Top Greeks Quotes

Browse top 124 famous quotes and sayings about Greeks by most favorite authors.

Favorite Greeks Quotes

1. "Now that the wars are coming to an end, I wish you to prosper in peace. May all mortals from now on live like one people in concord and for mutual advancement. Consider the world as your country, with laws common to all and where the best will govern irrespective of tribe. I do not distinguish among men, as the narrow-minded do, both among Greeks and Barbarians. I am not interested in the descendance of the citizens or their racial origins. I classify them using one criterion: their virtue. For me every virtuous foreigner is a Greek and every evil Greek worse than a Barbarian. If differences ever develop between you never have recourse to arms, but solve them peacefully. If necessary, I should be your arbitrator."
Author: Alexander The Great
2. "Again, if there are really no fairies, why do people believe in them, all over the world? The ancient Greeks believed, so did the old Egyptians, and the Hindoos, and the Red Indians, and is it likely, if there are no fairies, that so many different peoples would have seen and heard them?"
Author: Andrew Lang
3. "There are proofs that date back to the Greeks that are still valid today."
Author: Andrew Wiles
4. "Aristotle's opinion... that comets were nothing else than sublunary vapors or airy meteors... prevailed so far amongst the Greeks, that this sublimest part of astronomy lay altogether neglected; since none could think it worthwhile to observe, and to give an account of the wandering and uncertain paths of vapours floating in the Ether."
Author: Aristotle
5. "We, to some degree, are like what we are because we inherited certain things from the Greeks and the Romans. One of them that's so striking is the whole area of politics."
Author: Donald Kagan
6. "There is to me about this place a smell of rot, the smell of rot that ripe fruit makes. Nowhere, ever, have the hideous mechanics of birth and copulation and death -those monstrous upheavals of life that the Greeks call miasma, defilement- been so brutal or been painted up to look so pretty; have so many people put so much faith in lies and mutability and death death death."
Author: Donna Tartt
7. "The Greeks said very, very extreme things in their tragedies."
Author: Edward Bond
8. "The Jews are a peculiar people: Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people, and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchmen. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese--and no one says a word about refugees.But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace.Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world."
Author: Eric Hoffer
9. "The Greeks are interesting and extremely important because they reared such a vast number of great individuals. How was this possible? This question is one which ought to be studied"
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
10. "As Littlewood said to me once [of the ancient Greeks], they are not clever school boys or 'scholarship candidates,' but 'Fellows of another college."
Author: G.H. Hardy
11. "We will have have the dead at our councils. The ancient Greeks voted by stones; these shall vote by tombstones. It is all quite regular and official, for most tombstones, like most ballot papers, are marked with a cross."
Author: G.K. Chesterton
12. "The Greeks, those originators of the intellectual life, fixed for us the idea of the poet. He was a divine man; more sacred than the priest, who was at best an intermediary between men and the gods, but in the poet the god was present and spoke."
Author: George Edward Woodberry
13. "Why did the old Persians hold the sea holy? Why did the Greeks give it a separate deity, and own brother Jove? Surely all this is not without meaning. And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned. But that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all."
Author: Herman Melville
14. "(We) consist of everything the world consists of, each of us, and just as our body contains the genealogical table of evolution as far back as the fish and even much further, so we bear everything in our soul that once was alive in the soul of men. Every god and devil that ever existed, be it among the Greeks, Chinese, or Zulus, are within us, exist as latent possibilities, as wishes, as alternatives. If the human race were to vanish from the face of the earth save for one halfway talented child that had received no education, this child would rediscover the entire course of evolution, it would be capable of producing everything once more, gods and demons, paradises, commandments, the Old and New Testament."
Author: Hermann Hesse
15. "The Greeks made Space the subject-matter of a science of supreme simplicity and certainty. Out of it grew, in the mind of classical antiquity, the idea of pure science. Geometry became one of the most powerful expressions of that sovereignty of the intellect that inspired the thought of those times. At a later epoch, when the intellectual despotism of the Church, which had been maintained through the Middle Ages, had crumbled, and a wave of scepticism threatened to sweep away all that had seemed most fixed, those who believed in Truth clung to Geometry as to a rock, and it was the highest ideal of every scientist to carry on his science 'more geometrico."
Author: Hermann Weyl
16. "Water splashes and runs in a film across the glass floor suspended above the mosaics. The Haci Kadin hamam is a typical post-Union fusion of architectures; Ottoman domes and niches built over some forgotten Byzantine palace, years and decades of trash blinding, gagging, burying the angel-eyed Greek faces in the mosaic floor; century upon century. That haunted face was only exposed to the light again when the builders tore down the cheap apartment blocks and discovered a wonder. But Istanbul is wonder upon wonder, sedimented wonder, metamorphic cross-bedded wonder. You can't plant a row of beans without turning up some saint or Sufi. At some point every country realizes it must eat its history. Romans ate Greeks, Byzantines ate Romans, Ottomans ate Byzantines, Turks ate Ottomans. The EU eats everything. Again, the splash and run as Ferid Bey scoops warm water in a bronze bowl from the marble basin and pours it over his head."
