Greek Philosophers Quotes

‘Tis said that wrath is the last thing in a man to grow old. – Alcaeus

To be bowed by grief is folly; Naught is gained by melancholy; Better than the pain of thinking, Is to steep the sense in drinking. – Alcaeus

Wine is a peep-hole on a man. – Alcaeus

Not houses finely roofed or the stones of walls well builded, nay nor canals and dockyards make the city, but men able to use their opportunity. – Alcaeus

Cursed be he above all others Who’s enslaved by love of money. Money takes the place of brothers, Money takes the place of parents, Money brings us war and slaughter. – Anacreon

I both love and do not love; and am mad and not mad. – Anacreon

It is not I who have lost the Athenians, but the Athenians who have lost me. – Anaxagoras

Appearances are a glimpse of the unseen. – Anaxagoras

Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god, but a great rock, and the sun a hot rock. – Anaxagoras

The seed of everything is in everything else. – Anaxagoras

The descent to Hades is the same from every place. – Anaxagoras

Men would live exceedingly quiet if these two words, mine and thine, were taken away. – Anaxagoras

Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes. – Antisthenes

Quarrels often arise in marriages when the bridal gifts are excessive. – Antisthenes

As iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion. – Antisthenes

The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue. – Antisthenes

I am sadly afraid that I must have done some wicked thing. – Antisthenes

There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself – an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly. – Antisthenes

Not to unlearn what you have learned is the most necessary kind of learning. – Antisthenes

Observe your enemies, for they first find out your faults. – Antisthenes

You should not decide until you have heard what both have to say. – Aristophanes

Wise people, even though all laws were abolished, would still lead the same life. – Aristophanes

Shrines! Shrines! Surely you don’t believe in the gods. What’s your argument? Where’s your proof? – Aristophanes

A man may learn wisdom even from a foe. – Aristophanes

Under every stone lurks a politician. – Aristophanes

High thoughts must have high language. – Aristophanes

Your lost friends are not dead, but gone before, advanced a stage or two upon that road which you must travel in the steps they trod. – Aristophanes

These impossible women! How they do get around us! The poet was right: Can’t live with them, or without them. – Aristophanes

A man’s homeland is wherever he prospers. – Aristophanes

Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever. – Aristophanes

Let each man exercise the art he knows. – Aristophanes

Love is simply the name for the desire and the pursuit of the whole. – Aristophanes

Hunger knows no friend but its feeder. – Aristophanes

Characteristics of a popular politician: a horrible voice, bad breeding, and a vulgar manner. – Aristophanes

Why, I’d like nothing better than to achieve some bold adventure, worthy of our trip. – Aristophanes

Men of sense often learn from their enemies. It is from their foes, not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls and ships of war. – Aristophanes

You cannot teach a crab to walk straight. – Aristophanes

Open your mouth and shut your eyes and see what Zeus will send you. – Aristophanes

The wise learn many things from their enemies. – Aristophanes

Evil events from evil causes spring. – Aristophanes

When strong, be merciful, if you would have the respect, not the fear of your neighbors. – Chilon

Prefer a loss to a dishonest gain; the one brings pain at the moment, the other for all time. – Chilon

Wellbeing is attained by little and little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself. – Citium Zeno

Fate is the endless chain of causation, whereby things are; the reason or formula by which the world goes on. – Citium Zeno

No evil is honorable: but death is honorable; therefore death is not evil. – Citium Zeno

It is greed to do all the talking but not to want to listen at all. – Democritus

Men should strive to think much and know little. – Democritus

Raising children is an uncertain thing; success is reached only after a life of battle and worry. – Democritus

The wrongdoer is more unfortunate than the man wronged. – Democritus

Our sins are more easily remembered than our good deeds. – Democritus

Do not trust all men, but trust men of worth; the former course is silly, the latter a mark of prudence. – Democritus

I would rather discover one true cause than gain the kingdom of Persia. – Democritus

Good means not merely not to do wrong, but rather not to desire to do wrong. – Democritus

Hope of ill gain is the beginning of loss. – Democritus

It is better to destroy one’s own errors than those of others. – Democritus

By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich. – Democritus

Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains. – Democritus

Everything existing in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity. – Democritus

