Famous Quotes & Sayings

Tacitus Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Tacitus.

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Famous Quotes By Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1643702

Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 462490

All those things that are now field to be of the greatest antiquity were at one time new; what we to-day hold up by example will rank hereafter as precedent. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1437630

Tacitus has written an entire work on the manners of the Germans. This work is short, but it comes from the pen of Tacitus, who was always concise, because he saw everything at a glance. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1039542

A bitter jest, when it comes too near the truth, leaves a sharp sting behind it. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 2023228

More faults are often committed while we are trying to oblige than while we are giving offense. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1728571

If we must fall, we should boldly meet our fate. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 758884

In all things there is a law of cycles. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 970757

A man in power, once becoming obnoxious, his acts, good or bad, will work out his ruin. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 518508

Posterity will pay everyone their due. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1336281

Forethought and prudence are the proper qualities of a leader.
[Lat., Ratio et consilium, propriae ducis artes.] — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1493056

The principal office of history I take to be this: to prevent virtuous actions from being forgotten, and that evil words and deeds should fear an infamous reputation with posterity. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 191893

The sciences throw an inexpressible grace over our compositions, even where they are not immediately concerned; as their effects are discernible where we least expect to find them. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1882927

To rob, to ravage, to murder, in their imposing language, are the arts of civil policy. When they have made the world a solitude, they call it peace.
[Lat., Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium, atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.] — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1183220

For he would twist a word or a look into a crime and treasure it up in his memory. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 772442

The more corrupt the republic, the more numerous the laws. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 2230592

A desire to resist oppression is implanted in the nature of man. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 295149

Solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant. They make a wilderness and they call it peace. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 98399

He was a strange mixture of good and bad, of luxury and industry, courtesy and arrogance. In leisure he was self-indulgent, but full of vigour on service. His outward behaviour was praiseworthy, though ill was spoken of his private life. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 2100868

Bodies are slow of growth, but are rapid in their dissolution.
[Lat., Corpora lente augescent, cito extinguuntur.] — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1928947

So true is it that all transactions of preeminent importance are wrapt in doubt and obscurity; while some hold for certain facts the most precarious hearsays, others turn facts into falsehood; and both are exaggerated by posterity. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1275096

An eminent reputation is as dangerous as a bad one. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 284494

That cannot be safe which is not honourable. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1402283

When perfect sincerity is expected, perfect freedom must be allowed. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1111562

None make a greater show of sorrow than those who are most delighted. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1282480

By general consent, he would have been capable of ruling, had he not ruled. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 2167285

A bad peace is even worse than war. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1649040

Crime succeeds by sudden despatch; honest counsels gain vigor by delay. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1658167

Rarely will two or three tribes confer to repulse a common danger. Accordingly they fight individually and are collectively conquered. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1242977

Following Emporer Nero's command, "Let the Christians be exterminated!:" ... they [the Christians] were made the subjects of sport; they were covered with the hides of wild beasts and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses or set fire to, and when the day waned, burned to serve for the evening lights. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 2232617

Our magistrates discharge their duties best at the beginning; and fall off toward the end.
[Lat., Initia magistratuum nostrorum meliora, ferme finis inclinat.] — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1587369

All things atrocious and shameless flock from all parts to Rome. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1523484

Many who seem to be struggling with adversity are happy; many, amid great affluence, are utterly miserable. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1357554

Miseram pacem vel bello bene mutari. Even war is preferable to a shameful peace. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1378128

The love of fame is a love that even the wisest of men are reluctant to forgo. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1487424

The hatred of those who are near to us is most violent. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1451145

We extol ancient things, regardless of our own times.
[Lat., Vetera extollimus recentium incuriosi.] — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 2266505

If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticise. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1399567

Abuse if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself irritated, you will be thought to have deserved it. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1411799

He realized that monarchy was essential to peace, and that the price of freedom was violence and disorder. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1873604

Necessity reforms the poor, and satiety reforms the rich. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 2063495

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1980230

Adversity deprives us of our judgment. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1979513

Legions and fleets are not such sure bulwarks of imperial power as a numerous family — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 2078233

None mourn more ostentatiously than those who most rejoice at it [a death]. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1944643

This I regard as history's highest function, to let no worthy action be uncommemorated, and to hold out the reprobation of posterity as a terror to evil words and deeds. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1905865

To show resentment at a reproach is to acknowledge that one may have deserved it. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1898852

Modern houses are so small we've had to train our dog to wag its tail up and down and not sideways. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 2089875

It is the rare fortune of these days that one may think what one likes and say what one thinks. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1885385

Secure against the designs of men, secure against the malignity of the Gods, they have accomplished a thing of infinite difficulty; that to them nothing remains even to be wished. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1590966

Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1869976

They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger ... they are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor ... They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretenses, and all of this they hail as the construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1816867

We see many who are struggling against adversity who are happy, and more although abounding in wealth, who are wretched. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1756701

[The Jews have] an attitude of hostility and hatred towards all others. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1749729

Step by step they were led to things which dispose to vice, the lounge, the bath, the elegant banquet. All this in their ignorance they called civilisation, when it was but a part of their servitude. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1740990

