Quotations by Ennius


Wisdom is publicly rejected, affairs are pursued with force,
A good speaker is spurned, and the wretched warrior is loved.
Men strive not with educated speeches but instead with insults
attack one another and enter into mutual enmity.
They seize property suddenly not by the right of law but with swords
As they seek sovereignty and wander with the power of the mob.

[Pellitur e medio sapientia, vi geritur res,
spernitur orator bonus, horridus miles amatur.
haut doctis dictis certantes nec maledictis
miscent inter sese inimicitiam agitantes,
non ex iure manum consertum, sed magis ferro
rem repetunt regnumque petunt, vadunt solida vi.]

Quintus Ennius (239-169 BC) Roman poet, writer
Annales, Book 8, Sec. 3, l. 262-8
    (Source)

On public discourse during wars. Fragment quoted by Cicero in Epistle 171.

Alt. trans.: "Pushed away from the centre good sense, force rules the day, / despised the good orator, the horrid soldier cherished. / Fighting, not with learned words or curses, / they clash with one another, pushing hostilities, / laying hand onto one another not rightfully, but rather with the sword / they seek material gain and strive for power, advancing with brute force."
Added on 23-Jan-20 | Last updated 23-Jan-20
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He who has conquered is not conqueror
Unless the conquered one confesses it.

[Qui vincit non est victor nisi victus fatetur.]

Quintus Ennius (239-169 BC) Roman poet, writer
Annales, Fragment 485
    (Source)

Quoted by Marcus Servius Honoratus, Commentaries on the Poems of Virgil [In Vergilii Carmina Comentarii], Book 11. Alt. trans.:
  • "He who conquers is not the conqueror unless the conquered admits it." [Source, 493 (Vahlen)]
  • "He who conquers is no conqueror unless the conquered admits it." [Source, 513]
  • "The victor is not victorious if the vanquished does not consider himself so." [Source]
Added on 12-Mar-20 | Last updated 12-Mar-20
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Your minds that once did stand erect and strong,
What madness swerves them from their wonted course?

[Quo vobis mentes, rectae quae stare solebant
Antehac, dementis sese flexere viai?]

Quintus Ennius (239-169 BC) Roman poet, writer
Fragment
    (Source)

Quoted by Cicero in De Senectute, ch. 4, v. 14, vi. 16 [trans. Falconer]
Added on 30-Jan-20 | Last updated 30-Jan-20
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No sooner said than done — so acts your man of worth.

[Dictum factumque facit frux.]

Quintus Ennius (239-169 BC) Roman poet, writer
Fragment 315 [tr. Warmington]
    (Source)

Quoted in Priscianus, Ars Prisciani, Book 6.
Added on 19-Mar-20 | Last updated 19-Mar-20
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There is no fellowship inviolate,
no faith is kept, when kingship is concerned.

[Nulla sancta societas
Nec fides regni est.]

Quintus Ennius (239-169 BC) Roman poet, writer
Fragment 402-3 [tr. Miller]
    (Source)

Quoted in Cicero, De Officiis, Book 1, ch. 8, sec. 26 (scaen. 404 Vahlen), speaking of Julius Caesar.

Alt. trans.:
  • "To kingship belongs neither sacred fellowship nor faith."
  • "No society is sacred, nor faith of empire." [tr. Johnson (1828)]
  • "There is no holy bond, and no fidelity / 'Twixt those who share a throne." [Source]
  • "Where the throne's shared, there cannot be good faith." [Source]
Added on 27-Feb-20 | Last updated 27-Feb-20
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Whom they fear, they hate. And whom one hates, one hopes to see him dead.

[Quem metuunt oderunt; quem quisque odit, perisse expetit.]

Quintus Ennius (239-169 BC) Roman poet, writer
Fragment 410
    (Source)

Quoted by Cicero, De Officiis, Book 2, ch. 7 (sec. 23) [tr. Miller]. Alt. trans.: "Whom men fear they hate; and whom they hate they eagerly wish their destruction." [tr. McCartney (1798)]
Added on 13-Feb-20 | Last updated 13-Feb-20
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A sure friend is known in unsure times.

[Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur.]

Quintus Ennius (239-169 BC) Roman poet, writer
Fragment, Scaenica 210 [Vahlen]

As quoted in Cicero, On Friendship [De Amicitia], ch. 17. sec. 64.

Alt. trans.:
  • "In unsure fortune a sure friend is seen." [tr. Peabody (1884)]
  • "When things get iffy, you find out who your true friends are." [tr. Ehrlich (1995)]
  • "A sure friend is tried in doubtful matters." [Source]
  • "A friend is never known until one have need." [Source]
  • "A friend is never known 'till a man have need." [Source]
  • "A true friend is discerned during an uncertain matter." [Source]
  • "A certain friend is discerned in an uncertain time." [Source]
Added on 20-Feb-20 | Last updated 20-Feb-20
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Who kindly sets a wand’rer on his way
Does e’en as if he lit another’s lamp by his:
No less shines his, when he his friend’s hath lit.

[Homo qui erranti comiter monstrat viam,
Quasi lumen de suo lumine accendat facit;
Nihilo minus ipsi lucet, cum illi accenderit.]

Quintus Ennius (239-169 BC) Roman poet, writer
Quoted in Cicero, On Duties [De Officiis], Book 1, ch. 16 [tr. Miller]
    (Source)
Added on 16-Jan-20 | Last updated 16-Jan-20
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