In Wheelock's Latin there is an edited excerpt of Livy from Ab Urbe Conditā:

Populus Rōmānus magnōs animōs et paucās culpās habēbat. Dē officiīs nostrīs cōgitābāmus et glōriam bellī semper laudābāmus. Sed nunc multum ōtium habēmus, et multī sunt avārī. Nec vitia nostra nec remedia tolerāre possumus.

It's not unusual in any culture or time for people to view the past in a more positive light and to lament that things have changed. Are there any other quotes from writers during the classical era and early empire that have this general meaning?

2 Answers 2


Horace, Odes II.14

non ego hoc ferrem calidus iuventa consule Planco

Although Horace is writing specifically about being no longer young, the wider “good old days” connotation of consule Planco , “when Plancus was consul”, is present and the phrase itself is widely used up to the present day in, let’s say, “classically educated” English. Try Googling it and you’ll see.


Juvenal's satires are full of this sentiment. Example Satire 1, line 94:

quis totidem erexit villas, quis fercula septem secreto cenavit avus?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.