Marcus Tullius CiceroMarcus Tullius Cicero, (106-43 B.C.) Roman Statesman, Philosopher and Orator

Questionable Marcus Tullius Cicero Quote

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

Marcus Tullius CiceroMarcus Tullius Cicero
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Attributed to a speech in the Roman Senate in 58 BC as "Recorded by Sallust" in the fictional novel 'A Pillar of Iron,' by Taylor Caldwell (1983), ch. 5.
The quotation bears resemblance to Cicero's Second Oration against Cataline. [2.11]

Ratings and Comments

Bob, Enola
  • 39
  • 21
  • Reply
Bob, Enola    6/8/05

Still applies today to liberalsim. Listen to Michael Savage.

Mark, Cartersville GA
  • 10
  • 1
  • Reply
Mark, Cartersville GA Bob, Enola 3/15/20

NeoLib vs. NeoCon = Hegelian Dialectic, you are looking at the wrong end of the puppet strings Bob,  "Let me control a nation's money supply and I care not who writes its laws" Mayer Rothschild

Dean, Florida
  • Reply
Dean, Florida Mark, Cartersville GA 8/21/21

"The Love of Money is the Root of all Evil" and 90% of Politicians on BOTH sides are Rooting for more

A.W. Schlaf, Des Moines, IA

A bogus "quote". Cicero never said it.

Charlotte, Silver Spring
  • 1
  • 2
  • Reply
Charlotte, Silver Spring A.W. Schlaf, Des Moines, IA 10/1/21

Who cares? It's the truth.

Would it only matter to you if Cicero did say it?

Don, Michigan
  • 32
  • 16
  • Reply
Don, Michigan    12/3/05

Describes the ACLU and liberal academia to a tee.

  • 13
  • 1
  • Reply
Anonymous    2/1/06

Another one for you Marcus Tullius Cicero. May the gods of eternity look upon you with favour.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Our corrupt government is full of traitors (i.e. congress, president, senators, etc.). They are selfish with their own agenda, not caring about our country or people. A quick internet search yields multiple hits attributing this quote to Cicero. If this is a misquote, it is well accepted. Misquote or not, it is still rates several stars. Perhaps A.W. Schlaf is a traitor ... or at least a socialist posing as a democrat.

Robert, Sarasota

Describes the present administration to a tee.

Kent, Sarasota
  • 10
  • 21
  • Reply
Kent, Sarasota    2/2/06

Yes, but the traitor is very apparent - it runs the corridors of power with immunity and its name is called GREED. It shall be our undoing - if it wasn't for the laws that liberals created it would have already been our undoing a long time ago.

Mike, NC
  • 21
  • 18
  • Reply
    Mike, NC    2/2/06

    Kent drank the Kool-aid ... Liberals are not greedy - only those evil conservatives are greedy ... those multimillionaire liberal politicians truly identify with and care for the poor ... those greedy conservatives only care about themselves and their money. If those socialist/communist liberals REALLY believed in the crap they spew, they would live like we do and give the rest of their money to the government. They are nothing but elitists. They're happy to give away OUR money while they live in their mansions. They are happy to take away OUR right and means to defend ourselves while they have their bodyguards (of course they are more important than us, so they need protecting).

    Cato, Utica
    • 19
    • 6
    • Reply
    Cato, Utica    5/6/06

    Kennedy, Reid, Schumer, Feinstein! Turner, Fonda, Kerry and the rest of the Hollywood Film Actors Guild. Yes, Marcus warned us of them and they are indeed a clear and present danger.

    A.W. Schlaf, Des Moines, IA

    Well now, I see I am now branded a traitor. Perhaps Joe of Rochester, MI can leave aside his jingoistic blather and prove me wrong. In short, just where did Cicero say this? What is the original Latin? This quote is running rampant on the internet, yet no one, no one, has ever given the specific source. As a Classicist, I am offended by such bogus appeals to faux authority. More and more, it seems, that one can put up anything, in support of the right or the left, attribute it to a Greek or Roman author and get close to instant, knee jerk respect and acceptance. In short, cite "chapter and verse" so it can be independently verified or shut the hell up.

    Padraig, Vernon
    • 11
    • 2
    • Reply
    Padraig, Vernon A.W. Schlaf, Des Moines, IA 9/1/19

    Who cares who said it, for Christ's sake. The words have their own authority. 

    GeauxTigers, Aledo
    • 1
    • Reply
    GeauxTigers, Aledo Padraig, Vernon 12/14/20

    I'm reading "A Pillar of Iron" now on my Kobo and the quote is in the book. For whatever it's worth, it is astounding how closely the book follows what is happening in our country now. 

    Mallory, Warrenton

    Whether you're liberal or conservative, the point is if we aren't united we will raze ourselves to the ground. I'm not even out of highschool and I am disgusted by all the bickering between the right and the left.

