Motivational Latin Quotes About Success
Most of us are aware that Latin is a dead language and hasn’t been spoken amongst everyday people for almost 2000 years since the fall of ancient Rome.
Despite this, Latin quotes about success are some of the most popular quotes today.
Even though European monks and scholars continued to write in Latin throughout the middle ages and beyond, the spoken word was sadly lost to the past, especially as it was once the international language of the time.
However, luckily for us the English language is predominantly built upon Latin words.
So it wont come as a surprise that there are still a few of them floating around today.
The legal profession is one of a few that still uses Latin sayings in contractual legal documents (mainly to confuse the rest of us).
I’m sure most of us have signed an agreement with the Latin term ‘caveat emptor’ included in it, meaning that the buyer is responsible for checking their goods.
Or used the abbreviation ‘etc.’ at the end of a sentence which is actually short for ‘et cetera,’ meaning ‘and other similar things’.
The initials NB can also sometimes be found at the bottom of important letters or documents, this is the abbreviated form of ‘nota bene,’ meaning that special attention should be paid to that part.
Why not just say that, right?
Keep reading for the quotes below.
If you want to read more Latin quotes then try our inspiring Latin life quotes article.
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Latin quotes in popular culture
For those of you who thought Latin quotes were resigned to dusty history books in high school or reserved for power broking business leaders then you might be in for a shock.
There are some incredible Latin quotes about success that have been used in Hollywood movies and modern literature.
Probably the most famous of the motivational Latin quotes about success in the modern era was spoken by Robin Williams’ character in the film The Dead Poets Society, where he delivers his celebrated ‘carpe diem’ speech.
Teaching the students that they must ‘seize the day.’
Another actor who was actually more famous for assassinating a president of the United States took his opportunity to utter one of the now most infamous lines in the Latin language.
John Wilkes Booth leapt to the stage and shouted “sic semper tyrannis,” shortly after he had assassinated Abraham Lincoln. Which translates as, ‘thus be to tyrants.’
And who could forget those famous last words of Caesar, made famous by William Shakespeare?
As the once mighty Julius Caesar looks at his faithful friend Brutus and utters the phrase, “et tu Brute?”
Meaning “and you Brutus?” before he finally succumbs to the many knives that have been thrust into his torso.
Keep reading for more Latin quotes about success.
Latin expressions used everyday
As I said at the beginning of this article, many English words are built on the foundations of the Latin language and it isn’t just the famous Latin quotes about success that you can read below that have relevance.
How often do we use the term ‘bona fide’ to describe something that is the real deal?
Well ‘bona fide’ which would have actually been pronounced ‘bon-a fid-e’ is a direct Latin term which translates into English as ‘good faith.’
Meaning that something was taken or given in good faith.
Over time we have evolved it into meaning that whatever was given or taken is right and correct.
In UK journalism, all reporters will be familiar with the term ‘vox pop’ which is when a reporter canvases the general public for their viewpoint, often recording it on a microphone or camera.
The term ‘vox pop’ comes from the Latin term ‘vox populi’ meaning ‘voice of the people.’
Ok, so not quite Latin quotes about success but pretty interesting all the same.
Whilst researching Latin proverbs for this blog, I noticed that if you were an ancient Roman or ancient Greek, then much like your counterparts in present times, you would have had a particular penchant for alcohol.
On a lot of sites, the top phrases alongside the more inspirational Latin quotes about success were ones about wine.
They evidently believed that wine brought out the truth in whoever drank it as one of the most enduring phrases is “vino veritas,” which translates as “in wine there is truth.”
That, alongside “aqua vitae” which literally means “water of life,” which relates to potent alcohol as opposed to good quality H20.
Now if you are here for the headline Latin quotes about success and motivation then wait no longer.
Check out our top 61 Latin quotes about success below.
15 best Latin phrases
1. Ceteris paribus
“All other things being equal.”
2. Sine qua non
If you have a particular attribute that defines you then you could say that it was “an absolutely necessary component or ingredient,” which is the literal translation for the phrase above.
3. Panem et circenses
This one is actually better known now by its English translation: “bread and circuses;” the idea that many people can be placated by diversions and security, rather than aiming for greatness. If you are aiming for better things then avoid the bread and circuses!
