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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index V > Virgil Quotes

(15 Oct 70 B.C. - 21 Sep 19 B.C.)

(a.k.a. Publius Vergilius Maro) whose epic Aeneid was published postumously, and remains one of the most complex and subtle works ever written. Its 10,000 lines are divided into 12 books.

Science Quotes by Virgil (5 quotes)

Carpent tua poma nepotes
Your descendants shall gather your fruits.
— Virgil
Eclogues, IX, line 50. In The Works of Virgil: Translated Into English Prose, as Near the Original as the Different Idioms of the Latin and English Languages Will Allow (1770), 46, it is translated as “Posterity shall pluck the fruit of thy plantations.”
Science quotes on:  |  Descendant (17)  |  Fruit (104)  |  Gather (74)  |  Gathering (23)  |  Posterity (29)

Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.
Blessed is he who has been able to win knowledge of the causes of things.
— Virgil
In The Georgics, Book 2, l. 490, as translated by H. Rushton Fairclough, Virgil, Vol. I, Eclogues, Georgics Aeneid I-VI (1916), 150.
Science quotes on:  |  Bless (25)  |  Blessed (20)  |  Cause (549)  |  Knowledge (1610)  |  Thing (1914)  |  Win (53)

Tantus amor florum, et generandi gloria mellis.
Ardent is their love of flowers, and such their glory in making honey.
— Virgil
About bees. As given in Latin and in The Works of Virgil: Translated Into English Prose (1821), Vol. 1, 160.
Science quotes on:  |  Ardent (6)  |  Bee (42)  |  Botany (61)  |  Entomology (9)  |  Flower (109)  |  Glory (64)  |  Honey (15)  |  Love (317)  |  Making (300)

Even the gods dwelt in the woods.
— Virgil
From the original Latin, “Habitarunt di quoque silvas”, in Eclogues (37 BC), book II, line 60, in Johannes Christianus Jahn (ed.), P. Virgilii Maronis: Opera Omnia (1825), 7. As translated in ‎Henry Rushton Fairclough, Virgil (1956), Vol. 1, 15. Eclogues is also known as Bucolica.
Science quotes on:  |  Dwell (16)  |  Forestry (17)  |  God (764)  |  Wood (92)

Happy is he who has been able to learn the causes of things.
— Virgil
In Georgies (36-29 B.C.).
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (549)  |  Happy (105)  |  Learn (652)  |  Thing (1914)

Quotes by others about Virgil (2)

If it be true, that some Chymists have now and then converted Lead into Gold, it was by just such a hazard, as if a man should let fall a handful of sand upon a table and the particles of it should be so ranged that we could read distinctly on it a whole page of Virgil’s Ænead.
In Traité de Physique, (1671, 1676), Part. 3, Chap. 6, 186. As translated in Rohault’s System of Natural Philosophy (1723), Part 3, Chap. 6, 154. From the original French, “Que s’il est vray que quelques Chymistes ayent autrefois converty du plomb en or, ça esté par un hazard aussi grand, que si ayant laissé tomber de haut une poignée de sable sur une table, ses gains s'estoient tellement rangez, qu'on y pût lire distinctement une page de l'Eneide de Virgile.”
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“On doit etre etonné ([Abbé Raynal]says) que l'Amerique n’ait pas encore produit un bon poëte, un habile mathematicien, un homme de génie dans un seul art, ou une seule science.” …“America has not yet produced one good poet.” When we shall have existed as a people as long as the Greeks did before they produced a Homer, the Romans a Virgil, the French a Racine and Voltaire, the English a Shakespeare and Milton, should this reproach be still true, we will enquire from what unfriendly causes it has proceeded, that the other countries of Europe and quarters of the earth shall not have inscribed any name in the roll of poets. But neither has America produced “one able mathematician, one man of genius in a single art or a single science.” … In physics we have produced a [Benjamin] Franklin, than whom no one of the present age has made more important discoveries, nor has enriched philosophy with more, or more ingenious solutions of the phaenomena, of nature. … [The quadrant invented by Godfrey, an American also, and with the aid of which the European nations traverse the globe, is called Hadley’s quadrant.] … We have supposed Mr. [David] Rittenhouse second to no astronomer living: that in genius he must be the first, because he is self-taught. As an artist he has exhibited as great a proof of mechanical genius as the world has ever produced. … We therefore suppose, that this reproach is as unjust as it is unkind; and that, of the geniuses which adorn the present age, America contributes its full share. [Compared to the much larger populations of European countries.]
The reference given by Jefferson for the original reproach by Abbé Raynal, an ellipsis above, is “7. Hist. Philos. p. 92. ed. Maestricht. 1774”. The original remark written in French, translates as: “One must be amazed that America has not yet produced a good poet, an able mathematician, one man of genius in a single art, or a single science.” Jefferson uses parts of it in English, to introduce his rebuttal. From Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (1787), 107-110. A footnote adds that: “In a later edition of the Abbé Raynal’s work, he has withdrawn his censure…”
Science quotes on:  |  American (53)  |  Astronomer (96)  |  Discovery (818)  |  Benjamin Franklin (94)  |  Genius (297)  |  Greek (108)  |  Homer (10)  |  Mathematician (400)  |  John Milton (28)  |  Physics (550)  |  Poet (94)  |  Research (734)  |  David Rittenhouse (6)  |  Roman (39)  |  Science And Art (193)  |  William Shakespeare (107)  |  Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire (42)

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
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- 50 -
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- 40 -
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
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- 10 -
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