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

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.

Man is neither by birth nor disposition a savage, nor of unsocial habits, but only becomes so by indulging in vices contrary to his nature.

Nature without learning is blind, learning apart from nature is fractional, and practice in the absence of both is aimless.

It is easy to utter what has been kept silent, but impossible to recall what has been uttered.

It was a shrewd saying, whoever said it, "That the man who first brought ruin on the Roman people was he who pampered them by largesses and amusements."

Laughing at his own son, who got his mother, and by his mother's means his father also, to indulge him, he told him that he had the most power of any one in Greece: "For the Athenians command the rest of Greece, I command the Athenians, your mother commands me, and you command your mother."

It is a true proverb that if you live with a lame man you will learn to halt.

In human life there is a constant change of fortune; and it is unreasonable to expect an exemption from the common fate. Life itself decays, and all things are daily changing.

It is a common saying that nature has given to each of us two ears and one tongue, because we ought to do less talking than listening.

If our own conscience protests and refuses to accept praise then it is proof against the flatterer.

If we traverse the world, it is possible to find cities without walls, without letters, without kings, without wealth, without coin, without schools and theatres; but a city without a temple or that practiseth not worship, prayer, and the like, no one ever saw.

He can never speak well, who knows not how to hold his peace.

He who least likes courting favor, ought also least to think of resenting neglect; to feel wounded at being refused a distinction can only arise from an overweening appetite to have it.

Education and study, and the favors of the muses, confer no greater benefit on those that seek them than these humanizing and civilizing lessons, which teach our natural qualities to submit to the limitations prescribed by reason, and to avoid the wildness of extremes.

God is the brave man's hope, and not the coward's excuse.

Authority and place demonstrate and try the tempers of men, by moving every passion and discovering every frailty.

As soft wax is apt to take the stamp of the seal, so are the minds of young children to receive the instruction imprinted on them.

A shortcut to riches is to subtract from one's desires.

All life is but a moment in time.

A mere law to give all men equal rights is but useless, if the poor man must sacrifice those rights to their debts, and, in the very seats and sanctuaries of equality, the courts of justice, the offices of state, and the public discussions, be more than anywhere at the beck and bidding of the rich.

A pleasant and happy life does not come from external things. Man draws from within himself as from a spring, pleasure and joy.

A bow, they say, breaks when too tightly stretched, but a soul when too much relaxed.

A few vices are sufficient to darken many virtues.

Why do you look so sharp, malignant man, at others' faults, yet overlook your own?

Wickedness is a wonderfully diligent architect of misery, of shame, accompanied with terror, and commotion, and remorse, and endless perturbation.

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