If thou suffer injustice, console thyself; the true unhappiness is in doing it. – Democritus

Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul. – Democritus

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion. – Democritus

Now as of old the gods give men all good things, excepting only those that are baneful and injurious and useless. These, now as of old, are not gifts of the gods: men stumble into them themselves because of their own blindness and folly. – Democritus

It is godlike ever to think on something beautiful and on something new. – Democritus

I am called a dog because I fawn on those who give me anything, I yelp at those who refuse, and I set my teeth in rascals. – Diogenes

The foundation of every state is the education of its youth. – Diogenes

I do not know whether there are gods, but there ought to be. – Diogenes

It was a favorite expression of Theophrastus that time was the most valuable thing that a man could spend. – Diogenes

Of what use is a philosopher who doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings? – Diogenes

Most men are within a finger’s breadth of being mad. – Diogenes

Why not whip the teacher when the pupil misbehaves? – Diogenes

I know nothing, except the fact of my ignorance. – Diogenes

Those who have virtue always in their mouths, and neglect it in practice, are like a harp, which emits a sound pleasing to others, while itself is insensible of the music. – Diogenes

Wise kings generally have wise counselors; and he must be a wise man himself who is capable of distinguishing one. – Diogenes

The sun too penetrates into privies, but is not polluted by them. – Diogenes

When I look upon seamen, men of science and philosophers, man is the wisest of all beings; when I look upon priests and prophets nothing is as contemptible as man. – Diogenes

The great thieves lead away the little thief. – Diogenes

There is only a finger’s difference between a wise man and a fool. – Diogenes

What I like to drink most is wine that belongs to others. – Diogenes

I have nothing to ask but that you would remove to the other side, that you may not, by intercepting the sunshine, take from me what you cannot give. – Diogenes

In a rich man’s house there is no place to spit but his face. – Diogenes

Calumny is only the noise of madmen. – Diogenes

As a matter of self-preservation, a man needs good friends or ardent enemies, for the former instruct him and the latter take him to task. – Diogenes

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world. – Diogenes

He has the most who is most content with the least. – Diogenes

We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less. – Diogenes

Man is the most intelligent of the animals – and the most silly. – Diogenes

Blushing is the color of virtue. – Diogenes

Stand a little less between me and the sun. – Diogenes

Modesty is the color of virtue. – Diogenes

The art of being a slave is to rule one’s master. – Diogenes

Dogs and philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards. – Diogenes

It is the privilege of the gods to want nothing, and of godlike men to want little. – Diogenes

I threw my cup away when I saw a child drinking from his hands at the trough. – Diogenes

No man is hurt but by himself. – Diogenes

It takes a wise man to discover a wise man. – Diogenes

The sun, too, shines into cesspools and is not polluted. – Diogenes

The vine bears three kinds of grapes: the first of pleasure, the second of intoxication, the third of disgust. – Diogenes

The mob is the mother of tyrants. – Diogenes

Wise leaders generally have wise counselors because it takes a wise person themselves to distinguish them. – Diogenes

Happy is he who has gained the wealth of divine thoughts, wretched is he whose beliefs about the gods are dark. – Empedocles

The nature of God is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere. – Empedocles

Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant. – Epictetus

We should not moor a ship with one anchor, or our life with one hope. – Epictetus

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. – Epictetus

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. – Epictetus

Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them. – Epictetus

When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger. – Epictetus

Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish? Nothing else. – Epictetus

Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope. – Epictetus

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. – Epictetus

Practice yourself, for heaven’s sake in little things, and then proceed to greater. – Epictetus

It takes more than just a good looking body. You’ve got to have the heart and soul to go with it. – Epictetus

Not every difficult and dangerous thing is suitable for training, but only that which is conducive to success in achieving the object of our effort. – Epictetus

He is a drunkard who takes more than three glasses though he be not drunk. – Epictetus

The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best. – Epictetus

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. – Epictetus

Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. – Epictetus

Never in any case say I have lost such a thing, but I have returned it. Is your child dead? It is a return. Is your wife dead? It is a return. Are you deprived of your estate? Is not this also a return? – Epictetus

