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Ancient Greek Quotes

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Classic Ancient Greek quotes, proverbs, maxims and phrases.

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  Human Being
ProtagorasΠάντων χρημάτων μέτρον έστιν άνθρωπος.

Man is the measure of all things.

—  Protagoras, 487-412 BC, Ancient Greek sophist

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PindarΣκιάς όναρ άνθρωπος.

Man is the dream of a shadow.

—  Pindar, 522-438 BC, Ancient Greek lyric poet

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MenanderΩς χαρίεν εστ’ άνθρωπος αν άνθρωπος ή.

What a wonderful being is the man if he is a man.

—  Menander, 4th cent. BC, Ancient Greek dramatist (New Comedy)

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EpicurusΆπαξ άνθρωποι γεγόναμεν, δις δε ουκ έστι γενέσθαι.

We became men once and one cannot become twice.

—  Epicurus, 341-270 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

  
  Mankind
Bias of PrieneΟι πλείστοι άνθρωποι κακοί.

Most people are bad.

—  Bias of Priene, 625-540 BC, Greek philosopher, one of the 7 sages of Ancient Greece

  
  World
HeraclitusΚόσμον τονδε, τον αυτόν απάντων, ούτε τις θεών ούτε ανθρώπων εποίησεν, αλλ' ην αεί και έστιν και έστε πύρ αείζωον.

This world, which is the same for all, has not been made by any god or man, but it always has been, is, and will be an ever-living fire.

—  Heraclitus, 544-484 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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  Good & Evil
HeraclitusΑγαθόν και κακόν ταυτόν.

Good and evil are the same thing.

—  Heraclitus, 544-484 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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Ancient Greek phraseΟυδέν κακόν αμιγές καλού.

Nothing bad is without something good.

—  Ancient Greek phrase

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  Conscience
EpicurusO δίκαιος αταρακτότατος, ο δ’ άδικος πλείστης ταραχής γέμων.

The just man is most free from disturbance, while the unjust is full of the utmost disturbance.

—  Epicurus, 341-270 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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  Death
MenanderΟν γαρ οι Θεοί φιλούσιν, αποθνήσκει νέος.

He whom the gods love dies young.

—  Menander, 4th cent. BC, Ancient Greek dramatist (New Comedy)

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EpicurusΟ θάνατος ουδέν προς ημάς· το γαρ διαλυθέν αναισθητεί· το δ' αναισθητούν ουδέν προς ημάς.

Death is nothing to us. Because something which is decomposed has no senses while something without senses is nothing to us.

—  Epicurus, 341-270 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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HeraclitusΝέκυες κοπρίων εκβλητότεροι.

Corpses are more useless than dung.

—  Heraclitus, 544-484 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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EpicurusΤο φρικωδέστατον ουν των κακών ο θάνατος ουθέν προς ημάς͵ επειδήπερ όταν μεν ημείς ώμεν͵ ο θάνατος ου πάρεστιν͵ όταν δε ο θάνατος παρῇ͵ τόθ΄ ημείς ουκ εσμέν.

Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and when death is come, we are not.

—  Epicurus, 341-270 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

  
  Afterlife
HeraclitusΑι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

The souls in the underworld smell.

—  Heraclitus, 544-484 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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  God
PlatoAεί ο θεός γεωμετρεί

God always geometrizes.

—  Plato, 427-347 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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Ancient Greek phraseΑνενδεής ο Θεός.

God needs nothing.

—  Ancient Greek phrase

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SolonΤο Θείον φθονερόν και ταραχώδες.

The gods are envious and mess things.

—  Solon, 630-560 BC, Ancient Greek lawmaker & philosopher

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EpicurusΘεοί μεν γαρ εισίν. Εναργής γαρ αυτών εστιν η γνώσις.

For the gods exist, since the knowledge about them is obvious.

—  Epicurus, 341-270 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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HomerΤαύτα θεών εν γούνασι κείται.

These things surely lie on the knees of the gods.

—  Homer, c. 800-750 BC, II ‐ Odyssey I

HomerΠάντες δὲ θεών χατέουσ' άνθρωποι.

ll men need the gods.

—  Homer, c. 800-750 BC, II ‐ Odyssey III

HomerΘεοὶ δε τε πάντα ίσασιν.

