This recent question brought up the quotation numqvam est ille miser cui facile est mori. A bit of Google indicates that this (probably) comes from Seneca.

But from there, how would I find the context, or any more details about the source?

So far I've tried putting the quote into the Loeb Classical Library's search (with normalized spelling), but while it found all sorts of hits, none of them actually had this quote: just other places where some of the words were near each other.

1 Answer 1


I would suggest the PHI corpus search. To try out your example, I searched for numquam, facile, and mori close to each other, and the whole phrase by Seneca turns up — among a couple of false positives.

The syntax is quite flexible, allowing you to force word boundaries (so that searching for mori doesn't return memoria), decide whether words are adjacent or nearby, and choose author and book if you want to.

This and other text corpora are described in a dedicated list.

  • Regarding your last point, wouldn't this then be a duplicate?
    – luchonacho
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 9:48
  • @luchonacho I don't see it that way. Corpora can do more than just find quotations, and there might also be other tools for quotes like this. But as always, you and everyone are free to vote to close the question as a duplicate if you think so. The site is supposed to be steered by community that way. (It's just that our user base is a little too small for that to work as well as intended. But still no mods are needed to close a question!)
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 10:33

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