Author: Ian McDonald
17. "The Greeks already understood that there was more interest in portraying an unusual character than a usual character - that is the purpose of films and theatre."
Author: Isabelle Huppert
18. "Our society is the product of several great religious and philosophical traditions. The ideas of the Greeks and Romans, Christianity, Judaism, humanism and the Enlightenment have made us who we are."
Author: Jan Peter Balkenende
19. "We long for experiences "of profound connection with others," he writes, "of deep understanding of natural phenomena, of love, of being profoundly moved by music or tragedy, or doing something new and innovative." Just as important, we long for esteem and pride, "a self that happiness is a fitting response to." Implicit in Nozick's experiment is the idea that happiness should be a by-product, not a goal. Many of the ancient Greeks believed the same. To Aristotle, eudaimonia (roughly translated as "flourishing") meant doing something productive. Happiness could only be achieved through exploiting our strengths and our potential. To be happy, one must do, not just feel."
Author: Jennifer Senior
20. "The Greeks had had no clear notion of it. For them the future had been indeterminable. In Aristotle's teaching, a man could never say for certain if there would be a sea battle tomorrow."
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
21. "It wasn't that we didn't know history. Even if you only count the real world, we knew more history than most people. We'd been taught about cavemen and Normans and Tudors. We knew about Greeks and Romans. We knew masses of personal stories about World War II. We even knew quite a lot of family history. It just didn't connect to the landscape. And it was the landscape that formed us, that made us who we were as we grew in it, that affected everything. We thought we were living in a fantasy landscape when actually we were living in a science fictional one. In ignorance, we played our way through what the elves and giants had left us, taking the fairies' possession for ownership. I named the dramroads after places in The Lord of the Rings when I should have recognized that they were from The Chrysalids."
Author: Jo Walton
22. "The people and the cultures of what is known as Africa are older than the word 'Africa.' According to most records, old and new, Africans are the oldest people on the face of the earth. The people now called Africans not only influenced the Greeks and the Romans, they influenced the early world before there was a place called Europe."
Author: John Henrik Clarke
23. "If my body is a Temple, then The Greeks and Romans ransacked it years ago"
Author: Josh Stern
24. "As the class went through the Greeks and the Romans and the Renaissance painters, (who were easy enough to remember if you'd ever seen Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) there was more dick on display than in a locker room."
Author: K.A. Mitchell
25. "The oldest theory of art belongs to the Greeks, who regarded art as an imitation (mimesis) of reality. The strength of that theory is that it explains the way in which art takes its materials from real life."
Author: Leland Ryken
26. "I've met and sketched most of the great athletes from the past five decades and their movement, grace and energy have kept me captivated over the years. That's what the ancient Greeks first saw and that's what caught my interest."
Author: LeRoy Neiman
27. "Every Greek, man, woman, and child, has to two Greeks inside. We even have technical terms for them. They are a part of us, as inevitable as the fact that we all write poetry and the fact that every single one of us thinks that he knows everything that there is to know. We are all hospitable to strangers, we all are nostalgic for something, our mothers all treat their grown sons like babies, our sons all treat their mothers a sacred and beat their wives, we all hate solitude, we all try to find out from a stranger whether or not we are related, we all use every long word we know as often as we possibly can, we all go out for a walk in the evening so that we can look over each others' fences, we all think that we are equal to the best. Do you understand?"The captain was perplexed, "You didn't tell me about the two Greeks inside every Greek.""I didn't? Well, I must have wandered off the point."
Author: Louis De Bernières
28. "Not all Greeks are ready to do whatever is necessary to stay in the euro."
Author: Mario Monti
29. "You perceive," he said, "that you have made continual progress. Cain did his murder with a club; the Hebrews did their murders with javelins and swords; the Greeks and Romans added protective armor and the fine arts of military organization and generalship; the Christian has added guns and gunpowder; a few centuries from now he will have so greatly improved the deadly effectiveness of his weapons of slaughter that all men will confess that without Christian civilization war must have remained a poor and trifling thing to the end of time."
Author: Mark Twain
30. "What?" My head jerked up too quickly and I lost my balance. The stupid skates sent me hurtling toward the ground, which was exactly what I deserved for thinking that I could tutor and skate at the same time. The Greeks had a word for that type of pride: hubris. And it usually came before a very long and painful fall."
Author: Marni Bates
31. "I've got a book of poetry by the bed, one of these big collections that goes back to the Greeks and Romans."
Author: Martin C. Smith
32. "You know, it is said that we Greeks are a fervent and warm blooded breed. Well, let me tell you something - it is true."
Author: Melina Mercouri
