Antikes Griechenland, Sprüche
Kai sy, teknon?
We are children of the Greeks
Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all
Go and tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
The Spartans do not enquire how many the enemy are but where they are. Agis, II 42;7 BC
Here four thousand from the Peloponnese once fought three thousand thousands.
Μολών λαβέ ! (Molon labe : Come and get them!)
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"
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....
Spartan woman giving the shield to her son, Jean-Jacques-Francois Le Barbier ( 1738-1826), Portlandmuseum
I tan i epi tas
Our Trachinian friend brings us excellent tidings. If the Medes darken the sun, we shall have our fight in the shade.
Andron epifanon pasa gi tafos (Of famous men, the whole world is the tomb)
Ώ παίδες Ελλήνων, ίτε ελευθερούτε πατρίδ' ελευθερούτε δε παίδας, γυναίκας, θεών τε πατρώων έδη,θήκας τε προγόνων νυν υπέρ πάντων αγών Aeschylus , The Persians, “Forward, sons of the Greeks, liberate the fatherland, liberate your children, your women, the temples of your ancestral gods, the graves of your forebears: this is the battle for everything."
The grandness of Greece
Time is the father of truth
Death is a debt which all of us must pay.
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?
Call no man happy before his death.
It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.
To Thales the primary question was not what do we know, but how do we know it.
On one occasion Aristotle was asked how much educated men were superior to those uneducated: 'As much,' said he, 'as the living are to the dead.'
This tomb hold Diophantus Ah, what a marvel! And the tomb tells scientifically the measure of his life. God vouchsafed that he should be a boy for the sixth part of his life; when a twelfth was added, his cheeks acquired a beard; He kindled for him the light of marriage after a seventh, and in the fifth year after his marriage He granted him a son. Alas! late-begotten and miserable child, when he had reached the measure of half his father's life, the chill grave took him. After consoling his grief by this science of numbers for four years, he reached the end of his life.
He is unworthy of the name of man who is ignorant of the fact that the diagonal of a square is incommensurable with its side.
Xanthippe and Socrates
All I know is that I know nothing
More sceptical is Metrodorus
We know nothing, not even whether we know or do not know, or what it is to know or not to know, or in general whether anything exists or not. Metrodorus of Chios
On this truly happy day of my life, as I am at the point of death, I write this to you ... Epicurus, Letter to Idomeneus
All Cretans are liars.
We take a hetaera for our pleasure, a concubine for daily attention to our physical wants, a wife to give us legitimate children and a respected house.
I proclaim that justice is nothing else than the interest of the stronger
Ta panta rhei (Everything changes)
Advances in cosmology and black holes physics lend new emphasis to some of the most remarkable consequences of Einstein's standard theory:...nature conserves nothing; there is no constant of physics that is not transcended; or, in a word, mutability is a law of nature
The man was born, he worked, and then died.
Nobody can say a word against Greek: it stamps a man at once as an educated gentlemen.
A wonderful harmony arises from joining together the seemingly unconnected.
The organization of your state is that of an army camp, not a town. Plato's opinion about Sparta.
The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows.
The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.
There was never a genius without a tincture of insanity.
I pray Thee, O God, that I may be beautiful within!
For one swallow does not make the summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed or happy. Aristotle .. after Aristotle observed that one swallow doth not a Spring make (EN I.7), Theophrastus set to work on a treatise entitled "On the Number of Swallows Needed to Make a Spring, Dorothea Frede
All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
We make war that we may live in peace.
Thinking is the talking of the soul with itself.
When I considered this act of Nero it struck me how true is the remark of Plato, the son of Ariston, who says that the greatest and most daring crimes are committed, not by ordinary men, but by a noble soul ruined by a perverted education.
... καὶ τὸ τῶν Ἑλλήνων ὀνομα πεποίηκε μηκέτι τοῦ γένους ἀλλά τὴς διανοίας δοκείν εἶναι, καὶ μάλλον Ἑλληνας καλείσθαι τῶν τὴς παιδεύσεως τὴς ἡμετέρας ἦ τῶν τὴς κοινής φύσεως μετέχοντας
...ει χείρας είχον βόες <ίπποι τε> ηέ λέοντες, ή γράψαι χείρεσι και έργα τελείν άπερ άνδρες, ίπποι μεν ίπποισι βόες δε βουσίν ομοίας και θεών ιδέας έγραφον και σώματα εποίουν τοιαύθ’ οίον περ αυτοί δέμας είχον <έκαστοι> “...but if cattle and horses and lions had hands, or were able to draw with their hands and do the works that men can do, horses would draw the form of the gods like horses, and cattle like cattle”
...στάζει δ' ἀνθ' ὕπνου πρὸ καρδίας μνησιπήμων πόνος· καὶ παρ' ἄκοντας ἦλθε σωφρονεῖν. δαιμόνων δέ που χάρις βίαιος σέλμα σεμνὸν ἡμένων Aeschylus, Agamemnon ... My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: "In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God." What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black. ...... Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. ...
I am not afraid of being dead, I just do not want to die.
Who brings owls to Athens? Aristophanes 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, Pelopidas
Medeis Ageometretos Eisito. Let no one ignorant of geometry enter. Written over the entrance of Plato's Academy. But is this story true?
When I tell Odysseus my own Odyssey, he'll never believe me! “Onthepremises” a Greek merchant
http://www.greeksongs.gr/insignia.htm If you look for more Heroic quotations from Greeks and the corresponding official Greek Military Insignia