Quintus Horatius Flaccus (8 December 65 BC – 27 November 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading lyric poet in Latin.
== Quotes ==
Cras ingens iterabimus aequor
Tommorrow we will be back on the vast ocean.
The Routledge Dictionary of Latin Quotations: The Illiterati's Guide to Latin Maxims, Mottoes, Proverbs and Sayings
=== Satires (c. 35 BC and 30 BC) ===
Quamquam ridentem dicere verum quid vetat? ut pueris olim dant crustula blandi doctores, elementa velint ut discere prima.
What is to prevent one from telling truth as he laughs, even as teachers sometimes give cookies to children to coax them into learning their A B C?
Book I, satire i, line 24 (translation by H. Fairclough)What odds does it make to the man who lives within Nature's bounds, whether he ploughs a hundred acres or a thousand?
Book I, satire i, line 48People are enticed by a desire which continually cheats them.‘Nothing is enough,’ they say, ‘for you’re only worth what you have.’
Book I, satire i, lines 61-62, as translated by N. RuddSaepe stilum vertas, iterum quae digna legi sint scripturus. Often must you turn your pencil to erase, if you hope to write something worth a second reading.
Book I, satire i, lines 72-3, (transl. Rushton Fairclough, 1926)Let’s put a limit to the scramble for money. ... Having got what you wanted, you ought to begin to bring that struggle to an end.
Book I, satire i, lines 92-94, as translated by N. RuddInde fit ut raro, qui se vixisse beatumdicat et exacto contentus tempore vitacedat uti conviva satur, reperire queamus.
We rarely find anyone who can say he has lived a happy life, and who, content with his life, can retire from the world like a satisfied guest.
Book I, satire i, line 117Non satis est puris versum perscribere verbis.
'Tis not sufficient to combineWell-chosen words in a well-ordered line.
Book I, satire iv, line 54 (translated by John Conington)Atqui si vitiis mediocribus ac mea paucismendosa est natura, alioqui recta, velut siegregio inspersos reprehendas corpore naevos,si neque avaritiam neque sordes nec mala lustraobiciet vere quisquam mihi, purus et insons,ut me collaudem, si et vivo carus amicis...at hoc nunclaus illi debetur et a me gratia maior.nil me paeniteat sanum patris huius, eoquenon, ut magna dolo factum negat esse suo pars,quod non ingenuos habeat clarosque parentis,sic me defendam.
If my character is flawed by a few minor faults, but is otherwise decent and moral, if you can point out only a few scattered blemishes on an otherwise immaculate surface, if no one can accuse me of greed, or of prurience, or of profligacy, if I live a virtuous life, free of defilement (pardon, for a moment, my self-praise), and if I am to my friends a good friend, my father deserves all the credit... As it is now, he deserves from me unstinting gratitude and praise. I could never be ashamed of such a father, nor do I feel any need, as many people do, to apologize for being a freedman's son.
Book I, satire vi, lines 65–92Nil sine magnovita labore dedit mortalibus.
Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work. / Life has given nothing to mortals without great labor.
Book I, satire ix, line 59in pace, ut sapiens, aptarit idonea bello
In peace, as a wise man, he should make suitable preparation for war.
Book II, satire ii, line 111Adclinis falsis animus meliora recusat.
The mind enamored with deceptive things, declines things better.
Book II, satire ii, line 6Quocirca vivite fortes, fortiaque adversis opponite pectora rebus
So live, my boys, as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts.
Book II, Satire II, Line 135-136 (trans. E. C. Wickham)Ille sinistrorsum, hie dextrorsum abit : unus utriqueError, sed variis illudit partibus.
This to the right, that to the left hand strays,And all are wrong, but wrong in different ways.
Book II, satire iii, line 50 (trans. Conington)Heu, Fortuna, quis est crudelior in nosTe deus? Ut semper gaudes illudere rebus Humanis!
O Fortune, cruellest of heavenly powers,Why make such game of this poor life of ours?
Book II, satire viii, line 61 (trans. Conington)Sed convivatoris uti ducis ingenium resAdversae nudare solent, celare secundae.
A host is like a general: calamities often reveal his genius.