4. Carpe Diem
Perhaps the most recognised Latin phrase in existence today. Originally taken from the Odes of Horace, the literal translation is “seize the day,” meaning don’t waste it!
5. Carpe noctem
“Seize the night.” Much like it’s daytime counterpart the meaning of this is to put in whatever time is necessary to achieve a worthy goal.
6. Audentes fortuna iuvat
“Fortune favors the bold.” People who think things can’t be done are often interrupted by others who are actually doing them.
7. Semper paratus
“Always prepared,” the motto of both the U.S. Coast Guard and (in Anglicized format) the Boy Scouts.
8. Acta non verba
“Actions, not words.” Another good latin phrase that also happens to be the motto of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
9. Ad infinitum
“Again and again, the same way forever.” Whether you choose to see this as monotony or what happens when you generate some insane recurring income is up to you.
10. Veni, Vidi, Vici
The famous alleged words of Julius Caesar, meaning I came, I saw, I conquered. Jay-Z actually used the translation in his song ‘Encore,’ and it is popular amongst tattoo artists. Two time world boxing champion Carl Frampton is one of many sports men that has the latin quote etched into his skin.
11. Semper fidelis
“Always faithful,” the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps. Even if you’re not a Marine, it’s good to know this one and what it means.
12. Pulvis et umbra sumus
“We are but dust and shadow.” This should evoke those famous words from the film Gladiator; “We are but shadows and dust Maximus, shadows and dust.”
13. Vi et industria
“By Strength and industry,” basically, if you’re willing to put in the hard work and don’t give up. You will achieve success.
14. Consilion non impetu
By wisdom not rashness. Strength and work ethic is all very well but using your brain power and not rushing in is clearly good advice.
15. A cane muto et aqua silente cave tibi
This is the perfect phrase if you want to confuse a rival or get everyone scratching their head about what you’re up to. Its literal translation is; “beware of the dog that does not bark and of silent waters.”
Keep reading for Latin quotes about success in sport.
14 Inspirational Latin quotes for sport
1. Floreat qui laborat
Working hard was a common theme amongst the ancient Romans you may be unsurprised to hear. This translates as “he prospers who labours.”
2. Labor omnia vincit
They certainly weren’t afraid of applying themselves; “work wins everything.”
3. Fortis et velox
“Strong and swift.” A particularly powerful mantra that sounds like a way in which revenge should be dealt.
4. Fulminis instar
Following on from the revenge theme, a way that every good man should attack, “like lightning.”
5. In veritate victoria
Apparently moral as well as determined, this phrase means “victory in truth.”
6. Invictus arduis
A firm motto often found on a coat of arms, this translates as “unconquered in difficulties.”
7. Nec elatus nec dejectus
“Neither overjoyed, nor dejected,” a reminder that a stoic mindset helps when striving for greater goals.
8. Nil desperandum
“Never despairing.” Keeping your head while all about you are losing theirs as Kipling would put it.
9. Qui potest capere capist
This is definitely one for the capitalists out there, the phrase translates as “let him take who can take.”
10. Vita, Veritas, Victoria
Quite simply; “Life, truth, victory”
11. Citius, Altius, Fortius
This could be a great idea for the next crossfit strapline ? “Faster, higher, stronger”
12. Nunquam non paratus
Certainly the best way to approach any new venture or challenge; “never unprepared.”
13. Generousitas et victoria
“Generous in victory,” something I’m not sure all Romans could be accused of.
14. Fléctere si néqueo súperos Acheronta movebo
Stoking the fires with this famous latin quote from Virgil’s Aeneid next time you are playing in a big game is a great way to bring in some passion. The literal translation is; “If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell.” Powerful!
Wait! There’s more Latin quotes about success. Keep reading!
14 Famous Latin Quotes
1. Ubi amor ibi fides
Quite simply; “Where there is love, there is faith.”
2. Vincit omnia veritas
One to bear in mind when things get tough or you find yourself in the middle of a scandal; “truth overcomes all things.”
3. Virtus in arduis
“Courage in difficulties,” a saying we could all benefit from hearing.
4. Asgre lan diogel et phercen
“A good conscience is the best shield”
5. Dum spiro spero
“While I breathe I hope,” should inspire anyone who is feeling like they are up against it.
