Mens sana in corpore sano

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Mens sana in corpore sano (Classical Latin: [mẽːs ˈsaːna ɪŋ ˈkɔrpɔrɛ ˈsaːnoː]) is a Latin phrase, usually translated as "a healthy mind in a healthy body". The phrase is widely used in sporting and educational contexts to express that physical exercise is an important or essential part of mental and psychological well-being.


The phrase comes from Satire X of the Roman poet Juvenal (10.356). It is the first in a list of what is desirable in life:

Traditional commentators believe that Juvenal's intention was to teach his fellow Roman citizens that in the main, their prayers for such things as long life are misguided. That the gods had provided man with virtues which he then lists for them.

Over time and separated from its context, the phrase has come to have a range of meanings. It can be construed to mean that only a healthy mind can lead to a healthy body, or equally that only a healthy body can produce or sustain a healthy mind. Its most general usage is to express the hierarchy of needs: with physical and mental health at the root.

An earlier, similar saying is attributed to the pre-Socratic philosopher Thales:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ As quoted by Diogenes Laërtius, (R. D. Hicks, ed.), Lives of Eminent Philosophers I:37 (Greek; English).
  2. ^ Young, David C. (January 2005). "Mens Sana in Corpore Sano? Body and Mind in Ancient Greece" (PDF). The International Journal of the History of Sport, Vol.22, No.1, p.33. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  3. ^ "Leidsch Dagblad | 30 oktober 1942 | pagina 1".
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  6. ^ ""The Problem of Increasing Human Energy" by Nikola Tesla". Retrieved 2020-01-16.
  7. ^ Wood, Victoria (1990). "Mens sana in thingummy doodah and five other nuggets of homely fun". ISBN 9780413638601.