76 Publilius Syrus Quotes – Notable Wisdom to Illuminate Love, Friendship, and Life

Born into slavery in Syria around 85 B.C., Publilius was eventually freed due to his wit and intellect, going on to become a popular figure in the Roman Empire. His profound statements, recorded in “Sententiae”, his collection of moral maxims, have withstood the test of time, highlighting universal truths about human nature and society. Publilius isn’t just an ancient author; he’s an eternal mentor.

Publilius Syrus’ philosophy encompasses themes of personal integrity, the power of words, and the intrinsic value of experience and understanding. His wise observations offer insights into character development, the complexity of human relationships, and the unpredictability of life. So, strap in as we explore this ancient wisdom, including Tacitus quotes on wisdom and learning, friendship, honor, power and influence and adversity and prosperity.

The Best, Most Popular and Famous Publilius Syrus Quotes

“Speech is the mirror of the soul.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Bear without murmuring what cannot be changed.”  ~  Publius Syrus

“Take care that no one hates you justly.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“A good reputation is more valuable than money.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“No one knows what he can do until he tries.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“We die as often as we lose a friend.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“The sweetest pleasure arises from difficulties overcome.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

Publilius Syrus Quotes

Publilius Syrus Quotes on Wisdom and Learning

“Do not despise the bottom rungs in the ascent to greatness.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“The remedy for wrongs is to forget them.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“It is better to learn late than never.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“An angry man is again angry with himself when he returns to reason.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“It is a good thing to learn caution from the misfortunes of others.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“It is only the ignorant who despise education.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Let a fool hold his tongue and he will pass for a sage.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Each day is the scholar of yesterday.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Practice is the best of all instructors.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Some remedies are worse than the disease.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“There are some remedies worse than the disease.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Learn to see in another’s calamity the ills which you should avoid.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

Publilius Syrus Quotes on Love, Friendship and Human Relationships

“It is kindness to immediately refuse what you intend to deny.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“They do injury to the good who spares the bad.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Admonish your friends privately, but praise them openly.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“To refuse graciously is to confer a favor.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“The wounds of love can only be healed by the one who made them.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Reprove your friends in secret, praise them openly.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“The person who receives the most favors is the one who knows how to return them.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“He who spares the bad injures the good.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“When you confer a benefit on those worthy of it, you confer a favor on all.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Treat your friend as if he might become an enemy.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

Publilius Syrus Quotes on Honor and Character

“He who has lost honor can lose nothing more.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“God looks at the clean hands, not the full ones.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“The judge is found guilty when a criminal is acquitted.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“You are in a pitiable condition if you have to conceal what you wish to tell.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“What is left when honor is lost?”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“It is a fraud to borrow what we are unable to pay.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

Publilius Syrus Quotes

Publilius Syrus Quotes on the Art of Decision-Making and Timing

“It is not every question that deserves an answer.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“While we stop to think, we often miss our opportunity.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Don’t turn back when you are just at the goal.”  ~  Publius Syrus

“Count not him among your friends who will retail your privacies to the world.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“If you wish to reach the highest, begin at the lowest.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“A hasty judgment is a first step to recantation.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“The opportunity is often lost by deliberating.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

Publilius Syrus Quotes on the Balance of Power and Influence

“It is folly to punish your neighbor by fire when you live next door.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Audacity augments courage; hesitation, fear.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“He who lives in solitude may make his own laws.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Never promise more than you can perform.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Powerful indeed is the empire of habit.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“One is not exposed to danger who, even when in safety is always on their guard.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Valor grows by daring, fear by holding back.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“The timid man calls himself cautious, the sordid man thrifty.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“To do two things at once is to do neither.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“He whom many fear, has himself many to fear.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Where there is unity there is always victory.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“The greatest of empires, is the empire over one’s self.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

