"Lorem Ipsum" Dummy Text Dates Back to 1 A.D.

If you've ever seen a sample design of a website or brochure, you may have wondered why it was entirely in Latin. That text, which commonly begins "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet," has been used as placeholder text in printing and typesetting since as early as the 1500s. It comes from sections of Cicero's treatise on ethics, "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum" (The Extremes of Good and Evil), which was written in 45 B.C. The words no longer make sense, as they've been rearranged and altered through the ages, but the original text roughly translates to the following:

"Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?" Learn more about Cicero and the world of printing in the videos below.

10 Quotes By Cicero

Explore the wisdom of this ancient philosopher.

Share the knowledge!

Cicero On Rhetoric

Hear the story of Cicero and Varres.

How Does A Printing Press Work?

Find out about the history of the invention and see how it's made.

Written by Curiosity Staff October 17, 2016