Thirty-five Latin proverbs about life that will enlighten you is all about what a bunch of really old guys thought about living and life. Latin guys, like Cicero or Horace, had a lot to say about life. Some Latin sayings are not attributed to anyone at all. Phrases like Semper Fidelis (forever faithful) and e pluribus unum (out of many, one), are well known. Some may think of Latin as a dead language and of no use to anyone at all. The truth is quite the opposite, as can be seen on American coinage and with the United States Marine Corps. Read on for some wise words from the ancient world of Rome.
25. Sometimes It Really Is Best To Tell The Whole Truth.
Abbati, medico, patrono que intima pande ~Unknown
- English equivalent: Conceal not the truth from thy physician and lawyer.
24. Guys, Dress Nice ‘Cause It Looks Nice
- English equivalent: The clothes make the man
23. It’s Time To Quit, But. . .
Consuetudinis magna vis est~Cicero
- English equivalent: Old habits die hard
22. It’s Ok To Pretend
Crede quod habes, et habes~Moore
- English equivalent: Fake it till you make it.
21. Learn From Your Mistake
Cuiusvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare~Cicero
- Any man can make a mistake; only a fool keeps making the same one.
20. Keep Learning
Et ipsa scientia potestas est~Bacon, Francis
- English Translation: And knowledge itself, is power
19. Why Not Just Be Nice? AKA: Karma
Hodie mihi, cras tibi~Unknown
- English equivalent: The door swings both ways; What goes around comes around
18. People Gossip
Homines quod volunt credunt~Caesar, Julius
- English Translation: Men believe what they want to.
17. Know Who Your Friends Are
Hostium munera, non munera~Unknown
- Translation: Gifts of enemies are no gifts.
- Note: This advice has its root in the story of the Trojan Horse, the treacherous subterfuge by which the Greeks finally overcame their Trojan adversaries at the end of the Trojan War.
- English equivalent: Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
16. Work Is Still A Four Letter Word
ex nihilo nihil fit~Shakespeare
- English Translation: Nothing comes from nothing (you need to work for something)
15. You’re Stronger Than You Think You Are
- English equivalent: As long as there is life there is hope.
14. Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Factis ut credam facis~Unknown
- English equivalent: No need of words, trust deeds.
13. Nothing Lasts Forever
Forma bonum fragile est~Unknown
- English equivalent: All that is fair must fade
12. Mind Your Own Business
mperare sibi maximum imperium est~Seneca
- Translation: To rule yourself is the ultimate power.
11. Doing Nothing Is Sometimes For The Best
In dubio, abstine~Uknown
- English equivalent: If you are unsure what it is best to do, do nothing at all
10. The truth is absolutely lovely
Latet enim veritas, sed nihil pretiosius veritate~Sanchez de las Brozas
- English Translation: Truth is hidden, but nothing is more beautiful than the truth
9. Remember No One Gets Out Of This Life, Alive
- English Translation: Remember that you are going to die
- “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” Jobs, Steve
8. How You Live Your Life Matters
Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu~Seneca
- English Translation: How well you live makes a difference, not how long
7. Take A Chance
- English Translation: Dare to be wise
6. Everyone’s Life Is Uniquely Their Own
Si hîc esses, seires qua me vellicent~Unknown
- English meaning: Nobody can fully understand another person’s hardship or suffering
5. Just ‘Cause Something Happens Once, It Doesn’t Mean Anything New Is Happening
Una hirundo non facit ver~Unknown
- English Translation: “One swallow doesn’t make spring”
- English Meaning: A solitary event is no indication that a major change is taking place
4. Don’t Brag About Yourself
Vasa vana plurimum sonant~Unknown
- Translation: Empty pots make the most noise
3. Any Time Spent Reading Is Well Spent
Tolle, lege; Tolle, lege!~Augustinus
- English Translation: Take up and read; take up and read!
2. It’s Always Easier To Say Than Do
Sunt facta verbis difficiliora~Cicero Translation: Works are harder than words
1. No Fear
Timendi causa est nescire~Seneca
- Translation: The cause of fear is ignorance