If you’re in search of powerful and thought-provoking wisdom, relying on the great Greek philosophers of ancient times will serve you well.
We’ve rounded up an epic collection of Greek philosopher quotes to inspire you to think deeper and find your Greek god within.
Be sure to tell us your favorite quote from a Greek philosopher in the comment section below.
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What are the benefits of reading these Greek philosopher quotes?
Greek philosophers contributed hugely to our understanding of the world.
Using their intelligence and reasoning skills:
- they attempted to make sense of the world
- brought along revolutionary philosophical contributions to politics, science, and ethics
- shaped many professions, like medicine
As they say, true wisdom is eternal.
Take a moment and check out these Greek quotes!
The great Greek philosophers might have lived in a much different time, but we can still apply their ancient wisdom to our modern lives.
Their wise words have the power to change the way you think and approach life.
So, to enlarge your thinking, read our collection of inspirational, wise, and mind-blowing Greek philosopher quotes and sayings from various sources over the years.
If you enjoy this article, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily motivation.
If you want more motivational quotes, check out our motivational quotes category page.
Greek Philosopher Quotes On Ancient Knowledge To Motivate You
1. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
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2. “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” – Socrates (see more quotes by Socrates)
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3. “The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.” – Diogenes
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4. “For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.” – Plato
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5. “Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.” – Socrates
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6. “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” – Aristotle
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7. “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus
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8. “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” – Churchill
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9. “Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.” – Aristotle
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10. “If I had followed the multitude, I should not have studied philosophy.” – Chrysippus
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Greek philosopher quotes that will inspire you to find your Greek god within
11. “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” – Democritus
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12. “Difficulties are things that show a person what they are.” – Epictetus (see more Epictetus quotes)
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13. “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” – Socrates
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14. “No human being will ever know the Truth, for even if they happen to say it by chance, they would not even know they had done so.” —Xenophanes
15. “There is nothing permanent except change.” – Heraclitus
16. “When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.” – Epictetus
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If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of Friedrich Nietzsche quotes on life and love.
17. “He has the most who is most content with the least.” – Diogenes
18. “Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.” – Heraclitus
19. “Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains.” – Democritus
20. “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” – Plato
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Greek philosopher quotes to expand your understanding
21. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” – Epictetus
22. “I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.” – Plutarch
23. “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”– Plato
24. “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” – Plutarch
25. “The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.” – Thales
26. “Good means not merely not to do wrong, but rather not to desire to do wrong.” – Democritus
27. “There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.” – Plato
28. “Much learning does not teach understanding.” – Heraclitus
29. “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” – Epictetus
30. “We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.” – Aristotle Onassis
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Greek philosopher quotes that will inspire you to think deeper
31. “It is a true man’s part not to err, but it is also noble of a man to perceive his error.” – Apollonius of Tyana
32. “Knowledge without justice ought to be called cunning rather than wisdom.” – Plato
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33. “Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.” – Antisthenes
34. “Man is the measure of all things.” —Protagoras
35. “The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations, and benefits.” —Plutarch
36. “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.” – Aristotle
37. “Everything existing in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity.” – Democritus
38. “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” – Pericles
39. “Wait for the wisest of all counselors to judge you . . . time.” —Pericles
40. “The worst of all deceptions is self-deception” – Plato
Greek philosopher quotes to expand your mind
41. “Character is destiny.” – Heraclitus
42. “No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger.” – Heraclitus
43. “To find yourself, think for yourself.” – Socrates
44. “Life is short, the art long.” – Hippocrates
45. “Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempest.” – Epicurus
46. “Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.” —Demosthenes
47. “Do not trust all men, but trust men of worth; the former course is silly, the latter a mark of prudence.” – Democritus
48. “Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details.” – Heraclitus
49. “The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” – Aristotle
50. “The art of living well and the art of dying well are one.” – Epicurus
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More Greek philosopher quotes
51. “World is decay, life is perception.” — Democritus
52. “This world, which is the same for all, has not been made by any god or man, but it always has been, is, and will be an ever-living fire.”— Heraclitus
53. “The happy man is the one who has a healthy body, a wealthy soul and a well-educated nature.” – Thales
54. “But what difference does it make who spoke the words? They were uttered for the world.” – Seneca
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55. “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” – Plato
56. “Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.” – Aristotle
57. “When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” – Herophilus
58. “The proper bulk is better than the big bulk.” – Democritus
Short Greek philosopher quotes from Plotinus and Pythagoras