Keep silence for the most part, and speak only when you must, and then briefly. – Epictetus

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid. – Epictetus

It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death. – Epictetus

The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests. – Epictetus

First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak. – Epictetus

Only the educated are free. – Epictetus

To accuse others for one’s own misfortunes is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete. – Epictetus

It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows. – Epictetus

You may be always victorious if you will never enter into any contest where the issue does not wholly depend upon yourself. – Epictetus

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. – Epictetus

If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it. – Epictetus

If one oversteps the bounds of moderation, the greatest pleasures cease to please. – Epictetus

If thy brother wrongs thee, remember not so much his wrong-doing, but more than ever that he is thy brother. – Epictetus

People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them. – Epictetus

All religions must be tolerated… for every man must get to heaven in his own way. – Epictetus

No great thing is created suddenly. – Epictetus

No greater thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen. – Epictetus

The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things. – Epictetus

If you wish to be a writer, write. – Epictetus

Difficulties are things that show a person what they are. – Epictetus

Silence is safer than speech. – Epictetus

Do not laugh much or often or unrestrainedly. – Epictetus

There is nothing good or evil save in the will. – Epictetus

We are not to give credit to the many, who say that none ought to be educated but the free; but rather to the philosophers, who say that the well-educated alone are free. – Epictetus

God has entrusted me with myself. – Epictetus

We tell lies, yet it is easy to show that lying is immoral. – Epictetus

If you seek truth you will not seek victory by dishonorable means, and if you find truth you will become invincible. – Epictetus

It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them. – Epictetus

The two powers which in my opinion constitute a wise man are those of bearing and forbearing. – Epictetus

Imagine for yourself a character, a model personality, whose example you determine to follow, in private as well as in public. – Epictetus

It is not he who reviles or strikes you who insults you, but your opinion that these things are insulting. – Epictetus

Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth, is unhappy, though he be master of the world. – Epictetus

If virtue promises happiness, prosperity and peace, then progress in virtue is progress in each of these for to whatever point the perfection of anything brings us, progress is always an approach toward it. – Epictetus

Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig. I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen. – Epictetus

All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain. – Epictetus

Do not seek to bring things to pass in accordance with your wishes, but wish for them as they are, and you will find them. – Epictetus

Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire. – Epictetus

No man is free who is not master of himself. – Epictetus

If you desire to be good, begin by believing that you are wicked. – Epictetus

Control thy passions lest they take vengence on thee. – Epictetus

Whenever you are angry, be assured that it is not only a present evil, but that you have increased a habit. – Epictetus

The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going. – Epictetus

Freedom is the right to live as we wish. – Epictetus

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. – Epictetus

Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly. – Epictetus

You are a little soul carrying around a corpse. – Epictetus

One that desires to excel should endeavor in those things that are in themselves most excellent. – Epictetus

Unless we place our religion and our treasure in the same thing, religion will always be sacrificed. – Epictetus

It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself. – Epicurus

The misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool. – Epicurus

Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist. – Epicurus

It is better for you to be free of fear lying upon a pallet, than to have a golden couch and a rich table and be full of trouble. – Epicurus

The time when most of you should withdraw into yourself is when you are forced to be in a crowd. – Epicurus

We do not so much need the help of our friends as the confidence of their help in need. – Epicurus

A free life cannot acquire many possessions, because this is not easy to do without servility to mobs or monarchs. – Epicurus

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. – Epicurus

It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly. And it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life. – Epicurus

I never desired to please the rabble. What pleased them, I did not learn; and what I knew was far removed from their understanding. – Epicurus

Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance. – Epicurus

If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires. – Epicurus

If God listened to the prayers of men, all men would quickly have perished: for they are forever praying for evil against one another. – Epicurus

The art of living well and the art of dying well are one. – Epicurus

I have never wished to cater to the crowd; for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know. – Epicurus

Of all the things which wisdom provides to make us entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship. – Epicurus

Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little. – Epicurus

It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls. – Epicurus

Justice… is a kind of compact not to harm or be harmed. – Epicurus

It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help. – Epicurus

There is no such thing as justice in the abstract; it is merely a compact between men. – Epicurus

Misfortune seldom intrudes upon the wise man; his greatest and highest interests are directed by reason throughout the course of life. – Epicurus

Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness. – Euripides

No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow. – Euripides

Danger gleams like sunshine to a brave man’s eyes. – Euripides

Silence is true wisdom’s best reply. – Euripides

When a man’s stomach is full it makes no difference whether he is rich or poor. – Euripides

Do not plan for ventures before finishing what’s at hand. – Euripides

Life has no blessing like a prudent friend. – Euripides

Down on your knees, and thank heaven, fasting, for a good man’s love. – Euripides

Wealth stays with us a little moment if at all: only our characters are steadfast, not our gold. – Euripides

No one is truly free, they are a slave to wealth, fortune, the law, or other people restraining them from acting according to their will. – Euripides

Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish. – Euripides

The bold are helpless without cleverness. – Euripides

There is the sky, which is all men’s together. – Euripides

The good and the wise lead quiet lives. – Euripides

The greatest pleasure of life is love. – Euripides

There is just one life for each of us: our own. – Euripides

One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives. – Euripides

To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter. – Euripides

Ten soldiers wisely led will beat a hundred without a head. – Euripides

Events will take their course, it is no good of being angry at them; he is happiest who wisely turns them to the best account. – Euripides

To persevere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage in a man. – Euripides

Slight not what’s near through aiming at what’s far. – Euripides

Those whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad. – Euripides

Youth is the best time to be rich, and the best time to be poor. – Euripides

Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other. – Euripides

He is not a lover who does not love forever. – Euripides

Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing. – Euripides

Much effort, much prosperity. – Euripides

Prosperity is full of friends. – Euripides

Joint undertakings stand a better chance when they benefit both sides. – Euripides

The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man. – Euripides

Cleverness is not wisdom. – Euripides

Human misery must somewhere have a stop; there is no wind that always blows a storm. – Euripides

Whoso neglects learning in his youth, loses the past and is dead for the future. – Euripides

God hates violence. He has ordained that all men fairly possess their property, not seize it. – Euripides

The best of seers is he who guesses well. – Euripides

Fortune truly helps those who are of good judgment. – Euripides

Impudence is the worst of all human diseases. – Euripides

It’s not beauty but fine qualities, my girl, that keep a husband. – Euripides

In misfortune, which friend remains a friend? – Euripides

There is something in the pang of change More than the heart can bear, Unhappiness remembering happiness. – Euripides

One does nothing who tries to console a despondent person with word. A friend is one who aids with deeds at a critical time when deeds are called for. – Euripides

Lucky that man whose children make his happiness in life and not his grief, the anguished disappointment of his hopes. – Euripides

The wavering mind is but a base possession. – Euripides

‘Twas but my tongue, ’twas not my soul that swore. – Euripides

This is slavery, not to speak one’s thought. – Euripides

Leave no stone unturned. – Euripides

Nothing has more strength than dire necessity. – Euripides

Forgive, son; men are men; they needs must err. – Euripides

Better a serpent than a stepmother! – Euripides

I would prefer as friend a good man ignorant than one more clever who is evil too. – Euripides

Ignorance of one’s misfortunes is clear gain. – Euripides

Among mortals second thoughts are wisest. – Euripides

Happiness is brief. It will not stay. God batters at its sails. – Euripides

Silver and gold are not the only coin; virtue too passes current all over the world. – Euripides

Authority is never without hate. – Euripides

Love makes the time pass. Time makes love pass. – Euripides

Some wisdom you must learn from one who’s wise. – Euripides

No one is happy all his life long. – Euripides

New faces have more authority than accustomed ones. – Euripides

The lucky person passes for a genius. – Euripides

He was a wise man who originated the idea of God. – Euripides

Do not consider painful what is good for you. – Euripides

Chance fights ever on the side of the prudent. – Euripides

Luckier than one’s neighbor, but still not happy. – Euripides

Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom. – Euripides

But learn that to die is a debt we must all pay. – Euripides

No one who lives in error is free. – Euripides

There is nothing permanent except change. – Heraclitus

Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play. – Heraclitus

A man’s character is his guardian divinity. – Heraclitus

Even sleepers are workers and collaborators in what goes on in the Universe. – Heraclitus