    • 1
    • Reply
    Anonymous    1/29/07
    kilo, longwood, fl

    pimp cheese

    Ronald Regan Reborn!, SANTA CRUZ, CA


    Bill, Trenton
    • 16
    • 4
    • Reply
    Bill, Trenton    4/4/07

    Sounds like far left liberals who would rather criticize the U.S.A. than the Terrorist. Also reminds me of the politician who plays the blame game and in the end, gives support to our enemies. If Cicero did not say this, he should have!

    Padraig, Vernon
    • 2
    • 7
    • Reply
    Padraig, Vernon Bill, Trenton 9/1/19

    You're a Trump supporter, right?

    frank, Spokane

    You can always tell who it is, that a quote hits the hardest, by their "outrage" and their denial. heh,heh,heh

    John, San Antonio, Texas

    I agree with Bill (Trenton) and Frank (Sokane) Well said to both!

    Claudius, Tulsa

    Mr. A. W. Schlaf says a bogus quote. If Cicero never said it then you must know who did. Enlighten us Carnac the magnificant.

    anthony, LA
    • 13
    • 5
    • Reply
    anthony, LA    8/15/07

    i agree, to this day, liberals destroy our country from within, michael savage puts it in a good way in his book "The Enemy Within", i suggest you read it if you havent

    J.R., Houston, Texas

    Fits right in there with "Honoria" by Taylor Caldwell. If you havent read it do! History repeating itself.

    Michael McKee, Mount Vernon, OH

    The truth is eternally relevant, and is presently true.

    A.W. Schlaf, Des Moines, IA

    Well, Claudius, you actually have it backwards. It is up to those who claim it is a quote from Cicero to prove it. Give us the exact passage citation and the original Latin. If you cannot, then it remains an unproven quote. Please note that I did not disagree with the substance of the alleged "quote", but only with the source. Making such a statement and then falsely or ignorantly attributing it to a Greek or Roman author only ultimately weakens the argument. Is that what you want?

    irg, tampa
    • 17
    • 6
    • Reply
    irg, tampa    4/30/08

    I think the liberal/progressive rats who say Cicero never said this will never ever do the research to find it. Why leave the bathhouse or coffee shop to do so right. Liberals bring emotion and true Conservatives...true Conservatives bring...fact.

    A.W. Schlaf, Des Moines, IA

    Well, irg of Tampa, I did the research but, once again lazy sloganeers like you get it back wards. If you attribute it to an author, you should be able to to give the exact citation as to where it can be found in that author's works, if not in the original language. You and your ilk do not because you are more content to parrot a clever quote rather than investigate its source. I guess you also missed the part where I said I do not disagree with the substance of the alleged "quote." Again, falsely or ignorantly attributing it to a Greek or Roman source only weakens your argument when it cannot be backed up.

    WWP, Memphis
    • 12
    • 2
    • Reply
    WWP, Memphis    5/17/08

    Well, AW.........guess what? I'm an old codger and have been hearing that Cicero quote for many years. Long before any internet. Sorry, I do not know Greek or Latin and thus will pass on your challenge. Frankly, it is such a good quote I cannot imagine anyone speaking it and attributing it to anyone else.

    A.W Schlaf, Des Moines, IA

    OK, WWP, you admit you know no Latin but have this preternatural feeling that the quote is from Cicero, despite any evidence for it than that you "...haved been hearing that Cicero quote for many years." Have you read any Cicero in translation? Have you studied his times and culture? Perhaps uninformed feelings are right for some, but I prefer hard evidence. In this case there is none.

    mam, dayton
    • 8
    • Reply
      mam, dayton    6/1/08

      Dudes, Quit attacking each other. The enemy uses this dialectic to expend our energy. They play us. Look to those that control the NGO's that influence our politics. The Fed, the not-for-profits established by the guilded age money elite up to current day money elite, etc. The way out of this mess is easy to concieve. 1) Get rid of these organizations. 2) Tax wealth, not income. 3) Let the states again select the senators.

      David W. Walters, Fayetteville N.C.

      Traitors? You mean like the republicans who sell out our principles and send our sons&daughters to their death for oil company profits?

      • 1
      • 7
      • Reply
        Anonymous    8/10/08

        Traitor to what? A cause that is not your own. That is not being a traitor. Its being true to yourself. The U.S. government is the most corrupt evil vile criminal organization in the world. And I will fight it to my last breath until it is destroyed from the face of what was once this beautiful Earth.

        Padraig, Vernon
        • 1
        • Reply
        Padraig, Vernon Anonymous 9/1/19

        11 years on, with the contentious quote now goring the conservative ox, how's that working out for you?

