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Whatever is, is right.-Pope, Essay on Man, Ep. i, 1. 294.
Πολὺ δὲ μεῖζον τὸ ἐπιθυμεῖν ὢν δεῖ.
(Yes, a much greater; for a man to desire no more than is necessary).
MENEDEMUS (b.c. 385 B.C.)— on hearing another maintain that there could be no greater good than for a man to get what he desired. (Diogenes Laertius, Lives: Menedemus, § 136).
Πόσων ἐγὼ χρείαν οὐκ ἔχω.
(How many things are there of which I have no need?)
SOCRATES (B.C. 468-399)-(Diogenes Laertius, Lives: Socrates, § 25.
πότε ἄρα παυσόμεθα νικῶντες ; (I wonder when we shall leave off being victorious!)
PHOCION (c. 400-317 B.C.) — when despatch after despatch arrived from the camp announcing fresh successes (Plutarch, Lives: Phocion, xxiii). See túxn &c.
Πρὶν δ ̓ ἂν τελευτήσῃ, ἐπισχέειν, μηδὲ καλέειν και ὄλβιον ἀλλ ̓ εὐτυχέα. (Wait till a man's life be ended; till then call him not happy, but lucky).
SOLON (639-558 B.C.), one of the Seven Sages of Greece-to Croesus, who asked if he did not consider him happy. (Herodotus, Histories, i, 32). This saying, in various forms, became a commonplace of classical literature.
. . ᾧ δ' εἰς τέλος ὁ δαίμων ἔθετο τὴν εὐπραξίαν, τοῦτον εὐδαίμονα νομίζομεν. (.. him only we call happy to whom the deity has vouchsafed happiness to the end.) (Plutarch, Lives: Solon, xxvii). Generally quoted
as 'Call no man happy till his death.'
Πρότερόν ἐστι τοῦ πρωρατεῦσαι τὸ φυρᾶσαι. (Before setting the watch we must think of provisioning the ship-Harbottle). DEMADES ( d. 318 B.C)— (Plutarch, Lives: Cleomenes, xxvii).
Πῦρ μαχαίρα μὴ σκαλεύειν. (Do not poke fire with a sword). PYTHAGORAS (6th cent. B.C.)— (Diogenes Laertius, Lives: Pythagoras, § 19.
Πῶς δ ̓ ἂν οὐκ εἴη Χαρίλαος ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς, ὃς οὐδὲ τοῖς πονηροῖς χαλεπός ἐστι; (How can Charilaus be anything but a good man?--he is not harsh even to the wicked).
KING ARCHELAUS (d. 405 B.C.) -when hearing King Charilaus, his brother-king, extolled for his goodness. (Plutarch Lives: Lycur gus, v.)
Πῶς δ ̓ οὐ μέλλω φέρειν βαρέως
ἀπολιπών, πόλιν ἐχθροὺς τοιούτους ἔχουσαν οἵους ἐν ἑτέρᾳ φίλους εὑρεῖν οὐ ῥᾴδιόν ἐστιν ; (How can I help being grieved at leaving a city where my very enemies are such that it were hard to find their like to be my
friends in any other country). DEMOSTHENES (c. 382-322 B.C.) -bursting into tears on his political opponents begging him to accept money for his journey after his escape from Athens (Plutarch, Lives: Demosthenes, xxvi). Ρεῖν τὰ ὅλα ποταμοῦ δίκην.
things flow onward, like a river).
HERACLITUS (A. B.C. 513.)— Diogenes Laertius, Lives: Heraclitus, § 6). Commonly quoted as πάντα ῥεῖ.
CAIUS MARIUS (c. 153-86 B.C.) -to a soldier who entered his apartment in the dark, sword in hand, intending to assassinate him. The soldier, terrified, took to flight crying:
Οὐ δύναμαι Γάϊον Μάριον ἀποκτεῖναι. (I cannot kill Caius Marius) -Plutarch, Lives: Marius, xxxix.
Σὺ μὲν οὖν, εἰ μέγας εἰ στρατηγός, ἀνάγκασόν με διαγωνίσασθαι μὴ Boulóμevov. (Nay, if you are a great general, do you force me to fight against my will!)
CAIUS MARIUS (c. 153-86 B.C.) -to Publius Silo, leader of the Marsi, who taunted him by saying: Εἰ μέγας εἶ, ὦ Μάριε, διαγώνισαι καταβάς (If you are a great general, Marius, come down and fight me). (Plutarch, Lives: Marius, xxxiii).
Σὺ νικᾶν οἶδας, νίκῃ δὲ χρῆσθαι οὐκ oldas. (You know how to gain a victory, but not how to use it).
