Ancient Rome Quotes

Quotes tagged as "ancient-rome" Showing 1-30 of 122
Winston S. Churchill
“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.”
Winston Churchill, The River War

“Ut haec ipsa qui non sentiat deorum vim habere is nihil omnino sensurus esse videatur."

If any man cannot feel the power of God when he looks upon the stars, then I doubt whether he is capable of any feeling at all.”

“A man leaves his great house because he's bored
With life at home, and suddenly returns,
Finding himself no happier abroad.
He rushes off to his villa driving like mad,
You'ld think he's going to a house on fire,
And yawns before he's put his foot inside,
Or falls asleep and seeks oblivion,
Or even rushes back to town again.
So each man flies from himself (vain hope, because
It clings to him the more closely against his will)
And hates himself because he is sick in mind
And does not know the cause of his disease.”

Stephanie Dray
“Selene’s life is a lesson to us that the trajectory of women’s equality hasn’t always been a forward march. In some ways the ancients were more advanced than we are today; there have been setbacks before and may be more in the future.”
Stephanie Dray, Lily of the Nile

Christopher Hitchens
“The fervor and single-mindedness of this deification probably have no precedent in history. It's not like Duvalier or Assad passing the torch to the son and heir. It surpasses anything I have read about the Roman or Babylonian or even Pharaonic excesses. An estimated $2.68 billion was spent on ceremonies and monuments in the aftermath of Kim Il Sung's death. The concept is not that his son is his successor, but that his son is his reincarnation. North Korea has an equivalent of Mount Fuji—a mountain sacred to all Koreans. It's called Mount Paekdu, a beautiful peak with a deep blue lake, on the Chinese border. Here, according to the new mythology, Kim Jong Il was born on February 16, 1942. His birth was attended by a double rainbow and by songs of praise (in human voice) uttered by the local birds. In fact, in February 1942 his father and mother were hiding under Stalin's protection in the dank Russian city of Khabarovsk, but as with all miraculous births it's considered best not to allow the facts to get in the way of a good story.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Steven Saylor
“Men like Caesar and Pompey--they're not heroes, Meto. They're monsters. They call their greed and ambition "honour," and to satisfy their so-called honour they'll tear the world apart. But who am I to judge them? Every man does what he must, to protect his share of the world. What's the difference between killing whole villages and armies, and killing a single man? Caesar's reasons and mine are different only in degree. The consequences and the suffering still spread to the innocent (Gordianus the Finder to his son Meto)”
Steven Saylor, Rubicon

Robert   Harris
“Surely the greatest mercy granted us by Providence is our ignorance of the future. Imagine if we knew the outcome of our hopes and plans, or could see the manner in which we are doomed to die - how ruined our lives would be! Instead we live on dumbly from day to day as happily as animals. But all things must come to dust eventually. No human being, no system, no age is impervious to this law; everything beneath the stars will perish; the hardest rock will be worn away. Nothing endures but words.”
Robert Harris, Lustrum

Marcus Porcius Cato
“Carthago delenda est”

Steven Saylor
“The strands (the gods) weave out of our mortal lives are like a pattern visible only from the heavens; we here on earth can only guess at their designs”
Steven Saylor, Last Seen in Massilia

Robert   Harris
“Ich stellte mir seine Gedanken als einen schnellen, schmalen Wasserstrom vor, der sich durch die Fugen eines gefliesten Bodens bewegte - erst vorwärts, dann nach links und rechts ausgreifend, an einem Punkt kurz innehaltend, in eine andere Richtung weiter vorstoßend, sich immer weiter ausbreitend und verzweigend und dabei in seiner schimmernden, flüssigen Bewegung all die kleinen Möglichkeiten, Kosequenzen und Wahrscheinlichkeiten bedenkend.”
Robert Harris, Imperium

Steven Saylor
“I kept secrets from you. I let you believe a lie. I am an impious son. But I made my choice, as C(aesar) did, and once the Rubicon is crossed, there can be no turning back (Meto, Caesar's scribe, to his father Gordianus the Finder)”
Steven Saylor, Rubicon

David Wishart
“These pastoral-poet guys with their bleating goats and oaten pipes can stuff their phalaecean hendecasyllabics where the sun don't shine.”
David Wishart, In at the Death

Nataša Pantović
“Following Alexander the Great in his conquest, and challenging two most ancient European historical assumptions: Firstly, Is the Ancient Europe’s progressive scientific drive the result of the Roman’s or Greek’s ancient cultural heritage?, and the Second: Why is the question - are the Macedonians, Greeks or Slavs, so troublesome, in the minds of both commoners and historians?”
Nataša Pantović, Metaphysics of Sound

“Christians are hated here as well. Do you know I could have you sent to the arena for what you've just told me?"
"Yes, my lord, I realize that. Although I am young, I do not fear death."
"Because of your faith?"
"Yes! But many Christians still fear death. I have... It may sound foolish to you, but for some reason, I have been given peace about my future. Otherwise, I would not have told you."
"Peace? Ridiculous!" There was scorn in Drusus's voice.
"You, you don't believe in peace, master?"
"No, not really. Peace is something you might have after you are dead, but it is not for this life."
Drusus was silent for a moment, and then he spoke again, saying quietly, "I have never felt anything resembling peace...”
Betsie A. Gebbia, The Work of Thy Hand A Novel of Early Christianity

Colleen McCullough
“The long wait is over. I go to Spain to command an army legally at last; I will put my hands on a living machine which in the right hands -my hands- cannot be stopped, warped, dislocated, ground down. I have yearned for a supreme military command since I sat, a boy, at old Gaius Marius's knee and listened spellbound to a master of warfare telling stories. But until this moment I did not undestand how passionately, how fiercely I have lusted for that military command.