Book II, satire viii, lines 73–74 Dum licet, in rebus jucundis vive beatus;Vive memor quam sis aevi brevis.
Then take, good sir, your pleasure while you may;With life so short 'twere wrong to lose a day.
Book II, satire viii, line 96 (trans. Conington)
=== Odes (c. 23 BC and 13 BC) ===
Nequiquam deus absciditPrudens Oceano dissociabiliTerras, si tamen impiaeNon tangenda rates transiliunt vada.
In vain did Nature's wife commandDivide the waters from the land,If daring ships and men profane,Invade th' inviolable main.
Book I, ode iii, line 21 (trans. by John Dryden)Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare longam.
Life's short span forbids us to enter on far reaching hopes.
Book I, ode iv, line 15Nil desperandum...
Book I, ode vii, line 27Nunc vino pellite curas.
Now drown care in wine.
Book I, ode vii, line 32Permitte divis cetera.
Leave all else to the gods.
Book I, ode ix, line 9Dum loquimur, fugerit invidaAetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.
As we speak cruel time is fleeing. Seize the day, believing as little as possible in the morrow.
Book I, ode xi, line 7
John Conington's translation:
In the moment of our talking, envious time has ebbed away,Seize the present, trust tomorrow e'en as little as you may.O matre pulchra filia pulchrior
O fairer daughter of a fair mother!
Book I, ode xvi, line 1Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero pulsanda tellus.
Now is the time for drinking, now the time to dance footloose upon the earth.
Book I, ode xxxvii, line 1Aequam memento rebus in arduisservare mentem.
In adversity, remember to keep an even mind.
Book II, ode iii, line 1Auream quisquis mediocritatem diligit, tutus caret obsoleti sordibus tecti, caret invidenda sobrius aula.
Whoever cultivates the golden mean avoids both the poverty of a hovel and the envy of a palace.
Book II, ode x, line 5Eheu fugaces, Postume, Postume,labuntur anni nec pietas moramrugis et instanti senectaeadferet indomitaeque morti.
Ah, Postumus! they fleet away,Our years, nor piety one hourCan win from wrinkles and decay,And Death's indomitable power.
Book II, ode xiv, line 1 (trans. John Conington)Virginibus puerisque canto.
I sing for maidens and boys.
Book III, ode i, line 4Aequa lege NecessitasSortitur insignes et imos;Omne capax movet urna nomen.
Death takes the mean man with the proud;The fatal urn has room for all.
Book III, ode i, line 14 (trans. John Conington)Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
It is sweet and honorable to die for one's country.
Book III, ode ii, line 13Iustum et tenacem propositi virumnon civium ardor prava iubentium,non vultus instantis tyrannimente quatit solida.
The man who is tenacious of purpose in a rightful cause is not shaken from his firm resolve by the frenzy of his fellow citizens clamoring for what is wrong, or by the tyrant's threatening countenance.
Book III, ode iii, line 1Si fractus illabatur orbis, impavidum ferient ruinae.
If the world should break and fall on him, it would strike him fearless.
Book III, ode iii, line 7Vis consili expers mole ruit sua.
Force without wisdom falls of its own weight.
Book III, ode iv, line 65Crescentem sequitur cura pecuniam,Maiorumque fames.
As money grows, care follows it and the hunger for more.
Book III, ode xvi, line 17Magnas inter opes inops.
A pauper in the midst of wealth.
Book III, ode xvi, line 28.
Conington's translation: "'Mid vast possessions poor."Quod adest mementocomponere aequus.
Enjoy the present smiling hour,And put it out of Fortune's power.
Book III, ode xxix, line 32 (as translated by John Dryden)Ille potens suilaetusque deget, cui licet in diemdixisse "vixi: cras vel atranube polum pater occupatovel sole puro."
He will through life be master of himself and a happy man who from day to day can have said, "I have lived: tomorrow the Father may fill the sky with black clouds or with cloudless sunshine."
Book III, ode xxix, line 41
John Dryden's paraphrase:Happy the man, and happy he alone,He, who can call to day his own:He who, secure within, can say,To-morrow do thy worst, for I have lived to-day.Exegi monumentum aere perennius
I have made a monument more lasting than bronze.