        Charissa, Bryan
        • Reply
        Charissa, Bryan Anonymous 11/25/20

        I'm so surprised you're "anoymous", lol

        Mark Earhart, Ringgold GA

        "A house divided against itself cannot stand"

        Jan, Germantown, MD

        Liberal as defined in > Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin liberalis suitable for a freeman, generous, from liber free; perhaps akin to Old English lēodan to grow, Greek eleutheros free Date: 14th century 1 a: of, relating to, or based on the liberal arts barchaic : of or befitting a man of free birth 2 a: marked by generosity : openhanded b: given or provided in a generous and openhanded way c: ample, full 3obsolete : lacking moral restraint : licentious 4: not literal or strict : loose 5: broad-minded; especially : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms 6 a: of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism bcapitalized : of or constituting a political party advocating or associated with the principles of political liberalism; especially : of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives. synonyms liberal: generous, bountiful, munificent mean giving or given freely and unstintingly. liberal suggests openhandedness in the giver and largeness in the thing or amount given . generous stresses warmhearted readiness to give more than size or importance of the gift . bountiful suggests lavish, unremitting giving or providing . munificent suggests a scale of giving appropriate to lords or princes .

        Samuel, Adams

        Anyone who cannot see both the relevance and importance of this quote will be partially responsible for the downfall of all of us; regardless of your "party." Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Today, the world wants you to think we somehow have eliminated greed, intolerance, sloth, and the other deadly sins- that we have, or can, rise above human nature to be more "tolerant" and "understanding." Human nature is human nature, however, and it is the slippery slope. There are things that will never change because they are the very things that make us human. To think that your "party" is any better than the other- especially when you view the overall end impact of it's administration- is to be completely ignorant of the facts and history. Deficit. Bloated social budget. Ill-considered international aid. Failure to make REAL changes rather than pure speculative window dressing for the sake of the environment. These are just a few examples. Wake up and take control back from those who HAVE entered the gates- those who have conditioned you to think in ways that make no logical or common sense. Wake the hell up.

        J, King, Bellbrook, OH

        For A.W.Schlaf. Pick 5 Cicero quotes, any 5 quotes, there are a multitude of them. Cite the time,place and situation under which each was spoken. Cite source(s) chapter and verse. For Anonymous, if you don't like it here, go to Kenya or North Korea or the new Russia and see how much critical latitude they allow you.SCHMUCK ! Anonymous=No guts. I'd also suggest VietNam but now its too nice a-place and too free for the likes of you. For Jan of Germantown: dictionary exerpts don't help here. "Liberal" has to be taken in its current/common meaning and use. For me, its a dirty word!

        Alastair Carnegie, Colne

        Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!... It's going to get harder and harder for Traitors from now on, but we leave them alone, because they are interesting subjects to study.

        john, illinois

        did they have a central bank run by criminals called the federal reserve in ancient times? or was Cicero a prophet?

        john, belleville

        liberalism,LMAO,try a monetary system.we are a one party system with two factions,controlled by the central bank,owning both parties.the politicians are merely figureheads.Its an old strategy written by sun tzu ,called divide and conquer.while you bicker over liberalism ,the crooks in the bank are stealing our money and taking away liberties,not "liberals."wake the F fighting over liberalism and neo-cons are the fools he speaks of,in this quote.

        misterkel, longview

        Anyone who still criticizes libs or conservatives because 'they're the traitors' is a facile idiot. The entire system is owned by bankers and the wealthy. Neither party is responsive to the people in the least at this point. The Republic is now a corporatocracy. We have Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich - the only ones oppossing the rape of our once beautiful country by the pirates in power.

        Newt, DC
        • 1
        • 5
        • Reply
        Newt, DC    1/8/09

        So True, George Bush and the Christian Right act one way yet bring destruction as is the case now with our economy 01/09

        Sue, Glendale

        Dear Newt, DC and others - to have the audacity to blame Bush and the Christian Right for the current state of economic affairs is ludicrous. I AM a Democrat and even I know better. Alan Greenspan in 1999, GWB starting in 2001, and others including John McCain who authored a bill in, I believe it was 2004, possibly 2005 to cause Congress to reverse the deregulation of Fannie/Freddie as Greenspan had predicted precisely what happened. Maxine Water's words were, "There is no crisis. They're just a bunch of racists who don't want poor people to own homes". Barney Frank accused Bush and the Right of being "Chicken Littles, like the sky was going to fall". Well guess what folks, it DID !!!! One of the biggest mistakes I find in America is that the citizens are ignorant to the nation around them. Pay attention to who the wealthiest truly are. What party do they belong to? What party do the wealthiest Congressmen belong to? Then pay attention to what the wealthiest Americans are doing with their money. Are they putting shoes on poor American childrens' feet? Are they building schools for American children in poor communities? Are they making certain that every poor American child has been vaccinated? Are they making certain that every poor American child has food on their table? This is not a racist issue since Blacks, Whites and Hispanices alike are equally guilty. Pay attention folks.

