Classical Insults - Ancient Rome
No one gets rich quickly if he is honest.
Menander, 343-292BC, The Flatterer
Marriage, if one will face the truth, is an evil, but a necessary evil.
Menander, unidentified fragment
Immortal Gods! How much does one man excel another. What a difference there is between a wise man and a fool.
In fine, nothing is said now that has not been said before.
Let them hate, so long as they fear.
There is no greater bane to friendship than adulation, fawning and flattery.
Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero), 106-43BC, De Amicitia XVI
Old age by nature is rather talkative.
Cicero, De Senectute
You must look out in Britain that you are not cheated by the Charioteers.
I fear the Greeks, even when they bring gifts.
Virgil, Aeneid Book I
This is a fault common to all singers: that among their friends they never are inclined to sing when they are asked; unasked, they never desist.
Horace, Satires Book I
Old men are only walking hospitals.
Horace, Ars Poetica
Homer himself has been observed to nod.
Carthage must be destroyed.
We are mad, not only individually but nationally. We check manslaughter and isolated murders, but what of war and the much-vaunted crime of slaughtering whole peoples?
There is no great genius without some touch of madness.
Seneca, Moral Essays
What fools these mortals be.
That most knowing person - gossip.
Oh, this age! How tasteless and ill-bred it is.
Catullus, c 87-54BC, Odes
With man, most of his misfortunes are occasioned by man.
Nothing is more confidant than a bad poet
Martial, c AD 102, Epigrams Book I
I could do without your face, Chloe, and without your neck, and your hands, and your limbs, and, to save myself the trouble of mentioning the points in detail, I could do without you altogether.
Nycilla dyes her locks, 'tis said, But 'tis afoul aspersion; She buys them black; they therefore need No subsequent immersion.
I know not whether Phoebes fled from the dinner table of Thyestes; at any rate, Ligurinus, we fell from yours. Splendid, indeed, it is, and magnificently supplied with good things; but when you recite you spoil it all. I don't want you to set before me a turbot or a two pound mullet; 1 don't want your mushrooms or your oysters. I want you to keep your mouth shut.
I do not love thee, Doctor Fell The reason why I cannot tell; But this I know, and know full well, I do not love thee, Doctor Fell.
Martial, as translated by Thomas Brown ( 1663-1704)
I would that the Roman people had but one neck!
Caligula (Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus),AD 12-4I
Old women should not seek to be perfumed
Plutarch, c AD46-120, Lives