Ancient Greeks Quotes

Quotes tagged as "ancient-greeks" Showing 1-26 of 26
Christopher Hitchens
“Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing. The only worthwhile miracle in the New Testament—the transmutation of water into wine during the wedding at Cana—is a tribute to the persistence of Hellenism in an otherwise austere Judaea. The same applies to the seder at Passover, which is obviously modeled on the Platonic symposium: questions are asked (especially of the young) while wine is circulated. No better form of sodality has ever been devised: at Oxford one was positively expected to take wine during tutorials. The tongue must be untied. It's not a coincidence that Omar Khayyam, rebuking and ridiculing the stone-faced Iranian mullahs of his time, pointed to the value of the grape as a mockery of their joyless and sterile regime. Visiting today's Iran, I was delighted to find that citizens made a point of defying the clerical ban on booze, keeping it in their homes for visitors even if they didn't particularly take to it themselves, and bootlegging it with great brio and ingenuity. These small revolutions affirm the human.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Donna Tartt
“They too, knew this beautiful and harrowing landscape; they'd had the same experience of looking up from their books with fifth-century eyes and finding the world disconcertingly sluggish and alien, as if it were not their home.”
Donna Tartt, The Secret History

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

Ana Claudia Antunes
“I'd rather have a heart of gold
Than all the treasure of the world.”
Ana Claudia Antunes, Memoirs of An Amazon

Pindar
“War is sweet to those who have no experience of it. But the experienced man trembles exceedingly in his heart at its approach.”
Pindar

Andrew Lang
“Again, if there are really no fairies, why do people believe in them, all over the world? The ancient Greeks believed, so did the old Egyptians, and the Hindoos, and the Red Indians, and is it likely, if there are no fairies, that so many different peoples would have seen and heard them?”
Andrew Lang, The Yellow Fairy Book

Hermann Weyl
“The Greeks made Space the subject-matter of a science of supreme simplicity and certainty. Out of it grew, in the mind of classical antiquity, the idea of pure science. Geometry became one of the most powerful expressions of that sovereignty of the intellect that inspired the thought of those times. At a later epoch, when the intellectual despotism of the Church, which had been maintained through the Middle Ages, had crumbled, and a wave of scepticism threatened to sweep away all that had seemed most fixed, those who believed in Truth clung to Geometry as to a rock, and it was the highest ideal of every scientist to carry on his science 'more geometrico.”
Hermann Weyl

Albert Einstein
“Development of Western science is based on two great achievements: the invention of the formal logical system (in Euclidean geometry) by the Greek philosophers, and the discovery of the possibility to find out causal relationships by systematic experiment (during the Renaissance). In my opinion, one has not to be astonished that the Chinese sages have not made these steps. The astonishing thing is that these discoveries were made at all.”
Albert Einstein

Emily Hauser
“Choose,' she says, reaching out towards him. 'Choose to which of us the apple most belongs...”
Emily Hauser, For The Most Beautiful

Timberlake Wertenbaker
“The Greeks believed that it was a citizen's duty to watch a play. It was a kind of work in that it required attention, judgement, patience, all the social virtues."

"And the Greek were conquered by the more practical Romans, Arthur."

"Indeed, the Romans built their bridges, but they also spent many centuries wishing they were Greeks. And they, after all, were conquered by the barbarians, or by their own corrupt and small spirits.”
Timberlake Wertenbaker

Thucydides
“Revolution thus ran its course from city to city, and the places which it arrived at last, from having heard what had been done before, carried to a still greater excess the refinement of their inventions, as manifested in the cunning of their enterprises and the atrocity of their reprisals. Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal supporter; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question incapacity to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting a justifiable means of self-defense. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries.”
Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

James Henry Breasted
“the distinction between nerves and vessels was not demonstrated until the Third Century B.C., when it was made clear by Erasistratos.”
James Henry Breasted, The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus, Vol 1: Hieroglyphic Transliteration, Translation and Commentary

Thomas Henry Huxley
“It is certain that the labors of these early workers in the field of natural knowledge were brought to a standstill by the decay and disruption of the Roman Empire, the consequent disorganisation of society, and the diversion of men's thoughts from sublunary matters to the problems of the supernatural world suggested by Christian dogma in the Middle Ages. And, notwithstanding sporadic attempts to recall men to the investigation of nature, here and there, it was not until the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that physical science made a new start, founding itself, at first, altogether upon that which had been done by the Greeks. Indeed, it must be admitted that the men of the Renaissance, though standing on the shoulders of the old philosophers, were a long time before they saw as much as their forerunners had done.”
Thomas Henry Huxley, The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century

Aristotle's opinion... that comets were nothing else than sublunary vapors or airy meteors... prevailed so far amongst the Greeks, that this sublimest part of astronomy lay altogether neglected; since none could think it worthwhile to observe, and to give an account of the wandering and uncertain paths of vapours floating in the Ether.”
Edmond Halley

Plutarch
“Menestheus, the son of Peteus, grandson of Orneus, and the great-grandson to Erechtheus, the first man that is recorded to have affected popularity and ingratiated himself with the multitude, stirred up and exasperated the most eminent men of the city, who had long borne a secret grudge to Theseus, conceiving that he had robbed them of their several little kingdoms and lordships, and, having pent them all up in one city, was using them as his subjects and slaves. He put also the meaner people into commotion, telling them, that, deluded with a mere dream of liberty, though indeed they were deprived both of that and of their proper homes and religious usages, instead of many good and gracious kings of their own, they had given themselves up to be lorded over by a new-comer and a stranger.”
Plutarch, Plutarch's Lives: Volume I

