Quotations by Terence


Human nature is so constituted, that all see and judge better in the affairs of other men than in their own.

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
(Attributed)
Added on 11-Feb-16 | Last updated 11-Feb-16
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Jupiter, now assuredly is the time when I could readily consent to be slain, lest life should sully this ecstasy with some disaster.

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
Eunuchus, Act 3, sc. 5, l. 2 (l. 550)
Added on 6-Oct-10 | Last updated 6-Oct-10
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Without Ceres and Bacchus, Venus freezes.

[Sine Cerere et Baccho friget Venus.]

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
Eunuchus, Act 4, l. 5

Ceres=bread, Bacchus=wine.

Added on 29-Sep-10 | Last updated 29-Sep-10
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He is wise who tries everything before arms.

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
Eunuchus, Act 4, sc. 7, l. 19 (l. 789)

Alt. trans.: "It behooves a prudent person to make trial of everything before arms."

Added on 22-Sep-10 | Last updated 22-Sep-10
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In fact, nothing is said that has not been said before.

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
Eunuchus, l. 41, Prologue
Added on 15-Sep-10 | Last updated 15-Sep-10
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Time removes distress.

[Diem adimere aegritudinem hominibus.]

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
Heauton Timoroumenos [The Self-Tormentor], Act 3, sc. 1, l. 12 (l. 421)

Alt. trans.: "Time heals all wounds", "Time assuages sorrow." Referred to as an old saying.

Added on 25-Aug-10 | Last updated 25-Aug-10
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Extreme law is often extreme injustice.

[Ius summum saepe summa est malitia.]

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
Heauton Timoroumenos [The Self-Tormentor], Act 4, sc. 5, l. 48 (l. 796)

Alt. trans.:

  • "The highest law is often the greatest wrong."
  • "Extreme justice is often extreme malice."
  • "Rigorous law is often rigorous injustice."
Added on 1-Sep-10 | Last updated 1-Sep-10
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How many things, both just and unjust, are sanctioned by custom!

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
Heauton Timoroumenos [The Self-Tormentor], Act 4, sc. 7, l. 11 (l. 839)
Added on 8-Sep-10 | Last updated 8-Sep-10
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I am human, I consider nothing human is alien to me.

[Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto.]

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
Heauton Timoroumenos [The Self-Tormentor], l. 77

Alt. trans.:
  • "I am human [being], I consider nothing human to be alien to me."
  • "I am a human being, so there is nothing human I do not feel to be my concern."
  • "I am a human being; nothing human is alien to me."
Added on 11-Aug-10 | Last updated 30-Apr-14
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Nothing is so easy but it is difficult when you do it reluctantly.

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
Heuton timoroumenos [The Self-Tormentor], l. 806 [tr. J. Sergeaunt (1912)]

Alt trans: "There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly."

Added on 18-Sep-09 | Last updated 5-Jun-10
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Fortune favors the bold.

[Fortis fortuna adiuvat.]

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
Phormio, Act I, sc. 4, l. 25 (l. 203)

Alt trans.:
  • "Fortune favors the brave."
  • "Fortune helps the brave."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 7-Jun-10
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There are as many opinions as there are people: to each his own custom.

[Quot homines, tot sententiæ: suo quoque mos.]

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
Phormio, Act ii, sc. 4, l.14 (l. 454)

Alt trans.:

  • "There are as many opinions as there are people: everyone has their own way of doing things."
  • "So many men, so many opinions: to each his own way."
  • "As many men, so many minds; every one his own way."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 5-Jun-10
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We all, when we are well, give good advice to the sick.

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
The Lady of Andros [Andria]
Added on 14-Aug-13 | Last updated 14-Aug-13
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Moderation in all things.

[Ne quid nimis.]

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
The Lady of Andros [Andria], l. 61

See Cleobulus.
Added on 4-Aug-10 | Last updated 10-Mar-16
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