Velleius Paterculus

Roman historian, soldier and senator (c.19 BC - c. AD 31)

Marcus Velleius Paterculus (c. 19 BC – c. AD 31) was a Roman historian, soldier and senator. His Roman history, written in a highly rhetorical style, covered the period from the end of the Trojan War to AD 30, but is most useful for the period from the death of Caesar in 44 BC to the death of Augustus in AD 14.

Quotes edit

Frederick W. Shipley, ed. Velleius Paterculus: Compendium of Roman History, LCL 152 (1924)
  • Mummius tam rudis fuit, ut capta Corintho cum maximorum artificum perfectas manibus tabulas ac statuas in Italiam portandas locaret, iuberet praedici conducentibus, si eas perdidissent, novas eos reddituros.
    • Mummius was so uncultivated that when, after the capture of Corinth, he was contracting for the transportation to Italy of pictures and statues by the hands of the greatest artists, he gave instructions that the contractors should be warned that if they lost them, they would have to replace them by new ones.
      • Historiae Romanae, I, xiii, 4
  • Difficilis ... in perfecto mora est, naturaliterque quod procedere non potest, recedit.
    • It is difficult to continue at the point of perfection, and naturally that which cannot advance must recede.
      • Historiae Romanae, I, xvii, 6
  • Non ... ibi consistunt exempla, unde coeperunt, ... et ubi semel recto deerratum est, in praeceps pervenitur, nec quisquam sibi putat turpe, quod alii fuit fructuosum.
    • Precedents do not stop where they begin, but, however narrow the path upon which they enter, they create for themselves a highway whereon they may wander with the utmost latitude; and when once the path of right is abandoned, men are hurried into wrong in headlong haste, nor does anyone think a course is base for himself which has proven profitable to others.
      • Historiae Romanae, II, iii, 4
  • Naturaliter audita visis laudamus libentius et praesentia invidia, praeterita veneratione prosequimur et his nos obrui, illis instrui credimus.
    • We are naturally more inclined to praise what we have heard than what has occurred before our eyes; we regard the present with envy, the past with veneration, and believe that we are eclipsed by the former, but derive instruction from the latter.
      • Historiae Romanae, II, xcii, 5

Classical and Foreign Quotations edit

W. Francis H. King, ed. Classical and Foreign Quotations, 3rd ed. (1904), nos. 776, 2359
  • Familiare est hominibus omnia sibi ignoscere, nihil aliis remittere; et invidiam rerum non ad causam, sed ad voluntatem personasque dirigere.
    • Men as a rule pardon all their own faults, make no allowance for others, and fix the whole blame upon the individual, without any regard for the circumstances of the case.
      • 2, 30, 3.
  • Profecto ineluctabilis fatorum vis, cujuscunque fortunam mutare constituit, consilia corrumpit.

External links edit

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