Greek. Wisdom. Compiled & Translated by

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1 Greek Wisdom Compiled & Translated by Agatha Lambris

2 Cover Art by Ghazal Saadat-Lajevardi Dedicated to my parents & Dimitri for all their love and support.

3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My gratitude to Mr. Peter Skiadas for his enthusiasm for this project and his invaluable assistance in translating. Also, a very special thank you to my dear friend Ghazal Saadat-Lajevardi for creatively illustrating my cover. Finally, a heartfelt thanks to my brother Dimitrios Lambris, for his computer skills, which were an immense aid in preparing the final product. PREFACE Majoring in Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, I stumbled upon many striking quotes and phrases throughout the numerous classical texts I studied. It never ceased to amaze me how pertinent many of these were to our modern times. I was fascinated! This fascination inspired me to create this collection of ancient words of wisdom, and to share with others true illuminating words that have survived and made an impact throughout the centuries. Agatha Lambris

4 \IÛ f Î d ÂéÌÔÚÊ Ë ÓÂfiÙËÙÔ àá ı, Á Ú Ô b ÛˆÊÚÔÛ ÓË ôóıô. The blessings of youth are bodily strength and beauty while the blossom of old age is wisdom. 7

5 òhó Ìc appleôïïáó âappleèı Ì Ë, Ùa çï Á ÙÔÈ appleôïïa fiíâè. EéÙ c ï âappled ÌÂÙÚ ÔÈÛÈ Ú Ì ÛÈÓ Âéı ÌÂfiÌÂÓÔ, ÛÙ b ï âappled appleôïïôöûè Ûı ÌÂfiÌÂÓÔ. If you do not set your heart on many things, the little will appear to be much. Blessed is he who feels joy with few riches. Unfortunate is the one who feels dispirited with a lot. 8 9

6 ÂÓÈÙÂ Ë Ô éù ÚÎÂÈ Ó È ÛÎÂÈ. Ï ÔÓÂ âí àûî ÛÈÔ àá ıôd Á ÓÔÓÙ È j àapplee Ê ÛÈÔ. Living away from home teaches you to be self-sufficient. The majority of people become virtuous by means of practice rather than by nature

7 òaóıúˆappleôè ÙeÓ ı Ó ÙÔÓ Ê ÁÔÓÙ ÈÒÎÔ ÛÈÓ. Aî ÌÂÁ Ï È Ù Ú ÂÈ àapplee ÙÔÜ ıâäûı È Ùa Î Ïa ÙáÓ öúáˆó Á ÓÔÓÙ È. Humans, in trying to avoid Death, pursue Death. Great pleasures originate from contemplating good deeds

8 TÚ appleâ Ó appleôï ÙÂÏ ÌbÓ Ù Ë apple Ú Ù ıëûèó, éù ÚÎ b ÛˆÊÚÔÛ ÓË. \AÓÔ ÌÔÓ ÛÌÔÜÓÙ È ÙÔÖ ÙÉ Ù Ë Î Ú ÂÛÈÓ. A lavish table is brought on by chance, but that of self-sufficiency is brought on by wisdom. Unintelligent people are molded by the profit of luck

9 ^OÌÔÊÚÔÛ ÓË ÊÈÏ ËÓ appleôèâö. ÏÔÜÙÔ àapplee Î ÎÉ âúá Û Ë appleâúèáèófiìâóô âappleèê Ó ÛÙÂÚÔÓ Ùe ùóâè Ô Î ÎÙËÙ È. Unity of the mind creates friendships. The riches that are won through evil means make disgrace more apparent

10 XÚËÌaÙˆÓ ùúâíè, jó Ìc ïú ËÙ È ÎfiÚˇˆ, appleâó Ë âû ÙË appleôïïfió ÏÂappleˆÙ ÚËØ Ì ÔÓ ÁaÚ âó  appleôèâüûèó. EéÁÓÒÌˆÓ ï Ìc Ï appleâfiìâóô âê ÔxÛÈÓ ÔéÎ ö ÂÈ, àïïa ÚˆÓ âê ÔxÛÈÓ ö ÂÈ. If the desire for money is without boundaries, then it is worse than extreme poverty; because, a great appetite creates destitution. Grateful is the one who is not sad for what he does not have, but feels joy for what he does have

11 M ıâ b appleôï ÌÄÏÏÔÓ ÙáÓ ôïïˆó Û ÙfiÓ åû ÓÂÛı È. \Aapplee ïìôóô Ë Ùa ÌÂÁ Ï öúá. Learn above all to feel shame for yourself rather than for others. Great works stem from unanimity

