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50 Marcus Tullius Cicero Quotes for Thinkers Everywhere

The wisdom in these Cicero quotes has influenced people throughout history and continues to do so to this day.

Marcus Tullius Cicero is known as being a successful lawyer and Roman officer during the times of Julius Cesar and Marc Antony.

His writings and style proved to stand the test of time and even after he was murdered, his writings are credited with impacting the ideas of Renaissance and Enlightenment.

While he lived in a time very different than the world we live in today, his words hold true in many ways. There is a lot that we can learn from this historical Roman leader.

Don’t forget to also check out these Che Guevara quotes to ignite your revolutionary spirit.

Cicero quotes about how to live

1. “Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellence and endowments of the human mind.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

2. “The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

3. “Anger is the beginning of madness.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

4. “Never go to excess but let moderation be your guide.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

5. “The harvest of old age is the recollection and abundance of blessing previously secured.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

6. “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

7. “It is the character of a brave and resolute person not to be ruffled by adversity, and not to desert their post.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

8. “If we are not ashamed to think it, we should not be ashamed to say it.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

9. “The pursuit, even of the best things, ought to be calm and tranquil.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Cicero quotes on relationships

10. “Love is the attempt to form a friendship inspired by beauty.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

11. “Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

12. “Life is nothing without friendship.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

13. “The shifts of fortune test the reliability of friends.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

14. “A friend is, as it were a second self.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

15. “Of all nature’s gifts to the human race, what is sweeter to a man than his children?” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Encouraging Cicero quotes

16. “While there’s life, there’s hope.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

17. “I have always been of the opinion that unpopularity earned by doing what is right is not unpopularity at all but glory.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

18. “Just as the soul fills the body, so God fills the world. Just as the soul bears the body, so God endures the world. Just as the soul sees but is not seen, so God sees but is not seen. Just as the soul feeds the body, so God gives food to the world.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

19. “The sweetest support is found in the most intimate friendship.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

20. “A man of courage is also full of faith.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Wise Cicero quotes

21. “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

22. “Your enemies can kill you but only your friends can hurt you.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

23. “The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

24. “He does not seem to me to be a free man who does not sometimes do nothing.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

25. “The safety of the people shall be the highest law.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

26. “The greatest pleasures are only narrowly separated from disgust.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

27. “We must not say that every mistake is a foolish one.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

28. “What is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

29. “The purpose of education is to free the student from the tyranny of the present.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

30. “Any man can make mistakes but only an idiot persists in his error.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

31. “Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

32. “The good of the people is the greatest law.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Cicero quotes about success

33. “The higher we are placed, the more humbly we should walk.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

34. “It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, the force of character, and judgment.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

35. “The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

36. “It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

37. “Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks in great and honorable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

38. “Read at every wait; read at all hours; read within leisure; read in times of labor; read as one goes out. The task of the educated mind is simply put: read to lead.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

39. “The greater the difficulty, the greater the glory.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

40. “Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. If no use is made of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

41. “For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

More Cicero quotes

42. “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

43. “It is a great thing to know our vices.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

44. “Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

45. “A home without books is a body without soul.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

46. “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

47. “Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

48. “The man who is always fortunate cannot easily have a great reverence for virtue.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

49. “In times of war, the law falls silent.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

50. “The life given us, by nature is short; but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

What did you learn from these Marcus Tullius Cicero quotes?

No matter how much time passes, there are some things that remain constant. Many of these things are due to the nature of humans.

As the world around us changes, at our core we remain the same. This means the words of a man, Cicero, that lived thousands of years ago can still ring true for us today.

While there were some that rose up against him and turned on him, there is something to his message and writings that have allowed them to remain throughout our history. And that alone, is a reason why it’s worth paying attention to these Cicero quotes.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Marcus Tullius Cicero quotes and sayings? Do you have any other wise quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Stephanie Kirby
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