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Sometimes attributed to Seneca the Younger, but not attested: Errare humanum est, perseverare autem diabolicum, et tertia non datur (To err is human; to persist [in committing such errors] is of the devil, and the third possibility is not given.) Several authors contemplated the idea before Seneca: Livy Venia dignus error is humanus (Storie, VIII, 35) and Cicero: is Cuiusvis errare: insipientis nullius nisi, in errore perseverare (Anyone can err, but only the fool persists in his fault) (Philippicae XII, ii, 5). Cicero - well-versed in ancient Greek - may well have been alluding to Euripides' play Hippolytus some four centuries earlier.[21] 300 years later Augustine of Hippo recycled the idea in his Sermones (164, 14): Humanum fuit errare, diabolicum est per animositatem in errore manere.[22] The phrase gained currency in English language after Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism (1711): "To err is human, to forgive divine." (line 325).

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