12 ^H âó ËÌÔÎÚ Ù Ë appleâó Ë ÙÉ apple Úa Ù Ö Ó ÛÙ ÈÛÈ Î ÏÔÂÌ ÓË Âé ÈÌÔÓ Ë ÙÔÛÔÜÙfiÓ âûùè îúâùˆù ÚË, ïîfiûôó âïâ ıâú Ë Ô ÏÂ Ë. TfiÏÌ appleú ÍÈÔ àú, Ù Ë b Ù ÏÂÔ Î Ú Ë. Poverty in democracy is superior to that which is called prosperity by oligarchy; just as freedom is preferred to slavery. Courage is the beginning of an act, but luck controls the end

13 ÌappleÚÔÜ ï ÌbÓ âappleèù gó ÂyÚÂÓ îfió, ï àappleôù gó àappleòïâûâ Î d ı Á Ù Ú. ^O Ù É àá ıa îúâfiìâóô Ùa ıâèfiùâú îú ÂÙ ÈØ ï b ÙÔÜ ÛÎ ÓÂÔ Ùa àóıúòappleë. He who has attained a good son-in-law has also found a son; however, he who has failed has also lost a daughter. He who prefers the riches of the soul opts for the most divine; however, he who prefers bodily riches chooses the pleasures of human nature

14 ^O à ÈÎáÓ ÙÔÜ à ÈÎÔ Ì ÓÔ Î ÎÔ ÈÌÔÓ ÛÙÂÚÔ. ÔÏÏÔd ÚáÓÙÂ Ùa úû ÈÛÙ ÏfiÁÔ àú ÛÙÔ àûî Ô ÛÈÓ. He who harms others has worse luck than he who is wronged. Many, although doing the most vulgar of deeds, say the best words

15 OûÙ ٠ÓË ÔûÙ ÛÔÊ Ë âêèîùfió, jó Ìc Ì ı Ë ÙÈ. ÚÔ Ô Ï ÂÛı È ÎÚÂÖÛÛÔÓ appleúe ÙáÓ appleú ÍÂˆÓ jó ÌÂÙ ÓÔÂÖÓ. If someone is not taught, he cannot understand art nor acquire wisdom. It is better to think before you act, rather than to repent

16 È fi, ÔéÎ àó Úe Ùe àì ÙÚˆ âappleèı ÌÂÖÓ. ^H ÔÓ d ôî ÈÚÔÈ Ù ÎÙÔ ÛÈÓ àë. It is a child s trait, not an adult s, to have desires without limits. Untimely pleasures give birth to disgust

17 ÏÂÔÓÂÍ Ë Ùa apple ÓÙ Ï ÁÂÈÓ, ÌË bó b âı ÏÂÈÓ àîô ÂÈÓ. ^H ÙáÓ Û ÁÁÂÓáÓ ö ıúë ÙÉ ÙáÓ çıóâ ˆÓ ÏÂappleˆÙ ÚË Ì Ï. It is greedy to want to say everything, but to want to hear nothing. The relative s enmity is worse than that of a stranger

18 MÈÎÚ d ÚÈÙ âó Î ÈÚˇá Ì ÁÈÛÙ È ÙÔÖ Ï Ì ÓÔ ÛÈ. ZÉÓ ÔéÎ ôíèô, Ùˇˆ ÌË b Âx âûùè ÚËÛÙe Ê ÏÔ. Small pleasures done at the appropriate time are the greatest pleasures for those who receive them. It is not worth living life, he who has not even had one good friend

19 Oé ñê ëóe ÊÈÏ ÂÛı È ÔÎ ÂÈ ÌÔÈ ï ÊÈÏ ˆÓ ÌË Ó. \EÓ ÂéÙ Ë Ê ÏÔÓ ÂéÚÂÖÓ ÂûappleÔÚÔÓ âó b ÛÙ Ë apple ÓÙˆÓ àappleôúòù ÙÔÓ. I believe, that he who does not like others cannot be regarded with affection by even one person. It is an easy thing to find a friend in times of happiness, but most difficult in times of ill fortune

20 Â Ô ÓÔÜ Ùe àâ ÙÈ È ÏÔÁ ÂÛı È Î ÏfiÓ. fiáô ÁaÚ öúáô ÛÎÈ. It is a divine gift to always be able to consider the good things. Words are the shadows of deeds

