Appius Claudius Caecus

Roman statesman and writer (fl. c. 312–279 BC)

Appius Claudius Caecus (c. 340 – 273 BC) was a political leader in early Roman history, responsible for many historical infrastructure accomplishments such as the first viaduct system and the Appian Way.

Appio Claudio Caecus, after going blind, being helped to the floor of the Roman Senate


  • Faber est quisque fortunae suae (or) Faber est suae quisque fortunae (or) Est unusquisque faber ipsae suae fortunae.
    • Every man is the architect of his own fortune.
      • This quote from Appius' famous speech (279 BC) 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 BC. 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],...")[1] 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." A version of the saying is the Latin motto of Fort Street High School.
      • James Grout, "Appius Claudius Caecus and the Letter Z", Encyclopaedia Romana; John T. Ramsay, ed. Sallust: Fragments of the Histories. Letters to Caesar, LCL 522 (2015), pp. 478–479; Norbert Guterman, ed. A Book of Latin Quotations (1966), pp. 2–3


  1. Quote: Sed res docuit id verum esse, quod in carminibus Appius ait, fabrum esse suae quemque fortunae, atque in te maxume, qui tantum alios praegressus es, ut prius defessi sint homines laudando facta tua quam tu laude digna faciundo.
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