59. “Withdraw into yourself and look.” ― Plotinus
60. “Time is the soul of this world.” — Pythagoras
61. “Life is the flight of the alone to the alone.” ― Plotinus
62. “Silence is better than unmeaning words.” — Pythagoras
63. “It is in virtue of unity that beings are beings.” ― Plotinus
64. “The world is knowable, harmonious, and good.” ― Plotinus
65. “Thy foolish passions: learn thou to subdue them.” — Pythagoras
66. “Wisdom thoroughly learned will never be forgotten.” — Pythagoras
67. A fool is known by his speech; and a wise man by silence.” — Pythagoras
68. “Concern should drive us into action and not into depression.” — Pythagoras
Greek philosopher quotes that will make you wise
69. “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” – Epictetus
70. “When you want wisdom and insight as badly as you want to breathe, it is then you shall have it.” — Socrates
71. “The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.” — Plato
72. “Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.” — Plutarch
73. “It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly. And it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.” — Epicurus
74. “The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.” — Epictetus
75. “All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.” — Aristotle
76. “The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.” — Aristotle
77. “We became men once and one cannot become twice.” — Epicurus
78. “Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.” — Socrates
Greek philosopher quotes from Thales
79. “Nothing is more active than thought, for it travels over the universe, and nothing is stronger than necessity for all must submit to it.”― Thales
80. “Hope is the only good that is common to all men; those who have nothing else possess hope still.” ― Thales
81. “Time is the wisest of all things that are; for it brings everything to light.”― Thales
82. “The past is certain, the future obscure.” ― Thales
83. “If there is a change, there must be something that changes, yet does not change.”― Thales
84. “Intellect is the swiftest of things, for it runs through everything.”― Thales
85. “The way of living virtuously is by never doing ourselves what we blame in others.”― Thales
86. “All things are from water and all things are resolved into water.”― Thales
87. “What man is happy? He who has a healthy body, a resourceful mind, and a docile nature.”― Thales
88. “A multitude of words is no proof of a prudent mind.”― Thales
89. “We live not, in reality, on the summit of a solid earth but at the bottom of an ocean of air.” – Thales
90. “Place is the greatest thing, as it contains all things.” – Thales
Greek Philosopher Quotes To Give You Wisdom
91. “In all things of nature, there is something marvelous.” — Aristotle
92. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” — Hippocrates.
93. “Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.” — Aristotle
94.“Wisdom outweighs any wealth.” — Sophocles
95. “Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.” — Euripides
96. “Success is dependent on effort.” — Sophocles
97. “It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls.” — Epicurus
98. “We are not separated from spirit, we are in it.” ― Plotinus
99. “Know thyself art Love itself. I repeat; Know thyself art Love itself and that anything else is an abstraction at best and suffering at worst.” ― Wald Wassermann
100. “The Republic isn’t as much fun as The Symposium. It’s all long speeches, and nobody bursting in drunk to woo Socrates in the middle.” ― Jo Walton
Greek Philosopher Quotes To Fill You With Wisdom
101. “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” — Epictetus
102. “Wisdom begins in wonder.” — Socrates
103. “Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.” — Aristotle
104. “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” — Aristotle
105. “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” — Socrates
106. “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” — Aristotle
107. “Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few.” — Pythagoras
108. “You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” — Epicurus
109. “He is the richest who is content with the least.” — Socrates
110. “Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.” — Epictetus
Greek Philosopher Quotes to Appreciate Life
111. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” — Socrates
112. “Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.” — Democritus
113. “Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” — Aristotle
114. “Practice yourself, for heaven’s sake, in little things, and thence proceed to greater.” — Epictetus
115. “The gift of truth excels all other gifts.” — Gautama Buddha
116. “The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead.” — Aristotle
117. “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” — Aristotle
118. “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” — Aristotle
119. “It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself.” — Epicurus
120. “Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” — Epicurus
Greek Philosopher Quotes That Hit Deep
121. “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” ― Epictetus
122. “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” ― Plato
123. “Music then is simply the result of the effects of Love on rhythm and harmony.” ― Plato
124. “Get not your friends by bare compliments but by giving them sensible tokens of your love.” ― Socrates
125. “Each man is capable of doing one thing well. If he attempts several, he will fail to achieve distinction in any.” ― Plato
126. “The oldest, shortest words – ‘yes’ and ‘no’ – are those which require the most thought.” ― Pythagoras
127. “Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.” ― Plato
128. “Only the educated are free.” ― Epictetus
129. “True friends visit us in prosperity only when invited, but in adversity they come without invitation.” ― Theophrastus
130. “If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not recognize it when it arrives.” ― Heraclitus
Greek Philosopher Quotes About Ancient Wisdom
131. “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” ― Aristotle
132. “It is not what you do, but how you do it, that counts.” ― Socrates
133. “The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it.” ― Epicurus
134. “The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.” ― Stoics
135. “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” ― Ferdinand Foch
136. “Nature never deceives us; it is always we who deceive ourselves.” ― Jean-Jacques Rousseau
137. “The greatest wealth is to live content with little.” ― Plato
138. “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” ― Plato
139. “The end of life is to be like God, and the soul following God will be like Him.” ― Plato
140. “The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me.” ― Meister Eckhart
What did you learn from these Greek Philosopher quotes?
Ancient Greek philosophy is still important today?
Even when passed down for thousands of years, wisdom speaks to human nature.
We can learn many life lessons from the work and lives of the great Greek philosophers.
Hopefully, these quotes from the ancients have inspired you to live wisely and compassionately.
Which of these Greek philosopher quotes and sayings resonated with you best?
Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?
Feel free to share with us in the comment section below.