Figure Name maxim
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Ad Herennium 288-290
Earliest Source None
Synonyms maximus, greatest proposition
Etymology L. maximus “greatest proposition” = Gk. axiom
Type Trope
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include apothegm, gnome, paroemia, proverb, and sententia (Silva Rhetoricae)
2. A saying drawn from life, which shows concisely either what happens or ought to happen in life (Ad Herennium)


2. "Every beginning is difficult." (Ad Herennium)
2. "Least in the habit of giving reverence to the virtues is he who has always enjoyed the favours of fortune." (Ad Herennium)
2. "A free man is that man to be judged who is a slave to no base habit." (Ad Herennium)
2. "As poor as the man who has not enough is the man who cannot have enough." (Ad Herennium)
2. "Choose the noblest way of living ; habit will make it enjoyable." (Ad Herennium)
2. "All the rules for noble living should be based on virtue, because virtue alone is within her own control, whereas all else is subject to the sway of fortune." (Ad Herennium)
2. "Those who have cultivated a man's friendship for his wealth one and all fly from him as soon as his wealth has slipped away. For when the motive of their intercourse has disappeared, there is nothing left which can maintain that friendship." (Ad Herennium)
2. "They who in prosperity think to have escaped all the onslaughts of fortune are mistaken; they who in favourable times fear a reversal are wise in their forethought." (Ad Herennium)
2. "They who think that the sins of youth deserve indulgence are deceived, because that time of life does not constitute a hindrance to sound studious activities. But they act wisely who chastise the young with especial severity in order to inculcate at the age most opportune for it the desire to attain those virtues by which they can order their whole lives." (Ad Herennium)

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Notes From the Ad Herennium: We should insert maxims only rarely, that we may be looked upon as leading the case, not preaching morals. When so interspersed, they will add much distinction.
Confidence Confident
Last Editor Ashwini Namasivayam
Confidence Confident
Editorial Notes
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