To live sparingly with a placid mind is great riches for a man.
divitiae grandes homini sunt vivere parce
Cicero, On Friendship
23.86 (tr. Cyrus R. Edmonds):
Many persons despise riches; for, being content with a little, moderate food and a moderate style of living delights them.
multi divitias despiciunt, quos parvo contentos tenuis victus cultusque delectat.
Cicero, On Duties
1.21.70 (tr. Cyrus R. Edmonds):
Therefore, as the object of those who are ambitious for power, and of those who court retirement, and whom I have just now described, is the same, the former imagine that they can attain it if they are possessed of great resources, and the latter, if they can be contented with their own, and with little.
quare cum hoc commune sit potentiae cupidorum cum his, quos dixi, otiosis, alteri se adipisci id posse arbitrantur, si opes magnas habeant, alteri si contenti sint et suo et parvo.
He lives well on little, whose ancestral salt cellar shines on his frugal table, and whose slumbers vain fear and unseemly desire don't disturb.
vivitur parvo bene cui paternum
splendet in mensa tenui salinum
nec levis somnos timor aut cupido
1.10.39-41 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough):
So he who through fear of poverty forfeits liberty, which is better than mines of wealth, will in his avarice carry a master, and be a slave for ever, not knowing how to live on little.
sic, qui pauperiem veritus potiore metallis
libertate caret, dominum vehet improbus atque
serviet aeternum, quia parvo nesciet uti.
Farmers of the olden days, strong and happy with little...
agricolae prisci, fortes parvoque beati...
2.2.1-4 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough, slightly altered):
Learn what and how great, my friends, is the virtue of living on little — now this is no talk of mine, but is the teaching of Ofellus, a peasant, a philosopher unschooled and of rough mother-wit...
Quae virtus et quanta, boni, sit vivere parvo
(nec meus hic sermo est, sed quae praecepit Ofellus
rusticus, abnormis sapiens crassaque Minerva),
2.2.107-111 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough):
Which of the two, in face of changes and chances, will have more self-confidence — he who has accustomed a pampered mind and body to superfluities, or he who, content with little and fearful of the future, has in peace, like a wise man, provided for the needs of war?
ad casus dubios fidet sibi certius? hic qui
pluribus adsuerit mentem corpusque superbum,
an qui contentus parvo metuensque futuri
in pace, ut sapiens, aptarit idonea bello?
Tibullus 1.1.25-28 (tr. Frank O. Copley):
Oh, now, let me be content to live on little, and not be forever surrendered to endless journeying; let me rather avoid the hot rising of the Dogstar under the shade of a tree where streams of water pass by.
iam modo iam possim contentus vivere parvo
nec semper longae deditus esse viae,
sed Canis aestivos ortus vitare sub umbra
arboris ad rivos praetereuntis aquae.
O wasteful luxury, never satisfied with what is obtained for a small price, and ostentatious appetite for foods sought over land and sea, and boastfulness of an elegant tablelearn with how small an amount it is possible to prolong life and how little nature seeks.
o prodiga rerum
luxuries numquam parvo contenta paratis
et quaesitorum terra pelagoque ciborum
ambitiosa fames et lautae gloria mensae,
discite, quam parvo liceat producere vitam
et quantum natura petat.
329-334 (tr. Frank Justus Miller):
Unsullied the ages our fathers saw, with crime banished afar. Then every man inactive kept to his own shores and lived to old age on ancestral fields, rich with but little, knowing no wealth save what his home soil had yielded.
candida nostri saecula patres
videre, procul fraude remota.
sua quisque piger litora tangens
patrioque senex factus in arvo,
nisi quas tulerat natale solum
non norat opes.
[Seneca], Hercules Furens
159-161 (tr. Frank Justus Miller):
Such are the tasks of those whose is the peaceful calm of harmless lives, whose home rejoices in the tiny store that is its own.
haec, innocuae quibus est vitae
et laeta suo parvoque domus.