21 Eé ÈÌÔÓ Ë ÔéÎ âó ÔÛÎ Ì ÛÈÓ ÔåÎÂÖ Ôé b âó Ú ÛˇáØ c ÔåÎËÙ ÚÈÔÓ ÌÔÓÔ. ^H apple È Â ÂéÙ ÔÜÛÈ Ì Ó âûù ÎfiÛÌÔ, àù ÔÜÛÈ b Î Ù Ê ÁÈÔÓ. Happiness does not dwell amongst fatted beasts nor in gold: the soul is the dwelling of the divine. For those who live in fortune, education is an ornament, to the unfortunate it is shelter

22 Ta ÌbÓ Î Ïa Ú Ì Ù ÙÔÖ applefióôè ì Ì ıëûè âíâúá ÂÙ È, Ùa åû Úa ôóâ applefióˆó éùfiì Ù Î ÚappleÔÜÙ È. \OÊı ÏÌÔ ÁaÚ ÙáÓ üùˆó àîúè ÛÙÂÚÔÈ Ì ÚÙ ÚÂ. Good things are accomplished through learning and hard work; however, the bad occur on their own, accidentally and without hard work. The eyes are more accurate witnesses than are the ears. Heracleitus 42 43

23 ^O ıâe ìì ÚË ÂéÊÚfiÓË, ÂÈÌÒÓ ı ÚÔ, applefiïâìô ÂåÚ ÓË, ÎfiÚÔ ÏÈÌfi. ˆÓ àı ÚÌ Ù ÓÂÓfiÌÈÎÂÓ ÂrÓ È Ùa àóıúòappleèó ÔÍ ÛÌ Ù. God is day-night, winter-summer, war-peace, satiety-hunger. Children s pastimes allege the views of humans. Heracleitus Heracleitus 44 45

24 AÍ ÓÂÙÔÈ àîô Û ÓÙ ΈÊÔÖÛÈÓ âô Î ÛÈ. XÚ ÛeÓ ÁaÚ Ôî È ÌÂÓÔÈ ÁÉÓ appleôïïcó çú ÛÛÔ ÛÈ Î d ÂñÚ ÛÎÔ ÛÈÓ çï ÁÔÓ. People who are void of understanding, even when they hear, appear to be deaf. Those seeking gold, search much but find little. Heracleitus Heracleitus 46 47

25 Ex âìôd Ì ÚÈÔÈ, âaó ôúèûùô q. ^O fi ôóˆ Î Ùˆ Ì Î d ó Ù. For me, one who is morally best, is equal to ten thousand. The road, whether it leads downwards or upwards, is one and the same. Heracleitus Heracleitus 48 49

26 Tá ÌbÓ ıâˇá Î Ïa apple ÓÙ Î d àá ıa Î d Î È, ôóıúˆappleôè L ÌbÓ ô ÈÎ ñappleâèï Ê ÛÈÓ L b Î È. º ÛÈ b ÎÚ appleùâûı È ÊÈÏÂÖ. For God all things are good, virtuous, and just; it is the mortals however, who consider some things to be unjust and others just. Nature is fond of hiding herself. Heracleitus Heracleitus 50 51

27 \EÎ Á Ë ÁaÚ apple ÓÙ Î d Âå ÁÉÓ apple ÓÙ ÙÂÏÂ Ù Ä. ÓÙÂ ÁaÚ Á Ë ÙÂ Î Ö ÙÔ âáâófiìâûı. Everything is derived from earth and all end to it. We were all born from earth and water. Heracleitus Xenophanes 52 53

28 X ÏÂappleeÓ Ú Ì Ù Û Ó ÁÂ Ú Ûı È, ÏÂappleÒÙÂÚÔÓ b Ê Ï ÎcÓ ÙÔ ÙÔÈ appleâúèıâöó È. oø Ê ÏÔÈ, Ôr ÌbÓ Ô ÓÂÎ àïëıâ Ë apple Úa Ì ıôè. It is difficult to gather money, but even more difficult to safeguard it. My friends, I know that truth is found side by side with fairy-tales. Anaxarhos Empedocles 54 55

29 º Ûˆ Î d àûî Ûˆ È ÛÎ Ï ÂÖÙ È. EåÛ ÙÈÓÂ Ô ÙeÓ apple ÚfiÓÙ ÌbÓ ÔÓ Ôé áûèó, àïïa apple Ú ÛΠÔÓÙ È appleôïïé ÛappleÔ É ó öùâúfió ÙÈÓ ÔÓ ÈˆÛfiÌÂÓÔÈ, Ôé ÙeÓ apple ÚfiÓÙ Ø Î d âó ÙÔ Ùˇˆ apple Ú ÏÂÈapplefiÌÂÓÔ ï ÚfiÓÔ Ôú ÂÙ È. Teaching demands character and practice. Protagoras There are some who do not live the present life, but prepare themselves with great diligence as if they are going to live some other life, not the present one. In the meantime, life is being neglected and quickly rolls by. Antiphon 56 57