        Laura, Chicago, Illinois

        A.W. Schlaf, here's another quote from Cicero, cited, that describes the liberals: "To err is human, but to persevere in error is only the act of a fool." [Lat., Cujusvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare.] Topic: Errors Source: Philippicoe (XII, 2)

        Laura, Chicago, Illinois

        Here's another one of Cicero's quotes for you, A.W. Schlaf that describes the Leftist elites' war on us "lowly, backwards" conservatives: "It is the stain and disgrace of the age to envy virtue, and to be anxious to crush the very flower of dignity." [Lat., Est haec saeculi labes quaedam et macula virtuti invidere, velle ipsum florem dignitatis infringere.] Topic: Virtue Source: Gratio Pro Lucio Cornelio Balbo (VI)

        Anonymous, CORSICANA

        I Think he has an excellent point on this. we are still in libert. kent could have drank the kool-aid. we still don't have safe cities, kids these days can't just wak about and do thing and have fun. without somebody even looking at you or trying to take. most have to worry about gettin shot or kill. Then, some parents have to worry about keepin there kids out from doing drugs or selling drugs.WE DNT HAVE SAFE CITIES CORRECT

        A.W. Schlaf, Des Moines, IA

        OK, Laura, et al., let's just look back on this thread and see what I said. 1. No one has been able to give an exact notation of where this supposed quote is to be found in the writings of Cicero. 2. Tied to that, no one has ben able to provide the original Latin oif this "quote." 3. I had earlier in this thread stated that I did not disagree with the message of this "quote," but only with the authenticity of its attribution. In short, are you who are all in a lather over this really that freaking stupid that you cannot recognize that? Does it not sink in that if you are not able to verify that an author said what you claim he did, you are only weakening your argument? Honestly, it is examples of such stupidity that makes me fear for the future of our country.

        Editor, Liberty Quotes

        Thank you, A.W., your point has been made. The source has been updated as 'attributed' because, in fact, it is. Attributed means attributed. Even if in fact the quote is not from the attributed author, as long as the quote is commonly attributed to the author, it is in fact 'attributed.' We do our best to find sources for all of our quotes and our readers help us out the most. Thanks for contributing to the research!

        Adriana, San Diego, CA

        Go Cicero! Or whomever said it -- it's dead on, and a perfect description of the current regime in all three branches of the government.

        Justin, Elkland, Missouri

        How did Cicero (or whomever) forsee the coming of Jimmy Carter two thousand years ago?

        jim k, austin

        Ah yes, Jimmy Carter. I thought he was the worst president in history, but after Obama gets through, I suspect that he will drop to second place. Carter wasn't satisfied being a really bad president, he's even worse as an ex-president.

        Anonymous, Reston, VA, US

        It is yet to be shown if we will have survived the treason that was the admin of King George W & his court of jesters. It is fascinating that the only folks I know who live in McMansions are hyper conservatives who think only of themselves and not a bit of society. It is a pity that so many posters here do not know the difference between a moral & ethical stance that cares about the less fortunate in life and socialism... yet another indictment of their narrow mindedness & lack of clarity of analytic thought.

        David Ben-Ariel, Toledo

        The treacherous today attack those who seek to uphold the Constitution and dare to ask, "Where's the Birth Certificate?" rather than just go like sheep to the slaughter. The anger ought to be against the fraud and foreigner, the president usurper, Soetoro/Obama, who keeps America in the dark and refuses to be transparent with any of his records.

        Jean, Bloomington

        This quote is especially profound with the current crew of power mongers that occupy the hallowed halls of politics - unfortunately there isn't enough backbone to stand up to what we see happening. Quotes of this vintage reminds me of a quote of Winston Churchill - "look far enough into history and you will see the future". It's not looking good to me.

        Waffler, Smith

        This quote raises many feelings in me about issues, views and opinions I hear recently. Time does not permit me to expound so I just pick one. Many conservative commentators and "thinkers" are apalled at the recent bailouts and yell "socialism". I submit they read this article at The jest of the article is that "the US Lags in Auto Industry Support" especially in the area of government sponsored Health Care. All governments are supporting their auto industries especially the Japanese and their auto makers have the luxury of not having to pay for employee health care expense. Americans thus get cheaper cars from abroad, and we stiff our own people and short change our own nation. I submit that yelling socialism when our government and people try to do something and then buying our products form socialist or communist (China) countries is TREASON or at least very treacherous.

        Mike, Norwalk

        The treasons from within. YES, the liberals, the conservatives, the Democrats, the Republicans; all becoming exponentially more traitorous, more anti-constitutional republic, and more socialist (fascist, communist, and progressive - take your pick, what ever brand of socialism works best for any given situation) Waffler, I agree with you about buying American except, the traitors have de-industrialized this nation to such an extent (through rules, regulations, taxation, larceny, etc.) that its getting harder to buy anything made in America, AND harder to make anything in Amerika (recession / credit aside).

