Syrus’ Singular Sententiae

The sententious Syrian Publilius Syrus has left to posterity a series of witticisms in verse. Macrobius (Macrobius II. 7.11) has preserved some of them for us in his Saturnalia.

“There are some charming sayings of Publilius circulating which are most convenient for regular use. Of these I can remember the following, confined to single-lines.

Who has done a favor for a good man deserves one
You should endure and not blame whatever cannot be changed.
The man who has more than is right wants more than is right
A good companion on the road is as good as a vehicle
Frugality is the penance for a good reputation.
Beneath his mask, a heir’s tear is a grin.
Patience too often tried becomes fury.
A man who is shipwrecked twice blames Neptune wrongly.
Excessive arguing obscures the truth.
It is half a favor if you quickly turn down a request
Approach your friend as you would if you could imagine him an enemy.
You invite a new offense by tolerating an old one.
Danger is never surpassed without danger.”

Publii autem sententiae feruntur lepidae et ad communem usum adcommodatissimae, ex quibus has fere memini singulis versibus circumscriptas

1 Beneficium dando accepit qui digno dedit.
Feras, non culpes, quod mutari non potest.
Cui plus licet quam par est plus vult quam licet.
Comes facundus in via pro vehiculo est.
Frugalitas miseria est rumoris boni.
Heredis fletus sub persona risus est.
Furor fit laesa saepius patientia.
Inprobe Neptunum accusat qui iterum naufragium facit.
Nimium altercando veritas amittitur.
Pars beneficii est, quod petitur si cito neges.
Ita amicum habeas, posse ut fieri hunc inimicum putes.
Veterem ferendo iniuriam invites novam.
Numquam periclum sine periclo vincitur.

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