Ancient Quotes: The Roman Empire AD

During the days of the ancient Roman Empire AD, a collection of great minds emerged, which included the words of historical giants, such as Ovid , a revered poet in Rome.


Ovid (Pulius Ovidius Naso) was born in 43 BC and would grow into a well-known Roman poet who is known to us as Ovid. He wrote on many different subjects that explored abandoned women, love, and mythological transformation. In Latin literature, he has earned a spot next to Virgil and Horace as one of the three canonical poets. His poetry reflected the times of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

 Some of Ovid’s works that are considered authentic include: “Amores” (“The Loves”; 5 books); “Metamorphoses” (“Transformations”; 15 books); “Heroides” (“The Heroines; 21 letters); “Ars Amatoria (“The Art of Love”; 3 books); and “Tristia” (“Sorrows”; 5 books). Quotes to remember Ovid by include:

1) “It is convenient that there be gods, and, as it is convenient, let us believe that there are.”

2) “You will go most safely by the middle way.”

3) “Plenty has made me poor.”

4) “I see the better things, and approve; I follow the worse.”

5) “Time the devourer of everything.”

6) “Far hence, keep far from me, you grim women!”

7) “Jupiter from on high laughs at lovers’ perjuries.”


Born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, Augustus was also known as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus throughout history. Most importantly, Augustus became the first emperor of the Roman Empire, ruling from 27 BC until his passing in 14 AD. As a youth, Octavius became the adopted child of his great uncle, Julius Caesar. When his uncle was assassinated, Augustus gained an inheritance in 44 BC. The next year, he would join the forces of Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and took part in the military dictatorship called the Second Triumvirate. A few words to remember Augustus by includes:

1) “Festina lente” (Make haste slowly)

2) Augustus was known for bragging: “Inherited it (the city of Rome) brick and left it marble.”


Born Titus Flavius Vespasianus, the man known as Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus was born in 9 AD and died in 70 AD , the former emperor of Rome from 69 to 79. Usually referred to as Vespasian, he would become the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which did not last very long. When he died, it was his sons (Titus and Domitian) who took over the throne. During his rule, he was known for many different things, but one of the best known of his accomplishments was his reforms that followed the fall of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty, which campaigned against Judaea. He also began the construction of the Coloseum, which became one of the most well known of historical features in Italy. Vespasian is quoted as saying:

1) “Pecunia non olet” (Money has no smell)

2) As he approached the last days of a fatal illness, Vespasian said: “Woe is me. I think I am becoming a god.”