Best 99 of Ancient rome quotes - MyQuotes
He lay tensed beneath the worn blanket and tried, as always, to shut out the noise of the rumbling carts that, empty now, having deposited their loads at the warehouses south of the Aventine hill, were moving up to the Aemilius bridge.
a poker-rectumed pillar of the establishment [Marcus Corvinus on a Roman Senator]
Surely the greatest mercy granted us by Providence is our ignorance of the future. Imagine if we knew the outcome of our hopes and plans, or could see the manner in which we are doomed to die - how ruined our lives would be! Instead we live on dumbly from day to day as happily as animals. But all things must come to dust eventually. No human being, no system, no age is impervious to this law; everything beneath the stars will perish; the hardest rock will be worn away. Nothing endures but words.
M. C. Scott
Given of the god, Given to the god, Taken by the god in valour, honour and glory. May you journey safely to your destination.
This time the senators met in the temple of the goddess Concord, or Harmony, a sure sign that affairs of state were anything but harmonious.
A twinge of fear entered Gwenwhyfar’s heart. It was the first she had heard of the sea farms lying in the path of danger. She wondered what had befallen a different Norseman of her acquaintance. Had her poor bodyguard, Finn, perished in one of those raids?
M. C. Scott
Corbulo: a name to conjure with, a name to follow into battle, wherever he led; a name to have a man marching to the gates of Rome, crying Imperator! until the crowds and the idiot senate and the corrupt wax-brains of the Praetorian Guard and every other man with voting powers in the city came to understand what we already knew: that this man should be our emperor, that Rome would thrive under his rule, in place of the fool who presently held the throne. Corbulo, who stood before us that bright, brisk spring afternoon and watched as our centurions bawled us through our paces, and then as Cadus took charge and marched us through the display that we had been practising, if we were honest, for the last four years, just for this moment.
Centurion! Would you like to be a cavalryman one last time? There are Venicones who escaped when your line was broken to be hunted down, and Tribune Licinius has ordered me to take the best men available in their pursuit. Leave this hairy gentleman to watch the fun, and join us in the hunt!
M. C. Scott
I despised myself for my weakness. I may have dreamed all my youth of life as a horse-trader like my father; I may have railed against my conscription and loathed the legions on principle, but even so, every morning in this place I cursed my lack of valour and every night, when I slept, my traitorous mind brought me dreams drenched in the blood of our enemies as my comrades in the Vth launched themselves into battle, taking risks, winning glory, rising in the ranks, killing the enemy and so becoming men...all without my being there. The fact that it was winter, when the weather forced a kind of peace on both sides, and that my comrades were currently enduring endless forced marches over the mountains in western Armenia because their general had deemed them unfit for battle, did nothing to hamper my fantasies.
The failure of the roman system to furnish decent minimal standards for the mass of people was a fundamental cause of instability, both political and economic.
I found out later than even an education and a cushioned introduction to power cannot make a great leader.
But if my forces are not enough, I am hardly the one to relent, I’ll plead for the help I need, wherever it may be - if I cannot sway the heavens, I’ll wake the powers of hell!
At least I don't have to go through with my earlier plan.” Instead, it seemed she soon would meet her end. “I will make it such an end!” she vowed
M. C. Scott
Demalion, we’re alive.’ Pantera’s voice was unusually clipped, as if his patience had finally run to an end. ‘If we were trying to get ourselves killed, we three would have managed it, I think. Two officers of the Fifth and a spy trained by Seneca could manage that much at least.
Remember these Romans, Hannibal. For the time being, we must ally with them. But the day will come when we will have our vengeance upon them, as we will upon the demons of Harappa. Never forget that.” The boy's voice was grave. “I'll remember.
M. C. Scott
The enemy came towards us thick as mercury poured into a channel; a simmering tide oozing from the furnace of the risen sun into the pass below us. I felt Syrion tighten his grip on the banner haft, we were that close, that closely knit. On my left, I felt Tears... I felt him breathe, I felt his heartbeat, I felt when he smiled, and when he did my soul sang in joy and glory and my only regret – I swear this to you now as the perfect truth – my sole regret was that the night could not have lasted longer. I did not crave another night, only that the one we had might have been stretched a little, giving us time to learn more of each other, and perhaps with more privacy than a hollow in the woods where we could hear that other men were trying to sleep as easily as they could hear that we were not.