33. "The Greeks were more preoccupied with, where these ousted gods resided. That is: The fallen son's of God could go where humans were, but humans could not go where they were. According to Greek mythology, Tartarus was an imposed condition for bad gods--not bad humans. (page 10)"
Author: Michael Ben Zehabe
34. "To me there is no past or future in art. If a work of art cannot live always in the present it must not be considered at all. 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 that it ever was."
Author: Pablo Picasso
35. "There's no more place in the euro zone for well-meaning laxness when dealing with deficits and failings. If the demands on Greece aren't taken seriously, we'll get stuck in quicksand. In the worst case, this would make it acceptable for one tranche to not be paid out. It is in the Greeks own interest not to test that."
Author: Peer Steinbruck
36. "If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of the Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw the corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human a life... again I should point to India."
Author: Plato
37. "While Leonidas was preparing to make his stand, a Persian envoy arrived. The envoy explained to Leonidas the futility of trying to resist the advance of the Great King's army and demanded that the Greeks lay down their arms and submit to the might of Persia. Leonidas laconically told Xerxes, "Come and get them."
Author: Plutarch
38. "I see murky visions of other gods and rival magic."That REALLY didn't sound good."What do you mean?" I asked. "what OTHER GODS?""I don't know, Sadie. But Egypt has always faced challenges from outside –– magicians from elsewhere, even gods from elsewhere. Just be vigilant."~Ruby & Sadie Kane about...? Possibly Greeks?"
Author: Rick Riordan
39. "Greek Fire Weapon developed in c. 700 A.D. by the Byzantine Greeks to help protect Constantinople (now Istanbul) against Arab attack. Like an early flame-thrower, it jetted a stream of flame onto ships. Its inextinguishable fire was made of a mix of petroleum, sulphur, and nitre."
Author: Rick Riordan
40. "The Greeks had the greatest architectonic gifts. Every art has its climax at some point, and here architecture had its high point. Modeling and painting reached their climax elsewhere. Despite the gigantic pyramids, the most wonderful architecture appears in the Greek temple."
Author: Rudolf Steiner
41. "Answer my question, Bacchus. I'm not one of your dickless Greeks to be kept waiting for an answer. (Camulus)You better take a more civil tone with me, Cam. I'm not one of your flaccid Celts to shake in terror of your wrath. You want to fight, boy, bring it on. (Dionysus)Whoa, hang on a second. Let's save the fighting for when you two take over the world, okay? (Styxx)"
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
42. "Subjects nicknamed him Epumanes – the Madman. But there was method in his madness for he hoped to bind his empire together around the worship of one king, one religion. He fully expected his subjects to worship their local gods and merge them into the Greek pantheon and his own cult. But it was different for the Jews, who had a love–hate relationship with Greek culture. They craved its civilization but resented its dominance. Josephus says they regarded Greeks as feckless, promiscuous, modernizing"
Author: Simon Sebag Montefiore
43. "The Athenians, front-fighters of the Greeks, at Marathon destroyed the power of the gold-bearing Medes."
Author: Simonides
44. "The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation."
Author: Stella Adler
45. "Everyone watching over his shoulder, Free French plotting revenge on Vichy traitors, Lublin Communists drawing beads on Varsovian shadow-ministers, ELAS Greeks stalking royalists, unrepatriable dreamers of all languages hoping through will, fist, prayer to bring back kings, republics, pretenders, summer anarchisms that perished before the first crops were in . . . some dying wretchedly, nameless, under ice-and-snow surfaces of bomb craters out in the East End not to be found till spring, some chronically drunk or opiated for getting through the day's reverses, most somehow losing, losing what souls they had, less and less able to trust, seized in the game's unending chatter, its daily self-criticism, its demand for total attention . . ."
Author: Thomas Pynchon
46. "There's a poetry to it, engineer's poetry…it suggests Haverie—average, you know—certainly you have two lobes, don't you, symmetrical about the rocket's intended azimuth…hauen, too-smashing someone with a hoe or a club…" off on a voyage of his own here, smiling at no one in particular, bringing in the popular wartime expression ab-hauen, quarterstaff technique, peasant humor, phallic comedy dating back to the ancient Greeks…Slothrop's first impulse is to get back to what that Plas is into, but something about the man, despite obvious membership in the plot, keeps him listening…an innocence, maybe a try at being friendly in the only way he has available, sharing what engages and runs him, a love for the Word."
Author: Thomas Pynchon
47. "There's a saying," Aeneas said: "Keep an eye on Greeks when they offer gifts." He spoke wryly. "Horses, particularly."
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
48. "After the endless disappointing cups of Nescafé, served as though the tasteless dissolving granules of instant coffee were a delicacy, Alexis felt no cup of coffee had ever tasted as powerful and delicious as this. It seemed that nobody had the heart to tell the Greeks that Nescafé was no longer a novelty – it was this old-fashioned thick and treacly fluid that everyone, including her, craved."
Author: Victoria Hislop
49. "I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts."
Author: Virgil
50. "Of all the small nations of this earth, perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind."
Author: Winston Churchill

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The lives God gives to us, the awful things we can't escape from. Sometimes I think that sort of God would enjoy making hell for us after we die."
Author: C.J. Sansom

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