30 Te appleôï ÙÂÏ ÛÙ ÙÔÓ àó ψÌ, ÙeÓ ÚfiÓÔÓ. OéÎ ÔsÓ Ùe Ìc ÉÓ ÎÚÂÖÛÛÔÓ âûù õ ÉÓ Î Îá ; The most valuable possession is the time that we waste. Is it not in fact better not to have lived at all than to have lived badly? Antiphon Kritias 58 59

31 ÂÈÓeÓ Ù Ó ÙÈ Ìc ÊÚÔÓáÓ ÔÎ É ÊÚÔÓÂÖÓ. ˆÊÚÔÛ ÓË ôó ÂúË Ùa ë ÙÔÜ appleú ÙÙÂÈÓ. It is dangerous when someone who is not prudent believes that he is. Wisdom is for one to limit himself to his own actions. Kritias Kritias 60 61

32 Te Î ÈÔÓ ÔéÎ ôïïô ÙÈ õ Ùe ÙÔÜ ÎÚ ÙÙÔÓÔ Í ÌÊ ÚÔÓ. ^H à Ô Ï àù ÔÎÂÖ ÂrÓ È. Righteousness is nothing other than the profit of the stronger. Irresolution gives the impression of being in ill-luck. Thrasymachus 62 63

33 ^H ôá Ó âïâ ıâú öôèîâ Âå ôá Ó Ô ÏÂ Ó ÌÂÙ ÏÏÂÈÓ. ^H b ô ÂÈ àó ÈÛ ÓÙ Ó âó ÙÂÎÂÓ. Extreme freedom appears to shift into extreme slavery. Fearlessness begets shamelessness

34 Te à ÈÎÔÜÓÙ È Ìc È fió È ÎËÓ apple ÓÙˆÓ Ì ÁÈÛÙfiÓ ÙÂ Î d appleúáùôó Î ÎáÓ apple Ê ÎÂÓ. \AÎ ı ÚÙÔ ÁaÚ ÙcÓ có ÁÂ Î Îfi, Î ı Úe b ï âó ÓÙ Ô. To not suffer punishment for one s injustice is the greatest of all evils. The bad person is morally impure with respect to his soul, but the good person is morally pure

35 \AÏ ıâè c apple ÓÙˆÓ ÌbÓ àá ıáó ıâôö ìáâöù È apple ÓÙˆÓ àóıúòappleôè. \AÏÏ éùe ÈÎ ÈÔÛ ÓËÓ Ù É É ôúèûùôó Â ÚÔÌÂÓ. Of all the good things, truth is the leader, both in the judgment of the gods and the judgment of the people. Justice in particular is the best thing for the soul itself

36 \AÏ Ï ÌcÓ Ùe Á ΠÈÔÓ Ôé Ê ÂÙ È ˆÚd ÙÔÜ ÛˆÊÚÔÓÂÖÓ. òaì fió Ù Πd àó ÎËÙÔÓ ı Ìfi, Ôy apple ÚfiÓÙÔ c appleäû appleúe apple ÓÙ ôêô fi Ù âûùè Î d ÙÙËÙÔ. There is no justice without wisdom. The seat of anger is something without which no one can fight and it is unconquerable. When it prevails every soul becomes fearless and invincible

37 \AÓ apple Ï ÙÉ ÛappleÔ É Á ÁÓÂÙ È âó ÔÙÂ ì apple È È. ÂÖÔÓ ÁaÚ àá ıfió appleô ÙÈÌ, ÙáÓ b Î ÎáÓ Ôé bó Ù ÌÈÔÓ. At times, childish play becomes rest from serious engagements. To some degree, honor is a divine gift and of the evil things there is nothing that deserves to be held in honor

38 Tfi Á ÊÈÏÔÌ ıb Î d ÊÈÏfiÛÔÊÔÓ Ù éùfió. ºÈÏÔÛÔÊ Ì Ó ÔûÛË ÌÂÁ ÛË ÌÔ ÛÈÎÉ. Love towards knowledge coincides with philosophy. Philosophy is the best music

