Διαιτήμασί τε χρήσομαι ἐπ’ ὠφελείῃ καμνόντων κατὰ δύναμιν καὶ κρίσιν ἐμήν, ἐπὶ δηλήσει δὲ καὶ ἀδικίῃ εἴρξειν. οὐ δώσω δὲ οὐδὲ φάρμακον οὐδενὶ αἰτηθεὶς θανάσιμον, οὐδὲ ὑφηγήσομαι συμβουλίην τοιήνδε· ὁμοίως δὲ οὐδὲ γυναικὶ πεσσὸν φθόριον δώσω. ἁγνῶς δὲ καὶ ὁσίως διατηρήσω βίον τὸν ἐμὸν καὶ τέχνην τὴν ἐμήν.
(Hippocrates, Horkos)

I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art. (tr. William Henry Samuel Jones)



Iam mota inter eos fuerant arma civilia. et quamvis se Maxentius Romae contineret, quod responsum acceperat periturum esse, si extra portas urbis exisset, tamen bellum per idoneos duces gerebatur. plus virium Maxentio erat, quod et patris sui exercitum receperat a Severo et suum proprium de Mauris atque Gaetulis nuper extraxerat. dimicatum, et Maxentiani milites praevalebant, donec postea confirmato animo Constantinus et ad utrumque paratus copias omnes ad urbem propius admovit et a regione pontis Mulvii consedit. imminebat dies quo Maxentius imperium ceperat, qui est a.d. sextum Kalendas Novembres, et quinquennalia terminabantur. commonitus est in quiete Constantinus, ut caeleste signum dei notaret in scutis atque ita proelium committeret. facit ut iussus est et transversa X littera, summo capite circumflexo, Christum in scutis notat. quo signo armatus exercitus capit ferrum. procedit hostis obviam sine imperatore pontemque transgreditur, acies pari fronte concurrunt, summa vi utrimque pugnatur: neque his fuga nota neque illis.
(Lactantius, Mort. Pers. 44.1-6)

And now a civil war broke out between Constantine and Maxentius. Although Maxentius kept himself within Rome, because the soothsayers had foretold that if he went out of it he should perish, yet he conducted the military operations by able generals. In forces he exceeded his adversary; for he had not only his father’s army, which deserted from Severus, but also his own, which he had lately drawn together out of Mauritania and Italy. They fought, and the troops of Maxentius prevailed. At length Constantine, with steady courage and a mind prepared for every event, led his whole forces to the neighbourhood of Rome, and encamped them opposite to the Milvian bridge. The anniversary of the reign of Maxentius approached, that is, the sixth of the kalends of November [i.e. the 27th of October], and the fifth year of his reign was drawing to an end. Constantine was directed in a dream to cause the heavenly sign to be delineated on the shields of his soldiers, and so to proceed to battle. He did as he had been commanded, and he marked on their shields the letter Χ, with a perpendicular line drawn through it and turned round thus at the top, being the cipher of Christ. Having this sign (☧), his troops stood to arms. The enemies advanced, but without their emperor, and they crossed the bridge. The armies met, and fought with the utmost exertions of valour, and firmly maintained their ground. (tr. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson)



Καὶ ἤγγισαν εἰς τὴν κώμην οὗ ἐπορεύοντο· καὶ αὐτὸς προσεποιεῖτο πορρωτέρω πορεύεσθαι. καὶ παρεβιάσαντο αὐτὸν, λέγοντες· ‘μεῖνον μεθ’ ἡμῶν, ὅτι πρὸς ἑσπέραν ἐστὶν καὶ κέκλικεν ἡ ἡμέρα.’ καὶ εἰσῆλθεν τοῦ μεῖναι σὺν αὐτοῖς.
(Luke 24.28-29)

And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. (King James Version)


Nemo queritur Syrum nescio quem de grege noviciorum factum esse consulem; non enim nos color iste servilis, non pilosae genae, non dentes putridi deceperunt: oculi, supercilia, frons, voltus denique totus, qui sermo quidam tacitus mentis est, hic in fraudem homines impulit; hic eos, quibus eras ignotus, decepit, fefellit, induxit. pauci ista tua lutulenta vitia noramus; pauci tarditatem ingenii, stuporem debilitatemque linguae; numquam erat audita vox in foro; numquam periculum factum consilii; nullum non modo inlustre, sed ne notum quidem factum aut militiae aut domi. obrepsisti ad honores errore hominum, commendatione fumosarum imaginum, quarum simile habes nihil praeter colorem.
(Cicero, In Pisonem 1)

