Thucydides Quotes (27 Quotes)


    Two translations For we are lovers of the beautiful, yet simple in our tastes, and we cultivate the mind without loss of manliness. We are lovers of beauty without extravagance, and lovers of wisdom without unmanliness.

    Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, he began at the moment that it broke out, believing that it would be a great war, and more memorable than any that had preceded it.

    In a word I claim that our city as a whole is an education to Greece.

    Wealth to us is not mere material for vainglory but an opportunity for achievement and poverty we think it no disgrace to acknowledge but a real degredation to make no effort to overcome.

    The real disgrace of poverty is not in owning to the fact But in declining to struggle against it.


    It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs. They expect too much of ordinary men.

    We Greeks are lovers of the beautiful, yet simple in our tastes, and we cultivate the mind without loss of manliness.

    Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of war.

    To great men the whole world is a sepulcher.

    Our constitution is named a democracy, because it is in the hands not of the few but of the many. But our laws secure equal justice for all in their private disputes, and our public opinion welcomes and honors talent in every branch of achievement, not for any sectional reason but on grounds of excellence alone. And as we give free play to all in our public life, so we carry the same spirit into our daily relations with one another.... Open and friendly in our private intercourse, in our public acts we keep strictly within the control of law. We acknowledge the restraint of reverence we are obedient to whomsoever is set in authority, and to the laws, more sepecially to those which offer protection to the oppressed and those unwritten ordinances whose transgression brings admitted shame. lb. II, Funeral Oration of Pericles, 37

    Ignorance is bold and knowledge reserved.

    Few things are brought to a successful issue by impetuous desire, but most by calm and prudent forethought.

    The strong do what they have to do and the weak accept what they have to accept.

    Peace is an armistice in a war that is continuously going on.

    The secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage.

    History is Philosophy teaching by examples.

    Men's indignation, it seems, is more excited by legal wrong than by violent wrong; the first looks like being cheated by an equal, the second like being compelled by a superior.

    The great wish of some is to avenge themselves on some particular enemy, the great wish of others to save their own pocket. Slow in assembling, they devote a very small fraction of the time to the consideration of any public object, most of it to the prosecution of their own objects. Meanwhile each fancies that no harm will come of his neglect, that it is the business of somebody else to look after this or that for him and so, by the same notion being entertained by all separately, the common cause imperceptibly decays.

    The whole earth is the sepulchre of famous men.

    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.

    Wars spring from unseen and generally insignificant causes, the first outbreak being often but an explosion of anger.

    Men naturally despise those who court them, but respect those who do not give way to them.

    We secure our friends not by accepting favors but by doing them.

    Justice will not come to Athens until those who are not injured are as indignant as those who are injured.

    The secret of Happiness is Freedom, And the secret of Freedom, Courage.

    The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.

    With reference to the narrative of events, far from permitting myself to derive it from the first source that came to hand, I did not even trust my own impressions, but it rests partly on what I saw myself, partly on what others saw for me, the accuracy of the report always being tried by the most severe and detailed tests possible. My conclusions have cost me some labor from the want of coincidence between accounts of the same occurrences by different eye-witnesses, arising sometimes from imperfect memory, sometimes from undue partiality for one side or the other.


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    War & Peace - Courage - Happiness - Secrets - Man - Liberty & Freedom - Mind - Beauty - History - Success - Justice - World - Anger - Time - Poverty - Enemy - Democracy - Life - Coincidence - View All Thucydides Quotations

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    Lord Acton - William Manchester - Will Durant - Thucydides - Stephen Ambrose - Polybius - James Mill - Iris Chang - Harold Acton - George Bancroft


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