HAMILCAR BARCAS, the Carthaginian (d. 229 B.C.)-to Hannibal. (Plutarch, Lives: Fabius Maximus, xvii). The saying is also attributed to Maharbal.
Συμβούλευε μὴ τὰ ἥδιστα, ἀλλὰ τὰ κάλλιστα. (Consider not what is most pleasant, but what is best).
SOLON, (B.C. 638-558)-(Diogenes Laertius, Lives: Solon, § 60).
Ταῦτα, ὦ Κεφάλων, ἐπίχειρα τῆς βασιλίκης φιλίας. (These, Cephalon, are the wages of my friendship with the king).
ARATUS (c. 272-213 B.C.)-to one of his friends who noticed that he spat blood. His illness was
caused by drugs administered to him
Τέκνον, ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς (My son,
SPARTAN MOTHER, to her son(Plutarch, Apophthegmata Lacaenarum, 15).
Τὴν φιλαργυρίαν μητρόπολιν πάντων τῶν κακῶν. (Love of money is the fountain-head of all evils).
DIOGENES (B.C. 412-323)-(Diogenes Laertius Lives: Diogenes, § 50). Stobaeus attributes the saying to Bion.
τὴν ψυχὴν ἐν ἀλλοτρίῳ σώματι (.. the soul of a lover inhabits the body of his beloved). CATO MAJOR (234-149 B.C.)— (Plutarch, Lives: Cato Major, ix).
. . τῆς πίστεως μηδενὶ λογισμῷ χώραν διδούσης. (. . a promise leaves no room for deliberation). SERTORIUS (c. 121-73 B.C.)-to Cinna, referring to the latter's invitation to Marius. (Plutarch, Lives: Sertorius, v).
Τί γὰρ ἄλλο ἢ τοῖς νενικημένοις ὀδύνη : (What should it mean but woe to the conquered!)
BRENNUS, chief of the Gauls (fl. c. 390 B.C.)-in reply to Sulpicius, the Roman tribune, who asked the meaning of the former taking off his sword and belt and throwing them into the scale in which the gold to be paid by the Romans was being weighed. (Plutarch, Lives: Camil lus, xxviii). The Gauls tampered with the scales, at which the Romans became angry. Camillus, arriving, took the gold from the scales, and ordered the Gauls to
depart, saying that it was custom of the Romans to deliver their country, not with gold, but with iron. (Plutarch, Ibid., xxix). Cf. Vae Victis. (Woe to the conquered).-Livy, Hist. v, 48.
Τί λέγεις ; οὐδὲ ποτήριον ἔχεις οὐδὲ iuáriov; (What! haven't you got a cup or a coat of mine?) PHILOTAS (fl. 4th cent. B.C.) son of Parmenio-his purse-bearer having told him that he had no money, a friend having come to borrow some. (Plutarch, Lives: Alexander, xlviii).
Τί οὖν εἴ σε Τιβέριος ἐκέλευσεν ἐμπρῆσαι τὸ Καπετώλιον; (What then, if Tiberius had told you to burn the Capitol ?)
PUBLIUS SCIPIO NASICA (fl. 2nd cent. B.C.)- asked of Blossius of Cumae, who admitted that he had done everything at the bidding of Tiberius. (Plutarch, Lives: Tiberius Gracchus, xx). The question is, however, attributed by Cicero (Laeluis, c. 11) and by Valerius Maximus (iv, c. 7) to Laelius.
Τὸ γὰρ ἄπραγμον οὐ σῴζεται μὴ μετὰ τοῦ δραστηρίου τεταγμένον. (Indolence is not secure unless it be ranged beside activity, i.e., if indolent persons wish to come out of the struggle safe, they had better take sides with the active).
PERICLES (494-406 E.C.)-Thucy-
Τὸ μὲν ἐμὸν ἀπ ̓ ἐμοῦ γένος ἄρχεται,
IPHICRATES (d. 380 B.C.)-to
extraction (Plutarch, Apophthegmata: Iphicrates, 5)—Cf.
From yon blue heaven above us bent, The gardener Adam and his wife
Smile at the claims of long descent. Howe'er it be, it seems to me,
'Tis only noble to be good.
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood. Tennyson, Lady Clara Vere de V'ere, 11. 50-6.
See C'est nous qui sommes des ancêtres; La seule différence entre eux et moi &c. Τὸ παρὸν εὖ ποιεῖν. (Do well the
duty that lies before you).
PITTACUS (B.C. 652-569).--(Diogenes Laertius, Lives: Pittacus, § 77).
