100 Best Livy Quotes From The Roman Historian And Philosopher

Titus Livius is a famous historian and philosopher.
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Titus Livius or Livy, was a Roman historian who covered the roman empire’s legends even before its traditional foundation in 753 BC till Augustus’s reign during his lifetime.

Titus Livius or Livy’s tome Ab Urbre Condita or 'From The Founding Of City' is one of the most in-depth Roman Empire studies. Livy was born in the modern region of Padua called Patavium during earlier days.

Livy, by nature, was a recluse and mild-mannered. He wasn’t fond of violence and the restorative peace during his lifetime helped him learn and write about the history of his beloved country. As per records found, it seems Livy was financially well off and never served in the Roman army. His education was in philosophy and rhetoric. Livy led an independent life, never served as a senator or any government position. Livy dedicated his life to writing the history of Rome.  

If you like this article of Livy quotes, you should also read [Tacitus] and Virgil quotes.

Livy Quotes About Roman Kings

It is clear from his behavior that Titus Livius didn’t enjoy giving extensive dramatic oration. Instead, he preferred to have recitations for small audiences. Livy was known to be on friendly terms with Emperor Augustus too. Some famous Livy Roman history quotes and Livy philosopher quotes.

He has noted down the Roman history in detail.

1. “This above all makes history useful and desirable; it unfolds before our eyes a glorious record of exemplary actions.”

- Titus Livius.

2. “The sun has not yet set for all time.”

- Titus Livius.

3. “All things will be clear and distinct to the man who does not hurry; haste is blind and improvident.”

- Titus Livius.

4. “Resistance to criminal rashness comes better late than never.”

- Titus Livius.

5. “Envy like fire always makes for the highest points.”

- Titus Livius.

6. “The result showed that fortune helps the brave.”

- Titus Livius.

7. “Many difficulties which nature throws in our way, may be smoothed away by the exercise of intelligence.”

- Titus Livius.

8. “There is nothing man will not attempt when great enterprises hold out the promise of great rewards.”

- Titus Livius.

9. “Woe to the conquered.”

- Titus Livius.

10. “There are laws for peace as well as war.”

- Titus Livius.

11. “We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.”

- Titus Livius.

12. “Indeed, that is the nature of crowds: the mob is either a humble slave or a cruel aster. As for the middle way of liberty, the mob can neither take it nor keep it with any respect for moderation or law.”

- Titus Livius, ‘The History Of Rome, Books 21-30: The War With Hannibal’.

13. “Men of outstanding ability are more likely to lack the power of controlling their own people than of defeating an enemy in battle.”

- Titus Livius, ‘The History Of Rome’.

14. “This above all makes history useful and desirable; it unfolds before our eyes a glorious record of exemplary actions.”

- Titus Livius.

15. “When Numa died, Rome by the twin disciplines of peace and war was as eminent for self-mastery as for military power.”

- Livy, ‘The History Of Rome, Books 1-5: The Early History Of Rome’.

16. “We survive on adversity and perish in ease and comfort.”

- Titus Livius.

17. “We can endure neither our vices nor their cure.”

- Titus Livius.

18. “The Roman envoys replied that they would go where their own generals led them, not were bidden by their enemies.”

- Livy, ‘The History Of Rome, Books 6-10: Rome And Italy’.

19. “[Law] admits of no mitigation nor pardon, once you have overstepped its limits.”

- Titus Livius.

20. “[Rhodian delegation:] Every city contains wicked citizens from time to time and an ignorant populace all the time.”

- Livy, ‘Rome And The Mediterranean: Books XXXI-XLV Of The History Of Rome From Its Foundation’.

21. “Luck rules every human endeavour, especially war.”

-Titus Livius.

22. “The study of History is the best medicine for a sick mind.”        

- Titus Livius.

23. “Public misfortune...nothing of this nature appeals more directly to us than the loss of money.”

- Titus Livius, ‘Book XXX, Sec. 44’.

24. “Envy is blind. -Caeca invidia est.”- Titus Livius.

25. “Friends should be judged by their acts, not their words.”- Titus Livius.

Historian Livy Quotes

The Roman historian Livy recorded Rome’s complete history, right from the city’s foundation, till the death of emperor Augustus. Quotes by Livy are regarded as insightful and knowledgeable. Here are some of the best Livy Hannibals war quotes and Livy quotes living.

Livy recorded Roman history right from the foundation of the city.

