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Quotes from Ancient Times

Socrates 469 BC - 399 BC

Get not your friends by bare compliments, but by giving them sensible tokens of your love.

Remember what is unbecoming to do is also unbecoming to speak of.

Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions; but those who kindly reprove thy faults.

Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.

Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.

I was afraid that by observing objects with my eyes and trying to comprehend them with each of my other senses I might blind my soul altogether.

By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.

Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.

If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.

Where there is reverence there is fear, but there is not reverence everywhere that there is fear, because fear presumably has a wider extension than reverence.

They are not only idle who do nothing, but they are idle also who might be better employed.

Memorable Quotes

Envy is the ulcer of the soul.

Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.

Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods.

I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.

The beginning of wisdom is a definition of terms.

What a lot of things there are a man can do without.

To find yourself, think for yourself.

One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.

How many are the things I can do without!

Insightful Quotes cards

Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.

There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.

Slanderers do not hurt me because they do not hit me.

Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of - for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.
The shortest and surest way to live with honour in the world, is to be in reality what we would appear to be; and if we observe, we shall find, that all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice of them.
I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled [poets] to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.
I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, I am a mischievous person.
Well I am certainly wiser than this man. It is only too likely that neither of us has any knowledge to boast of; but he thinks that he knows something which he does not know, whereas I am quite conscious of my ignorance. At any rate it seems that I am wiser than he is to this small extent, that I do not think that I know what I do not know.
Ordinary people seem not to realize that those who really apply themselves in the right way to philosophy are directly and of their own accord preparing themselves for dying and death.

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