83 Ancient Greek Quotes from Famous Philosophers

Here are the 83 most invaluable quotes from legendary Greek philosophers including luminaries like Socrates, Plato, Heraclitus and Aristotle who have shaped the foundations of modern thinking and societal norms.

The ancient Greeks introduced transformative concepts like democracy and theatre, reflecting their timeless wisdom and profound understanding of life.

These philosophers provided insights and teachings that, even today, inspire, guide and motivate individuals in various walks of life, including business.

The timeless wisdom conveyed through these quotes offers enduring lessons about character building, personal strength and the art of living.

Thus, this collection serves as a vital resource for those seeking motivational and philosophical guidance drawn from the rich tapestry of ancient Greek philosophy.

Top 10 Ancient Greek Quotes


Gods know all things. ~ Homer.

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Character is destiny. ~ Heraclitus.

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Man is the dream of a shadow. ~ Pindar.

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Wisdom outweighs any wealth. ~ Sophocles.

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Life is short, the art long. ~ Hippocrates.

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Wrong timing is very dangerous. ~ Plutarch.

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Success is dependent on effort. ~ Sophocles.

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Withdraw into yourself and look. ~ Plotinus.

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Time is the soul of this world. ~ Pythagoras.

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Man is the measure of all things. ~ Protagoras.

Also read: Greek Mythology Quotes and Plato Quotes.

Ancient Greek Quotes

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World is decay, life is perception. ~ Democritus.

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To find yourself, think for yourself. ~ Socrates.

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As mortals we should behave as mortals. ~ Euripides.

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Sweet is the memory of the sorrows past. ~ Euripides.

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Silence is better than unmeaning words. ~ Pythagoras.

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Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. ~ Xenophon.

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There is nothing permanent except change. ~ Heraclitus.

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The worst of all deceptions is self-deception. ~ Plato.

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The world is knowable, harmonious, and good. ~ Plotinus.

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Much learning does not teach understanding. ~ Heraclitus.

Related: Greek Mythology Quotes and Sayings for Wisdom and Stoic Quotes about Stoicism from the Stoics

Greek Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings

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History is Philosophy teaching by examples. ~ Thucydides.

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The proper bulk is better than the big bulk. ~ Democritus.

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We are not separated from spirit, we are in it. ~ Plotinus.

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We became men once and one cannot become twice. ~ Epicurus.

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The energy of the mind is the essence of life. ~ Aristotle.

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It is in virtue of unity that beings are beings. ~ Plotinus.

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What a wonderful being is the man if he is a man. ~ Menander.

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A multitude of words is no proof of a prudent mind. ~ Thales.

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Thy foolish passions: learn thou to subdue them. ~ Pythagoras.

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Man is naturally deceitful ever, in every way! ~ Aristophanes.

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He has the most who is most content with the least. ~ Diogenes.

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The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself. ~ Thales.

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Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ~ Hippocrates.

Quotes about Ancient Greek

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In all things of nature, there is something marvelous. ~ Aristotle.

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Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. ~ Aristotle.

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The art of living well and the art of dying well are one. ~ Epicurus.

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Difficulties are things that show a person what they are. ~ Epictetus.

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The foundation of every state is the education of its youth. ~ Diogenes.

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Whatever comes from God is impossible for a man to turn back. ~ Herodotus.

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The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. ~ Plutarch.

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Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other. ~ Euripides.

Ancient Greek Quotes to Strengthen Your Character

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The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it. ~ Epictetus.

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No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger. ~ Heraclitus.

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Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech. ~ Plutarch.

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Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity. ~ Aristotle.

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Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises. ~ Demosthenes.

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It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. ~ Epictetus.

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For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories. ~ Plato.

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Knowledge without justice ought to be called cunning rather than wisdom. ~ Plato.

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One thing I know, that I know nothing. This is the source of my wisdom. ~ Socrates.

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If I had followed the multitude, I should not have studied philosophy. ~ Chrysippus.

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Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. ~ Epictetus.

Best Greek Quotes From Famous Philosophers

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Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. ~ Plato.

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Everything existing in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity. ~ Democritus.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle.

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Good means not merely not to do wrong, but rather not to desire to do wrong. ~ Democritus.

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Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is just opinion. ~ Democritus.

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The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. ~ Socrates.

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Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes. ~ Antisthenes.

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All men’s souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine. ~ Socrates.

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Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details. ~ Heraclitus.

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Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains. ~ Democritus.

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Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul. ~ Democritus.

Inspirational Quotes From Ancient Greece

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Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live. ~ Socrates.

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The happy man is the one who has a healthy body, a wealthy soul and a well-educated nature. ~ Thales.

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He who steals a little steals with the same wish as he who steals much, but with less power. ~ Plato.

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Hope is the only good that is common to all men; those who have nothing else possess hope still. ~ Thales.

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There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot. ~ Plato.

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When you want wisdom and insight as badly as you want to breathe, it is then you shall have it. ~ Socrates.

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The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best. ~ Epictetus.

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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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The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances. ~ Aristotle.

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Excess of grief for the dead is madness; for it is an injury to the living, and the dead know it not. ~ Xenophon.

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I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. ~ Plutarch.

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Do not trust all men, but trust men of worth; the former course is silly, the latter a mark of prudence. ~ Democritus.

Good people do not need law to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. ~ Plato.

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. ~ Plato.

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others. ~ Pericles.

The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits. ~ Plutarch.

Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist. ~ Epicurus.

It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs. They expect too much of ordinary men. ~ Thucydides.

So these were the 83 Quotes about Ancient Greek.

If you like these quotes, then you can also read our other posts on Trust in God Quotes and Reality of Life Quotes and Hard Working Husband Quotes.