26. “It is easier to criticize than to correct our past errors.” - Titus Livius.

27. “There is nothing that is more often clothed in an attractive garb than a false creed.”- Titus Livius.

28. “Men are only clever at shifting blame from their own shoulders to those of others.” - Titus Livius.

29. “The populace is like the sea motionless in itself...stirred by even the lightest breeze.”

- Titus Livius.

30. “The old Romans all wished to have a king over them because they had not yet tasted the sweetness of freedom.”

- Titus Livius.

31. “A fraudulent intent, however carefully concealed at the outset, will generally, in the end, betray itself.”

- Titus Livius, ‘The History Of Rome’.

32. “The mind sins, not the body; if there is no intention, there is no blame.”- Titus Livius, ‘The History Of Rome’.

33. “Shared danger is the strongest of bonds; it will keep men united in spite of mutual dislike and suspicion.”

- Titus Livius, ‘The History Of Rome’.

34. “It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.”

- Titus Livius, ‘The History Of Rome’.

35. “Truth is often eclipsed but never extinguished.”- Titus Livius.

36. “There is an old saying which, from its truth, has become proverbial, that friendships should be immortal, enmities mortal.”

- Titus Livius.

37. “Great contests generally excite great animosities.”

- Titus Livius.

38. “Envy, like flames, soars upwards.”

- Titus Livius.

39. “The army from Asia introduced a foreign luxury to Rome; it was then the meals began to require more dishes and more expenditure . . . the cook, who had up to that time been employed as a slave of low price, become dear: what had been nothing but a métier was elevated to an art.”

- Titus Livius.

40. “There is always more spirit in attack than in defense.”                                                                                        

- Titus Livius.

41. “They are more than men at the outset of their battles; at the end they are less than the women.”

- Titus Livius.

42. “It is better that a guilty man should not be brought to trial than that he should be acquitted.”- Titus Livius.

43. “Rome has grown since its humble beginnings that it is now overwhelmed by its own greatness.”

- Titus Livius.

44. “I shall find antiquity a rewarding study, if only because, while I am absorbed in it, I shall be able to turn my eyes from the troubles which for so long have tormented the modern world.”

- Titus Livius, ‘Praefatio, Sec. 5’.

45. “This above all makes history useful and desirable: it unfolds before our eyes a glorious record of exemplary actions.”

- Titus Livius, ‘Praefatio, Sec. 10’.

46. “The troubles which have come upon us always seem more serious than those which are only threatening.”

- Titus Livius, ‘Book III, Sec. 39’.

47. “Passions are generally roused from great conflict.”

- Titus Livius, ‘Book III, Sec. 40’.

48. “There are laws for peace as well as war.”

- Titus Livius, ‘Book V, Sec. 27’.

49. “We do not learn this only from the event, which is the master of fools.”- Titus Livius, ‘Book XXII, Sec. 39’.

Historical Livy Quotes

Titus Livius’s work is embellished with accounts of Roman heroism, which promotes the modernity of emperor Augustus in governance. Livy’s main concern was to preserve Rome’s rich history and not gain any fame from it. Let’s read some Livy quotes on the history of Rome.

50. “In difficult and desperate cases, the boldest counsels are the safest.”

- Titus Livius, ‘Book XXV, Sec. 38’.

51. “The populace is... stirred by every wind, even the lightest breeze.”

- Titus Livius, ‘Book XXVIII, Sec. 27’.

52. “Men are slower to recognise blessings than misfortunes.”

- Titus Livius, ‘Book XXX, Sec. 21’.

53. “We feel public misfortunes just so far as they affect our private circumstances.”

- Titus Livius, ‘Book XXX, Sec. 44’.

54. “Under the influence of fear, which always leads men to take a pessimistic view of things, they magnified their enemies’ resources, and minimized their own.”

- Titus Livius.

55. “The old Romans all wished to have a king over them because they had not yet tasted the sweetness of freedom.”

- Titus Livius.

56. “Greater is our terror of the unknown.”

- Titus Livius.

57. “Nowhere are our calculations more frequently upset than in war.”

- Titus Livius.

58. “Many things complicated by nature are restored by reason.”

- Titus Livius.

59. “The state is suffering from two opposite vices, avarice and luxury; two plagues which, in the past, have been the ruin of every great empire.”

- Titus Livius.

60. “Such is the nature of crowds: either they are humble and servile or arrogant and dominating. They are incapable of making moderate use of freedom, which is the middle course, or of keeping it.”

