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In oratory the will must predominate.
David Hare
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Count it the greatest sin to prefer life to honor, and for the sake of living to lose what makes life worth living.

Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, anglicized as Juvenal, (c. 60 - c. 140) was a Roman satiric poet.



  • Difficile est saturam non scribere.
    • It is difficult not to write satire.
    • I, line 30.
  • Probitas laudatur et alget
    • Honesty is praised and starves.
    • I, line 74.
    • Variant translation: Honesty is praised and is left out in the cold.
  • Poena tamen praesens, cum tu deponis amictus
    turgidus et crudum pavonem in balnea portas.
    hinc subitae mortes atque intestata senectus;
    it nova nec tristis per cunctas fabula cenas:
    ducitur iratis plaudendum funus amicis.
    • But you will soon pay for it, my friend, when you take off your clothes, and with distended stomach carry your peacock into the bath undigested! Hence a sudden death, and an intestate old age; the new and merry tale runs the round of every dinner-table, and the corpse is carried forth to burial amid the cheers of enraged friends!
    • I, line 142.
  • No one shall be a thief by my co-operation.
    • III, line 46.
  • Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas.
    • Censure pardons the raven, but is visited upon the dove.
    • II, line 63.
  • Nemo repente fuit turpissimus.
    • No man ever became extremely wicked all at once.
    • II, line 83.
    • Compare: "There is a method in man’s wickedness, — It grows up by degrees
  • Nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se,
    quam quod ridiculos homines facit.
    • Bitter poverty has no harder pang than that it makes men ridiculous.
    • III, line 152.
    • Variant translation: Of all the Griefs that harrass the Distrest,
      Sure the most bitter is a scornful Jest.
  • Haut facile emergunt quorum virtutibus opstat
    res angusta domi.
    • It is not easy for men to rise whose qualities are thwarted by poverty.
    • III, line 164.
    • Variant translation: Slow rises Worth, by Poverty deprest.
  • Hic vivimus ambitiosa paupertate omnes.
    • We all live in a state of ambitious poverty.
    • III, line 182.
  • Nunc patimur longae pacis mala, saevior armis
    luxuria incubuit victumque ulciscitur orbem.
    • We are now suffering the evils of a long peace. Luxury, more deadly than war, broods over the city, and avenges a conquered world.
    • VI, line 292.
  • Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    • But who shall guard the guardians?
    • VI, line 347
    • Variant translation: Who watches the watchmen?
    • The original context is that a husband might lock his wife in the house to prevent her adulteries, but she is cunning and will start with the guards; hence, who guards the guards? The phrase has come to be applied broadly to people or organisations acting against dishonesty or corruption, esp. in public life.
  • Nobilitas sola est atque unica virtus.
    • Nobility is the one and only virtue.
    • VIII, line 20.
    • Variant Nobility is the one only virtue.
    • Compare : We'll shine in more substantial honours, And to be noble we'll be good.
  • Summum crede nefas animam praeferre pudori
    et propter vitam vivendi perdere causas.
    • Count it the greatest sin to prefer life to honor, and for the sake of living to lose what makes life worth living.
    • VIII, line 83.
  • Nam si tibi sidera cessant,
    nil faciet longi mensura incognita nervi,
    quamvis te nudum spumanti Virro labello
    viderit et blandae adsidue densaeque tabellae
    sollicitent, autos gar ephelketai andra kinaidos.
    • If your stars go against you, the fantastic size of your cock will get you precisely nowhere, however much Virro may have drooled at the spectacle of your naked charms, though love-letters come in by the dozen, imploring your favors.
    • IX, line 33.
  • Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator.
    • The traveller with empty pockets will sing in the thief's face.
    • X, line 22.
  • Nam qui dabat olim
    imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se
    continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat,
    panem et circenses.
    • The people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things — bread and circuses!
    • X, line 78; see bread and circuses.
  • Maxima debetur puero reverentia.
    • The greatest reverence is due the young.
    • XIV, line 47.

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