Ignorance is bold and knowledge reserved.
The secret of Happiness is Freedom, and the secret of Freedom, Courage.
So remarkably perverse is the nature of man, that he despises those that court him, and admires whoever will not bend before him.
The peoples of the Mediterranean began to emerge from barbarism when they learnt to cultivate the olive and the wine.
Stories happen to those who tell them.
We secure our friends not by accepting favors but by doing them.
The sufferings that fate inflicts on us should be borne with patience, what enemies inflict with manly courage.
They are surely to be esteemed the bravest spirits who, having the clearest sense of both the pains and pleasures of life, do not on that account shrink from danger.
Topics: Courage, Risk, Danger, Bravery
Our form of government does not enter into rivalry with the institutions of others. We do not copy our neighbours, but are an example to them. It is true that we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not of the few. But while the law secures equal justice to all alike in their private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognised; and when a citizen is in any way distinguished, he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as the reward of merit. Neither is poverty a bar, but a man may benefit his country whatever be the obscurity of his condition.
We Greeks believe that a man who takes no part in public affairs is not merely lazy, but good for nothing.
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.
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 being always 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 eyewitnesses, arising sometimes from imperfect memory, sometimes from undue partiality for one side or the other. The absence of romance in my history will, I fear, detract somewhat from its interest; but I shall be content if it is judged useful by those inquirers who desire an exact knowledge of the past as an aid to the interpretation of the future, which in the course of human things must resemble if it does not reflect it. My history has been composed to be an everlasting possession, not the showpiece of an hour.
An avowal of poverty is no disgrace to any man; to make no effort to escape it is indeed disgraceful.
The powerful exact what they can; the weak grant what they must.
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.
An Athenian citizen does not neglect the state because he takes care of his own household; and even those of us who are engaged in business have a very fair idea of politics. We alone regard a man who takes no interest in public affairs, not as a harmless, but as a useless character, and if few of us are originators, we are all sound judges of a policy.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Thales of Miletus Greek Philosopher, Mathematician
- Polybius Greek Historian
- David Hume Scottish Philosopher, Historian
- Aristotle Ancient Greek Philosopher
- Thomas Hobbes English Political Philosopher
- Niccolo Machiavelli Florentine Political Philosopher
- Hans Morgenthau American Political Scientist
- Plato Ancient Greek Philosopher
- George F. Kennan American Diplomat, Historian
- Xenophon Ancient Greek Philosopher