50 Greek Quotes That Will Take You Back in Time

If you are interested in the Greek language, you would also love to read Greek quotes.

Here, we have created a list of the best Greek quotes.

Apart from our collection of such quotes, we have also discussed Greek as a Language and various aspects associated with it.

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So, let’s start without any further ado!

A Brief Intro to the Greek Language 

Greek is an Indo-European language that is spoken by nearly 13 million people worldwide.

Mostly the Greek language is primarily spoken in Greece and Cyprus. 

On the other hand, Greek communities living in various other areas also speak the Greek language.

The history of this ancient language dates back 3,000 years. 

Besides, Greek is referred to as one of the basic languages of Western civilization.

Hence, this language has significantly affected the development of science, philosophy, and arts.

Modern Greek Language

The modern Greek language is known as Demotic Greek. 

It is the official language of Cyprus and Greece. 

Even the modern version of Greek proves to be a complex language. 

It uses complex syntax and grammar, including genders, cases, and verb conjugations.

There are 24 Greek alphabets, and they are considered among the oldest alphabets that are still used today.

Some of the famous Greek works of literature include:

  • Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer 
  • The plays of Sophocles, Aristophanes, and Euripides 
  • The philosophical writings of Aristotle and Plato

Role of Greek Philosophers in Promoting the Greek Language

When it comes to promoting the Greek language, Greek philosophers played a critical role.

Most popular Greek philosophers like Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates relied on Greek while creating their works. 

This helped establish the worth of Greek as a vehicle for philosophical and intellectual discourse.

The Greek language was also promoted by using it for philosophical inquiry. 

According to Socrates, Greek served as an essential medium for the pursuit of wisdom.

It is a precise and clear language, which proved to be highly suitable for philosophical inquiry.

Apart from this, most of the Greek philosophers also wrote about the nature of Greek as a language. 

For instance, Aristotle’s work on linguistics and language includes his treatise on rhetoric.

This helped establish Greek as a language of intellectual and academic inquiry.

On the other hand, the influence of Greek philosophers was also seen in the development of Western thought.

This, in turn, also contributed to promoting the Greek language.

Most of the ancient Greek works of literature and philosophy were translated into languages like Arabic, Latin, and Hebrew.

As a result, it helped to disseminate the Greek language and Greek ideas to other regions and cultures of the world.

Top 10 Greek Quotes

Following are the top Greek quotes from our compilation.

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1. “I’m Greek, and we’re conspiratorial by nature.” — George Tenet

2. “The Greeks invented logic but were not fooled by it.” — Eric Hoffer

3. “The Serbs have only two friends, God and the Greeks.” — Radovan Karadzic

4. “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.” — Diogenes

5. “Of all peoples, the Greeks have dreamt the dream of life best.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

6. “Everything is Greek, when it is more shameful to be ignorant of Latin.” — Juvenal

7. “A laudation in Greek is of marvelous efficacy on the title page of a book.” — Moliere

8. “I didn’t have a big fat Greek wedding, but I have a lot of fat Greek friends.” — Pete Sampras

9. “My mom used to say that Greek Easter was later because then you get stuff cheaper.” — Amy Sedaris

10. “Women are like those blinkin’ little Greek islands, places to call at but not to stay.” — Stacy Aumonier

Comic Greek Quotes

Here are comic Greek quotes that will make you laugh after reading them.

11. “Drink, live like the Greeks, eat, gorge.” — Plautus

12. “We Greeks believe that a man who takes no part in public affairs is not merely lazy, but good for nothing.” Thucydides

13. “First, there was Greek civilization. Then there was the Renaissance. Now we’re entering the Age of the Ass.” — Jean-Luc Godard

14. “How can any educated person stay away from the Greeks? I have always been far more interested in them than in science.” Albert Einstein

15. “Where two Greeks are gathered together, there will be at least three political parties represented, and possibly more.” — Mary Stewart

16. “President James Garfield could write in Latin with one hand while writing in Greek with the other. I would give my right arm to be ambidextrous.” — Jay Leno

17. “Of all the subjects on this planet, I think my parents would have been hard put to name one less useful than Greek mythology to securing the keys to an executive bathroom.” J. K. Rowling

18. “…one Greek city-state had a fundamental law: anyone proposing revisions to the constitution did so with a noose around his neck. If his proposal lost, he was instantly hanged.” — Aristotle

19. “When I came to know Greek art, I instantly understood that excess and perfection are enemies, yet on the other hand, this world and the millions of worlds around us live by fire … !” — Ethel Smyth

20. “We look at the ancient Greeks with their gods on a mountain top throwing lightning bolts and say, ‘Those ancient Greeks. They were so silly. So primitive and naive. Not like our religions. We have burning bushes talking to people, and guys walking on water. We’re …sophisticated’.” — Paul Provenza

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Appreciating Greek Quotes

These Greek quotes appreciate Greeks in various aspects.