- Titus Livius.

61. “In valour you are their equals; in necessity, the last and strongest weapon, their superiors.”- Titus Livius.

62. “Nature has ordained that the man who is pleading his own cause before a large audience, will be more readily listened to than he who has no object in view other than the public benefit.”

- Titus Livius.

63. “Fame opportunely despised often comes back redoubled.”

- Titus Livius.

64. “Toil and pleasure, in their natures opposite, are yet linked together in a kind of necessary connection.”

- Titus Livius.

65. “Children form a bond of union than which the human heart finds none more enduring.”                      

- Titus Livius.

66. “Being continually in peoples sight, by the satiety which it creates, diminishes the reverence felt for great characters.”

- Titus Livius.

67. “Assume in adversity a countenance of prosperity, and in prosperity moderate thy temper.”              

- Titus Livius.

68. “There is nothing worse than being ashamed of parsimony or poverty.”                                                    

- Titus Livius.

69. “Toil and pleasure, dissimilar in nature, are nevertheless united by a certain natural bond.”              

- Titus Livius.

70. “False shame only is harmful.”

- Titus Livius.

71. “Haste is blind and improvident.”

- Titus Livius.

72. “I have often heard that the outstanding man is he who thinks deeply about a problem, and the next is he who listens carefully to advice.”

- Titus Livius.

73. “Dignity is a matter which concerns only mankind.”

- Titus Livius.

74. “Friendships ought to be immortal, hostilities mortal.”                                                                                          

- Titus Livius.

75. “Persevere in virtue and diligence.”

- Titus Livius.

Best Livy Quotes

There is some question about his work’s authenticity as Livy has written about events that occurred 100 years before his time. Still, most Romans believe Livy’s work to be real. Let’s go through some Livy quotes about the history of Rome.

76. “The real power behind whatever success I have now was something I found within myself - something that’s in all of us, I think, a little piece of God just waiting to be discovered.”- Titus Livius.

77. “Certain peace is better and safer than anticipated victory.”

- Titus Livius.

78. “They lived under a just and moderate government, and they admitted that one bond of their fidelity was that their rulers were the better men.”

- Titus Livius.

79. “Fortune blinds men when she does not wish them to withstand the violence of her onslaughts.”

- Titus Livius.

80. “Temerity is not always successful.”

- Titus Livius.

81. “He was always before men’s eyes; a course of action which, by increasing our familiarity with great men, diminishes our respect for them.”

- Titus Livius.

82. “Law is a thing which is insensible, and inexorable, more beneficial and more profitious to the weak than to the strong”

- Titus Livius.

83. “He is truly a man who will not permit himself to be unduly elated when fortune’s breeze is favourable, or cast down when it is adverse.”

- Titus Livius.

84. “Luck is of little moment to the great general, for it is under the control of his intellect and his judgment.”

- Titus Livius.

85. “It is easy at any moment to surrender a large fortune; to build one up is a difficult and an arduous task.”

- Titus Livius.

86. “He will have true glory who despises it.”- Titus Livius.

87. “Truth, they say, is but too often in difficulties, but is never finally suppressed.”- Titus Livius.

88. “No law can possibly meet the convenience of every one: we must be satisfied if it be beneficial on the whole and to the majority.”

- Titus Livius.

89. “Luck rules every human endeavour, especially war.”

- Titus Livius.

90. “Never is work without reward, or reward without work.”

- Titus Livius.

91. “It is when fortune is the most propitious that she is least to be trusted.”

- Titus Livius.

92. “From abundance springs satiety.”

- Titus Livius.

93. “The best-known evil is the most tolerable.”

- Titus Livius.

94. “There is nothing man will not attempt when great enterprises hold out the promise of great rewards.”

- Titus Livius.

95. “In grave difficulties, and with little hope, the boldest measures are the safest.”- Titus Livius.

96. “A person under the firm persuasion that he can command resources virtually has them.”- Titus Livius.

97. “When Tarquin the Proud was asked what was the best mode of governing a conquered city, he replied only by beating down with his staff all the tallest poppies in his garden.”- Titus Livius.

98. “Wit is the flower of the imagination.”

- Titus Livius.

99. “Men are seldom blessed with good fortune and good sense at the same time.”

- Titus Livius.

100. “No man likes to be surpassed by those of his own level.”- Titus Livius.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Livy quotes, then why not take a look at ancient quotes or Thucydides quotes.

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