Ancient Greece Quotes

Michael Lahanas

Antikes Griechenland, Sprüche

Kai sy, teknon?
Julius Caesar's last words actually Greek, not Latin, meaning "You too, child?". “Et tu, Brute?" in translation: "You too, Brutus?" appeared in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar.

We are children of the Greeks
Frederick the Great, king of Prussia, about 1760

Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all
of Sparta and his band of braves at Thermopylae. Simonides did not mean that Leonidas and his men actually fought three million soldiers, because indeed at the end only three hundred Spartans remained to resist the Persians unto death, but that Greece's finest hour was when, confronted with invading forces amounting altogether to about three million, it did not panic or surrender, even though the active resistance on land had to be limited to such relatively puny efforts as the episode of Thermopylae.

Μολών λαβέ ! (Molon labe : Come and get them!)
Leonidas Spartans king two words response to king of Persia Xerxes demanding that the Spartans lay down their arms. One of the most famous military quotes ever.

When someone told him: "Leonidas! How are you going with so few to risk with so many"? he said: "If you think that I am going to fight by numbers, then the whole of Greece would be insufficient, for she is only a small part of the numbers of the Persians, but if I am going to fight by valor, then even this number is enough"
Plutarch Apophthegmata Laconica, Leonidas of Anaxandridas

The Spartan women were good judges of manhood. A foreign lady once remarked to the wife of a Spartan commander that the women of Sparta were the only women in the world who could rule men. "We are the only women who raise men," the Spartan lady replied....
Spartans were taught to say a lot with a few words. Children learned a habit of long silence, so that when they finally spoke, their words had weight and were noticed.
For example, an Athenian joked that sword-swallowers used Spartan swords because they were so short, and a Spartan replied: "We find them long enough to reach the hearts of our enemies." Like their short, sharp swords, their short, sharp sayings get to the point and arrest the attention of the hearer. Here are some examples from Lycurgus himself:
A man argued that Sparta should set up a democracy, and to this, Lycurgus replied: "Begin with your own family."
Another asked why the sacrifices to the gods were not bigger, and Lycurgus answered: "So that we may always have something to offer them."
When Lycurgus was asked how the Spartans could prevent an invasion by enemies, he said: "By continuing to be poor, and not trying to appear better off than each other."
To those who proposed to build a wall around Sparta, Lycurgus said: "A wall of men, instead of bricks, is best."

Plutarch ,

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

All Cretans are liars.
Birds (German “Eulen nach Athen tragen”, an expression for something totally unnecessary )

The death of a good man is nothing to be sad about, since it puts him beyond the power of fortune and secures his happiness for eternity.” Plutarch, If you look for more Heroic quotations from Greeks and the corresponding official Greek Military Insignia

Ancient Greece

Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire

Modern Greece