110+ Tacitus Quotes On Nero, Agrippina Younger And Tiberius

quote by
Tacitus inspirational quote

Top 10 Tacitus Quotes (BEST)

  1. Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty.
  2. The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.
  3. The hatred of relatives is the most violent.
  4. Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit, because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure
  5. The lust for power, for dominating others, inflames the heart more than any other passion.
  6. In valor there is hope.
  7. If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticise.
  8. When men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it be good or bad.
  9. It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured.
  10. Traitors are hated even by those whom they prefer.

Tacitus Image Quotes

Go to table of contents

quote by Tacitus

The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government. — Tacitus

quote by Tacitus

The hatred of relatives is the most violent. — Tacitus

quote by Tacitus

If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticise. — Tacitus

quote by Tacitus

When men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it be good or bad. — Tacitus

quote by Tacitus

It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured. — Tacitus

Tacitus Short Quotes

Go to table of contents

  • So, as you go into battle, remember your ancestors and remember your descendants.
  • An honorable death is better than a dishonorable life. [Lat., Honesta mors turpi vita potior.]
  • Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so.
  • A desire to resist oppression is implanted in the nature of man.
  • Things forbidden have a secret charm.
  • The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more and tolerated by all.
  • No one would have doubted his ability to reign had he never been emperor.
  • An eminent reputation is as dangerous as a bad one.
  • Custom adapts itself to expediency.
  • All bodies are slow in growth but rapid in decay.

Tacitus Quotes On Love

Go to table of contents

The love of fame is a love that even the wisest of men are reluctant to forgo. — Tacitus

Even for learned men, love of fame is the last thing to be given up. — Tacitus

The love of fame is the last weakness which even the wise resign. — Tacitus

Love of fame is the last thing even learned men can bear to be parted from. — Tacitus

The love of dominion is the most engrossing passion. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes On State

Go to table of contents

In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous. — Tacitus

The more corrupt the state, the more laws. — Tacitus

When the state is most corrupt, then the laws are most multiplied. — Tacitus

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes On Laws

Go to table of contents

In all things there is a law of cycles. — Tacitus

It is found by experience that admirable laws and right precedents among the good have their origin in the misdeeds of others. — Tacitus

Our magistrates discharge their duties best at the beginning; and fall off toward the end. [Lat., Initia magistratuum nostrorum meliora, ferme finis inclinat.] — Tacitus

Laws were most numerous when the commonwealth was most corrupt — Tacitus

The injustice of a government is proportional to the number of its laws. — Tacitus

In all things there is a kind of law of cycles. [Lat., Rebus cunctis inest quidam velut orbis.] — Tacitus

Formerly we suffered from crimes; now we suffer from laws. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes On Fortune

Go to table of contents

The brave and bold persist even against fortune; the timid and cowardly rush to despair through fear alone. [Lat., Fortes et strenuos etiam contra fortunam insistere, timidos et ignoros ad desperationem formidine properare.] — Tacitus

It is less difficult to bear misfortunes than to remain uncorrupted by pleasure. — Tacitus

The brave and bold persist even against fortune; the timid and cowardly rush to despair though fear alone. — Tacitus

It is the rare fortune of these days that one may think what one likes and say what one thinks. — Tacitus

Prosperity is the measure or touchstone of virtue, for it is less difficult to bear misfortune than to remain uncorrupted by pleasure. — Tacitus

We are corrupted by good fortune. [Lat., Felicitate corrumpimur.] — Tacitus

There was more courage in bearing trouble than in escaping from it; the brave and the energetic cling to hope, even in spite of fortune; the cowardly and the indolent are hurried by their fears,' said Plotius Firmus, Roman Praetorian Guard. — Tacitus

Tacitus Quotes On Fear

Go to table of contents

Even the bravest men are frightened by sudden terrors. — Tacitus

Fear is not in the habit of speaking truth. — Tacitus

Fear is not in the habit of speaking truth; when perfect sincerity is expected, perfect freedom must be allowed; nor has anyone who is apt to be angry when he hears the truth any cause to wonder that he does not hear it. — Tacitus

They terrify lest they should fear. — Tacitus

The principal office of history I take to be this: to prevent virtuous actions from being forgotten, and that evil words and deeds should fear an infamous reputation with posterity. — Tacitus