His supporters dubbed him pater patriae, or 'father of the fatherland', one of the most splendid and satisfying titles you could have in a highly patriarchal society.
They think they are invincible. But, the truth is, Nova––gods fall just as hard as mortals. The only difference is... gods do not see the fall coming until it is too late.
Secundus might lie rotting in his grave, but his relatives and followers yet lived. They believed the lies that held Gwenwhyfar responsible for the death of their relative. For the sake of his own family’s safety, Marcus had not sought to correct that error.
The strands (the gods) weave out of our mortal lives are like a pattern visible only from the heavens; we here on earth can only guess at their designs
M. C. Scott
But, new soldier that I was, I understood at last what Cadus had been trying to tell me all along: that life and love and rank were not enough. To be whole in myself, I needed honour, and I had lost it, and could see no way to get it back.
She ran. Deeper, deeper into the mysterious Broceliande forest...
M. C. Scott
We broke camp together and set off in our opposite directions: we of the XIIth and our allies marched east, towards the rising sun, combat and honour; the IVth went west, to the setting sun, to ignominy and a wealth of digging. We sang as we marched. They did not.
M. C. Scott
Silvanus, the camp prefect, took a step forward. I heard his voice every morning after parade, but had never listened to the tones of it as I did now. He was not afraid, that much was clear; he was angry. "Pathetic. I should cashier you all now and destroy your Eagles." Silvanus spoke quietly; we had to strain to hear his voice. You could have heard the stars slide across the sky, we were so still and so silent. "If General Corbulo were here, he would destroy you. He dismissed half of the Fifth and the Tenth and sent them home. The rest are billeted in tents in the Armenian highlands with barley meal for fodder. He intends to make an army of them, to meet Vologases when he comes. I intend the same and therefore you will be treated the same as your betters in better legions. You will be proficient by the spring, or you will be dead." His gaze raked us, and we wondered which of us might die that night for the crime of being ineffectual. His voice rocked us. "To that end, you will spend the next three months in tents in the Mountains of the Hawk that lie between us and the sea. One hundred paces above the snow line, each century will determine an area suitable for three months’ stay and build its own base camp. You will alternate along the mountains’ length so that each century of the Fourth has a century of the Twelfth to either side, and vice versa. Each century will defend and maintain its own stocks against the men of the opposing legion; you are encouraged to avail yourselves of what you can. You may not remove stocks from camps belonging to other centuries of your own legion, and equally you may not aid in defending them against raiding parties from the opposing men. So that you may tell each other apart, the Twelfth legion will wear" – did I hear a note of distaste there? – "red cloth tied about their left arms at all times. The Fourth will wear blue. You will be provided with raw fleece with which to wrap your weapons that they might strike but not bite. A man who is careless enough to be captured by the other side will be flogged and returned to his unit. Any man who kills another will be flogged until dead and any man who wounds another will be staked out beyond the boundary of his camp for two days and nights; if he lives, he will be returned to his unit. Any man who dies of hunger, cold or fright, or who falls off the mountain, will be deemed to have died by his own hand. You have until the next watch to make ready. You are dismissed.
I kept secrets from you. I let you believe a lie. I am an impious son. But I made my choice, as C(aesar) did, and once the Rubicon is crossed, there can be no turning back (Meto, Caesar's scribe, to his father Gordianus the Finder)
To the followers of the murdered Caesar: Do you march against Decimus Brutus Albinus in Gaul, or against the son of Caesar in Rome? Ask Marcus Antonius. Are you mobilized to destroy the enemies of your dead leader, or to protect his assassins? Ask Marcus Antonius. Where is the will of the dead Caesar which bequeathed to every citizen of Rome three hundred pieces of silver coin? Ask Marcus Antonius. The murderers and conspirators against Caesar are free by an act of the Senate sanctioned by Marcus Antonius. The murderer Gaius Cassius Longinus has been given the governorship of Syria by Marcus Antonius. The murderer Marcus Junius Brutus has been given the governorship of Crete by Marcus Antonius. Where are the friends of the murdered Caesar among his enemies? The son of Caesar calls to you.
Nothing makes sense in Rome.