21. “I think the Greeks invented sports as an antidote to philosophy.” — Jack Nicholson

22. “All free peoples are deeply impressed by the courage and steadfastness of the Greek nation.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

23. “Read Churchill; he tells you how crucial was the Greek role in your decisive desert victory over Rommel.” — Melina Mercouri

24. “If it is true that the violin is the most perfect of musical instruments, then Greek is the violin of human thought.” Helen Keller

25. “It’s ironic that Olympic spectators will never have seen Yiannis Kouros, the greatest Greek athlete since Pheidippides.” — Ed Ayres

26. “Since the time of the ancient Greeks, we have always felt that there was a close relationship between a strong, vital mind and physical fitness.” John F. Kennedy

27. “The Greeks understood the mysterious power of the below things. They are the ones who gave us one of the most beautiful words in our language, the word enthusiasm.” Louis Pasteur

28. “For the sake of historical truth, I must verify that only the Greeks, of all the adversaries who confronted us, fought with bold courage and highest disregard of death.” — Adolf Hitler

29. “The art of the Greeks, of the Egyptians, of the great painters who lived in other times, is not an art of the past; perhaps it is more alive today than it ever was.” — Pablo Picasso

30. “I think the Greeks first took astrology to India and took from the Hindus the science of astronomy and carried it back with them from Europe. ” — Swami Vivekananda

Greek Quotes by Greek Philosophers

These Greek quotes are associated with popular Greek Philosophers.

31. “Wisdom begins in wonder.” Socrates

32. “A friend to all is a friend to none.” — Aristotle

33. “One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.” — Euripides

34. “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” — Plutarch

35. “The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.” — Plato

36. “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” — Democritus

37. “The oldest, shortest words – ‘yes’ and ‘no’ – are those which require the most thought.” — Pythagoras

38. “There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” — Epictetus

39. “To test a perfect theory with imperfect instruments did not impress the Greek philosophers as a valid way to gain knowledge.” — Isaac Asimov

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40. “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus

Greek Quotes about the Greek Language

The Greek quotes mentioned below are about the Greek language. So read and enjoy.

41. “I do not read the ancient languages, but I am beginning to study Greek.” Anne Rice

42. “Greek is doubtless the most perfect [language] that has been contrived by the art of man.” Edward Gibbon

43. “Light means knowledge in the Greek language. It can also be translated as illumination, knowledge, insight, understanding, and wisdom.” — Sunday Adelaja

44. “I much preferred Latin to Greek. I loved the language being such a pattern that you could not shift a word without the whole sentence falling to pieces.” — Alice Oswald

45. “Knowing some Greek helped defuse forbidding words – not that I counted much on using them. You’ll find only trace elements of this language in the poem.” — James Merrill

46. “Greek was very much a live language, and a language still unconscious of grammar, not, like ours, dominated by definitions and trained upon dictionaries.” — Gilbert Murray

47. “The first of these phases is grammar, invented by the Greeks and carried on unchanged by the French. It never had any philosophical view of a language as such.” — Ferdinand de Saussure

48. “Classical music is a special taste like Greek language or pre-Columbian archeology, not a common culture of reciprocal communication and psychological shorthand.” — Allan Bloom 

49. “Harmony is an obscure and difficult musical science, but most difficult to those who are not acquainted with the Greek language; because it is necessary to use many Greek words to which there are none corresponding in Latin.” — Vitruvius

50. “The Greek language seems different than other languages. I’m not the only person to think this. Usually, I come up with some kind of dopey metaphor for why it’s different. But it seems, somehow, more original, more like being in the morning of language.”Anne Carson

Which One of these Greek Quotes is your Favorite? 

Our extensive list of Greek quotes offers you the best possible options to choose from.

These quotes are carefully collected to offer you the best possible experience.

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