Tacitus Famous Quotes And Sayings

Go to table of contents

quote by Tacitus

The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government. — Tacitus

quote by Tacitus

The hatred of relatives is the most violent. — Tacitus

quote by Tacitus

If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticise. — Tacitus

quote by Tacitus

When men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it be good or bad. — Tacitus

quote by Tacitus

It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured. — Tacitus

Following Emporer Nero's command, "Let the Christians be exterminated!:" . . . they [the Christians] were made the subjects of sport; they were covered with the hides of wild beasts and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses or set fire to, and when the day waned, burned to serve for the evening lights. — Tacitus

Many who seem to be struggling with adversity are happy; many, amid great affluence, are utterly miserable. — Tacitus

To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. — Tacitus

Abuse if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself irritated, you will be thought to have deserved it. — Tacitus

Every recreant who proved his timidity in the hour of danger, was afterwards boldest in words and tongue. — Tacitus

Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. — Tacitus

Old things are always in good repute, present things in disfavor. — Tacitus

If we must fall, we should boldly meet the danger. — Tacitus

They make a desert and call it peace. — Tacitus

It is a part of the nature of man to resist compulsion. — Tacitus

Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader. — Tacitus

They even say that an altar dedicated to Ulysses , with the addition of the name of his father, Laertes , was formerly discovered on the same spot, and that certain monuments and tombs with Greek inscriptions, still exist on the borders of Germany and Rhaetia . — Tacitus

The word liberty has been falsely used by persons who, being degenerately profligate in private life, and mischievous in public, had no hope left but in fomenting discord. — Tacitus

The grove is the centre of their whole religion. It is regarded as the cradle of the race and the dwelling-place of the supreme god to whom all things are subject and obedient. — Tacitus

A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all. — Tacitus

Great empires are not maintained by timidity. — Tacitus

If we must fall, we should boldly meet our fate. — Tacitus

We see many who are struggling against adversity who are happy, and more although abounding in wealth, who are wretched. — Tacitus

Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity. — Tacitus

Flattery labors under the odious charge of servility. — Tacitus

The worst hatred is that of relatives. — Tacitus

To show resentment at a reproach is to acknowledge that one may have deserved it. — Tacitus

He (Tiberius) was wont to mock at the arts of physicians, and at those who, after thirty years of age, needed counsel as to what was good or bad for their bodies. — Tacitus

The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise. — Tacitus

What is today supported by precedents will hereafter become a precedent. — Tacitus

Posterity will pay everyone their due. — Tacitus

A man in power, once becoming obnoxious, his acts, good or bad, will work out his ruin. — Tacitus

Victor and vanquished never unite in substantial agreement. — Tacitus

A bad peace is even worse than war. — Tacitus

Greater things are believed of those who are absent. — Tacitus

All things atrocious and shameless flock from all parts to Rome. — Tacitus

Neglected, calumny soon expires, show that you are hurt, and you give it the appearance of truth. — Tacitus

Rumor is not always wrong — Tacitus

Candor and generosity, unless tempered by due moderation, leads to ruin. — Tacitus

It is a principle of human nature to hate those whom we have injured. — Tacitus

Cruelty is fed, not weakened, by tears. — Tacitus

Noble character is best appreciated in those ages in which it can most readily develop. — Tacitus

All enterprises that are entered into with indiscreet zeal may be pursued with great vigor at first, but are sure to collapse in the end. — Tacitus

Liberty is given by nature even to mute animals. — Tacitus

Other men have acquired fame by industry, but this man by indolence. — Tacitus

When a woman has lost her chastity she will shrink from nothing. — Tacitus

None mourn more ostentatiously over the death of Germanicus than those who most rejoice at it [a death]. — Tacitus

Forbidden things have a secret charm. — Tacitus

In seasons of tumult and discord bad men have most power; mental and moral excellence require peace and quietness. — Tacitus

He that fights and runs away, May turn and fight another day; But he that is in battle slain, Will never rise to fight again. — Tacitus

Valor is the contempt of death and pain. — Tacitus

Power acquired by guilt was never used for a good purpose. [Lat., Imperium flagitio acquisitum nemo unquam bonis artibus exercuit.] — Tacitus

Nothing mortal is so unstable and subject to change as power which has no foundation. — Tacitus

War will of itself discover and lay open the hidden and rankling wounds of the victorious party. — Tacitus