        E Archer, NYC

        Wow, a lot of great comments. We the People means you and me, all of us. We must be ever vigilant against those promising us salvation if only we would give up rights to regulate our own lives. Before long, nothing is ours, everything is the government's, and we either bow to the god of government or suffer its wrath.

        GREG, KCMO
        • 1
        • Reply
        GREG, KCMO    7/16/09

        I think that "mike" from NC is probably the biggest moron to ever come out of NC...I guess that is mostly proved in his statement about "our" money? He states conservatism is the source and blame for greed in the world? Liberalism and Communism are ONE AND THE SAME in concept and reality!! By definition is the allocation and re-distribution of assets!! WAKE UP you MORON!! I'm saddened to say that double digit iq people such as him are alive and well, and ALLOWED VOTE!! It's easy for people to be in favor for redistribution, primarily because people like Mike will be the PRIME BENEFACTORS and on the receiving end. Do me a favor, Mike, work your butt off for 6 months of the year, then just walk up to some CRACK ADDICT on the street and give him every dime you've earned, BUT STOP VOTING TO REDISTRIBUTE MINE. I CAN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF, AND OTHERS IF I SO CHOOSE (THAT IS MY DECISION, NOT MY GOVERNMENTS) IF MY LOONY GOVERNMENT WOULD STOP TAKING EVERYTHING THAT I EARN

        Bill, Maumee

        There's a handful of you who got it right. Those of you who jump on Weiner's crazy train are welcome to it. Yes, his real name is Michael Weiner ("Savage" is a moniker)...maybe we can call him Savage Weiner? Anyway, the right/left thing is an illusion. Break the two party system and register independent. Make them work for your vote. They know that 99% of the time, if you got a "D" or and "R" behind your name, that's the way you'll vote. Any Right Wing Zealot who things the "Patriot" Act, which usurps our Constitutional rights was a good thing to "get the bad guys" should listen to Ben Franklin, "Those that would trade their liberty for some temporary measure of freedom deserve neither." For those Left Wing Lunatics, you can't help people who are not willing to help themselves. For those that are unable, I'm all for helping them but cut out the tax benefit for it (ie. the subsidization of it) and let's just see how much your heart bleeds. A few guys, like John from Bellville, got it right. It is the monetary system, corrupt by it's very nature, that is the problem. Until we realize that we are all on this dirtball together and that despite differences in skin color or culture we need to come together. I'm not saying all cultures are equal not by a long shot. Any culture that is essentially a dictatorship or a theocracy is simply bad news. What I am saying is the only way to spread freedom is not by the business end of a gun or missle with technology, and the application of the scientific method to decision making as opposed to emotion-based nonsense. Yes, we'll make mistakes. No, no system is perfect but it is objective as our subjectivity will allow to use the scientific method to deal w/a finite set of resources and to maximize their use. That's the best way to meet Conservative and Progressive goals.

        Chuck, Puyallup, Wa

        I fear he's correct. I hope he's wrong. I fear he is NOT WRONG.

        Gunny G, Yo Momma

        When do we start hanging liberals? THEY ARE THE ENEMY WITHIN.

        Oink, Out in the corn

        I don't care if Floyd the barber said it! It's FABULOUS!

        FamouslyUnknown, Hackensack NJ

        If the thoughts expressed in 'A Dream of Scipio' are to be believed, Cicero was not seeking posthumous glory on this plane of existence for his cogitations. Sanely, let's take the thoughts reputed to him for what they are worth to us now. Bill, Maumee -- The Patriot Act did not usurp our rights to protection under the Constitution. The PA and its specified limitations were put in place to protect our LIVES! No life, no rights! Read the Preamble to the Constitution and the 2nd paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. Even the ACLU failed to convince anyone of authority that the PA was misapplied. Study Andrew McCarthy's essays on this point. Ben Franklin is reputed to have said "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." If you believe the jihadist threat is only a temporary hazard to our safety, and/or we have given up essential liberty to protect ourselves against the terrorists' vendetta of murder, spend some time at Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch website for an education. If we are able to agree on the hierarchy of values/principles to be applied via necessary means, fine. If not, better we wrestle with each others' ideas and come together as best we can against the enemy who wants us enslaved or dead.

        Spied Upon, Rubble

        He spoke of that which is on the brink of enslaving the world. He spoke of the Jew.

        Angel, Trustworthy

        This is the most accurate description of the right-wing that I've encountered. They malign all principals others believe in under the guise of patriotism, they thrive on the ignorant and the fearful, terrify the elderly, remain indifferent in a crisis, cause chaos and division among the population, promote paranoia, all in the name of power. They mock freedom of speech by using it as a tool to deceive the masses.

