Ancient Greece Quotes

Quotes tagged as "ancient-greece" Showing 1-30 of 77
Homer
“...like that star of the waning summer who beyond all stars rises bathed in the ocean stream to glitter in brilliance.”
Homer, The Iliad

Roman Payne
“Sexual frenzy is our compensation for the tedious moments we must suffer in the passage of life. 'Nothing in excess,' professed the ancient Greeks. Why if I spend half the month in healthy scholarship and pleasant sleep, shouldn't I be allowed the other half to howl at the moon and pillage the groins of Europe's great beauties?”
Roman Payne

Ovid
“And besides, we lovers fear everything”
Ovid, Metamorphoses

Thomas Henry Huxley
“The science, the art, the jurisprudence, the chief political and social theories, of the modern world have grown out of Greece and Rome—not by favour of, but in the teeth of, the fundamental teachings of early Christianity, to which science, art, and any serious occupation with the things of this world were alike despicable.”
Thomas H. Huxley, Agnosticism and Christianity and Other Essays

Karl Marx
“It is well known how the monks wrote silly lives of Catholic Saints over the manuscripts on which the classical works of ancient heathendom had been written.”
Karl Marx

Marguerite Yourcenar
“Il segreto più profondo di Olimpia è racchiuso in quest'unica nota cristallina: lottare è un gioco, vivere è un gioco, morire è un gioco; profitti e perdite non sono che distinzioni passeggere, ma il gioco pretende tutte le nostre forze, e la sorte accetta, come posta, unicamente i nostri cuori.”
Marguerite Yourcenar, Pellegrina e straniera

Christopher Hitchens
“Periclean Greeks employed the term idiotis, without any connotation of stupidity or subnormality, to mean simply 'a person indifferent to public affairs.' Obviously, there is something wanting in the apolitical personality. But we have also come to suspect the idiocy of politicization—of the professional pol and power broker. The two idiocies make a perfect match, with the apathy of the first permitting the depredations of the second.”
Christopher Hitchens, Prepared for the Worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports

Sophocles
“TEIRESIAS:
Alas, how terrible is wisdom when
it brings no profit to the man that's wise!
This I knew well, but had forgotten it,
else I would not have come here.”
Sophocles, The Complete Greek Tragedies

Sophocles
“TEIRESIAS:
You have your eyes but see not where you are
in sin, nor where you live, nor whom you live with.
Do you know who your parents are? Unknowing
you are enemy to kith and kin
in death, beneath the earth, and in this life.”
Sophocles, The Complete Greek Tragedies

Ruth Padel
“Tragedy's language stresses that whatever is within us is obscure, many faceted, impossible to see. Performance gave this question of what is within a physical force. The spectators were far away from the performers, on that hill above the theatre. At the centre of their vision was a small hut, into which they could not see. The physical action presented to their attention was violent but mostly unseen. They inferred it, as they inferred inner movement, from words spoken by figures whose entrances and exits into and out of the visible space patterned the play. They saw its results when that facade opened to reveal a dead body. This genre, with its dialectics of seen and unseen, inside and outside, exit and entrance, was a simultaneously internal and external, intellectual and somatic expression of contemporary questions about the inward sources of harm, knowledge, power, and darkness.”
Ruth Padel, In and Out of the Mind: Greek Images of the Tragic Self

John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
“The causes which ruined the Republic of Athens illustrate the connection of ethics with politics rather than the vices inherent to democracy. A State which has only 30,000 full citizens in a population of 500,000, and is governed, practically, by about 3000 people at a public meeting, is scarcely democratic. The short triumph of Athenian liberty, and its quick decline, belong to an age which possessed no fixed standard of right and wrong. An unparalleled activity of intellect was shaking the credit of the gods, and the gods were the givers of the law. It was a very short step from the suspicion of Protagoras, that there were no gods, to the assertion of Critias that there is no sanction for laws. If nothing was certain in theology, there was no certainty in ethics and no moral obligation. The will of man, not the will of God, was the rule of life, and every man and body of men had the right to do what they had the means of doing. Tyranny was no wrong, and it was hypocrisy to deny oneself the enjoyment it affords. The doctrine of the Sophists gave no limits to power and no security to freedom; it inspired that cry of the Athenians, that they must not be hindered from doing what they pleased, and the speeches of men like Athenagoras and Euphemus, that the democracy may punish men who have done no wrong, and that nothing that is profitable is amiss. And Socrates perished by the reaction which they provoked.”
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, The History of Freedom, and Other Essays

Aristotle
“The devotee of myth is in a way a philosopher, for myth is made up of things that cause wonder.

(Metaphysics, I, 982b 18–19)”
Aristotle , Metaphysics

Aristophanes
“better not bring up a lion inside your city,
But if you must, then humour all his moods.”
Aristophanes, The Frogs

Joseph R. Strayer
“But no city-state ever solved the problem of incorporating new territories and new populations into its existing structure, or involving really large numbers of people in its political life (p. 11)”
Joseph Reese Strayer, On the Medieval Origins of the Modern State

“The sciences were financially supported, honoured everywhere, universally pursued; they were like tall edifices supported by strong foundations. Then the Christian religion appeared in Byzantium and the centres of learning were eliminated, their vestiges effaced and the edifice of Greek learning was obliterated. Everything the ancient Greeks had brought to light vanished, and the discoveries of the ancients were altered out of recognition.”
Al Masudi, From the Meadows of Gold