I will lay my hands on a Roman army and conquer the world, for I believe in Rome, I believe in our Gods. And I believe in myself. I am the soul of the Roman army. I cannot be stopped, warped, dislocated, ground down.”
Colleen McCullough, Caesar's Women

Stephen King
“There is no comfort without pain; thus we define
salvation through suffering”
Stephen King, The Breathing Method

Robert   Harris
“Well, good luck to you both. Rome will be the winner whoever is the victor'. Cicero began to move away but then checked himself, and a slight frown crossed his face. He returned to Catulus. 'One more thing, if I may? Who proposed this widening of the franchise?' 'Caesar' Although Latin is a language rich in subtlety and metaphor, I cannot command the words, either in that tongue or even in Greek, to describe Cicero's expression at that moment. 'Dear gods' he said in a tone of utter shock. 'Is it possible he means to stand himself?' 'Of course not. That would be ridiculous. He's far too young. He's thirty-six. He's not yet even been elected praetor' 'Yes, but even so, in my opinion, you would be well advised to reconvene your college as quickly as possible and go back to the existing method of selection.' 'That is impossible' 'Why?' 'The bill to change the franchise was laid before the people this morning' 'By whom?' 'Labienus' 'Ah!' Cicero clapped his hand to his forehead.”
Robert Harris, Lustrum

Yousef Alqamoussi
“Before my father's grave, I sit alone.
Upon some sheets of grimy paper, I write
My tale, the most dreaded of known tales,
A tale whose grisly facts poured out
Across the plains of vast Arabia.”
Yousef Alqamoussi, The Massacre of Heartbreak Morrow

Yousef Alqamoussi
“O my people, whenever ye drink
A drop of water, remember me.
Or if ye hear of butchered men
And headless stiffs, surrender thee;
For I am the one who lies in shreds
Where my cruel foes dismembered me!”
Yousef Alqamoussi, The Massacre of Heartbreak Morrow

“Être une digne mère de famille ou être une putain. Lorsqu’on était une femme dans la Rome antique, on appartenait nécessairement à l’une de ces deux catégories antagoniques.”
Virginie Girod, Les femmes et le sexe dans la Rome antique

“Three months later, in the month of Ianuarius AD 69, Galba was murdered by his rival Otho, who then set himself up as emperor, removing and killing several friends and confidants of the late emperor. Drusus had escaped Rome just in time.”
Betsie A. Gebbia, The Work of Thy Hand A Novel of Early Christianity

Stewart Stafford
“Where All Roads Lead by Stewart Stafford

As I journeyed toward Rome,
On the dusty road, I passed,
Beggars, lepers, soothsayers,
And dogs foaming at the mouth.

Through the fresh mountain pass,
Then the long descending road,
Temperature rising with each step,
Anticipation grew with the heat.

Class of companion changed,
Upon nearing the city of cities,
I heard talk of gladiators, and,
Barges of Venuses on the Tiber.

Thunder and before my eyes,
Stood a vision of distant Rome,
The curve of the Colosseum,
Teeming humanity to and fro.

© Stewart Stafford, 2022. All rights reserved.”
Stewart Stafford

Thorsten Opper
“I am not setting out here to rehabilitate Nero as a blameless man. But I have come to the conclusion that almost every single thing we think we know about him is wrong.”
Thorsten Opper, Nero: The Man Behind the Myth

Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges
“Segundo as crenças dessa idades antigas, o homem vivo era apenas o representante por alguns anos de um ser constante e imortal, a família. Detinha o culto e a propriedade tão-somente como um depósito; seu direito a eles cessava com sua vida.”
Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges, The Ancient City: A Study of the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome

Marcus Tullius Cicero
“Thus, being ignorant of its nature, the masses suppose that men of wealth, influence, and important family connections are the best...as a result of this error on the part of the commons, the wealth rather than the excellence of a few men has come to control the state”
Cicero, Republic & Laws (98) by Cicero [Paperback (2009)]

“But still more responsible for their unawareness was the educational system in which they were reared. Ausonius and Sidonius and their friends were highly educated men and Gaul was famous for its schools and universities. The education which these gave consisted in the study of grammar and rhetoric, which was necessary alike for the civil service and for polite society; and it would be difficult to imagine an education more entirely out of touch with contemporary life, or less suited to inculcate the qualities which might have enabled men to deal with it. The fatal study of rhetoric, its links with reality long since severed, concentrated the whole attention of men of intellect on form rather than on matter. The things they learned in their schools had no relation to the things that were going on in the world outside and bred in them the fatal illusion that tomorrow would be as yesterday, that everything was the same, whereas everything was different.”
Eileen Power, Medieval People

John Hirst
“The Romans were better than the Greeks at fighting. They were better than the Greeks at law, which they used to run their empire. They were better than the Greeks at engineering, which was useful both for fighting and running an empire. But in everything else they acknowledged that the Greeks were superior and slavishly copied them.”
John Hirst, The Shortest History of Europe

Stewart Stafford
“Villicus Vadum: Soldier Of Fortune by Stewart Stafford

I am the ghost of lupine Romulus,
Founder of Rome, hear my tale,
Of Villicus Vadum - young, driven,
Steward to Senator Lucius Flavius.