In stirring up tumult and strife, the worst men can do the most, but peace and quiet cannot be established without virtue. — Tacitus

We accomplish more by prudence than by force. [Lat., Plura consilio quam vi perficimus.] — Tacitus

Posterity gives to every man his true honor. [Lat., Suum cuique decus posteritas rependet.] — Tacitus

If we must fall, we should boldly meet the danger. [Lat., Si cadere necesse est, occurendum discrimini.] — Tacitus

Benefits are acceptable, while the receiver thinks he may return them; but once exceeding that, hatred is given instead of thanks. [Lat., Beneficia usque eo laeta sunt dum videntur exsolvi posse; ubi multum antevenere pro gratia odium redditur.] — Tacitus

The lust of fame is the last that a wise man shakes off. — Tacitus

Those in supreme power always suspect and hate their next heir. — Tacitus

The hatred of those who are near to us is most violent. — Tacitus

Cassius and Brutus were the more distinguished for that very circumstance that their portraits were absent. [Lat., Praefulgebant Cassius atque Brutus eo ipso, quod effigies eorum non videbantur.] — Tacitus

Conspicuous by his absence. — Tacitus

Posterity gives every man his true value. — Tacitus

Miseram pacem vel bello bene mutari. Even war is preferable to a shameful peace. — Tacitus

Power is more safely retained by cautious than by severe councils. [Lat., Potentiam cautis quam acribus consiliis tutius haberi.] — Tacitus

It is the nature of the human disposition to hate him whom you have injured. — Tacitus

Seek to make a person blush for their guilt rather than shed their blood. — Tacitus

[That form of] eloquence, the foster-child of licence, which fools call liberty. [Lat., Eloquentia, alumna licentiae, quam stulti libertatem vocabant.] — Tacitus

Posterity allows to every man his true value and proper honours. — Tacitus

The desire of glory is the last infirmity cast off even by the wise. — Tacitus

So true is it that all transactions of preeminent importance are wrapt in doubt and obscurity; while some hold for certain facts the most precarious hearsays, others turn facts into falsehood; and both are exaggerated by posterity. — Tacitus

Rumor does not always err; it sometimes even elects a man. — Tacitus

The lust of dominion burns with a flame so fierce as to overpower all other affections of the human breast. — Tacitus

It is of eloquence as of a flame; it requires matter to feed it, and motion to excite it; and it brightens as it burns. — Tacitus

Reckless adventure is the fool's hazard. — Tacitus

There are odious virtues; such as inflexible severity, and an integrity that accepts of no favor. — Tacitus

Even honor and virtue make enemies, condemning, as they do, their opposites by too close a contrast. — Tacitus

When men of talents are punished, authority is strengthened. [Lat., Punitis ingeniis, gliscit auctoritas.] — Tacitus

So obscure are the greatest events, as some take for granted any hearsay, whatever its source, others turn truth into falsehood, and both errors find encouragement with posterity. — Tacitus

Falsehood avails itself of haste and uncertainty. — Tacitus

Be assured those will be thy worst enemies, not to whom thou hast done evil, but who have done evil to thee. And those will be thy best friends, not to whom thou hast done good, but who have done good to thee. — Tacitus

Lust of power is the most flagrant of all the passions. — Tacitus

Life Lessons by Tacitus

Go to table of contents

  1. Tacitus taught us to be aware of the consequences of our actions, as he was a firm believer in the idea that our actions will shape our future.
  2. He also taught us to be mindful of the power of words, as he was an eloquent writer who understood the importance of being precise and accurate with his language.
  3. Finally, Tacitus taught us to be critical thinkers, as he was a historian who was not afraid to challenge the status quo and ask difficult questions.

In Conclusion

Which quote resonated with you best? Did you enjoy our collection of Tacitus quotes? Or may be you have a quotation about Tacitus to suggest. Let us know using our contact form.

About the author

This collection is managed by , with an extensive background in quote curation. They have meticulously gathered, researched, and compiled the quotes featured on this page. Every quote has been diligently cross-verified for its origin, its authenticity, and its potential influence on our readership.

Citation

Feel free to cite and use any of the quotes by Tacitus. For popular citation styles (APA, Chicago, MLA), go to citation page.

Embed HTML Link

Copy and paste this HTML code in your webpage