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Lucian of Samosata Lucian of Samosata > Quotes


Lucian of Samosata quotes Showing 1-20 of 20

“There was no sign of Plato, and I was told later that he had gone to live in his Republic, where he was cheerfully submitting to his own Laws. [...] None of the Stoics were present. Rumour had it that they were still clambering up the steep hill of Virtue [...]. As for the Sceptics, it appeared that they were extremely anxious to get there, but still could not quite make up their minds whether or not the island really existed.”
Lucian of Samosata, Satirical Sketches
“They see nothing indecent in sexual intercourse, whether heterosexual or homosexual, and indulge in it quite openly, in full view of everyone. The only exception was Socrates, who was always swearing that his relations with young men were purely Platonic, but nobody believed him for a moment, and Hyacinthus and Narcissus gave first-hand evidence to the contrary.”
Lucian of Samosata, Satirical Sketches
“I see no reason for resigning my right to that inventive freedom which others enjoy; and, as I have no truth to put on record, having lived a very humdrum life, I fall back on falsehood--but falsehood of a more consistent variety; for I now make the only true statement you are to expect--that I am a liar.”
Lucian of Samosata, True History and Lucius or The Ass
“The city was filled to overflowing with persons who had neither brains nor individuality, who bore no resemblance to men that live by bread, and had only their outward shape to distinguish them from sheep.”
Lucian of Samosata
tags: sheep
“A monkey is always a monkey," says the proverb, "even if he has birth-tokens of gold." Although you have a book in your hand and read all the time, you do not under­stand a single thing that you read, but you are like the donkey that listens to the lyre and wags his ears.

If possessing books made their owner learned, they would indeed be a possession of great price, and only rich men like you would have them, since you could buy them at auction, as it were, outbidding us poor men. In that case, however, who could rival the dealers and booksellers for learning, who possess and sell so many books ? But if you care to look into the matter, you will see that they are not much superior to you in that point; they are barbarous of speech and obtuse in mind like you—just what one would expect people to be who have no conception of what is good and bad. Yet you have only two or three books which they themselves have sold you, while they handle books night and day.”
Lucian of Samosata
“The good historian, then, must be thus described: he must be fearless, uncorrupted, free, the friend of truth and of liberty; one who, to use the words of the comic poet, calls a fig a fig, and a skiff a skiff, neither giving nor withholding from any, from favour or from enmity, not influenced by pity, by shame, or by remorse; a just judge, so far benevolent to all as never to give more than is due to any in his work; a stranger to all, of no country, bound only by his own laws, acknowledging no sovereign, never considering what this or that man may say of him, but relating faithfully everything as it happened.”
Lucian of Samosata, Lucian's True History;
“Human life is under the absolute dominion of two mighty principles, fear and hope, and that any one who can make these serve his ends may be sure of rapid fortune.”
Lucian of Samosata
“Dreams are great magicians.”
Lucian of Samosata, The Works of Lucian of Samosata
“These men seem not to know that poetry has its particular rules and precepts; and that history is governed by others directly opposite.”
Lucian of Samosata
“The only business of the historian is to relate things exactly as they are: this he can never do as long as he is afraid”
Lucian of Samosata, Lucian's True History;
“Give me a scholar, therefore, who is able to think and to write, to look with an eye of discernment into things, and to do business himself, if called upon, who hath both civil and military knowledge; one, moreover, who has been in camps, and has seen armies in the field and out of it; knows the use of arms, and machines, and warlike engines of every kind; can tell what the front, and what the horn is, how the ranks are to be disposed, how the horse is to be directed, and from whence to advance or to retreat; one, in short, who does not stay at home and trust to the reports of others: but, above all, let him be of a noble and liberal mind; let him neither fear nor hope for anything; otherwise he will only resemble those unjust judges who determine from partiality or prejudice, and give sentence for hire: but, whatever the man is, as such let him be described.”
Lucian of Samosata, Lucian's True History;
“Alexander once made himself supremely ridiculous. Coming across Epicurus's Principal Doctrines, the most admirable of his books, as you know, with its terse presentment of his wise conclusions, he brought it into the middle of the marketplace, there burned it on a figwood fire for the sins of its author, and cast its ashes into the sea. He issued an oracle on the occasion:

“The dotard's doctrines to the flames be given.”

