There was an ancient writer who was a Syrian slave, brought to Rome, freed and educated. He went on to write an important work some of which will be familiar to you (believe it or not). His name was Publillius Syrus and he lived from 85-43 B.C. The work from which many well-known sayings have derived was called Sententiae.
Sententiae is Latin for moral saying (roughly) and you would be much more familiar with synonyms like proverb, adage, aphorism,