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. – Heraclitus

Much learning does not teach understanding. – Heraclitus

You could not step twice into the same rivers; for other waters are ever flowing on to you. – Heraclitus

To God everything is beautiful, good, and just; humans, however, think some things are unjust and others just. – Heraclitus

Eyes and ears are poor witnesses to people if they have uncultured souls. – Heraclitus

The way up and the way down are one and the same. – Heraclitus

Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of those we envy. – Heraclitus

The chain of wedlock is so heavy that it takes two to carry it – and sometimes three. – Heraclitus

The sun is new each day. – Heraclitus

Nature is wont to hide herself. – Heraclitus

Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character. – Heraclitus

You cannot step into the same river twice. – Heraclitus

Character is destiny. – Heraclitus

Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details. – Heraclitus

Hide our ignorance as we will, an evening of wine soon reveals it. – Heraclitus

Nothing endures but change. – Heraclitus

It is hard to contend against one’s heart’s desire; for whatever it wishes to have it buys at the cost of soul. – Heraclitus

No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger. – Heraclitus

Couples are wholes and not wholes, what agrees disagrees, the concordant is discordant. From all things one and from one all things. – Heraclitus

To do the same thing over and over again is not only boredom: it is to be controlled by rather than to control what you do. – Heraclitus

Justice will overtake fabricators of lies and false witnesses. – Heraclitus

A man’s character is his fate. – Heraclitus

God is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, surfeit and hunger. – Heraclitus

Deliberate violence is more to be quenched than a fire. – Heraclitus

The eyes are more exact witnesses than the ears. – Heraclitus

The best people renounce all for one goal, the eternal fame of mortals; but most people stuff themselves like cattle. – Heraclitus

Big results require big ambitions. – Heraclitus

If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail. – Heraclitus

Change alone is unchanging. – Heraclitus

Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony. – Heraclitus

Bigotry is the sacred disease. – Heraclitus

I am what libraries and librarians have made me, with little assistance from a professor of Greek and poets. – Heraclitus

Corpses are more fit to be thrown out than is dung. – Heraclitus

A bad neighbor is as great a calamity as a good one is a great advantage. – Hesiod

Whoever, fleeing marriage and the sorrows that women cause, does not wish to wed comes to a deadly old age. – Hesiod

For a man wins nothing better than a good wife, and then again nothing deadlier than a bad one. – Hesiod

Often even a whole city suffers for a bad man who sins and contrives presumptuous deeds. – Hesiod

Work is no disgrace: it is idleness which is a disgrace. – Hesiod

Bring a wife home to your house when you are of the right age, not far short of 30 years, nor much above; this is the right time for marriage. – Hesiod

It is not possible either to trick or escape the mind of Zeus. – Hesiod

Happy is the man whom the Muses love: sweet speech flows from his mouth. – Hesiod

Potter is jealous of potter, and craftsman of craftsman; and the poor have a grudge against the poor, and the poet against the poet. – Hesiod

The man who does evil to another does evil to himself, and the evil counsel is most evil for him who counsels it. – Hesiod

We know how to speak many falsehoods that resemble real things, but we know, when we will, how to speak true things. – Hesiod

Preserve the mean; the opportune moment is best in all things. – Hesiod

But they who give straight judgements to strangers and to those of the land and do not transgress what is just, for them the city flourishes and its people prosper. – Hesiod

Do not let a flattering woman coax and wheedle you and deceive you; she is after your barn. – Hesiod

It will not always be summer; build barns. – Hesiod

Whoever has trusted a woman has trusted deceivers. – Hesiod

So the people will pay the penalty for their kings’ presumption, who, by devising evil, turn justice from her path with tortuous speech. – Hesiod

Badness you can get easily, in quantity; the road is smooth, and it lies close by, But in front of excellence the immortal gods have put sweat, and long and steep is the way to it. – Hesiod