        Josh, American Canyon, Ca

        F#*k that D-Bag crying about we gotta prove he said it...ReDICKulous! Stop arguing about nonsense and lets begin with public executions of some of these traitorous vermin!!!

        Josh, American Canyon, Ca

        Bill, Maumee...D-Bag! Who cares what Michael "Savage" Weiner's name is? We're discussing a quote about traitors from within.

        tom mcg, balti md

        who ever said it, truly means very little. the truth of the matter that who ever said it gave extreme thought, apparently seeing this in their government, gave them deep insight, perhaps it inspired them to help someone to I.D the problem we face today. MR SAVAGE has someone thinking, that is the true fear, that is the true fear of the liberal, anyone that thinks!!!!!

        TJ, anchorage

        great website!

        Al G, Fort Lee, NJ

        I recently read the Biography of Samuel Adams. Most of the book contained actual writings of he and his wife in the letters they wrote to each other. Also in this book are letter from G. Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, and many other rebels of 250 years ago. Its remarkable how things have changed so little Read it and weep! Al G

        Pete B, Greenport N Y

        M C must be talking about our present government. We know Obama is the enemy at the gate. But the Slime balls in the house and the senate are the real traitors, they steal our hard earned money,they have no morals, they have no shame.

        Tony D, Mamaroneck

        Wow sounds like Cicero had the same problems we have today. Some things never change.

        Alexander Shah, Belgrade

        The quote attributed to Cicero in such wonderfully eloquent way (to which you are referring, Gregory) is not a direct quote from the great orator - but a creative adaptation of one of his speeches (probably inspired therefrom) that does not miss the spirit of his remarks in the Senate against the traitor Catilline.

        • 3
        • 1
        • Reply
          Anonymous    3/2/11

          Whether or not you can verify where the quote comes from, can you really argue against the wisdom of it?? I think not. From another quote associated with Cicero, When you have no basis for argument, abuse the plaintiff. Sounds like Saul Allinski or our regulatory czar.

          Mike, Earth
          • 2
          • Reply
          Mike, Earth    3/2/11

          Good quote. A bit obvious, but a good quote. The lack of a reliable source is toubling, only because you wonder who really said or wrote it, and why, if they did, they felt they needed the reputation of Cicero to give it credence. A rorshach quote. Means the same to all. I suspect Bush or Obama, Jesus or HItler would find inspiration in it.

          ruth, phoenix

          I think he said , look it up , but mostly I think the high school student is the smartest one o this page , she said it doesnt matter why are people even argueing about it . amen Mallory .

          A.W. Schlaf, Des Moines, IA

          Back again. OK, school is out and I don't have to be facing classes for the next three months, so I now have more time. In short, I found the source of the quote. It is from Taylor Caldwell's novel on Cicero, "A Pillar of Iron." I obtained a copy of the book club edition on eBay and found the passage. It is on page 602 of the book club edition, page six of Chapter 57. It may be on other pages in the regular hardback editions and in the paperback edtion. It is where Cicero is being voted into exile for his extra-legal orders of execution of the supporters of Catiline. Caesar, Pompey and Crassus did nothing to help him. Now, Caldwell ends the passage with an asterix (*) for a fotnote and states in that foot note: "Recorded by Sallust" a late Roman republic historian/propagandist. The problem is that I have gone back and read every extant work of Sallust and it is not there. Now, can we agree that this ends it? IOW, Cicero never said it. Period. Full stop. A mid-20th century hack author said it/made it up. Does this make the truth of the "quote" invalid? Nope. Does it illustrate the intellectual laziness of those who blindly attribute this to Cicero? You bet your ass it does. Look, quote it all you want as it is, I have no problem with that. I agree with the sentiment. Just don't attribute it to some one without proof. In doing so, you just weaken the cause you wish to advance. .

          Moira, Hilo

          Schlaf is right, it's a made-up quote very loosely based on Cicero's Second Oration against Cataline. Here's the original: [2.11] Quibus ego confido impendere fatum aliquod, et poenam iam diu improbitati, nequitiae, sceleri, libidini debitam aut instare iam plane aut certe adpropinquare. Quos si meus consulatus, quoniam sanare non potest, sustulerit, non breve nescio quod tempus, sed multa saecula propagarit rei publicae. Nulla est enim natio, quam pertimescamus, nullus rex, qui bellum populo Romano facere possit. Omnia sunt externa unius virtute terra marique pacata; domesticum bellum manet, intus insidiae sunt, intus inclusum periculum est, intus est hostis. Cum luxuria nobis, cum amentia, cum scelere certandum est.