Book III, ode xxx, line 1Pulvis et umbra sumus.
We are but dust and shadow.
Book IV, ode vii, line 16Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona.
Brave men were living before Agamemnon.
Book IV, ode ix, line 25
=== Epistles (c. 20 BC and 14 BC) ===
Quid verum atque decens curo et rogo, et omnis in hoc sum.
My cares and my inquiries are for decency and truth, and in this I am wholly occupied.
Book I, epistle i, line 11Nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri,quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes.
I am not bound over to swear allegiance to any master; where the storm drives me I turn in for shelter.
Book I, epistle i, line 14Virtus est vitium fugere et sapientia primastultitia caruisse.
To flee vice is the beginning of virtue, and to have got rid of folly is the beginning of wisdom.
Book I, epistle i, line 41Nos numerus sumus et fruges consumere nati.
We are but numbers, born to consume resources.
Book I, epistle ii, line 27Nam curquae laedunt oculum festinas demere; si quidest animum, differs curandi tempus in annum?
For why do you hasten to remove things that hurt your eyes, but if anything gnaws your mind, defer the time of curing it from year to year?
Book I, epistle ii, lines 37–39; translation by C. SmartDimidium facti qui coepit habet; sapere aude;incipe!
He who has begun has half done. Dare to be wise; begin!
Book I, epistle ii, lines 40–41Qui recte vivendi prorogat horam,Rusticus exspectat dum defluat amnis.
He who postpones the hour of living rightly is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.
Book I, epistle ii, lines 41–42Semper avarus eget.
The covetous man is ever in want.
Book I, epistle ii, line 56Ira furor brevis est: animum rege: qui nisi paretimperat.
Anger is a momentary madness so control your passion or it will control you.
Book I, epistle ii, line 62Inter spem curamque, timores inter et iras,Omnem crede diem tibi diluxisse supremum:Grata superveniet quae non sperabitur hora.
Let hopes and sorrows, fears and angers be,And think each day that dawns the last you'll see;For so the hour that greets you unforeseenWill bring with it enjoyment twice as keen.
Book I, epistle iv, line 12 (translated by John Conington)Omnem crede diem tibi diluxisse supremum.grata superveniet, quae non sperabitur hora.
Think to yourself that every day is your last; the hour to which you do not look forward will come as a welcome surprise.
Book I, epistle iv, line 13–14Me pinguem et nitidum bene curata cute vises,cum ridere voles Epicuri de grege porcum.
As for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me in fine state... fat and sleek, a true hog of Epicurus' herd.
Book I, epistle iv, lines 15–16Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret.
You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, yet she still will hurry back.
Book I, epistle x, line 24Caelum, non animum mutant, qui trans mare currunt.
Sky, not spirit, do they change, those who cross the sea.
Book I, epistle xi, line 27Pauper enim non est, cui rerum suppetit usus.si ventri bene, si lateri est pedibusque tuis, nildivitiae poterunt regales addere maius.
He is not poor who has enough of things to use. If it is well with your belly, chest and feet, the wealth of kings can give you nothing more.
Book I, epistle xii, line 4Quid velit et possit rerum concordia discors
What the discordant harmony of circumstances would and could effect.
Book I, epistle xii, line 19Nam neque divitibus contingunt gaudia solis,nec vixit male, qui natus moriensque fefellit.
For joys fall not to the rich alone, nor has he lived ill, who from birth to death has passed unknown.
Book I, epistle xvii, line 9Sedit qui timuit ne non succederet.
He who feared that he would not succeed sat still.
Book I, epistle xvii, line 37Semel emissum volat irrevocabile verbum.
Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled.
Book I, epistle xviii, line 71Qualem commendes, etiam atque etiam aspice, ne mox incutiant aliena tibi peccata pudorem.
Look round and round the man you recommend,For yours will be the shame should he offend.
Book I, epistle xviii, line 76 (translated by John Conington).
Variant translation: Study carefully the character of the one you recommend, lest his misdeeds bring you shame.Nam tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet.
It is your concern when your neighbor's wall is on fire.
Book I, epistle xviii, line 84Dulcis inexpertis cultura potentis amici; Expertus metuit.