τὸ τοιοῦτον ἄριστον οὐ χωρεῖ προδοσίαν. (Treason and a dinner like this do not keep company together).
EPAMINONDAS (411-363 B.C.)— alluding to the absence of luxury at his own (Spartan) dinner-table. (Plutarch, Lives: Lycurgus, xiii). Τὸν βίον οὕτω δεῖν μετρεῖν, ὡς
καὶ πολὺ καὶ ὀλίγον χρόνον βιωσομένους. (We should so mete out our life as though we had both a short time and a long time to live).
BIAS (A. c. 550 B.C.)-(Diogenes Laertius, Lives: Bias, § 87). Τὸν ἥλιον ἀνατέλλοντα πλείονες ἢ δυόμενον προσκυνοῦσιν more men worship the rising than the setting sun).
POMPEY (c. 106-48 B.C.)-referring to himself and Sulla. Sulla, when told of this, said ОpiaμBevoár (Let him triumph!) (Plutarch, Lives: Pompey, xiv). Cf..
"Men shut their doors against a setting sun."-Shakspere, Timon of Athens, act
I, SC. 2.
Let others hail the rising sun,
I bow to that whose race is run. David Garrick, On the Death of Mr. Pelham.
Τὸν τεθνηκότα μὴ κακολογεῖν. (Speak no evil of the dead).
CHILO (d. B.C. 597.)-(Diogenes Laertius, Lives; Chilo, § 70). The above is the origin of the saying "De mortuis nil nisi bonum.' Cf. :
Τὸν τελευτηκότα μὴ κακολόγει, ἀλλὰ μakáρice. (Speak not evil of the dead, but call them blessed).
CHILO (Stobaeus, Florilegium, CXXV., 15.)
Τὸν γὰρ οὐκ ὄντα ἅπας εἴωθεν ἐπαινεῖν. (Αll men are wont to praise him who is no more). Thucydides, Histories, II, 45, I.
Τὸν φίλον δεῖν εὐεργετεῖν, ὅπως ἡ μᾶλλον φίλος, τὸν δὲ ἐχθρὸν, φίλον ποιεῖν. (We should do good to our friend to make him more friendly, and to our enemy to make him a friend). CLEOBULUS(A. c. 560 B.C.)—(Diogenes Laertius, Lives: Cleobulus, $91). Cf.:
̓Αλλήλοις ὁμιλεῖν, ὡς τοὺς μὲν φίλους
ἐχθροὺς μὴ ποιῆσαι· τοὺς δ' ἐχθροὺς, φίλους ἐργάσασθαι. (We ought so to behave to one another as to avoid making enemies of our friends, and at the same time to make friends of our enemies).
PYTHAGORAS (c. 582-c.500 B.C.) -(Diogenes Laertius, Lives: Pytha goras, § 23).
Τοῦ πλουτεῖν τὸ πλουτίζειν εἶναι βασιλικώτερον. (It is more kingly to enrich others than to be wealthy one's self).
PTOLEMY LAGUS (c. 367-283 B.C.)-(Plutarch, Apophthegmata: Ptolemy Lagus, 1).
Τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς ἄνδρας θεῶν εἰκόνας εἶναι. (Good men are images of the gods).
DIOGENES (B. C. 412-323)-Diogenes Laertius, Lives: Diogenes, § 51).
Τοὺς μὲν ἄλλους ἀνθρώπους ζῆν, ἵν ἐσθίοιεν αὐτὸν δὲ ἐσθίειν, ἵνα Swn. (Other men live to eat, but I eat to live).
SOCRATES (B.C. 468-399)-(Diogenes Laertius, Lives: Socrates, $ 34).
Another version :
Οἱ μὲν λοιποὶ ζῶσιν ἵν ̓ ἐσθίωσιν, αὐτὸς δὲ ἐσθίω ἵνα ζῶ. (Other men live to eat, but I eat to live).
Τοὺς μὲν παῖδας ἀστραγάλοις, τοὺς δὲ ἄνδρας ὅρκοις ἐξαπατῶν. (. . cheat boys with dice, and men with oaths).
LYSANDER (d. 395 B.C.-recorded by Androclides, as an example of his great indifference to the obligations of an oath. (Plutarch, Lives: Lysander, viii; Apophthegmata Laconica: Lysander, 4). Also attributed to DIONYSIUS THE TYRANT (Plutarch, De Fortuna Alexandri, i, 9).
Τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους τιμᾶν δεῖν. (We should reverence our elders). PYTHAGORAS (6th cent. B.C.)— Diogenes Laertius, Lives: Pythagoras, $ 23).