Sophocles
“JOCASTA:
So clear in this case were the oracles,
so clear and false. Give them no heed, I say;
what God discovers need of, easily
he shows to us himself.”
Sophocles, The Complete Greek Tragedies

Sophocles
“OEDIPUS:
O, O, O, they will all come,
all come out clearly! Light of the sun, let me
look upon you no more after today!
I who first saw the light bred of a match
accursed, and accursed in my living
with them I lived with, cursed in my killing.”
Sophocles, The Complete Greek Tragedies

Epicurus
“If you wish to make Pythocles wealthy, don't give him more money; rather, reduce his desires.”
Epicurus, Άπαντα

Nataša Pantović
“Following Alexander the Great in his conquest, and challenging two most ancient European historical assumptions: Firstly, Is the Ancient Europe’s progressive scientific drive the result of the Roman’s or Greek’s ancient cultural heritage?, and the Second: Why is the question - are the Macedonians, Greeks or Slavs, so troublesome, in the minds of both commoners and historians?”
Nataša Pantović, Metaphysics of Sound

George Steiner
“Because Greek myths encode certain primary biological and social confrontations and self-perceptions in the history of man, they endure as an animate legacy in collective remembrance and recognition.
We come home to them as to our psychic roots.”
George Steiner, Antigones

Edith Hamilton
“Underneath the shifting sands of the struggle between two little Greek states [Thucydides] had caught sight of a universal truth. Throughout his book, through the endless petty engagements on sea and land which he relates with such scrupulous care, he is pointing out what war is, why it comes to pass, what it does, and, unless men learn better ways, must continue to do. His History of the Peloponnesian War is really a treatise on war, its causes and its effects.”
Edith Hamilton, The Greek Way

“Youths who were most handsome. Adonis, son of Cinyras and Smyrna, whom Venus [Aphrodite] loved. Endymion, son of Aetolus, whom Luna [Selene] loved. Ganymede, son of Erichthonius, whom Jove [Zeus] loved. Hyacinthus, son of Oebalus, whom Apollo loved. Narcissus, son of the river Cephisus, who loved himself.”
Hyginus Gromaticus

“Nefret etmek için değil,sevmek için yaratıldım.”
Sophokles

“L’éducation et la liberté de ces dernières les distinguent des femmes honnêtes qui les méprisent et les jalousent, elles sont indépendantes, peuvent gérer elles-mêmes leurs affaires. La plupart d’entre elles sont étrangères à la cité, comme Nééra, la maîtresse de l’orateur Lysias, native de Corinthe. On les connaît parfois grâce à leurs liaisons les plus célèbres. Théodote fut la compagne d’Alcibiade, Léontion, la compagne du philosophe Épicure, Thaïs, la maîtresse d’Alexandre… La plupart des grandes hétaïres sont richissimes, telles Théodote ou Rhodopis dont une inscription à Delphes atteste de la fortune.
Phryné préfère la compagnie des artistes.”
Marc Lemonier, La petite histoire des courtisanes: Elles ont touché le pouvoir. Mais qui sont-elles vraiment ?

Mary Renault
“It is grief to a man to look on mysteries he does not understand. To yield unquestioning, not to know too much; that is the wisdom of the god.”
Mary Renault, The King Must Die

Peter Jones
“The Greeks would have found nothing democratic about our parliament, which fights popular scrutiny tooth and nail and where failed ministers, at the end of their term of office, far from being held to public account, are waved off to the House of Lords.”
Peter Jones, Eureka!: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Ancient Greeks but Were Afraid to Ask

Mary Renault
“Love, he said, is not a god, for a god cannot want anything; but one of those great spirits who are messengers between gods and men. He does not visit fools, who are content with their low condition, but those who aware of their own need and desire, by embracing the beautiful and good, to beget goodness and beauty; for creation is man’s immortality and brings him nearest to the gods. All creatures, he said, cherish the children of their flesh; yet the noblest progeny of love are wisdom and glorious deeds, for mortal children die, but these live forever; and these are begotten not of the body but the soul. Mortal passion sinks us in mortal pleasure, so that the wings of the soul grow weak; and such lovers may rise to the good indeed, but not to the very best. But the winged soul rises from love to love, from the beautiful that is born and dies, to beauty is only a moving shadow flung upon a wall.”
Mary Renault, The Last of the Wine

Friedrich Hölderlin
“When brother fled from brother, when lovers passed
Each other by in ignorance, when fathers failed
To recognize their sons, when human words no more Were understood, nor human laws, that was when
The meaning of it all assailed me and I trembled:
It was my nation’s parting god!”
Friedrich Hölderlin, Der Tod des Empedokles

Edith Hamilton
“In Greece, there was no dominating church or creed, but there was a dominating ideal, which everyone would want to pursue if he caught sight of it. Different men saw it differently. It was one thing to the artist, another to the warrior. Excellence is the nearest equivalent we have for the word they used for it, but it meant more than that. It was the utmost perfection possible; the very best and highest a man could attain to which when perceived always has a compelling authority. A man must strive to attain it. We must love the highest when we see it. No one Socrates said is willingly deprived of the Good. To win it required all that a man could give.”
Edith Hamilton, The Greek Way

“When the slave auctioneer asked him what he was skilled at, Diogenes said “At governing people,” and, pointing to a well-dressed buyer, he said “Sell me to that man, for he wants a master.”
James Fieser

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