Dē Coniūrātiōne Catilīnae 1

Omnēs hominēs, quī sēsē student praestāre cēterīs animālibus, summā ope nīti decet, nē vītam silentiō transeant velutī pecora, quae nātūra prōna atque ventrī oboedientia finxit. sed nostra omnis vīs in animō et corpore sita est: animī imperiō, corporis servitiō magis ūtimur; alterum nōbīs cum dīs, alterum cum bēluīs commūne est. quō mihi rectius vidētur ingenī quam vīrium opibus glōriam quaerere et, quoniam vīta ipsa, quā fruimur, brevis est, memoriam nostrī quam maxumē longam efficere. nam dīvitiārum et formae glōria fluxa atque fragilis est, virtūs clara aeternaque habētur.

All those who are eager that they should stand apart from the other animals should strive with all their might not to pass their lives in silence like beasts, which nature has fashioned prostrate and subservient to their bellies. All our power is located in our body and our mind: we use our mind as leader, our body as slave. The one we share with the gods, the other with beasts. It seems to me the more justified that we should seek glory with the resources of our intellect than of our physical strength, and, since the very life which we enjoy is brief, make our fame last as long as possible. For the glory of riches and beauty is transient and fragile, but virtue is a noble and everlasting possession.

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