Have problems on trying to find an original quote from Cicero

I’m so sorry for any inconvenience because the sentence is too long to post on Thread topic.

There is a really widespread proverb on Chinese network and it’s said to be a quote of Cicero. But I have problems on finding the original Latin sentence.

I translated the sentence from Chinese to English as:
The happiness of a serious person does not lie in the contemptuous companion of romanticism, amusement and laughter, but in perseverance and fortitude.

I would appreciate it if you Latinists can find the original Latin sentence and the source of this quote. But in my opinion this quote looks quite suspicious.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
Romanticism, eh? How prescient.

I agree with you that it sounds suspicious. There are lots of bogus Cicero (or other classical author) quotes about, at least in the anglosphere, and it's a bit depressing if the Chinese are developing their own industry.

Edit: Though if you're translating it from Chinese, perhaps that word doesn't sound so anachronistic as it does in English. But I'm still unconvinced. Possibly someone will recognise something said with a similar sentiment, though.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The sentiment does sound in line with Cicero's philosophy, and he may well have written something similar, minus the anachronistic "romanticism", of course. It could be an authentic quote or, if not that, a loose paraphrase or conflation of several passages. It doesn't bring any particular passage to my mind, unfortunately; but, contrary to what Etaoin seems to think, I don't remember everything.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Maybe from Cicero, but I would sooner think of something from Seneca, perhaps?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The sentiment is like a lot of stuff by Seneca too, yes. Seneca and Cicero had similar philosophical views — they were both Stoics, right?
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Seneca for sure, Cicero had more of an eclectic worldview, quoting Academics, Peripatetics, Stoics, Epicureans, even sceptics, I believe, so I'm not too sure to which particular school of philosophy he was adherent to.
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
Yeah, Cicero's a bit of a mix.
Latin Literature: A History by Conte dixit:
The comparison between the different philosophical systems is carried on throughout the entire corpus of Ciceronian dialogues, but it is developed especially extensively in the De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum. After the Epicurean theories have been refuted, Cat0 the Younger takes up, in the third book, the defense of traditional Stoicism, before which Cicero’s position was always one of substantial perplexity (let us recall Pro Murena [see p. 182]).Cicero recognized that Stoicism furnished the most solid moral basis for the citizens’ commitment to the community. Yet by virtue of his taste and culture he felt himself remote from an intransigent Stoic such as Cat0 or from an Academic of rigid morality such as Brutus. Their ethical rigidity seemed anachronistic to him, scarcely practicable in a society that had undergone radical transformations after the period of the great conquests. Cicero’s eclecticism also signifies openness and sympathy for philosophies that were moderately open to pleasure, such as the Peripatetic philosophy, and his Academic probabilism furnished the theoretical basis for his attempt to reconcile diverse tendencies. The De Finibus can be seen as an aporetic dialogue. Near the conclusion Cicero, when considering the problem of the highest good, seems to hesitate between the theories of Antiochus of Ascalon (an Academic who had reacted vigorously to the Skepticism of his teachers and returned to dogmatic positions) and a more critical attitude.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
In De Natura Deorum he presents the Skeptic view, as I recall (though is far more sympathetic to the Stoic than Epicurean view).
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Indeed. I've recently finished reading that work.
 
maybe I should use the word “dissolute” instead of “romantic”. Anyway thanks for all of you helping me identify this, those are all looking so suspicious, I can’t believe they are quotes from Cicero.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
What the asker presented might not actually be a translation of Cicero into Chinese, but rather might be some sort of extreme condensation of Cicero's views as found in De Officiis 1.92 and following...
 
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