Plutarch, named Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus after becoming Roman citizen

Plutarch, named Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus after becoming Roman citizen
c. 46

Greek Biographer, Essayist, Historian and Middle Platonist

Author Quotes

If all the world were just, there would be no need for valor.

Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.

It is circumstance and proper measure that give an action in its character, and make it either good or bad.

Children are to be won to follow liberal studies by exhortations and rational motives, and on no account to be forced thereto by whipping.

Plutarch – The soul is an exile and a wanderer.

Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.

Not by lamentations and mournful chants ought we to celebrate the funeral of a good man, but by humans; for, in ceasing to be numbered with mortals, he enters upon the heritage of a diviner life. Since he is gone where he feels no pain, let us not indulge in too much grief. The soul is incapable of death... And he, like a bird not long enough in his cage to become attached to it, is free to fly away to a purer air... Since we cherish a trust like this, let our outward actions be in accord with it, and let us keep our hearts pure and our minds calm.

Pythagoras, when he was asked what time was, answered that it was the soul of this world.

What most of all enables a man to serve the public is not wealth, but content and independence; which, requiring no superfluity at home, distracts not the mind from the common good.

It is the usual consolation of the envious, if they cannot maintain their superiority, to represent those by whom they are surpassed as inferior to someone else.

Two of the inscriptions at Delphi are indispensable to living: "Know thyself" and "Avoid extremes," for on these two hang all the rest.

We have to depend on our enemies to hear the truth.

To please the many is to displease the wise.

To receive a proper education is the source and root of all goodness.

Time is a river of passing events, aye, a rushing torrent.

To make no mistakes is not the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.

That state of life is most happy where superfluities are not required, and necessaries are not wanting.

The greater part of mankind are more sensitive to contemptuous language, than to unjust acts; they can less easily bear insult than wrong.

So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history, when, on the one hand, those who afterwards write it find long periods of time intercepting their view, and, on the other hand, the contemporary records of any actions and lives, partly through envy and ill-will, partly through favor and flattery, pervert and distort truth.

Speech contains both injuries and benefits in the largest measure.

Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.

Philosophy is the art [act]of living.

Nothing is harder to direct than a man in prosperity; nothing more easily managed than one in adversity.

Philosophy finds talkativeness a disease very difficult and hard to cure. For its remedy, conversation, requires hearers: but talkative people hear nobody, for they are ever prating. And the first evil this inability to keep silence produces is an inability to listen.

No one of you can tell me where my shoe pinches me.

Author Picture
First Name
Plutarch, named Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus after becoming Roman citizen
Birth Date
c. 46
Death Date

Greek Biographer, Essayist, Historian and Middle Platonist