Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.
I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live.
False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
See one promontory, one mountain, one sea, one river and see all.
When desire, having rejected reason and overpowered judgment which leads to right, is set in the direction of the pleasure which beauty can inspire, and when again under the influence of its kindred desires it is moved with violent motion towards the beauty of corporeal forms, it acquires a surname from this very violent motion, and is called love.
The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods.
There is only one good—knowledge; and only one evil—ignorance.
Slavery is a system of outrage and robbery.
If I tell you that I would be disobeying the god and on that account it is impossible for me to keep quiet, you won’t be persuaded by me, taking it that I am ionizing. And if I tell you that it is the greatest good for a human being to have discussions every day about virtue and the other things you hear me talking about, examining myself and others, and that the unexamined life is not livable for a human being, you will be even less persuaded.
Topics: Love, Life
To fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise, without being wise: for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For anything that men can tell, death may be the greatest good that can happen to them: but they fear it as if they knew quite well that it was the greatest of evils. And what is this but that shameful ignorance of thinking that we know what we do not know?
Topics: Nature, Death
I love to go and see all the things I am happy without.
They who provide much wealth for their children but neglect to improve them in virtue, do like those who feed their horses high, but never train them to be useful.
We cannot live better than in seeking to become better, nor more agreeably than in having a clear conscience.
Wealth does not bring about excellence (aka Kindness, Virtue, Goodness), but excellence (aka Kindness, Virtue, Goodness) brings about wealth and all other public and private blessings for men.
Topics: Excellence, Goodness, Kindness, Virtue, Action
If all the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a public stock, in order to be equally distributed among the whole species, those who now think themselves the most unhappy would prefer the share they are already possessed of before that which would fall to them by such a division.
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.
This discussion is not about any chance question, but about the way one should live.
Wisdom begins in wonder.
Are you not ashamed of heaping up the greatest amount of money and honour and reputation, and caring so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul?
One word frees us Of all the weight and pain in life, That word is Love
Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.
I must first know myself, as the Delphian inscription says; to be curious about that which is not my concern, while I am still in ignorance of my own self, would be ridiculous. And therefore I bid farewell to all this; the common opinion is enough for me. For, as I was saying, I want to know not about this, but about myself: am I a monster more complicated and swollen with passion than the serpent Typho, or a creature of a gentler and simpler sort, to whom Nature has given a diviner and lowlier destiny?
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Plato Ancient Greek Philosopher
- Heraclitus Ancient Greek Philosopher
- Epictetus Ancient Greek Philosopher
- Aristotle Ancient Greek Philosopher
- Pythagoras Greek Philosopher
- Xenocrates Greek Philosopher, Scientist
- Epicurus Greek Philosopher
- Bias of Priene Greek Orator
- Plotinus Ancient Greek Philosopher, Mystic
- Nikos Kazantzakis Greek Novelist, Statesman