, and act like a man of thought."

"Those most moved to tears by every word of a preacher are generally weak and a rascal when the feelings evaporate."

"To desire the same things and to reject the same things, constitutes true friendship."

"To hope for safety in flight, when you have turned away from the enemy the arms by which the body is defended, is indeed madness. In battle those who are most afraid are always in most danger; but courage is equivalent to rampart."

"To like and dislike the same things, that is indeed true friendship [what makes a solid friendship]."

"To someone seeking power, the poorest man is the most useful."

"We employ the mind to rule, the body to serve."

"You know you're getting old when the kids you ref when they were younger become coaches,"

"A venal city [Rome] ripe to perish, if a buyer can be found."

"All our power is situate in the mind and in the body. Of the mind we rather employ the Government; of the body, the service. The one is common to us with the gods; the other with the brutes. It appears to me, therefore, more reasonable to pursue glory by means of the intellect than of bodily strength, and, since the life which we enjoy is short, to make the remembrance of us as lasting as possible. For the glory of wealth and beauty is fleeting and perishable; that of an intellectual power is illustrious and immortal."

"All our power lies in both mind and body; we employ the mind to rule, the body rather to serve; the one we have in common with the Gods, the other with the brutes."

"All men who would surpass the other animals should do their best not to pass through life silently like the beasts whom nature made prone, obedient to their bellies."

"All the men and women who wish to excel the other animals, the amount of the aid to rely on fitting, do not pass over in silence, as if the life of the flock of which nature has fashioned herself on her face, and the belly. All our power is situated in the mind and the body, the mind to rule, the body to obey; the one we have with the gods, the other with the brutes. Therefore I find it an innate talent to seek and to strive for glory, since the very life which we enjoy is short, the memory of our lives as long as possible. For the glory of wealth and beauty is fleeting and frail, virtue is bright and everlasting. But for a long time it was hotly contested among men, of body or of mind, the power of the better in military affairs. For indeed he was, before he could begin to deliberate and, when one has deliberated they ought to do. So both of them by itself, requires the other's aid."

"All persons who are enthusiastic that they should transcend the other animals ought to strive with the utmost effort not to pass through a life of silence, like cattle, which nature has fashioned to be prone and obedient to their stomachs."

"But experience has shown that to be true which Appius says in his verses, that every man is the architect of his own fortune."

"But when sloth has introduced itself in the place of industry, and covetousness and pride in that of moderation and equity, the condition of a state is altered together with its morals; and thus authority is always transferred from the less to the more deserving."

"Ambition prompted many to become deceitful; to keep one thing concealed in the breast, and another ready on the tongue; to estimate friendships and enmities, not by their worth, but according to interest; and to carry rather a specious countenance than an honest heart."

"But at power or wealth, for the sake of which wars, and all kinds of strife, arise among mankind, we do not aim; we desire only our liberty, which no honorable man relinquishes but with his life."

"As man consists of body and soul, all our possessions and pursuits partake of the nature of one or the other. Thus personal beauty and great wealth, bodily strength, and all similar things, soon pass away; the noble achievements of the intellect are immortal like the soul itself. Physical advantages, and the material gifts of fortune, begin and end; all that comes into existence, perishes; all that grows, must one day decay. But the soul, incorruptible and eternal, is the ruler of mankind; it guides and controls everything, subject itself to no control. Wherefore we can but marvel the more at the unnatural conduct of those who abandon themselves to bodily pleasures and pass their time in riotous living and idleness, neglecting their intelligence--the best and noblest element in man's nature--and letting it become dull through lack of effort; and that, too, when the mind is capable of so many different accomplishments that can win the highest distinction."

"Among intellectual pursuits, one of the most useful is the recording of past events."

"For to like the same things and to dislike the same things, only this is a strong friendship."

"I myself, however, when a young man, was at first led by inclination, like most others, to engage in political affairs; but in that pursuit many circumstances were unfavorable to me; for, instead of modesty, temperance, and integrity, there prevailed shamelessness, corruption, and rapacity."

"If a man is ambitious for power, he can have no better supporters than the poor: They are not worried about their own possessions, since they have none, and whatever will put something in their pockets is right and proper in their eyes."

"Enough words, little wisdom."

"For harmony makes small states great, while discord undermines the mightiest empires."

"For the fame of riches and beauty is fickle and frail, while virtue is eternally excellent."

"For the glory of wealth and beauty is fleeting and perishable; that of the mind is illustrious and immortal."