He fashions evil for himself who does evil to another, and an evil plan does mischief to the planner. – Hesiod

Wealth should not be seized, but the god-given is much better. – Hesiod

It is best to do things systematically, since we are only human, and disorder is our worst enemy. – Hesiod

Whoever happens to give birth to mischievous children lives always with unending grief in his spirit and heart. – Hesiod

If you add a little to a little, and then do it again, soon that little shall be much. – Hesiod

Admire a small ship, but put your freight in a large one; for the larger the load, the greater will be the profit upon profit. – Hesiod

How easily some light report is set about, but how difficult to bear. – Hesiod

For both faith and want of faith have destroyed men alike. – Hesiod

Giving is good, but taking is bad and brings death. – Hesiod

Acquisition means life to miserable mortals. – Hesiod

Justice prevails over transgression when she comes to the end of the race. – Hesiod

The fool knows after he’s suffered. – Hesiod

Toil is no source of shame; idleness is shame. – Hesiod

He is senseless who would match himself against a stronger man; for he is deprived of victory and adds suffering to disgrace. – Hesiod

Mortals grow swiftly in misfortune. – Hesiod

At the beginning of the cask and the end take thy fill but be saving in the middle; for at the bottom the savings comes too late. – Hesiod

Do not gain basely; base gain is equal to ruin. – Hesiod

If you should put even a little on a little and should do this often, soon this would become big. – Hesiod

The best is he who calls men to the best. And those who heed the call are also blessed. But worthless who call not, heed not, but rest. – Hesiod

Try to take for a mate a person of your own neighborhood. – Hesiod

When you deal with your brother, be pleasant, but get a witness. – Hesiod

Observe due measure, for right timing is in all things the most important factor. – Hesiod

Never make a companion equal to a brother. – Hesiod

A day is sometimes our mother, sometimes our stepmother. – Hesiod

False shame accompanies a man that is poor, shame that either harms a man greatly or profits him; shame is with poverty, but confidence with wealth. – Hesiod

Often an entire city has suffered because of an evil man. – Hesiod

And what he greatly thought, he nobly dared. – Homer

There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends. – Homer

Be still my heart; thou hast known worse than this. – Homer

Two friends, two bodies with one soul inspired. – Homer

Wise to resolve, and patient to perform. – Homer

In youth and beauty, wisdom is but rare! – Homer

Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another. – Homer

Yet, taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other’s good, and melt at other’s woe. – Homer

True friends appear less moved than counterfeit. – Homer

A sympathetic friend can be quite as dear as a brother. – Homer

Hunger is insolent, and will be fed. – Homer

The difficulty is not so great to die for a friend, as to find a friend worth dying for. – Homer

There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep. – Homer

Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid. – Homer

Hateful to me as are the gates of hell, Is he who, hiding one thing in his heart, Utters another. – Homer

But curb thou the high spirit in thy breast, for gentle ways are best, and keep aloof from sharp contentions. – Homer

The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others. – Homer

Without a sign, his sword the brave man draws, and asks no omen, but his country’s cause. – Homer

It is not good to have a rule of many. – Homer

For rarely are sons similar to their fathers: most are worse, and a few are better than their fathers. – Homer

A decent boldness ever meets with friends. – Homer

Nothing shall I, while sane, compare with a friend. – Homer

To have a great man for an intimate friend seems pleasant to those who have never tried it; those who have, fear it. – Homer

Even were sleep is concerned, too much is a bad thing. – Homer

Two urns on Jove’s high throne have ever stood, the source of evil one, and one of good; from thence the cup of mortal man he fills, blessings to these, to those distributes ills; to most he mingles both. – Homer

All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final. – Hypatia

Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend. To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those that lie beyond. – Hypatia

Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fantasies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them. – Hypatia

In fact men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth – often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable. – Hypatia

Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all. – Hypatia

He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor. – Menander

The chief beginning of evil is goodness in excess. – Menander

‘Know thyself’ is a good saying, but not in all situations. In many it is better to say ‘know others.’ – Menander

We live, not as we wish to, but as we can. – Menander

Marriage, if one will face the truth, is an evil, but a necessary evil. – Menander