Marcus woke again to find Sanga lying asleep on his bed, and he quietly climbed off his own mattress, standing still for a moment to allow the slight feeling of dizziness to pass. Walking quietly on bare feet, he made his way up the corridor to the latrine, then went in search of his wife. Felicia was delighted to see him on his feet, despite her immediate concern for his well-being, which were quickly dispelled when he waved her away and turned a full circle with his arms out. ‘Well, you seem to be spry enough that I think we can assume the effects of the mandrake have completely worn off. You won’t be able to speak or eat solid food for some time yet though.’ ‘And that’s why I brought this for him.’ They turned to find the tribune standing in the doorway with a smile on his face, a small iron pot dangling from one hand. ‘There’s a food shop at the end of the street whose proprietress was only too happy to lend me the pot in the likelihood of getting your business for the next few weeks. Pass me a cup and I’ll pour you some.’ Marcus found his glass drinking tube and took a sip at the soup, nodding his thanks to the tribune. Scaurus sat in silence until the cup was empty, watching as the hungry centurion consumed the soup as quickly as its temperature would allow. ‘That’s better, eh? There’s more in the pot for when I’m gone. I’d imagine you’ll be spending another night in here just to be sure you’re over the worst of it, but that ought to keep you going until morning. And now, Centurion, to business? First Spear Frontinius tells me that you passed a message requesting a conversation with me, although from the look of things most of the speaking will be done by me.’ Marcus nodded, reaching for his tablet and writing several lines of text. He handed the wooden case to Scaurus, who read the words and stared back at his centurion with his eyebrows raised in astonishment. ‘Really? You’re sure of this?’ After thinking for a moment, Marcus held out his hand and took the tablet back. He smoothed the wax and wrote another statement. Scaurus looked grimly at the text, shaking his head. ‘You got that close to him?’ Marcus wrote in the tablet again. Scaurus read the text aloud, a wry smile on his face. ‘“Take a tent party with you.” A tent party? I’ll need a damned century if he’s as dangerous as you say. And the nastiest, most bad-tempered officer in the First Cohort. Do any names spring to mind, Centurion?
She did not approach Caesar wrapped in a carpet, she was not a seductress, she did not use her charm to persuade the men in her life to lose their judgement, and she did not die by the bite of an asp…Yet other important elements of her career have been bypassed in the post-antique recension: she was a Skilled naval commander, a published medical authority, and an expert royal administrator who was met with adulation throughout the eastern Mediterranean, perhaps seen by some as a messianic figure, the hope for a future Eastern Mediterranean free of Roman domination.
[Christians] are people such as the world has not seen hitherto, and their teaching is of a kind that the world has not heard up to this time...
Triumphantly, he announced their deaths to the cheering crowd in a famous one-word euphemism: vixere, 'they have lived' – that is, 'they're dead'.
[The Solon]...was a showman, a braggart, and this appealed to certain people who saw only the bravado and not where this irresponsibility might take Osteria.
no one tells you rome is ending until you're the last one standing alone in a coliseum where a city had been.
It was no wonder they thought us to be immortal––our nightly celebrations put Olympus to shame.
I had come to Rome in chains, but I would leave Rome a queen.
Hunting, bathing, gaming, laughing: that's living (venari lavare ludere ridere occest vivere).
What you seem so unwilling to accept, even now, is this: that the ideals which supported the old Republic had no correspondence to the fact of the old Republic; that the glorious word concealed the deed of horror; that the appearance of tradition and order cloaked the reality of corruption and chaos; that the call to liberty and freedom closed the minds, even of those who called, to the facts of privation, suppression, and sanctioned murder.
Greek was her first language, and in Greek literature and culture she was educated. Although representing on Egyptian temples and some statuary in the traditional headgear and robes of the pharaohs’ wives, it was unlikely she actually dressed this way save perhaps occasionally to perform certain rites. Instead she wore the headband and robes of a Greek monarch. Cleopatra proclaimed herself the ‘New Isis’, and yet her worship of the goddess betrayed a strongly Hellenised version of the cult. She was no more Egyptian culturally or ethnically than most residents of modern day Airzona are Apaches.
Phillip Andrew Bennett Low
And dozens of tiny hands reached up, and cast back dozens of tiny hoods. The robes fell away, revealing a motley of brightly-colored, dwarfish creatures, perched atop one another’s shoulders, brandishing outlandish tubes of a shiny substance none present had ever seen before. With preternatural speed and precision, they were trained upon the wild-eyed Romans, and after a few frantic pumping motions, streams of fluid arced through the air towards them. Wherever they landed, upon flesh or armor, steam burst forth, and the soldiers screamed in agony. Many of them were seasoned, having put down rebellions throughout the Empire, but all of their training and experience failed them in the face of elves wielding super soakers. Super soakers filled with battery acid.