The fellow had no conception of the blessings conferred by that book upon its readers, of the peace, tranquility, and independence of mind it produces, of the protection it gives against terrors, phantoms, and marvels, vain hopes and insubordinate desires, of the judgment and candor that it fosters, or of its true purging of the spirit, not with torches and squills and such rubbish, but with right reason, truth, and frankness.”
Lucian of Samosata
“SOCRATE
Come va ad Atene?

MENIPPO
Molti giovanotti dicono di far filosofia, e a giudicare dai vestiti e dal modo di camminare, si tratterebbe di sommi filosofi!

SOCRATE
Ah, ne ho visti tanti davvero! [...] E di me che pensano?

MENIPPO
In questo, Socrate, sei un uomo fortunato. Tutti credono infatti che tu sia un uomo ammirevole, e tu sappia tutto, e per giunta senza sapere nulla! Quest'ultima cosa, però, penso che sia vera.

SOCRATE
Anch'io glielo dicevo sempre, ma loro credevano che si trattasse di un'ironia!

(Dialoghi dei morti, 6, Menippo ed Eaco)”
Lucian of Samosata, Storia vera - Dialoghi dei morti
“I was still more concerned (a preference which you may be far from resenting) to strike a blow for Epicurus, that great man whose holiness and divinity of nature were not shams, who alone had and imparted true insight into the good, and who brought deliverance to all that consorted with him.”
Lucian of Samosata
“Once when he [Demonax, a supposed Cynic sage] came upon two uncouth philosophers inquiring and wrangling with one another--one of them putting absurd questions, the other answering perfectly irrelevantly--he said "Don't you think, my friends, that one of these guys is milking a he-goat and the other putting a sieve underneath it?”
Lucian of Samosata, The Works of Lucian of Samosata
“Anch'io, pertanto, mi impegnai, per civetteria, a lasciare qualcosa di mio ai posteri [...]; e visto che non avevo a disposizione fatti veri da raccontare —perché purtroppo non mi era mai successo niente di interessante— mi decisi a dire le bugie, ma bugie che si potessero riconoscere molto meglio di quelle che dicono gli altri: perché, infatti, almeno su un punto dirò la verità, se dichiaro che sto mentendo!

(Storia vera, I, 4)”
Lucian of Samosata, Storia vera - Dialoghi dei morti
“Трябва да се ползуваме не от красотата на книгите и не от тяхното количество, а от тяхната реч и всичко, което е написано в тях.”
Lucian of Samosata
“In size the men were as large as the Colossus of Rhodes from the waist up, and the horses were as large as a great merchantman. Their number, however, I leave unrecorded for fear that someone may think it incredible, it was so great.”
Lucian of Samosata, A True Story
“SOSTRATUS: Observe then your injustice! You punish us who are but the slaves of Clotho's bidding, and reward these, who do but minister to another's beneficence. For it will never be said that it was in our power to gainsay the irresistible ordinances of Fate?

MINOS: Ah, Sostratus; look closely enough, and you will find plenty of inconsistencies besides these. However, I see you are no common pirate, but a philosopher in your way; so much you have gained by your questions. Let him go, Hermes; he shall not be punished after that. But mind, Sostratus, you must not put it into other people's heads to ask questions of this kind.”
Lucian of Samosata, مسامرات الأموات واستفتاء ميت
“He once saw two philosophers engaged in a very unedifying game of cross questions and crooked answers. ‘Gentlemen,’ said he, ‘here is one man milking a billy-goat, and another catching the proceeds in a sieve.”
Lucian of Samosata


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