Villicus wanted Flavia, the senator’s daughter,
But she was betrothed to Marcus Brutus;
A consul of noble and virtuous stock,
Villicus conspired to take Flavia's hand.

Treachery and deception were his tools,
Knavish peacock of Rome's epic stage,
Sought to take Flavia from Marcus Brutus,
To snatch and cage his treasured gem.

Bribed a false soothsayer to trap her,
Believing her beloved began with V,
Flavia agreed to elope with him to Gaul,
With Brutus vowing deadly vengeance.

Fleeing to the bosom of Rome's enemy -
Vercingetorix, at war with Julius Caesar,
Villicus offered to spy on the Senate,
While plotting to seize Gaul's throne.

Queen Verica also caught his eye,
Villicus was captured by Mark Antony,
Taken to Caesar's camp as a traitor;
Brutus challenged him to a duel.

Brutus slashed him but spared his life,
They dragged Villicus to Rome in chains,
To try him for his now infamous crimes;
Cicero in defence, Cato as prosecutor.

Cicero argued Villicus acted out of love,
And that his ambition merited mercy,
Cato wanted death for his wicked threat,
Julius Caesar pondered a final verdict.

Villicus - pardoned but banished from Rome,
Immediate death if he returned to Flavia,
Villicus kissed the emperor's foot for naught,
Flavia refused to join him in fallen exile.

Now learn from this outcast's example, friends,
That I, Romulus, warn you to avoid at your peril,
Villicus Vadum, the wrath of the gods upon him,
Until time ceases, sole spectre of night's edge.

© Stewart Stafford, 2023. All rights reserved.”
Stewart Stafford

Stewart Stafford
“Blood & Sand by Stewart Stafford

Enduring to be burned, bound, beaten,
And to die by the sword if necessary;
Verus and Priscus entered the arena,
To stain Colosseum sand with blood.

Emperor Titus drained Nero's lake,
Built the vast Flavian Amphitheatre,
Panacea to the idle citizens of Rome,
Symbol of his beneficence and might.

Priscus, far from his Germanian home,
Fighting within a symbol of Rome's power,
Which ravaged his life and fatherland,
For them to decide if he is free or dies.

Verus, the hulking, bullish Murmillo;
Trained to deliver heavy punishment,
Priscus - lightly-armed, agile Thracian;
Primed to avoid his rival's huge blows.

Titus showed he was Nero's antithesis;
No hoarding of tracts of primo Roma,
In a profligate orgy of narcissistic pride,
Nor taking his own life to escape execution.

Domitian, the brother of Titus, watched in envy,
The emperor-in-waiting who favoured Verus,
And the direct Murmillo style of fighting,
Titus favoured Thracian counter-punching.

Aware of the patriarchal fraternity's preferences,
The gathering looked on in fascinated awe,
As their champions of champions clashed,
Deciding who was the greatest gladiator of all.

Titus had stated there would be no draw;
One would win, and one would perish,
A rudis freedom staff the survivor's trophy,
Out the Porta Sanavivaria - the Gate of Life.

One well aware of the other, combat began,
Scared eyes locked behind helmeted grilles,
Grunts and sweat behind shield and steel,
Roars and gasps of the clustered chorus.

For hour after hour, they attacked and feinted,
Using all their power, skill and technique,
Nothing could keep them from a stalemate;
The warriors watered and slightly rested.

The search for the coup de grâce went on,
Until both men fell, in dusty exhaustion,
Each raised a finger, in joint submission,
Equals on death's stage yielded in unison.

Titus faced a dilemma; mercy or consistency?
Please the crowd, but make them aware,
Of his Damoclean life-and-death sword,
Over every Roman and slave in the empire.

Titus cleaved the Rudis into a dual solution;
Unable to beat the other, both won and lived,
Limping, scarred heroes of baying masses,
None had ever seen a myth form before them.

It was Romulus fighting Remus in extremis,
Herculean labours of a sticky, lethal afternoon,
In the end, nothing could separate these brothers;
Victors united as Castor and Pollux in Gemini.

For life and limb on Rome's vast stage,
Symbiotic compensation of adulation's rage.

Stewart Stafford, 2023. All rights reserved”
Stewart Stafford

Ramon William Ravenswood

I conquered Caesar
yet was slain by Rome
Last true Queen of Egypt

It is not Antony
I speak from cold lips

I whisper, Ô mighty Egypt
Ô mighty Nile
into your glory, I give my spirit”
Ramon William Ravenswood, Icons Speak

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