Neque ea solum quae talibus disciplinis continentur, sed magis etiam, quae sunt tradita antiquitus dicta ac facta praeclare, et nosse et animo semper agitare conveniet. quae profecto nusquam plura maioraque quam in nostrae civitatis monumentis reperientur. an fortitudinem, iustitiam, fidem, continentiam, frugalitatem, contemptum doloris ac mortis melius alii docebunt quam Fabricii, Curii, Reguli, Decii, Mucii aliique innumerabiles? quantum enim Graeci praeceptis valent, tantum Romani, quod est maius, exemplis.
(Quintilian, Inst. Or. 12.2.29-30)
But it is desirable that we should not restrict our study to the precepts of philosophy alone. It is still more important that we should know and ponder continually all the noblest sayings and deeds that have been handed down to us from ancient times. And assuredly we shall nowhere find a larger or more remarkable store of these than in the records of our own country. Who will teach courage, justice, loyalty, self-control, simplicity, and contempt of grief and pain better than men like Fabricius, Curius, Regulus, Decius, Mucius and countless others? For if the Greeks bear away the palm for moral precepts, Rome can produce more striking examples of moral performance, which is a far greater thing. (tr. Harold Edgewort Butler)