M. C. Scott
Seeking more information, I walked through the market listening to the gossip and discovered that our new general, the man sent to quell the unrest in the east, was the second son of a provincial tax collector whose only claims to recognition were that he had commanded some legions in Britain in the heady, early days of the invasion, that his brother had once stood for consul, and that he had been a governor in some African province, where the locals had thrown turnips at him. Despairing, I returned to the house, and that despair deepened later when Horgias came home with the news that our new paragon of martial virtue had until recently been hiding in Greece, in disgrace for having fallen asleep during one of Nero’s recitals in the theatre.
They say the eyes are the apertures to the soul. If that is so, I feared Locusta's soul was far darker than even Nero's.
I remember Cannae," she said, raising her head, "when we thought all was lost. Carthage had defeated us, and there were those who gave up hope. Yet we survived, by our fortitude, and by believing that we should endure. There are times, Marcus, when courage is all you have." I looked down at the stone floor, chastened into silence by her cold, stern words. This was her way, as it had always been. It was the Roman way. Grief was an indulgence; and though she surely suffered, her suffering was for her alone. It seemed hard, but she had come from a hard family, brave men and brave women who through the generations had survived by facing down hardship and loss. Of all her long line of ancestors, she was not going to be the one to break. And nor, I decided, was I.
I’d say it was a pleasure rowing with you, only it wasn’t.
To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?" Cicero, Orator, 46 BC By way of 'Dictator' by Robert Harris, 2015
Colleague, given that I’m detached to go hunting bandits, I’d be grateful for the continued loan of your horses until we return. A squadron of cavalry could make all the difference when we’re chasing around the forests after shadows.’ Licinius gave him a jaundiced look. ‘You’ve got sticky fingers, young man. Every soldier that comes into contact with your cohort seems to end up as part of it. Hamian archers, borrowed cavalrymen. I’ll even wager you that the half-century of legionaries Dubnus borrowed from the Sixth will end up in your establishment. And yes, you can extend the loan if you think it’ll do you any good, and you can keep that decurion you promoted to command them.
Criticize me all you wish,” he returned coolly, “but remember that you come to me because of the very actions you denounce. Now, do you want to hear more, or are you going to stand there and pass judgment on me all day?
Auctions are a venerable selling institution, in use since the time of Herodotus. The word comes from the Latin auctus, meaning to increase. An obscure term for auction, one guaranteed to impress friends and neighbors, is the Latin word subhastare. It is the conjunction of sub, meaning "under," and hasta, meaning "spear." After a military victory, a Roman soldier would plant his spear in the ground to mark the location of his spoils. Later, he would put these goods up for sale by auction. ¹The highest bidder was called the emptor, whence the term caveat emptor.
Far, far out on the open sea a platform of stone held firm against the tossing waves. At first sight, it appeared as nothing out of the ordinary, other than that it lay in the middle of nowhere. That was the view on the surface. Beneath the water existed an entirely alien world.
M. C. Scott
Why not now?’ Horgias said. ‘We could go back in now and take it.’ ‘You can certainly try.’ Pantera rolled his tongue around his teeth and then said something in the native tongue that neither of us understood. When we made no response, he repeated it, more slowly, louder. We looked at each other, and at him. He smiled tightly. ‘I said, “You are Roman and we of Eleazir’s party take great pleasure in slaughtering your countrymen. We took five days to skin alive a man who tried to join you. Imagine what we can do now, when we have all winter.”’ ‘Very funny.’ I wasn’t smiling. Nor was Pantera. ‘If you want to go, I won’t stop you. But without fluency in both Aramaic and Hebrew, you will die.
J. Paul Getty
In my own opinion, the average American's cultural shortcomings can be likened to those of the educated barbarians of ancient Rome. These were barbarians who learned to speak--and often to read and write--Latin. They acquired Roman habits of dress and deportment. Many of them handily mastered Roman commercial, engineering and military techniques--but they remained barbarians nonetheless. They failed to develop any understanding, appreciation or love for the art and culture of the great civilization around them.