every man is the architect of his own fortune

Although attributed to Bacon in quot. 1991, this was a saying of the Roman censor Appius Claudius Caecus (4th-3rd cent. BC): PSEUDO-SALLUST Ad Caesarem Senem i. sed res docuit id verum esse, quod in carminibus Appius ait, fabrum esse suae quemque fortunae, but experience has shown what Appius said in his verses to be true, that each man is the architect of his own fortune.

1533 N. UDALL Flowers for Latin Speaking (1560) 24 A prouerbiall spekyng... Euery man..is causer of his own fortune.

1649 MILTON Eikonoklastes III. 542 They in whomsoeuer these vertues dwell..are the architects of thir own happiness.

1707 J. DUNTON Athenian Sport 454 We are..architects of our own fortune.

1818 S. FERRIER Marriage III. vi. As every man is said to be the artificer of his own fortune, so every one..had best be the artificer of their own friendship.

1873 Notes & Queries 4th ser. XII. 514 We have not a commoner saying among us than ‘Every man is the architect of his own fortune,’ and we have very few much older.

1991 Times 5 June 18 Educationists complain of the limitations on their resources; but quantifying this in league tables proves the long-term truth of Bacon’s dictum quisque faber suae fortunae, each the maker of his own fate.


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