Publilius Syrus Quotes on Perception and Reality

“Art has a double face, of expression and illusion, just like science has a double face: the reality of error and the phantom of truth.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“The eyes are not responsible when the mind does the seeing.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“The bare recollection of anger kindles anger.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“We are born princes and the civilizing process makes us frogs.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“An angry father is most cruel towards himself.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“You cannot put the same shoe on every foot.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“A beautiful face is a mute recommendation.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

Publilius Syrus Quotes on Adversity and Prosperity

“The happy man is not he who seems thus to others, but who seems thus to himself.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“A gift in season is a double favor to the needy.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“The weeping of an heir is laughter in disguise.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Pain forces even the innocent to lie.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“Fortune is like glass – the brighter the glitter, the more easily broken.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

“The miser is as much in want of what he has as of what he has not.”  ~  Publilius Syrus

What Are The Quotes All About?

Themes and Topics

What we’ve got here in the words of Publilius Syrus are a kind of ancient report on the human condition. He’s talking morality, responsibility, societal dynamics, with a bit of grit and pith that seem to have been picked up in the crucible of his own life. Quotes like “”He who spares the bad injures the good,”” and “”When you confer a benefit on those worthy of it, you confer a favor on all,”” carry this universal weight. They are as relevant today as they were in ancient Rome. Broad themes? Sure, they’re there – integrity, the sting of deceit, the complexities of relationships.

What Can We Learn From These Publilius Syrus Quotes?

Syrus’s teachings are, at their core, about being good humans – an exercise in navigating this life with dignity and honesty. He’s not shy about the pitfalls of moral negligence; “”You are in a pitiable condition if you have to conceal what you wish to tell,”” rings a bell? Accountability and authenticity are kind of his big things. Plus, there’s this raw insight into the social world we inhabit: “”Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them.”” It’s a warning and a reassurance, all at once. Real friends stay, the rest is just noise.

Putting Into Practice: How Can We Apply This Wisdom In Our Own Lives?

Applying this wisdom isn’t about grand gestures. It’s about the little decisions we make each day. It’s choosing honesty when it’s easier to lie. It’s about taking responsibility even when the blame could be passed on. It’s about not judging others too quickly: “A hasty judgment is a first step to recantation.” It’s about valuing true friends, even when they aren’t handy to have around. If Syrus has anything to teach us, it’s that life is nuanced and challenging, but by leaning into integrity and respect, we can navigate it with grace. It’s not rocket science, but it is a path.

Who Was Publilius Syrus?

Upringing and Personal Life

Publilius Syrus’ personal journey is a testament to resilience and the power of the human spirit. Born into slavery around 85 B.C., in Syria, detailed information about his early life and upbringing is unfortunately lost to history. However, it’s safe to assume that his experiences as a slave shaped his perspectives and contributed to the depth of his wisdom. After he was brought to Italy, his master recognized his intellect and quick wit, subsequently granting him freedom. His newfound liberty allowed him to embrace his talent for words, further shaping his unique perspective on life and society.

Success and Achievements: What They Are Best Known For?

Once free, Publilius Syrus made a name for himself in Rome with his sharp mind and the ability to articulate profound truths about human nature. His most notable work, “”Sententiae””, is a compilation of moral maxims that provide invaluable insights into life, relationships, and personal character. These pithy sayings were so impactful that they were used in schools for rhetorical exercises during the Roman Empire and beyond. Publilius’ ability to crystallize wisdom in concise, memorable phrases made him an enduring figure in classical literature.

Struggles and Character Flaws: They were only human!

It’s challenging to outline Publilius Syrus’ struggles and character flaws due to the scarcity of detailed personal accounts. Yet, considering his background as a former slave, it’s likely he faced considerable hardships. His journey was undoubtedly fraught with challenges, which may have played a part in shaping his understanding of the human condition. His maxims often hint at an intimate understanding of adversity, subtly suggesting the personal struggles that might have inspired them. As we reflect on his wise sayings, it’s important to remember the human behind the words – a man who overcame great odds and left a lasting legacy.”