Quotes by Plutarch

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Mestrius Plutarchus (ca. 46- 127) was a Greek historian, biographer, and essayist. more

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The measure of a man is the way he bears up under misfortune.

To find a fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.
Fate leads him who follows it, and drags him who resist.
We ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household belongings, which when worn with use we throw away.
To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.
Character is simply habit long continued.
Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.
It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risk everything.
Courage consists not in hazarding without fear; but being resolutely minded in a just cause.
Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.
Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together yield themselves up when taken little by little.
The whole life is but a point of time; let us enjoy it, therefore, while it lasts, and not spend it to no purpose.
To do an evil act is base. To do a good one without incurring danger, is common enough. But it is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds though he risks everything in doing them.
Not by lamentations and mournful chants ought we to celebrate the funeral of a good man, but by hymns, for in ceasing to be numbered with mortals he enters upon the heritage of a diviner life.
Courage stands halfway between cowardice and rashness, one of which is a lack, the other an excess of courage.
The wildest colts make the best horses.
In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker.
Distressed valor challenges great respect, even from an enemy.
Time is the wisest of all counselors.
The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.
When the strong box contains no more both friends and flatterers shun the door.
Medicine to produce health must examine disease; and music, to create harmony must investigate discord.
Someone praising a man for his foolhardy bravery, Cato, the elder, said, There is a wide difference between true courage and a mere contempt of life.
Nothing is harder to direct than a man in prosperity; nothing more easily managed than one in adversity.
Rest is the sweet sauce of labor.
All men whilst they are awake are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own.
The first evil those who are prone to talk suffer, is that they hear nothing.
To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our days.
Do not speak of your happiness to one less fortunate than yourself.
Abstain from beans.
A Roman divorced from his wife, being highly blamed by his friends, who demanded, Was she not chaste? Was she not fair? Was she not fruitful? holding out his shoe, asked them whether it was not new and well made. Yet, added he, none of you can tell where it pinches me.
Learn to be pleased with everything; with wealth, so far as it makes us beneficial to others; with poverty, for not having much to care for; and with obscurity, for being unenvied.
In human life there is constant change of fortune; and it is unreasonable to expect an exemption from the common fate. Life itself decays, and all things are daily changing.
Good birth is a fine thing, but the merit is our ancestors.
Nothing is cheap which is superfluous, for what one does not need, is dear at a penny.
They named it Ovation from the Latin ovis [A Sheep].
It is indeed a desirable thing to be well-descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.
Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.
When Demosthenes was asked what were the three most important aspects of oratory, he answered, Action, Action, Action.
No man ever wetted clay and then left it, as if there would be bricks by chance and fortune.
He made the city [Athens], great as it was when he took it, the greatest and richest of all cities, and grew to be superior in power to kings and tyrants. Some of these actually appointed him guardian of their sons, but he did not make his estate a single drachma greater than it was when his father left it to him.
Also the two-edged tongue of mighty Zeno, who, Say what one would, could argue it untrue.
They are wrong who think that politics is like an ocean voyage or a military campaign, something to be done with some particular end in view, something which leaves off as soon as that end is reached. It is not a public chore, to be got over with. It is a way of life. It is the life of a domesticated political and social creature who is born with a love for public life, with a desire for honor, with a feeling for his fellows; and it lasts as long as need be.
Paulus Aemilius, on taking command of the forces in Macedonia, and finding them talkative and impertinently busy, as though they were all commanders, issued out his orders that they should have only ready hands and keen swords, and leave the rest to him.
[Solon] being asked, namely, what city was best to live in, That city, he replied, in which those who are not wronged, no less than those who are wronged, exert themselves to punish the wrongdoers.
Socrates said he was not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.