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Proverbium

παροιμία). A proverb. Both the Greeks and Romans were fond of short, pithy sayings, embodying the accumulated experience of mankind, and they abound in the pages of the classic writers. Mere academic and philosophic sayings were styled γνῶμαι (sententiae), and writers in whom they abound are called “gnomic.” (See Epos.) The maxims of the Seven Sages were famous throughout Greece (see Seven Sages), and among the Romans writers like Cato the Elder, Iulius Caesar, Tiro , and Suetonius made collections of apothegms. The mimes of Publilius Syrus were full of maxims, hundreds of which are still preserved. (See Publilius Syrus.) For the literature of the subject, see Duplessis, Bibliographiē Parémiologique (Paris, 1847); Rheinsberg-Düringsfeld, Sprichwörter der Germanischen und Romanischen Sprachen (1872-75), which is the ablest work on proverbs that has ever been written; and for convenient reference, the Dictionary of Classical Quotations in the Bohn Library (London, 1874).

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