39 º Ûd ÁaÚ ÙcÓ có ÙÔÜ àóıúòappleô ÂrÓ È àı Ó ÙÔÓ. ÂÈıÔÜ ËÌÈÔ ÚÁfi âûùèó ì ËÙÔÚÈÎ. They say, that the human soul is immortal. Rhetoric is an art that creates persuasiveness

40 ÓÙˆÓ êì ÚÙËÌ ÙˆÓ Èa ÙcÓ ÛÊfi Ú ë ÙÔÜ ÊÈÏ Ó úùèôó ëî ÛÙˇˆ Á ÁÓÂÙ È ëî ÛÙÔÙÂ. M ÂÛı È Úc ÙeÓ ÉÌÔÓ ñapplebú ÙÔÜ ÓfiÌÔ ÎˆÛappleÂÚ Ù ÂÔ. On each occasion, extreme selfishness becomes the cause of all failures. People should fight for the law as they would for their city-wall. Diogenes Laertius 78 79

41 Mc ÂåÎ É appleâúd ÙáÓ ÌÂÁ ÛÙˆÓ Û Ì ÏÏÒÌÂı. fiïâìô apple ÓÙˆÓ ÌbÓ apple Ù Ú âûùè, apple ÓÙˆÓ b ÛÈÏÂ, Î d ÙÔÜ Ì Ó ıâôf ö ÂÈÍ ÙÔf b àóıúòappleô, ÙÔf ÌbÓ Ô ÏÔ âappleô ËÛ ÙÔf b âïâ ı ÚÔ. One ought not contribute random opinions about the most important matters. War is the father and king of all. War causes some to become gods, others men, some slaves and others free. Diogenes Laertius Hippolytus 80 81

42 ^O b àóâí Ù ÛÙÔ Ô Ôé ȈÙe àóıúòappleˇˆ. \AÚÁ ÌbÓ c Î d ı Ì Ôé Âd àìâïâö ıâáó. The unexamined life is not worth living. None of the gods are negligent on account of idleness or indifference

43 \AÚ c apple ÓÙe öúáô Ì ÁÈÛÙÔÓ. Èa ÙcÓ ÙáÓ ÚËÌ ÙˆÓ ÎÙÉÛÈÓ apple ÓÙÂ Ôî applefiïâìôè Á ÁÔÓÙ È. The start of every work is the most significant part. All wars take place for the acquisition of money

44 TcÓ ÈÎ ÈÔÛ ÓËÓ àúâùcó ÂrÓ È Î d ÛÔÊ Ó, ÙcÓ b à ÈÎ Ó Î Î Ó ÙÂ Î d àì ı Ó. ^O ÈÎ ÈfiÙ Ùfi âûùèó Ô ÈÛÙÔ. Justice is virtuous and wise, but injustice is bad and ignorant. The most just life is also the most pleasant

45 \EÁÎÚ Ùc ÓÔÜ âûùè Ùe appleäó È ÎÂÎÔÛÌËÎÒ. TcÓ ÂîÌ ÚÌ ÓËÓ Ôé ió Âx âîê ÁÔÈ. A self-disciplined mind puts everything to order. Nobody may escape fate

46 Ex ÊÚÔÓáÓ Ì Ú ˆÓ Ìc ÊÚÔÓÔ ÓÙˆÓ ÎÚ ÙÙˆÓ âûù. EÓ Î ÛÙÔÓ Ï Áˆ éùeó ë ÙÔÜ ôú ÔÓÙ. One who is sensible is better than the countless others who are not. I say that each one of us is in command of himself

47 \AÏËıfiÌ ıôó Úc ÂrÓ È, Ôé appleôï ÏÔÁÔÓ. \Aapplee ÓÂfiÙËÙÔ b àúí Ì ÓÔ ÂÖ Ì Óı ÓÂÈÓ. One must speak the truth and not be loquacious. Commencing from youth we must learn. Protagoras 92 93

48 É Î d ˆÚ apple ÓÙ âûı Û Á ÁÔÓÙ( È) ä b Ê ÔÓÙ È. \AÏÔÁÈÛÙ Ë Ìc Í Á ˆÚ ÂÈÓ Ù ÖÛÈ Î Ùa ÙeÓ ÔÓ àó ÁÎ È. All that are in a state of being and growing are earth and water. It is foolish for one not to yield to necessities during the course of life. Xenophanes 94 95

49 ºÈÏÔÓÈÎ Ë appleäû àófiëùô. Every quarrel is foolish. 96

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