Quotations by Virgil


I shudder recounting.

[Horresco réferens]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid (c. 29-19 BC)

Referering to the death of the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons.
Added on 11-Mar-13 | Last updated 11-Mar-13
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Each of us bears his own hell.

[Quisque suos patimur Manes.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid (c. 29-19 BC) Book VI, line 743

Alt. trans.: "Each of us suffers his own spirit."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 8-Sep-12
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Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc’d by fate,
And haughty Juno’s unrelenting hate,
Expell’d and exil’d, left the Trojan shore.
Long labors, both by sea and land, he bore,
And in the doubtful war, before he won
The Latian realm, and built the destin’d town;
His banish’d gods restor’d to rites divine,
And settled sure succession in his line,
From whence the race of Alban fathers come,
And the long glories of majestic Rome.

[Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam fato profugus Laviniaque venit
litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
vi superum, saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram,
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem
inferretque deos Latio; genus unde
Albanique patres atque altae moenia Romae.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid Book 1, line 1 (c. 29-19 BC) [tr. Dryden]

Alt trans: "I sing of arms and a man he who, exiled by fate, first came from the coast of Troy to Italy, and to Lavinian shores – hurled about endlessly by land and sea, by the will of the gods, by cruel Juno’s remorseless anger, long suffering also in war, until he founded a city and brought his gods to Latium: from that the Latin people came, the lords of Alba Longa, the walls of noble Rome."
Added on 10-Dec-12 | Last updated 10-Dec-12
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Perhaps, one day, remembering even these things will bring pleasure.

[Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 1, l. 203 (c. 29-19 BC)

Alt. trans.:

  • "An hour will come, with pleasure to relate your sorrows past, as benefits of Fate." [John Dryden]
  • "Perhaps it will even please us to remember these things someday."
Added on 17-Dec-12 | Last updated 17-Dec-12
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Trust one who has gone through it.

[Experto crédite.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 1, l. 283 (c. 29-19 BC)

Often paraphrased as "experto crede".
Added on 4-Mar-13 | Last updated 4-Mar-13
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Being not unacquainted with woe, I learn to help the unfortunate.

[Non ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 1, l. 630 (c. 29-19 BC)
Added on 11-Feb-13 | Last updated 11-Feb-13
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Fortune favors the brave.

[Audentes fortuna iuvat]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 10, l. 284 (c. 29-19 BC)

Alt. trans. "Fortune assists the bold."
Added on 25-Feb-13 | Last updated 25-Feb-13
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Fortune favors the brave.

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 10, l. 284 (c. 29-19 BC)
Added on 22-Jan-16 | Last updated 22-Jan-16
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The gods thought otherwise.

[Dis áliter visum]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 2, l. 428 (c. 29-19 BC)
Added on 7-Jan-13 | Last updated 7-Jan-13
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Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Grecians, even bearing gifts.

[Equo ne credite, Teucri.
quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 2, l. 48 (c. 29-19 BC)

Alt. trans.: "O Trojans, do not trust the horse. Be it what it may, I fear the Grecians even when they offer gifts."
Added on 31-Dec-12 | Last updated 31-Dec-12
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… I saw these terrible things,
and took great part in them.

[… quaeque ipse miserrima vidi
et quorum pars magna fui.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 2, l. 5 (c. 29-19 BC) [tr. Mantinband (1964)]

Aeneas, referring to the sacking of Troy.

Alt. trans.: "All of which misery I saw, and a great part of which I was."

Added on 25-Mar-13 | Last updated 25-Mar-13
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O tyrant love, to what do you not drive the hearts of men!

[Improbe Amor, quid non mortalia pectora cogis!]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 4, l. 412 (c. 29-19 BC)
Added on 14-Jan-13 | Last updated 14-Jan-13
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A woman is an ever fickle and changeable thing.

