Quotations by Livy


Truth is often eclipsed but never extinguished.

Livy (59 BC-AD 17) Roman historian [Titus Livius]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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In difficult situations when hope seems feeble, the boldest plans are the safest.

Livy (59 BC-AD 17) Roman historian [Titus Livius]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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We can endure neither our evils nor their cures.

Livy (59 BC-AD 17) Roman historian [Titus Livius]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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The mind sins, not the body; if there is no intention, there is no blame.

[Mentem peccare, non corpus, et unde consilium abfuerit, culpam abesse.]

Livy (59 BC-AD 17) Roman historian [Titus Livius]
Ab Urbe Condita [From the Founding of the City; The History of Rome], Book 1, ch. 58 (27-9 BC)

Reassurances given to Lucretia, wife of Collatinus, after her rape by Sextus Tarquin. She still kills herself.

Different sources use abfuerit or afuerit. Restated as a legal term, it's usually given as Mens peccat, non corpus, et unde consilium abfuit, culpa abest.

Alt. trans.:
  • "That it is the mind sins, not the body; and that where intention was wanting guilt could not be." [tr. Spillan (1896)]
  • "The mind sins, not the body, and there is no guilt when intent is absent." [tr. Luce]
  • "The mind sins, not the body; and where the power of judgment has been absent, guilt is absent." [Source]
  • "The mind alone was capable of sinning, not the body, and that where there was no such intention, there could be no guilt." [tr. Baker (1823)]
  • "It is the mind that sins, not the body, and where there has been no consent there is no guilt." [tr. Roberts (1905)]
  • "It is the mind that sins, not the body; and that where purpose has been wanting there is no guilt." [tr. Foster (1919)]
  • "It is the will only that is capable of sinning, not the body; and where there is no intention, there can be no guilt." [Source]
Added on 12-Oct-20 | Last updated 12-Oct-20
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The state was endangered by two opposite vices, luxury and avarice; those pests which have ever been the ruin of every great state.

Livy (59 BC-AD 17) Roman historian [Titus Livius]
The History of Rome, Book 34, ch. 3 [tr. Baker (1836)]
    (Source)
Added on 9-Jun-14 | Last updated 9-Jun-14
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