ars longa, vita brevis

art is long, life is short


The Latin translation by Seneca (De Brevitate Vitae, 1.1) of a phrase from Hippocrates, often used out of context. The "art" referred to in the original aphorism was the craft of medicine, which took a lifetime to acquire.


  • arsart, craft, science, skill, strategem
  • vitalife, way of life
  • brevisbrief, short, small