Lust of power is the most flagrant of all the passions — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1702039

Traitors are hated even by those whom they prefer. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1665361

[That form of] eloquence, the foster-child of licence, which fools call liberty.
[Lat., Eloquentia, alumna licentiae, quam stulti libertatem vocabant.] — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1610890

Be assured those will be thy worst enemies, not to whom thou hast done evil, but who have done evil to thee. And those will be thy best friends, not to whom thou hast done good, but who have done good to thee. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 416321

Benefits are acceptable, while the receiver thinks he may return them; but once exceeding that, hatred is given instead of thanks.
[Lat., Beneficia usque eo laeta sunt dum videntur exsolvi posse; ubi multum antevenere pro gratia odium redditur.] — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 549064

The brave and bold persist even against fortune; the timid and cowardly rush to despair though fear alone. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 540216

Valor is the contempt of death and pain. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 539564

Bottling up his malice to be suppressed and brought out with increased violence. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 537498

Nothing mortal is so unstable and subject to change as power which has no foundation. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 532085

The views of the multitude are neither bad nor good.
[Lat., Neque mala, vel bona, quae vulgus putet.] — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 508761

Things forbidden have a secret charm. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 500651

Whatever is unknown is magnified. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 491817

The Germans themselves I should regard as aboriginal, and not mixed at all with other races through immigration or intercourse. For in former times, it was not by land but on shipboard that those who sought to emigrate would arrive; and the boundless and, so to speak, hostile ocean beyond us,is seldom entered by a sail from our world. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 491599

There are odious virtues; such as inflexible severity, and an integrity that accepts of no favor. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 451450

Style, like the human body, is specially beautiful when the veins are not prominent and the bones cannot be counted. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 604903

Rumor does not always err; it sometimes even elects a man. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 385079

When men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it be good or bad. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 312004

War will of itself discover and lay open the hidden and rankling wounds of the victorious party. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 262400

To be rich or well-born was a crime: men were prosecuted for holding or for refusing office: merit of any kind meant certain ruin. Nor were the Informers more hated for their crimes than for their prizes: some carried off a priesthood or the consulship as their spoil, others won offices and influence in the imperial household: the hatred and fear they inspired worked universal havoc. Slaves were bribed against their masters, freedmen against their patrons, and, if a man had no enemies, he was ruined by his friends. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 209127

Great empires are not maintained by timidity. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 184148

Reason and calm judgment, the qualities specially belonging to a leader. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 150344

No hatred is so bitter as that of near relations. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 141835

A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 141111

Battles against Rome have been lost and won before, but hope was never abandoned, since we were always here in reserve. We, the choicest flower of Britain's manhood, were hidden away in her most secret places. Out of sight of subject shores, we kept even our eyes free from the defilement of tyranny. We, the most distant dwellers upon earth, the last of the free, have been shielded till today by our very remoteness and by the obscurity in which it has shrouded our name. Now, the farthest bounds of Britain lie open to our enemies; and what men know nothing about they always assume to be a valuable prize ...
A rich enemy excites their cupidity; a poor one, their lust for power. East and West alike have failed to satisfy them. They are the only people on earth to whose covetousness both riches and poverty are equally tempting. To robbery, butchery and rapine, they give the lying name of 'government'; they create a desolation and call it peace ... — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 110998

In the struggle between those seeking power there is no middle course. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 951939

There was more courage in bearing trouble than in escaping from it; the brave and the energetic cling to hope, even in spite of fortune; the cowardly and the indolent are hurried by their fears,' said Plotius Firmus, Roman Praetorian Guard. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1298251

A woman once fallen will shrink from no impropriety. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1297913

Liberty is given by nature even to mute animals. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1279192

You might believe a good man easily, a great man with pleasure. -Bonum virum facile crederes, magnum libenter — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1195286

Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1172373

Laws were most numerous when the commonwealth was most corrupt — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1153183

Other men have acquired fame by industry, but this man by indolence. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1129913

The most detestable race of enemies are flatterers. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1090171

Flatterers are the worst kind of enemies.
[Lat., Pessimum genus inimicorum laudantes.] — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1088460

None grieve so ostentatiously as those who rejoice most in heart.
[Lat., Nulla jactantius moerent quam qui maxime laetantur.] — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1086281

Every great example of punishment has in it some injustice, but the suffering individual is compensated by the public good. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 1326853

It was rather a cessation of war than a beginning of peace.
[Lat., Bellum magis desierat, quam pax coeperat.] — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 937688

Even honor and virtue make enemies, condemning, as they do, their opposites by too close a contrast. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 898662

The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 893162

Even for learned men, love of fame is the last thing to be given up. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 890613

Old things are always in good repute, present things in disfavor. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 800292

The lust for power, for dominating others, inflames the heart more than any other passion. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 800165

Rumor is not always wrong — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 717068

The grove is the centre of their whole religion. It is regarded as the cradle of the race and the dwelling-place of the supreme god to whom all things are subject and obedient. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 712677

Nature gives liberty even to dumb animals. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes 642562

Conspicuous by his absence. — Tacitus