With great power comes great responsibility.
This is a recurring phrase in enough movies that I figured I ought to track it down.
Most people attribute it to the Spider-Man comics.
This is, however, untrue.
- Damocles said to his king Dionysius II of Syracuse how fortunate he was to be a man of great wealth and power.
- Dionysius offered to switch places with Damocles so he can see it for himself.
- Damocles accepted, but the throne he was given had a sword hanging above it, held by only one hair from a horse's tail.
Dionysius relented, begging to trade places again, because he realised that with great fortune and power comes also great responsibility and danger.
Through his Tusculanes, he discusses whether virtue alone would be sufficient for a happy life.
(source, paragraph 71)
Quibus et talibus rebus exquisitis hoc vel maxime efficitur, quod hac disputatione agimus, ut virtus ad beate vivendum sit se ipsa contenta.
The final line translates to something like "virtue is sufficient for living contentedly".