Roman comic playwright

Publius Terentius Afer (195/185–159 BC), more commonly referred to as Terence, was a comic playwright of the Roman Republic. A Berber born in or near Carthage, his comedies were first performed between 170 BC and 160 BC.

I am human, I consider nothing human alien to me.
1496 edition of Terence's Works


Nothing is so difficult but that it may be found out by seeking.

Andria (The Lady of Andros)Edit

  • Do not they bring it to pass by knowing that they know nothing at all?
    • The Prologue, line 17.
  • Of surpassing beauty and in the bloom of youth.
    • Act I, scene 1, line 45 (72).
  • Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit.
    • Obsequiousness begets friends, truth hatred.
      • Act I, scene i, Line 41
  • Hinc illae lacrimae.
    • Hence these tears.
      • Line 126.
    • Variant translation: Hence all those tears shed.
  • That is a true proverb which is wont to be commonly quoted, that "all had rather it were well for themselves than for another."
    • Act II, scene 5, line 15 (426).
  • Amantium irae amoris integratio est.
    • Lovers' quarrels are the renewal of love.
    • Act III, scene 3, line 23 (555).
    • Variant translation: Lovers’ rows make love whole again.
  • Look you, I am the most concerned in my own interests.
    • Act IV, scene 1, line 12 (636).

Heauton Timorumenos (The Self-Tormentor)Edit

  • Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto.


  • Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto.
    • I am human, I consider nothing human alien to me.
      • Act I, scene 1, line 25 (77).
    • Variant translations:
    • I am a human and consider nothing human alien to me.
    • I am human, I consider nothing human to be alien to me.
    • I am human, therefore nothing relating to humanity is outside of my concern.
    • I am a man; I consider nothing human alien to me.
    • I am a man, I regard nothing that is human alien to me.
    • I am a man, I count nothing human foreign to me.
  • Periclum ex aliis facito tibi quod ex usu siet.
    • Draw from others the lesson that may profit yourself.
      • Act I, scene 2, line 37 (211).
  • Diem adimere aegritudinem hominibus.
    • Time removes distress.
      • Act III, scene 1, line 12 (421).
    • Variant translations:
    • Time heals all wounds.
    • Time assuages sorrow.
  • Really, you have seen the old age of an eagle, as the saying is.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 9 (520).
  • Many a time a man cannot be such as he would be, if circumstances do not admit of it.
    • Act IV, scene 1, line 53 (666).
  • Nil tam difficile est quin quaerendo investigari possit.
    • Nothing is so difficult but that it may be found out by seeking.
      • Act IV, scene 2, line 8 (675).
  • What now if the sky were to fall?
    • Act IV, scene 3, line 41 (719).
  • Ius summum saepe summa est malitia.
    • Extreme law is often extreme injustice.
      • Act IV, scene 5, line 48 (796).
    • Variant translations:
    • The highest law is often the greatest wrong.
    • Extreme justice is often extreme malice.
  • Aliis si licet, tibi non licet.
    • Some might, but not you.
      • Act IV, scene 5, line 49 (797).
    • Variant translations:
    • Though others were at liberty, you are not at liberty.
    • Even though it is permitted for others, it isn't permitted for you.
  • There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly.
    • Act IV, scene 6, line 1 (805).
  • How many things, both just and unjust, are sanctioned by custom!
    • Act IV, scene 7, line 11 (839).
  • Modo liceat vivere, est spes.
    • While there's life, there's hope.
      • Line 981.


  • Nullum est iam dictum quod non dictum sit prius.
    • In fact, nothing is said that has not been said before.
    • Prologue, Line 41.
    • Variant translation: Nothing has yet been said that’s not been said before.
  • It is up with you; all is over; you are ruined.
    • Act I, scene 1, 9, line 54.
  • si istuc crederem/sincere dici, quidvis possem perpeti.
    • If I could believe that this was said sincerely, I could put up with anything.
      • Act I, scene 2, 96, line 176.
  • Immortal gods! how much does one man excel another! What a difference there is between a wise person and a fool!
    • Act II, scene 2, 1, line 232.
  • I have everything, yet have nothing; and although I possess nothing, still of nothing am I in want.
    • Act II, scene 2, 12, line 243.
  • There are vicissitudes in all things.
    • Act II, scene 2, 45, line 276.
  • The very flower of youth.
    • Act II, scene 3, 28, line 319.
  • I did not care one straw.
    • Act III, scene 1, 21, line 411.
  • Jupiter, now assuredly is the time when I could readily consent to be slain, lest life should sully this ecstasy with some disaster.
    • Act III, scene 5, 2, line 550.
  • Sine Cerere et Baccho friget Venus
    • Without Ceres (bread) and Bacchus (wine) Venus (love) freezes.
    • Act IV, scene 1, 1, line 5.
  • This and a great deal more like it I have had to put up with.
    • Act IV, scene 6, 8, line 746.
  • Take care and say this with presence of mind.
    • Act IV, scene 6, 31, line 769.
  • It behooves a prudent person to make trial of everything before arms.
    • Act IV, scene 7, 19, line 789.
  • I know the disposition of women: when you will, they won't; when you won't, they set their hearts upon you of their own inclination.
    • Act IV, scene 7, 42, line 812.
  • I took to my heels as fast as I could.
    • Act V, scene 2, 5, line 844.
  • Many a time,… from a bad beginning great friendships have sprung up.
    • Act V, scene 2, 34, line 873.
  • I only wish I may see your head stroked down with a slipper.
    • Act V, scene 7, 4, line 1028.


  • Fortis fortuna adiuvat.
    • Fortune favours the brave.
    • Variant translation: Fortune assists the brave.
    • Act I, scene 4, line 25 (203).
    • Cf. Virgil, Aeneid, Book X, line 284: "Audentes fortuna iuvat."
  • It is the duty of all persons, when affairs are the most prosperous, 12 then in especial to reflect within themselves in what way they are to endure adversity.
    • Act II, scene 1, line 11 (241).
  • Nil est dictu facilius.
    • Nothing is easier to say.
    • Line 300.
  • Quot homines tot sententiae: suus cuique mos.
    • So many men, so many opinions: to each his own way.
    • Act II, scene 4, line 14 (454).
    • Variant translations:
    • There are as many opinions as there are people: each has his own view.
    • There are as many opinions as there are people: each has his own correct way.
    • There are as many opinions as there are people: everyone has their own way of doing things.
  • As the saying is, I have got a wolf by the ears.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 21 (506).

Adelphoe (The Brothers)Edit

  • I bid him look into the lives of men as though into a mirror, and from others to take an example for himself.
    • Act III, scene 3, line 61 (415).
  • According as the man is, so must you humor him.
    • Act III, scene 3, line 77 (431).
  • It is a maxim of old that among themselves all things are common to friends.
    • Act V, scene 3, line 18 (803).
  • What comes from this quarter, set it down as so much gain.
    • Act V, scene 3, line 30 (816).
  • It is the common vice of all, in old age, to be too intent upon our interests.
    • Act V, scene 8, line 30 (953).

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