Quotes from Ancient Times
What the rich and famous and wise said
Thoughtful and attentive words to contenplate learn from
Note: Throughout history the rich, famous and wise have said things that have been recorded in the form of quotes. It is the study of these quotes that give insight into life.
Plutarch 46-120 AD, Greek Essayist, Biographer
The measure of a man is the way he bears up under misfortune.
A Roman divorced from his wife, being highly blamed by his friends, who demanded, ''Was she not chaste? Was she not fair? Was she not fruitful?'' holding out his shoe, asked them whether it was not new and well made. ''Yet,'' added he, ''none of you can tell where it pinches me.
The wildest colts make the best horses.
When Demosthenes was asked what were the three most important aspects of oratory, he answered, ''Action, Action, Action.''
Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.
Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.
Character is simply habit long continued.
Learn to be pleased with everything; with wealth, so far as it makes us beneficial to others; with poverty, for not having much to care for; and with obscurity, for being unenvied.
It is indeed a desirable thing to be well-descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.
They named it Ovation from the Latin ovis [A Sheep].
Nothing is cheap which is superfluous, for what one does not need, is dear at a penny.
Good birth is a fine thing, but the merit is our ancestors.
To find a fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.
In human life there is constant change of fortune; and it is unreasonable to expect an exemption from the common fate. Life itself decays, and all things are daily changing.
Courage consists not in hazarding without fear; but being resolutely minded in a just cause.
Courage stands halfway between cowardice and rashness, one of which is a lack, the other an excess of courage.
Not by lamentations and mournful chants ought we to celebrate the funeral of a good man, but by hymns, for in ceasing to be numbered with mortals he enters upon the heritage of a diviner life.
To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.
Fate leads him who follows it, and drags him who resist.
Abstain from beans.
Do not speak of your happiness to one less fortunate than yourself.
To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our days.
It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risk everything.
Someone praising a man for his foolhardy bravery, Cato, the elder, said, ''There is a wide difference between true courage and a mere contempt of life.''
The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.
When the strong box contains no more both friends and flatterers shun the door.
Medicine to produce health must examine disease; and music, to create harmony must investigate discord.
In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker.
Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together yield themselves up when taken little by little.
Nothing is harder to direct than a man in prosperity; nothing more easily managed that one is adversity.
The whole life is but a point of time; let us enjoy it, therefore, while it lasts, and not spend it to no purpose.
We ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household belongings, which when worn with use we throw away.
Rest is the sweet sauce of labor.
To do an evil act is base. To do a good one without incurring danger, is common enough. But it is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds though he risks everything in doing them.
Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.
All men whilst they are awake are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own.
The first evil those who are prone to talk suffer, is that they hear nothing.
Time is the wisest of all counselors.
Distressed valor challenges great respect, even from an enemy.
A Roman divorced from his wife, being highly blamed by his friends, who demanded, Was she not chaste? Was she not fair? Was she not fruitful? holding out his shoe, asked them whether it was not new and well made. Yet, added he, none of you can tell where it pinches me.
Let us carefully observe those good qualities wherein our enemies excel us; and endeavor to excel them, by avoiding what is faulty, and imitating what is excellent in them.
I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.
Moral habits, induced by public practices, are far quicker in making their way into menís private lives, than the failings and faults of individuals are in infecting the city at large.