Even God lends a hand to honest boldness. – Menander

Bad company corrupts good character. – Menander

Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado. – Menander

I call a fig a fig, a spade a spade. – Menander

The person who has the will to undergo all labor may win any goal. – Menander

Riches cover a multitude of woes. – Menander

The character of a man is known from his conversations. – Menander

Culture makes all men gentle. – Menander

The sword the body wounds, sharp words the mind. – Menander

The man who runs may fight again. – Menander

It is not white hair that engenders wisdom. – Menander

Whom the gods love dies young. – Menander

Seek not, my soul, the life of the immortals; but enjoy to the full the resources that are within thy reach. – Pindar

A graceful and honorable old age is the childhood of immortality. – Pindar

Even wisdom has to yield to self-interest. – Pindar

Learn what you are and be such. – Pindar

Not every truth is the better for showing its face undisguised; and often silence is the wisest thing for a man to heed. – Pindar

The best of healers is good cheer. – Pindar

Great deeds give choice of many tales. Choose a slight tale, enrich it large, and then let wise men listen. – Pindar

Every gift which is given, even though is be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection. – Pindar

The test of any man lies in action. – Pindar

Men are the dreams of a shadow. – Pindar

The days that are still to come are the wisest witnesses. – Pindar

The present will not long endure. – Pindar

Whatever is beautiful is beautiful by necessity. – Pindar

If I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes. – Plutarch

Do not speak of your happiness to one less fortunate than yourself. – Plutarch

It is indeed a desirable thing to be well-descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors. – Plutarch

Courage consists not in hazarding without fear; but being resolutely minded in a just cause. – Plutarch

In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker. – Plutarch

The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education. – Plutarch

To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our days. – Plutarch

To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult. – Plutarch

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. – Plutarch

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. – Plutarch

I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. – Plutarch

To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future. – Plutarch

It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risk everything. – Plutarch

We ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household belongings, which when worn with use we throw away. – Plutarch

Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly. – Plutarch

Neither blame or praise yourself. – Plutarch

Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly. – Plutarch

Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech. – Plutarch

The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits. – Plutarch

The omission of good is no less reprehensible than the commission of evil. – Plutarch

Medicine to produce health must examine disease; and music, to create harmony must investigate discord. – Plutarch

Fate leads him who follows it, and drags him who resist. – Plutarch

Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends. – Plutarch

A few vices are sufficient to darken many virtues. – Plutarch

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. – Plutarch

Moral habits, induced by public practices, are far quicker in making their way into men’s private lives, than the failings and faults of individuals are in infecting the city at large. – Plutarch

No man ever wetted clay and then left it, as if there would be bricks by chance and fortune. – Plutarch

Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little. – Plutarch

It were better to have no opinion of God at all than such a one as is unworthy of him; for the one is only belief – the other contempt. – Plutarch

I would rather excel in the knowledge of what is excellent, than in the extent of my power and possessions. – Plutarch

For to err in opinion, though it be not the part of wise men, is at least human. – Plutarch

An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics. – Plutarch

Courage stands halfway between cowardice and rashness, one of which is a lack, the other an excess of courage. – Plutarch

All men whilst they are awake are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own. – Plutarch

Let us carefully observe those good qualities wherein our enemies excel us; and endeavor to excel them, by avoiding what is faulty, and imitating what is excellent in them. – Plutarch

When the strong box contains no more both friends and flatterers shun the door. – Plutarch

Nothing is harder to direct than a man in prosperity; nothing more easily managed that one is adversity. – Plutarch

Character is simply habit long continued. – Plutarch

As to gods, I have no way of knowing either that they exist or do not exist, or what they are like. – Protagoras

Let us hold our discussion together in our own persons, making trial of the truth and of ourselves. – Protagoras

Man is the measure of all things. – Protagoras

The Athenians are right to accept advice from anyone, since it is incumbent on everyone to share in that sort of excellence, or else there can be no city at all. – Protagoras

There are two sides to every question. – Protagoras

No intelligent man believes that anybody ever willingly errs or willingly does base and evil deeds; they are well aware that all who do base and evil things do them unwillingly. – Protagoras