Daniel Mendelsohn
“This consideration takes us very close to what it is that makes Greek tragedy “tragic.” A play about an unambiguously heroic young woman, someone’s mother or sister or daughter, squaring off against an unambiguously villainous general or king, a man greedy for military renown or for power, would not be morally interesting. What gives Antigone and Agamemnon and other plays their special and unforgettable force is that they present the irresistible spectacle of two worldviews, each with its own force, harrowingly locked in irreducible conflict. And yet while the characters in these plays are unable to countenance, let alone accept, their opponents’ viewpoints, the audience is being invited to do just that—to weigh and compare the principles the characters adhere to, to reflect on the necessity of seeing the whole and on the difficulties of keeping the parts in equilibrium. Or, at least, to appreciate the costs of sacrificing some values for others, when the occasion demands.”
Daniel Mendelsohn

Nataša Pantović
“We find the relevance of these answers today, for its arguments fundamentally shape the structure of the East vs. West, Liberals vs. Conservatives debate.”
Nataša Pantović, Metaphysics of Sound

Διογένης ο Κυνικός
“Όταν κάποιος δήλωσε στον Διογένη ότι δεν έχει κλήση στην φιλοσοφία, τότε ο Διογένης του απάντησε: "Τότε τι ζεις, αφού δεν ενδιαφέρεσαι πώς να ζήσεις καλά;". (Τί οὖν ζῇς, εἰ τοῦ καλῶς ζῆν μὴ μέλει σοι;)”
Διογένης ο Κυνικός

Διογένης ο Κυνικός
“Περὶ δὲ τοῦ ποδαπὸς ἐκβῇ οὐ θυετε;

(Βλέποντας δυο γονείς να κάνουν θυσία για να αποκτήσουν αγόρι του είπε: "Και για το τι άνθρωπος θα γίνει δεν κάνετε θυσία;")
Διογένης ο Κυνικός

Διογένης ο Κυνικός
Στην ερώτηση γιατί οι άνθρωποι ελεούν τους ζητιάνους αλλά όχι τους φιλόσοφους, απάντησε:
Ὅτι χωλοὶ μὲν καὶ τυφλοὶ γενέσθαι ἐλπίζουσι, φιλοσοφῆσαι δ' οὐδέποτε.
(Γιατί θεωρούν πιθανό να κουτσαθούν ή να στραβωθούν μαι μέρα, αλλά να γίνουν φιλόσοφοι, ποτέ)
Διογένης ο Κυνικός

Διογένης ο Κυνικός
Ἀποσκότησόν μου
Διογένης ο Κυνικός

G.H. Hardy
“As Littlewood said to me once [of the ancient Greeks], they are not clever school boys or 'scholarship candidates,' but 'Fellows of another college.”
Godfrey Harold Hardy

Isaac Asimov
“To test a perfect theory with imperfect instruments did not impress the Greek philosophers as a valid way to gain knowledge.”
Isaac Asimov

“Mind out of the gutter, Suze. Eros is only one kind of love, eh? Ancient Greeks recognised four.”
Peter Watts, Blindsight

Aesop
“The North Wind and the Sun disputed which was the more powerful, and agreed that he should be declared the victor who could first strip a wayfaring man of his clothes. The North Wind first tried his power, and blew with all his might; but the keener became his blasts, the closer the Traveler wrapped his cloak around him, till at last, resigning all hope of victory, he called upon the Sun to see what he could do. The Sun suddenly shone out with all his warmth. The Traveler no sooner felt his genial rays that he took off one garment after another, and at last, fairly overcome with heat, undressed, and bathed in a stream that lay in his path.
Persuasion i better than Force.”
Aesop, Aesop's Fables

Monique Truong
“Memory is a curse. I wasn't the first to say this, but I was proof of it. My memory was sharp. A thorn, a broken water glass, a jellyfish that crashed into me and reached back for more. My secret sense, which I have come to understand as my condition, gave me a way to encode information that was immediate and long-lasting, an inborn mnemonic device.
The ancient Greeks had a mnemonic device that called for thinking of a path, say through the streets of a familiar city, and depositing along the way the information that they wished to retain. At the corner of the Street of Wine Merchants, they would place fact number one; continuing ahead twenty paces to the Fountain of Bacchus, they would place fact number two; turning right onto the Street of Pleasure Houses by the front door of the Pavilion of Virgins (the name was ironic because even back then virgins were rare and mythical beings), they would place facts number three through ten (because it was there among the rare and mythical beings that they wanted to linger); and in that way their journey would continue on. To retrace this path in their mind was to gather up the facts again, easy and showy as red roadside poppies.
My own mnemonic device worked in similar fashion, but instead of a path there was a multicourse meal prepared by a mad scientist who knew and cared nothing about food. To revisit the dishes and their chaotic juxtaposition of flavors was to recall with precision those facts, from the trivial to the significant, that I have acquired, via the spoken word, during the course of my life.”
Monique Truong, Bitter in the Mouth