[Varium et mutabile semper femina.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 4, l. 569 (c. 29-19 BC)

Alt. trans.:

  • "My lord, you know what Virgil sings -- Woman is various and most mutable." [Tennyson, Queen Mary, Act 3, sc. 6]
  • "Donna è mobile." [Verdi, Rigoletto (1851)]
  • "A woman is always changeable and capricious."
Added on 28-Jan-13 | Last updated 28-Jan-13
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I have lived, and I have run the course which fortune allotted me; and now my shade shall descend illustrious to the grave.

[Vixi, et quem dederat cursum fortuna, peregi:
Et nunc magna mei sub terras currit imago.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 4, l. 653 (c. 29-19 BC)
Added on 21-Jan-13 | Last updated 21-Jan-13
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They are able because they think they are able.

[Possunt quia posse videntur.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 5, l. 231 (c. 29-19 BC)

Alt trans.:
  • "They are able because they seem (are seen) to be able."
  • "They conquer who believe they can." [Dryden, in "The Rambler," #25 (12 Jun 1750)]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 6-Mar-13
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Even virtue is fairer when it appears in a beautiful person.

[Gratior ac pulchro veniens in corpore virtus.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 5, l. 344 (c. 29-19 BC)
Added on 4-Feb-13 | Last updated 4-Feb-13
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Every misfortune is to be subdued by patience.

[Superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 5, l. 710 (c. 29-19 BC)
Added on 1-Apr-13 | Last updated 1-Apr-13
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It is easy to go down into Hell;
Night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide;
But to climb back again, to retrace one’s steps to the upper air —
There’s the rub, the task.

[Fácilis descensus Averni:
noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis;
sed revocare gradium superasque evadere ad auras.
hoc opus, hic labor est.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 6, l. 126 (c. 29-19 BC)
Added on 18-Feb-13 | Last updated 18-Feb-13
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It is of benefit to have improved life through discovered knowledge.

[Inventas aut qui vitam excoluere per artis]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid, Book 6, l. 663 (c. 29-19 BC)

A paraphrase of this ("Inventas vitam iuvat excoluisse per artes") is inscribed on the Nobel Prize medals for Medicine and Physiology.
Added on 18-Mar-13 | Last updated 18-Mar-13
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We can’t all do everything.

[Non omnia possumus omnes.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Eclogue, Book 8, l. 63
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 8-Sep-12
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Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to love.

[Ómnia vincit amor; et nos cedamus amori.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Eclogues, Book 10, l. 69 (c. 42 BC)
Added on 3-Dec-12 | Last updated 3-Dec-12
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It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep be.

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Eclogues, Book 7 [Thyrsis] (c. 42 BC)

Quoted by Francis Bacon, "Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates": "Nay, number itself in armies importeth not much, where the people is of weak courage; for, as Virgil saith, 'It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep be.'"
Added on 26-Dec-07 | Last updated 8-Sep-12
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Time bears away all things, even our minds.

[Omnia fert aetas, animum quoque.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Eclogues, Book 9, l. 51 (c. 42 BC)
Added on 19-Nov-12 | Last updated 19-Nov-12
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Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.

[Cantantes licet usque (minus via laedit) eamus.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Eclogues, Book 9, l. 64 (c. 42 BC)
Added on 26-Nov-12 | Last updated 26-Nov-12
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Practice and thought might gradually forge many an art.

[Ut varias usus meditando extunderet artis paulatim.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Georgics, Book 1, l. 133 (c. 37 BC)
Added on 12-Nov-12 | Last updated 12-Nov-12
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Look with favor upon a bold beginning.

[Audacibus annue coeptis]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Georgics, Book 1, l. 40 (c. 37 BC)

"Annuit Coeptis" shows up in the Second Great Seal of the United States.
Added on 5-Nov-12 | Last updated 5-Nov-12
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Death twitches my ear. “Live,” he says. “I am coming.”

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Minor Poems, “Copa,” l. 38
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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