I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing. – Socrates

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing. – Socrates

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us. – Socrates

I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean. – Socrates

A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true. – Socrates

Wisdom begins in wonder. – Socrates

Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us. – Socrates

He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature. – Socrates

The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be. – Socrates

The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. – Socrates

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. – Socrates

Beware the barrenness of a busy life. – Socrates

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher. – Socrates

Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live. – Socrates

The unexamined life is not worth living. – Socrates

From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate. – Socrates

Death may be the greatest of all human blessings. – Socrates

Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior. – Socrates

He is a man of courage who does not run away, but remains at his post and fights against the enemy. – Socrates

Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant. – Socrates

False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. – Socrates

True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing. – Socrates

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. – Socrates

Be as you wish to seem. – Socrates

An honest man is always a child. – Socrates

If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. – Socrates

One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him. – Socrates

I only wish that ordinary people had an unlimited capacity for doing harm; then they might have an unlimited power for doing good. – Socrates

I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance. – Socrates

All men’s souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine. – Socrates

Ordinary people seem not to realize that those who really apply themselves in the right way to philosophy are directly and of their own accord preparing themselves for dying and death. – Socrates

The end of life is to be like God, and the soul following God will be like Him. – Socrates

Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for. – Socrates

Where there is reverence there is fear, but there is not reverence everywhere that there is fear, because fear presumably has a wider extension than reverence. – Socrates

It is not living that matters, but living rightly. – Socrates

Beauty is a short-lived tyranny. – Socrates

Let him that would move the world first move himself. – Socrates

Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued. – Socrates

As to marriage or celibacy, let a man take which course he will, he will be sure to repent. – Socrates

I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live. – Socrates

Beauty is the bait which with delight allures man to enlarge his kind. – Socrates

If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it. – Socrates

The poets are only the interpreters of the gods. – Socrates

Nothing is more active than thought, for it travels over the universe, and nothing is stronger than necessity for all must submit to it. – Thales

The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself. – Thales

Hope is the only good that is common to all men; those who have nothing else possess hope still. – Thales

There are three attributes for which I am grateful to Fortune: that I was born, first, human and not animal; second, man and not woman; and third, Greek and not barbarian. – Thales

Verily, great grace may go with a little gift; and precious are all things that come from a friend. – Theocritus

Now begins a torrent of words and a trickling of sense. – Theocritus

Faults are beauties in a lover’s eye. – Theocritus

We must consider the distinctive characters and the general nature of plants from the point of view of their morphology, their behavior under external conditions, their mode of generation, and the whole course of their life. – Theophrastus

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend. – Theophrastus

Ah, yes, superstition: it would appear to be cowardice in face of the supernatural. – Theophrastus

One may define flattery as a base companionship which is most advantageous to the flatterer. – Theophrastus

The man of petty ambition if invited to dinner will be eager to be set next his host. – Theophrastus

An orator without judgment is a horse without a bridle. – Theophrastus

No human being will ever know the Truth, for even if they happen to say it by chance, they would not even known they had done so. – Xenophanes

It isn’t right to judge strength as better than good wisdom. – Xenophanes

There is one God – supreme among gods and men – who is like mortals in neither body nor mind. – Xenophanes

But if cattle and horses or lions had hands, or were able to draw with their hands and do the work that men can do, horses would draw the forms of the gods like horses, and cattle like cattle, and they would make their bodies such as they each had themselves. – Xenophanes

If cattle and horses, or lions, had hands, or were able to draw with their feet and produce the works which men do, horses would draw the forms of gods like horses, and cattle like cattle, and they would make the gods’ bodies the same shape as their own. – Xenophanes

The gods did not reveal, from the beginning, all things to us. – Xenophanes

Men create the gods in their own image. – Xenophanes

Better than the strength of men and horses is our wisdom. – Xenophanes

All men begin their learning with Homer. – Xenophanes

It takes a wise man to recognize a wise man. – Xenophanes

God is one, greatest of gods and men, not like mortals in body or thought. – Xenophanes