To have a great man for an intimate friend seems pleasant to those who have never tried it; those who have, fear it.
Book I, epistle xviii, line 86Interdum volgus rectum videt, est ubi peccat.
At times the world sees straight, but many times the world goes astray.
Book II, epistle i, line 63Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit et artes intulit agresti Latio.
Conquered Greece took captive her savage conqueror and brought her arts into rustic Latium.
Book II, epistle i, lines 156–157Singula de nobis anni praedantur euntes.
The years as they pass plunder us of one thing after another.
Book II, epistle ii, line 55Natales grate numeras?
Do you count your birthdays with gratitude?
Book II, epistle ii, line 210
=== Ars Poetica, or The Epistle to the Pisones (c. 18 BC) ===
Inceptis gravibus plerumque et magna professis purpureus, late qui splendeat, unus et alter adsuitur pannus.
Often a purple patch or two is tacked on to a serious work of high promise, to give an effect of colour.
Line 14Brevis esse laboro,obscurus fio.
Struggling to be brief I become obscure.
Line 25Non satis est pulchra esse poemata; dulcia suntoEt, quocumque uolent, animum auditoris agunto.
Mere grace is not enough: a play should thrillThe hearer's soul, and move it at its will.
Line 99 (tr. John Conington)Si vis me flere, dolendum estprimum ipsi tibi.
If you wish me to weep, you yourselfMust first feel grief.
Line 102Format enim Natura prius nos intus ad omnemFortunarum habitum, juvat, aut impellit ad iram,Aut ad humum moerore gravi deducit, et angit.
For nature forms our spirits to receiveEach bent that outward circumstance can give:She kindles pleasure, bids resentment glow,Or bows the soul to earth in hopeless woe.
Line 108 (tr. Conington)Difficile est proprie communia dicere.
It is difficult to speak of the universal specifically.
Line 128Nec verbum verbo curabis reddere fidusInterpres.
Nor word for word too faithfully translate.
Line 133 (tr. John Dryden)Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.
The mountains will be in labor, and a ridiculous mouse will be brought forth.
Line 139. Horace is hereby poking fun at heroic labours producing meager results; his line is also an allusion to one of Æsop's fables, The Mountain in Labour. The title to Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing expresses a similar sentiment.In medias res.
Into the middle things.
Line 148Et quaeDesperat tractata nitescere posse relinquit.
And what he fears he cannot make attractive with his touch he abandons.
Line 149 (tr. H. R. Fairclough)Scribendi recte sapere est et principium et fons.
To have good sense, is the first principle and fountain of writing well.
Line 309Grais ingenium, Grais dedit ore rotundo Musa loqui, præter laudem nullius avaris. . .
The Muse gave the Greeks their native character, and allowed them to speak in noble tones, they who desired nothing but praise.
Line 323Quidquid praecipies, esto brevis, ut cito dictapercipiant animi dociles teneantque fideles:omne supervacuum pleno de pectore manat.
When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men’s minds may take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind.
Lines 335–337; Edward Charles Wickham translationOmne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci,lectorem delectando pariterque monendo.
He wins every hand who mingles profit with pleasure, by delighting and instructing the reader at the same time.
Line 343Sunt delicta tamen quibus ignovisse velimus.
Some faults may claim forgiveness.
Line 347 (tr. Conington)Indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus;
I am displeased when sometimes even the worthy Homer nods;
Whence the familiar expression, Even Homer nods (i.e. No one is perfect: even the wisest make mistakes).
Line 359Mediocribus esse poetis Non homines, non di, non concessere columnae.
Mediocrity in poets has never been tolerated by either men, or gods, or booksellers.
Lines 372–373Nec satis apparet, cur versus factitet.
None knows the reason why this curseWas sent on him, this love of making verse.
Line 470 (tr. Conington)
== External links ==
Works by Horace at Project Gutenberg
The works of Horace at The Latin Library
Selected Poems of Horace
The Perseus Project — Latin and Greek authors (with English translations), including Horace
Biography and chronology
Horace at Litweb
Horace's works – text, concordances and frequency list
SORGLL: Horace, Odes I.22, read by Robert Sonkowsky