No one complains that some Syrian or other, some member of a crew of newly-made slaves, has become consul. We were not deceived by your slavish complexion, your hairy cheeks, and your discoloured teeth; it was your eyes, eyebrows, forehead, in a word your whole countenance, which is a kind of dumb interpreter of the mind, which pushed your fellow-men into delusion; this it was which tricked, betrayed, inveigled those who were unacquainted with you. There were but few of us who knew of your filthy vices, few the crassness of your intelligence and the sluggish ineptitude of your tongue. Your voice had never been heard in the forum; never had your wisdom in council been put to the test; not a single deed had you achieved either in peace or war that was, I will not say famous, but even known. You crept into office by mistake, by the recommendation of your dingy family busts,* with which you have no resemblance save colour.

* The imagines of the family, placed in the atrium, where the smoke of the fire would blacken them.

(tr. Neville Hunter Watts, with his note)


Εἰ δ’ ὑγιείας
θνατὸς ἐὼν ἔλαχεν,
ζώειν τ’ ἀπ’ οἰκείων ἔχει,
πρώτοις ἐρίζει· παντί τοι
τέρψις ἀνθρώπων βίῳ
ἕπεται νόσφιν γε νόσων
πενίας τ’ ἀμαχάνου.
ἶσον ὅ τ’ ἀφνεὸς ἱ-
μείρει μεγάλων ὅ τε μείων
παυροτέρων· τὸ δὲ πάν-
των εὐμαρεῖν οὐδὲν γλυκὺ
θνατοῖσιν, ἀλλ’ αἰεὶ τὰ φεύ-
γοντα δίζηνται κιχεῖν.
(Bacchylides, Epinikia 1.165-177)

If a mortal is blessed with health, and can live on his own substance, he vies with the most fortunate. Joy attends on every state of life, if only disease and helpless poverty be not there. The rich man yearns for great things, as the poorer for less; mortals find no sweetness in opulence, but are ever pursuing visions that flee before them. (tr. Richard C. Jebb)



Laudantem Selium, cenae cum retia tendit,
accipe, sive legas sive patronus agas:
‘effecte! graviter! cito! nequiter! euge! beate!
hoc volui!’ ‘facta est iam tibi cena, tace.’
(Martial 2.27)

When Selius spreads his net for a dinner and praises you, take him along, whether you are reciting or pleading a case. “That does it!” “A hit!” “A quick one!” “Cunning!” “Jolly good!” “Lovely!” “That’s what I was waiting for.” – “All right, you’ve got your dinner. Now hush.” (tr. David Roy Shackleton Bailey)


Ὁ γὰρ μισότεκνος καὶ πατὴρ πονηρὸς οὐκ ἄν ποτε γένοιτο δημαγωγὸς χρηστός, οὐδὲ ὁ τὰ φίλτατα καὶ οἰκειότατα σώματα μὴ στέργων οὐδέποθ’ ὑμᾶς περὶ πολλοῦ ποιήσεται τοὺς ἀλλοτρίους, οὐδέ γε ὁ ἰδίᾳ πονηρὸς ἄν ποτε γένοιτο δημοσίᾳ χρηστός, οὐδ’ ὅστις ἐστὶν οἴκοι φαῦλος, οὐδέποτ’ ἦν ἐν Μακεδονίᾳ καλὸς κἀγαθός· οὐ γὰρ τὸν τρόπον, ἀλλὰ τὸν τόπον μετήλλαξεν.
(Aeschines, Or. 3.78)

For the man who hates his child and is a bad father could never become a safe guide to the people; the man who does not cherish the persons who are nearest and dearest to him, will never care much about you, who are not his kinsmen; the man who is wicked in his private relations would never be found trustworthy in public affairs; and the man who is base at home was never a good and honourable man in Macedonia, for by his journey he changed his position, not his disposition. (tr. Charles Darwin Adams)