Literary Birthday – 3 January – Cicero

Cicero was born 3 January 106 BC and died 7 December 43 BC.

Wise Words

'Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.'


  1. A room without books is like a body without a soul.
  2. 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.
  3. It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own.
  4. The more laws, the less justice.
  5. 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.
  6. Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.
  7. The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct.
  8. If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
  9. What one has, one ought to use; and whatever he does, he should do with all his might.
  10. To study philosophy is nothing but to prepare one’s self to die.
  11. Read at every wait; read at all hours; read within leisure; read in times of labour; read as one goes in; read as one goest out. The task of the educated mind is simply put: read to lead.
  12. While there’s life, there’s hope.

Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul, and constitutionalist. He is known as one of Rome’s greatest prose stylists. His works include The Republic.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 3rd January 2014