          [2.11] Over whom I am confident some doom, and some punishment long over due, looms for their dishonesty, wickedness, crimes, caprice; what is owed being either already entirely at hand or is certainly approaching. Seeing that, if my consulship is not able to cure these men, let it have destroy them; let it prolong the Republic not for some brief time or other, but for many generations. There is not a nation that we fear, no king who can make war upon the Roman people; everything abroad, on land and sea, is peaceful on account of the valor of one man: civil war remains, there are plots among us; the danger is at home, the enemy is within. We shall fight against extravagance, against folly, against crime.

          One can see the very close parallelism, but it's not a direct quote from Cicero, especially as fraudulently expanded to prove current political points.

          Anonymous, oldsmar

          is cicero trying to describe the malaise that pervades the obama administration.?

          Sonny, Maysville, Georgia

          I love Cicero, but what does it really matter who uttered these words or scripted them? The substance of the quote should be the meat of our interest. For me, if the words had been spoken by my neighbor, I would praise his logic and listen closely to his future utterences.

          Sonny, Maysville, Georgia

          Here is a saying I like: When you are strong on facts and weak on logic, talk facts. When you are strong on logic and weak on facts, talk logic. When you are weak on both, pound the table. (The sounds we are hearing are liberal's shoes striking the table.)

          Marcus Tullius Cicero, Rome

          Yes, I said it. I was drunk and half out of my mind, you happy?

          Erin, Phoenix, AZ

          The only thing worse than a liberal is a republican. Vote issue by issue, and keep your identity out of it or you're weak. And pathetic.

          ahamtw, williamston s.c

          well,who ever quoted it, must have been a patriot of his own thoughts, anyway he or she said it very well.

          Terry, cargo cult ca.

          Don't care if Shakespear did'nt write Shakespear it was somebody called Shakespear. remit: Cicero

          Michael J. Larkin, Plattsburg, MO

          I am re-reading "Cicero" and do not find this quote, altho many of his letters were personal and not meant for publication, and were lost.
          Rather than finding fault with the author, better to learn the wisdom of his remarks. We have a muslim, marxist illegal President doing all he can to denigrate America and promote Islam in the ME.he IS a traitor!. (as was Catiline in Rome!) Cicero was an educated genius, as opposed to Obama, an affirmative action dunce who attended Harvard Communist School after Columbia and Cloward and Pliven. Elected by fraud and the 47% who don't work nor pay taxes. Go Save America!

          Strelnikoff, Great Bridge

          Kent above missed some things about greed. See who makes the most out of their investments. It will surprise you. They have a return that surpasses all mathematical probability, yet seemingly hate the "Rich" and are for the downtrodden. The fits our society like a glove.

          Pierre de Craon, New York, NY

          Mr. Schlaf: Thank you for standing up for intellectual integrity and truth. Shouting "we're number one" and spitting venom at folks who think truth matters is what the tribally oriented establishment does. Let them say what they will: they are enemies of freedom, not its friends.

          omi kosh, Lag

          The author (Cicero or whosoever) must have seen a vision of a judiciary that asked a #23bn thief to pay a fine of #250,000.

          Martin Tetachuk, Rollins, Montana

          Cicero was revealing to the people what is now present in the U.S.A. under President Obama who is the latest instrument in the destruction of America by destroying the the Constitution, renderin g its citizens weak and submisive to a government that is under control of the New World Order.

          J Carlton, Calgary

          It's nice to see the collective conscience becoming aware of the truth. lie after lie after lie from the government...and we're supposed to trust them? They're not worthy of our trust on any level.

          Rich, Solon, Iowa

          Laura from Chicago, Great job smacking down AW from Iowa.

          John, MO
          • 1
          • Reply
          John, MO    12/15/13

          Well, Cicero certainly knew about treason...

          Deborah, SC
          • 5
          • Reply
            Deborah, SC    1/2/14

            Whoever said it, we better absorb it and soon. Anyone who isn't feeling the degeneration of America now will surely feel it when they find themselves denied their rights as declared in the Declaration of Independence. BIll of Rights. & Constitution.

            Fernando, Kissimmee, Florida

            Cicero confirms for us the sameness of man throughout History. The evil and corruption that the elites embrace, and the gullibility of the masses do not change.

            gordon, NYC

            He describes to a tee the American born Israelis of the Jewish lobby working the halls of congress.

            Sophia Heidler, east coast usa

            When and where Cicero spoke these words:

            Attributed. 58 BC, Speech in the Roman Senate

            Prove that's not so.

            Solemanicus Huscurius, 2015 Republic of Texas

            Great quote but...

            Where is the actual link to the Latinized version of Cicero's quote? If this is truly Cicero's sayings in the Senate around 50BC, there should be a source that links both a Latin and English version explaining exactly what Cicero is saying.

            Simply attributing to a date and a title doesn't make it so.