6. Esto quod esse videris
A reminder that the power of truth and transparency lies in an honest person, “men should be what they seem”
7. Finem respice
“Consider the end,” whether this is the end goal or death, they didn’t seek to clarify.
8. Non ducor, duco
A strong stance on leadership by one of the greatest military powers in history, this translates as “I am not led, I lead.”
9. Non nobis solum nati sumus
Not for ourselves, alone we are born
10. Fas est ab hoste doceri
“One should learn, even from one’s enemies,” this is particularly poignant in an age of giant egos.
11. Aut viam inveniam aut faciam tibi
Famously attributed to the military leader Hannibal which means, “I will either find a way or make one.”
12. Pactum serva
Sometimes being a human being is tough and we face difficult times but we should always remember to, “keep the faith” to get us through.
13. Victor numquam usque
There might not be an easy way out but “a winner never gives up.”
14. Bis vivit qui bene vivit
If you are having a crisis about doing the right thing then bear this phrase in mind, “he lives twice, who lives well.”
19 Popular Latin phrases
1. Ad astra per aspera
Pay special attention to one of the most popular Latin phrases, meaning, “through adversity to the stars,” this utterance is generally used to describe the overcoming of adversity resulting in a favorable outcome.
2. Alea iacta est
Another famous phrase attributed to the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar. The saying means “the die is cast” and was apparently uttered when he crossed his army obver the Rubicon river.
3. Acta non verba
Modern readers will possibly be able to guess the meaning of this common saying which translates as “deeds not words,” we would more likely say “actions not words” these days.
4. Ad meliora
“Toward better things” is something we can all relate to, especially in a Covid19 stricken planet.
5. In absentia lucis, Tenebrae vincunt
In a saying that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Batman movie, the translation goes; “In the absence of light, darkness prevails.”
6. Vivamus Moriendum est.
In an inspiring statement that makes us all feel truly mortal, this translates as, “Let us live, since we must die.”
7. Astra inclinant, sed non obligant
“The stars incline us, they do not bind us,” meaning that there may be a plan lined up for us but we still have our free will to change it.
8. Timendi causa est nescire
If you want to instill some passion into a fearful friend then try this phrase to put things into perspective. “Ignorance is the cause of fear.”
9. Malum consilium quod mutari non potest
A phrase that all those on the path to success should bear in mind. “Bad is the plan that cannot change.”
10. Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe
Meaning “if the wind fails you, use the oars,” this is a reminder that there is always a plan B…although it may be harder work than plan A.
11. Acta deos numquam mortalia fallunt
If you fancy yourself as an immortal and want to strike fear into your subordinated then try the phrase above which translates as “mortal actions never deceive the Gods.”
12. Dulce periculum
“Danger is sweet” is sure to raise a few eyebrows at your next dinner party.
13. Condemnant quo non intellegunt
Another one for the intellectuals, this means “they condemn that which they do not understand.” Strong words, especially if you’re caught out at work.
14. Qui totum vult totum perdit
A word of caution for the wall street aficionados, this means “he who wants everything, loses everything. Take note Gordon Gekko.
15. Faber est suae quisque fortunae
“Every man is the artisan of his own fortune,” more words to inspire you to break from the norm and carve out your own path.
16. Lupus non timet canem latrantem
Getting sick and tired of internet trolls or someone pushing their luck with you. Why not take the moral high ground with the motto above which translates as; “a wolf is not afraid of a barking dog.”
17. Dulce bellum inexpertis
Some words of caution from a nation that knew a thing or two about going to war, “war is sweet to those who have never experienced it.”
18. A bove ante, ab asino retro, a muliere undique caveto
Of all of the phrases across many internet sites, this is without doubt a Maverick Mindsets favourite. Like a lot of Latin quotes, it won’t fit in with today’s politically correct standards, but we liked it. “Beware of the bull from the front, the donkey from behind, and women from all sides.”
19. Sapere aude
“Dare to know,” something that we should all be inspired to do. Keep learning.
If you’ve enjoyed reading these inspiring Latin quotes then why not check out Top Badass Latin Phrases on YouTube (below), or pick up the Ultimate Beginners Guide To Learning Latin!