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.
Greek philosophers contributed hugely to our understanding of the world. Using their intelligence and reasoning skills, they attempted to make sense out of the world and brought along revolutionary philosophical contributions to politics, science and ethics.
As they say, true wisdom is eternal. The great Greek philosophers might have lived in much different times, 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 thought, below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and mind-blowing Greek philosopher quotes and sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years.
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
2. “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” – Socrates (see more quotes by Socrates)
3. “The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.” – Diogenes
4. “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” – Churchill
5. “Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.” – Socrates
6. “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” – Aristotle
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
8. “For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.” – Plato
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
10. “If I had followed the multitude, I should not have studied philosophy.” – Chrysippus
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
12. “Difficulties are things that show a person what they are.” – Epictetus (see more Epictetus quotes)
13. “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” – Socrates
14. “All the earth is mine, and I have a right to go all over it and through it.” – Apollonius of Tyana
15. “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” – Aristotle
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
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
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. “Those who intend on becoming great should love neither themselves nor their own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by themselves or others.” – Plato
24. “Fate is the endless chain of causation, whereby things are; the reason or formula by which the world goes on.” – Citium Zeno
25. “Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.” – Aristotle
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. “There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.” – Aristotle
Also check out these Medusa quotes about the unique guardian from Greek mythology.
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
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of knowledge quotes for those who love learning.
33. “Riches do not exhilarate us so much with their possession as they torment us with their loss.” – Epicurus
34. “Medicine to produce health must examine disease; and music, to create harmony must investigate discord.” – Plutarch
35. “It is hard to contend against one’s heart’s desire; for whatever it wishes to have it buys at the cost of soul.” – Heraclitus
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. “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” – Aristotle
39. “If thou suffer injustice, console thyself; the true unhappiness is in doing it.” – Democritus
40. “Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.” – Plato
More Greek philosopher quotes to expand your mind
41. “Control thy passions lest they take vengence on thee.” – Epictetus
42. “No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger.” – Heraclitus
43. “Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.” – Aristotle
44. “Moral habits, induced by public practices, are far quicker in making their way into men’s private lives, than the failings and faults of individuals are in infecting the city at large.” – Plutarch
45. “Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempest.” – Epicurus
46. “No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.” – Plato
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. “People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.” – Plato
You might also like these philosophical Epicurus quotes for a happy life.
More Greek philosopher quotes
51. “To test a perfect theory with imperfect instruments did not impress the Greek philosophers as a valid way to gain knowledge.” – Isaac Asimov
52. “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, Among Others
53. “We are not separated from spirit, we are in it.” – Plotinus
54. “But what difference does it make who spoke the words? They were uttered for the world.” – Seneca
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of Seneca quotes that will help you in all facets of your life.
55. “It wasn’t easy looking dignified wearing a bed sheet and a purple cape.” – Rick Riordan, The Son of Neptune
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. “Come back. Even as a shadow, even as a dream.” – Euripides
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.
March 10, 2021 6:00 AM EST