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24 Quotations from Greek Philosophy & Literature

The Ancient Greeks were incredibly wise people thanks to their amazing education and the curious habit of questioning everything. In many ways, they shaped the way we today see the world and our place within it. But no doubt many of us don't actually consult the ancient works themselves, and most young people probably have never heard anything about Greek philosophy at all.

So here are 25 beautiful inspirational quotes and sayings from the Ancient Greeks that have really helped me get through life's difficulties. I hope you too can take something positive from the various sentiments expressed here, and maybe even share one or two of your insights with your nearest and dearest:

Xenophon - Excess of grief for the dead is madness, for it is an injury to the living, and the dead know it not.
Xenophanes - No human being will ever know the truth, for even if they happen to say it by chance, they would not even know they had done so.
Thucydides - It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs. They expect too much of ordinary men.


Thales - The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.
Protagoras - Man is the measure of all things.
Plutarch - The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations, and benefits.
Plato - Man: a being in search of meaning.
Pericles - Wait for the wisest of all counselors to judge you...time.
Herodotus - Whatever comes from God is impossible for a man to turn back.
Epicurus - Death does not concern us because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.
Empedocles - The nature of God is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere.
Demosthenes - Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.
Zeno of Citium - No evil is honorable, but death is honorable; therefore, death is not evil.
Aristotle - Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry rightfully - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.
Antisthenes - The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.
Democritus - Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is just opinion.
Alexander the Great - I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.
Diogenes - He has the most who is most content with the least.
Socrates - By all means, get married: if you find a good wife, you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher.
Plato - Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
Solon - Let no man be called happy before his death. Till then, he is not happy, only lucky.
Epicurus - You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.
Heraclitus - There is nothing permanent except change.
Theophrastus - Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.
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