Livy, Proem 10

by Tom Gardner

hoc illud est praecipue in cognitione rerum salubre ac frugiferum, omnis te exempli documenta in inlustri posita monumento intueri: inde tibi tuaequae rei publicae quod imitere capias, inde foedum inceptu, foedum exitu, quod vites.

Here in acquiring knowledge of the past, it is particularly salutary and fruitful for you to behold lessons of every type as if laid out on a brilliant memorial: from that you may take what to copy for yourself and your republic; from that you may shun that which is detestable in the beginning, and detestable in the conclusion.