            In College 101, when presenting an argument, you don't attribute dates and fixed titles for certain footnotes, sources, etc. You must list the source in either APA or MLA format. That means including a trace that enables you to find the source that backs up the entire argument.

            For instance, the entire argument on (which is Canadian by the way) is backed by zero sources but an attribution.

            I'd love for Cicero to say this but without factual proof, how can this be Cicero's saying in 50 BC? Liberty-Tree, if you do know the source with Latin and English, attribute it in MLA format please so that people like me, AW, and others may be satisfied in the authenticity of the quote itself.

            Abe, Chicago

            You cannot believe everything written on the internet - Abraham Lincoln

            Jack, Wenona

            Personally I think Cicero is completely right. Do we have traitors from within? Yes we do.
            "A fish rots from the head down."

            R D G, Quebec
            • Reply
            R D G, Quebec Jack, Wenona 4/14/19

            Isn't that a Grecian proverb?

            Disappointed Democrat, Syracuse

            Cicero or not, really, who *truly* cares? What is true is true.

            Regardless of who said it, it is a quote containing more wisdom, reason, and truth than what could be gleaned from listening to ten thousand hours of our current politicians' speeches.

            Cato the Elder, Baltimore

            Cicero's First Oration Against Trump (a newly discovered fragment)

            How long, Trump, will you try our patience with your presence? How long will you mock us with your egregious narcissism? When is there to be an end to your unbridled audacity, paraded before us as it does now? Do not the nightly broadcasts of the national news networks – do not the front pages of the morning newspapers throughout the country – does not the alarm of the people and the opposition of all good men – does not the rush for the exits, the dramatic increase in the application of our students to schools abroad – do not the looks and countenances of our most admired and venerable statesmen, have any effect on you? Do you not feel that your hollowness is exposed? Do you not see that your actions reveal not the considered thought of a bright original mind, but of one with small hands trying to appear “like a smart man”? What is there that you tweeted last night and what the night before – where is it that you were – who was there that you summoned to meet you in your tower – what design was there which was adopted by you, that was no more than a temporary move that we all know will be abandoned or flatly contradicted in the next moment?
            Shame on the age and on its morals! The Congress is aware of these things; the President sees them for what they are; and yet this man continues. Continues! Yes, he is even elected. He makes public pronouncements before the commencement of his term in office; he is watching and marking down and checking off for isolation every individual among us. I, even if alone, will not attend his inauguration. While other, honorable men that they are, think that they are doing their duty to the Republic, if they merely keep out of the way of his frenzied attacks....

            Benedict Holmes, WY

            Thank you, Mr. A.W. Schlaf, for taking the time to look that up conclusively. I had been looking for the latin original, myself, and couldn't find anything. Good scholarship is, alas, not something many people have ever respected - that does not, however, mean it is either unnecessary or unappreciated.
            Good luck in your future studies. The world could use a few more Classicists.

            Cliff, Fredericksburg, Virginia

            "IF" Alfred E Newman said "Cicero's Quote"....I would give HIM 5 STARS !! CWS

            Jim, Pontiac, MI (48342)

            This describes Trump and the Republican party to a T.

            R D G, Quebec
            • 6
            • Reply
            R D G, Quebec Jim, Pontiac, MI (48342) 4/14/19

            This describes the Clintons and the Democrats under their reign to a T.

            Fernando, Kissimmee, FL United States

            Whether Cicero wrote or uttered this meme does not matter it is wisdom and true.

            Alfred, Thein

            I hope you know this applies to everyone. Left & Right, your complete embrace of emotionally appealing politics/rhetoric combined with your inability to compromise and natural born American I know best attitude results in a democracy with an uninformed, unethical public.. making this age, the age of misinformation.

            Enjoy your consensus to mob rule.

            • 1
            • Reply
              Anon    11/30/19

              this quote is Taylor Caldwell.. it is similar to a shorter quote by Cicero

              Mary, MI
              • 3
              • 1
              • Reply
              Mary, MI    2/18/20

              Very descriptive examples of the poisonous Congressmen Adam Schiff, and Jerry Nadler, as well as Congressman Chuck Schumer, and last but not least, Congressman Nancy Pelosi.

              Ronw13, Oregon
              • Reply
              Ronw13, Oregon Mary, MI 2/18/20

              They thrive upon Nosphizomai, purloining. treasonous activity. to appropriate wrongfully and often by a breach of trust. "Webster"
              To sequestrate for oneself, embezzle. Nosphizomai, from the Greek. "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance" 1st mention 1st century AD

              jim k, Austin

              Right on, Mary, Mi.

              Ronw13, Oregon

              Exposing corruption on a grand scale. " A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them." Prov 20:26
              WWG1WGA to MAGA to KAG. President Trump 2020
              Well said Mary, MI


              Get a Quote-a-Day!

              Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.