Quotes from Ancient Times
What the rich and famous and wise said
Thoughtful and attentive words to contenplate learn from
Note: Throughout history the rich, famous and wise have said things that have been recorded in the form of quote.s It is the study of these quotes that give insight into life.
Solomon (died c. 930 BC), king of the ancient Hebrews and son of David
As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons.
Lycurgu (fl. c. 850 BC), Spartan semi-mythical law-giver
There thou beholdest the walls of Sparta, and every man a brick.
To one that advised him to set up a democracy in Sparta, "Pray," said Lycurgus, "do you first set a democracy in your own house."
Hesiod (c. 800 BC - c. 720 BC) Greek pastoral poet
Actions from youth, advice from the middle-aged, prayers from the aged.
No day is wholly unproductive of good.
But what says the Greek? "In the morning of like, work; in the midday, give counsel; in the evening, pray."
We know to tell many fictions like to truths, and we know, when we will, to speak what is true.
Night, having Sleep, the brother of Death.
On the tongue of such an one they shed a honeyed dew, and from his lips drop gentle words.
In man speaks God.
The potter is at enmity with the potter.
The artist envies what the arties gains,
The bard the rival bard's successful strains.
- Works and Days (bk. I, l. 43) [Envy]
No whispered rumours which the many spread can wholly perish.
Aerial spirits, by great Jove design'd
To be on earth the guardians of mankind:
Invisible to mortal eyes they go,
And mark our actions, good or bad, below:
The immortal spies with watchful care preside,
And thrice ten thousand round their charges glide:
They can reward with glory or with gold,
A power they by Divine permission hold.
- Works and Days (l. 164) [Spirits]
Often an entire city has suffered because of an evil man.
- Works and Days (l. 240) [Suffering]
And the evil wish is most evil to the wisher.
Aristodemus, Messenian (reigned c. 731 BC - 724 BC) semi-legendary ruler of Messenia
Money makes the man.
PERIANDER OF CORINTH (665? BC - 585 BC) Greek tyrant, one of Seven Sages
Nothing is impossible to industry.
Pittacus of Mitylene (c. 652 BC - 569 BC), Greek one of Seven Sages, statesman, philosopher and poet
Forgiveness is better than revenge.
Know thy opportunity.
Seize time by the forelock.
SOLON (c. 638 BC - 559 BC), Athenian one of Seven Sages, lawgiver
Look to the end of a long life.
Men keep their engagements when it is an advantage to both parties not to break them.
CLEOBULUS OF LINDOS (633 BC - 564 BC) Rhodes one of Seven Sages
Alcaeus (fl. c. 600 BC), Greek lyric poet
Not stones, nor wood, nor the art of artisans make a state; but where men are who know how to take care of themselves, these are cities and walls.
The Arcadians were chestnut-eaters.
Fighting men are the city's fortress.
Anacharsis (fl. 600 BC) Scythian philosopher
At Athens, wise men propose, and fools dispose.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will like them only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
Sappho (fl. c. 600 BC), Greek lyric poet
The angel of spring, the mellow-throated nightingale.
Hesperus bringing together. All that the morning star scattered.
What is beautiful is good, and who is good will soon also be beautiful.
Simonides of Ceos (556 BC - 467 BC), Greek lyric poet
Of earthly goods, the best is a good wife; A bad, the bitterest curse of human life.
Painting is silent poetry, poetry is eloquent painting.
The gods do not fight against necessity.
We count it death to falter, not to die.
Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 540 BC - c. 480 BC), Greek philosopher
Everything flows and nothing stays.
You can't step twice into the same river.
The road up and the road down are one and the same.
A man's character is his fate.
Bias of Priene (c. 566 BC) Greek one of Seven sages
It is better to decide a difference between enemies than friends, for one of our friends will certainly become an enemy and one of our enemies a friend.
Most men are bad.
Speak of the gods as they are.
Themistocles (514? BC - 449 BC) Athenian statesman and commander
I never learned how to tune a harp, or play upon a lute; but I know how to raise a small and inconsiderable city to glory and greatness.
Strike, not hear. Strike, but hear me.
Anaxagoras (c. 500 BC - c. 428 BC) Greek philosopher and scientist
Appearances are a glimpse of the unseen.
Protagoras (490? BC - 420? BC), Greek sophist and philosopher
Man is the measure of all things.
Leontinus Gorgias (483 BC - 375 BC) Greek sophist and rhetorician
In arguing one should meet serious pleading with humor, and humor with serious pleading.
Antisthenes (444 BC - c. 371 BC), Greek philosopher and founder of Cynic school
We must not contradict, but instruct him that contradicts us; for a madman is not cured by another running mad also.
Isocrates (436 BC - 338 BC), Athenian orator
What is got over the devil's back is spent under his belly.
If you be a lover of instruction, you will be well instructed.
Scopas (400 BC - 320 BC) Greek sculptor and architect
It is in these useless and superfluous things that I am rich and happy.
Mencius (371 BC - 289 BC), Chinese philosopher
Human nature is good, just as water seeks low ground. There is no man who is not good, just as there is no water that does not flow downward.
We survive on adversity and perish in ease and comfort.
What is the most important duty? One's duty toward one's parent.
If the prince of a State love benevolence, he will have no opponent in all the empire.
Men must be decided on what they will not do, and then they are able to act with vigor in what they ought to do.
The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart.
There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination.
Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi) (369 BC - 286 BC), Chinese philosopher
Sound intelligence promises victory in every battle.
The greatest tragedy that can befall a person is the atrophy of his mind.
Philemon (360? BC - 262? BC), Greek poet of new comedy
A just man is not one who does no ill, But he, who with the power, has not the will.
Lady Ho (c. 300 BC), Chinese poet
When a pair of magpies fly together. They do not envy the pair of phoenixes.
Appius Claudius Caecus (c. 312 BC - 278 BC), Roman orator
Each man is the smith of his own fortune.