Appius Claudius Caecus
Appius Claudius Caecus (c. 340 – 273 BCE) was a political leader in early Roman history, responsible for many historical infrastructure accomplishments such as the first viaduct system and the Appian Way.
- "Faber est quisque fortunae suae", (English, “Every man is the architect of his own fortune”)
- This quote from Appius' famous speech (279 BCE) opposing peace with the Greek general Pyrrhus I is sourced from the earliest known Roman historian with surviving works, Sallust, within a letter of political counsel written to Caesar circa 39-35 BCE. His quote, "Sed res docuit id verum esse, quod in carminibus Appius ait, fabrum esse suae quemque fortunae, atque in te maxume...," (English, "But experience has demonstrated that what Appius stated in his verses is true, that “every man is the fashioner of his own fortune,” and especially so with regard to you [Caesar],...") as an indirect statement, is made in the third person and so the subject of the sentence ("quisquis," translated "each man") is conjugated to "quemque." To arrive at the original words spoken by Appius the first person conjugation must be used instead, and it is thus that the quotation is most well-known: "Faber est quisque fortunae suae", with est (English, "he is") taking the predicate nominative faber (English, "architect, artisan"), quisquis in the first person becomes quisque and the simple genitive of possession, suae (English, "his [possessive]"), spoken last. As is often found in short maxims of any era, the word order is non-standard. A more faithfully syntactic English translation might be, "Of his own fortune, each man is the architect."
- Appius Claudius Caecus – Encyclopaedia Romana. http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/index.html.
- Gaius Sallustius Crispus (2015). "Sallust, Fragments of the Histories. Letters to Caesar" (xml) 522: 478–479. DOI:10.4159/DLCL.sallust-letters_caesar_1.2015.