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Gaius Sallustius Crispus (86 – 34 BC) Statesman and Historian during the last century of the Roman Republic.

Sallustio Crispo incisione.jpg


Bellum Catalinae

  • Nam divitiarum et formae gloria fluxa atque fragilis est, virtus clara aeternaque habetur. (I)
    • "
  • Sed nostra omnis vis in animo et corpore sita est; animi imperio, corporis servitio magis utimur; alterum nobis cum dis, alterum cum beluis commune est. (I)
    • ""
  • Verum ubi pro labore desidia, pro continentia et aequitate libido atque superbia invasere, fortuna simul cum moribus immutatur. Ita imperium semper ad optimum quemque a minus bono transfertur. (II)
    • "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."
  • Sed multi mortales dediti ventri atque somno, indocti incultique vitam sicuti peregrinantes transiere. (II)
    • "Yet many human beings, resigned to sensuality and indolence, un-instructed and unimproved, have passed through life like travellers in a strange country."
  • Sed ego adolescentulus initio sicuti plerique studio ad rem publicam latus sum, ibique mihi multa adversa fuere. Nam pro pudore, pro abstinentia, pro virtute, audacia, largitio, avaritia vigebant. (III)
    • "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."
  • Ambitio multos mortales falsos fieri subegit, aliud clausum in pectore, aliud in lingua promptum habere, amicitias inimicitiasque non ex re, sed ex commodo aestimare, magisque vultum quam ingenium bonum habere. (X.5)
    • "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."
  • Nam idem velle atque idem nolle, ea demum firma amicitia est. (XX.4)
    • "For to like the same things and to dislike the same things, only this is a strong friendship."
  • Nonne emori per virtutem praestat quam vitam miseram atque inhonestam, ubi alienae superbiae ludibrio fueris, per dedecus amittere? (XX.9)
    • "Is it not better to die in a glorious attempt, than to lose a wretched and degraded existence with ignominy, after having been the plaything of other men's arrogance?"
  • At nos non imperium neque divitias petimus, quarum rerum causa bella atque certamina omnia inter mortales sunt, sed libertatem, quam nemo bonus nisi cum anima simul amittit. (XXXIII.5)
    • "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."
  • Omnes homines, patres conscripti, qui de rebus dubiis consultant, ab odio, amicitia, ira atque misericordia vacuos esse decet. (LI.1)
    • "It becomes all men, Senators, who deliberate on dubious matters, to be influenced neither by hatred, affection, anger, nor pity."

Bellum Iugurthinum

  • Nam concordia parvae res crescunt, discordia maxumae dilabuntur. (X.6)
    • "For harmony makes small states great, while discord undermines the mightiest empires."


Image of Sallust on a coin
  • Namque pauci libertatem, pars magna iustos dominos volunt (iv.69.18)
    • Few men desire freedom, the greater part desire just masters.
    • Only a few prefer liberty, the majority seek nothing more than fair masters. (alternative translation)

Epistulae ad Caesarem senem

  • Sed res docuit id verum esse, quod in carminibus Appius ait, fabrum esse suae quemque fortunae. (I.i.2)
    • "But experience has shown that to be true which Appius says in his verses, that every man is the architect of his own fortune."


  • As the blessings of health and fortune have a beginning, so they must also find an end. Everything rises but to fall, and increases but to decay.
  • Think like a man of action, and act like a man of thought.
  • He that will be angry for anything will be angry for nothing.
  • Necessity makes even the timid brave.
  • Neither soldiers nor money can defend a king but only friends won by good deeds, merit, and honesty.
  • Ambition breaks the ties of blood, and forgets the obligations of gratitude.

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