Gods know all things.

—  Homer, c. 800-750 BC, II ‐ Odyssey IV

  
  Prayer
EpicurusΜάταιόν εστι παρά θεών αιτείσθαι ά τις εαυτώ χορηγήσαι ικανός εστι.

It is futile to pray to the gods for that which one has the power to obtain by himself.

—  Epicurus, 341-270 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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  Present
AristotleΤο νυν εστι μεσότης τις.

The now is a sort of a middle thing.

—  Aristotle, 384-322 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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  Timing
Pittacus of MytileneΚαιρόν γνώθι.

Know the right time.

—  Pittacus of Mytilene, 650-570 BC, one of the 7 sages of Ancient Greece

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  Time
HeraclitusΧρόνος παις εστι παίζων πεττεύων. Παιδός η βασιλεία.

Time is a child playing checkers; the kingdom belongs to a child.

—  Heraclitus, 544-484 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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PindarΧρόνος ο πάντων πρόγονος.

Time is the ancestor of everything.

—  Pindar, 522-438 BC, Ancient Greek lyric poet

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MenanderΆγει δε προς φως την αλήθειαν χρόνος.

Time leads truth toward the light.

—  Menander, 4th cent. BC, Ancient Greek dramatist (New Comedy)

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  Past
AgathonΜόνου γαρ αυτού και θεός στερίσκεται, αγένητα ποιείν άσσ᾽ αν ᾖ πεπραγμένα.

Of this alone, even god is deprived, the power of making things that are past never to have been.

—  Agathon, 450-400 BC, Ancient Greek tragic poet

  
  Future
HomerΈσσετ’ ήμαρ…

The day will come…

—  Homer, c. 800-750 BC, II ‐ Iliad IV

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  Age
Ancient Greek phraseΑετού γήρας κορύδου νεότης.

The old age of the eagle is the youth of the skylark.

—  Ancient Greek phrase

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  Old Age
MenanderΤίμα το γήρας, ου γαρ έρχεται μόνον.

Respect old age, for it does not come alone.

—  Menander, 4th cent. BC, Ancient Greek dramatist (New Comedy)

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Bias of PrieneΤο γήρας όρμον είναι των κακών.

Old age is a harbor for bad things.

—  Bias of Priene, 625-540 BC, Greek philosopher, one of the 7 sages of Ancient Greece

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  Sleep
Homer…Ύπνω και Θανάτω διδυμάοσιν.

...of Sleep and Death, who are twin brothers.

—  Homer, c. 800-750 BC, II ‐ Iliad XVI

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HomerΎπνε άναξ πάντων τε θεών πάντων τ' ανθρώπων.

Sleep, universal king of gods and men.

—  Homer, c. 800-750 BC, II ‐ Iliad XIV

  
  Road
HeraclitusΟδός άνω και κάτω μία.

The road up and the road down is the same.

—  Heraclitus, 544-484 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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  Travel
HomerΠολλών δ’ ανθρώπων ίδεν άστεα και νόον έγνων.

Many cities of men he saw and learned their minds.

—  Homer, c. 800-750 BC, II ‐ Odyssey I

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  Beginning
PlatoΑρχή ήμισυ παντός.

The beginning is half of everything.

—  Plato, 427-347 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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  Difference
HomerΆλλοις γαρ τ’ άλλοισιν ανήρ επιτέρπεται έργοις.

Each man delights in the work that suits him best.

—  Homer, c. 800-750 BC, II ‐ Odyssey XIV

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  Similarity
HomerΩς αεί τον όμοιον άγει θεός ως τον όμοιον.

As ever, god brings like and like together!

—  Homer, c. 800-750 BC, II ‐ Odyssey XVII

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  Futility
Ancient Greek phraseΠρος λέοντα δορκάς άπτεται μάχης.

A deer picks up a fight with the lion.

—  Ancient Greek phrase

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  Inevitable
Ancient Greek phraseΤο πεπρωμένον φυγείν αδύνατον.

One cannnot evade destiny.

—  Ancient Greek phrase

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  Excess
HeraclitusΠολυμαθίη νόον ου διδάσκει.

Much learning does not teach the mind.

—  Heraclitus, 544-484 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

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Ancient Greek quotes

 
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