Theophrastus

Theophrastus
c. 370 B.C.
c. 287 B.C.

Greek Philosopher, Botanist, Naturalist and Humorist, Man of Letters, Successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic School

Author Quotes

Avarice is excessive desire of base gain.

Irony, roughly defined, would seem to be an affectation of the worse in word or deed.

The Arrogant man is one who will say to a person who is in a hurry that he will see him after dinner when he is taking his walk.

The Mean man is one who, when he has gained the prize in a tragic contest, will dedicate a wooden scroll to Dionysus, having had it inscribed with his own name.

Then, warming to the work, he [the garrulous type] will remark that the men of the present day are greatly inferior to the ancients; and how cheap wheat has become in the market; and what a number of foreigners are in town; and that the sea is navigable after the Dionysia; and that, if Zeus would send more rain, the crops would be better;

Boastfulness would seem to be, in fact, pretension to advantages which one does not possess.

Late-learning would seem to mean the pursuit of exercises for which one is too old.

The Avaricious man is one who, when he entertains, will not set enough bread upon the table.

The Offensive man is one who will go about with a scrofulous or leprous affection, or with his nails overgrown, and say that these are hereditary complaints with him; his father had them, and his grandfather, and it is not easy to be smuggled into his family …

Unpleasantness may be defined as a mode of address which gives harmless annoyance.

Boorishness would seem to be ignorance offending against propriety.

Meanness is an excessive indifference to honor where expense is concerned.

The Boastful Man is one who will stand in the bazaar talking to foreigners of the great sums which he has at sea; he will discourse of the vastness of his money-lending business, and the extent of his personal gains and losses; and, while thus drawing the long-bow, will send of his boy to the bank, where he keeps — a drachma.

The Officious man is one who will rise and promise things beyond his power; and who, when an arrangement is admitted to be just, will oppose it, and be refuted.

Unseasonableness consists in a chance meeting disagreeable to those who meet.

Chattiness, if one should wish to define it, would seem to be an incontinence of talk.?

Offensiveness is distressing neglect of person.

The Boor is one who, having drunk a posset, will go into the Ecclesia. He vows that thyme smells sweeter than any perfume; he wears his shoes too large for his feet; he talks in a loud voice.

The Oligarch is one who, when the people are deliberating whom they shall associate with the archon as joint directors of the procession, will come forward and express his opinion that these directors ought to have plenary powers.

We must consider the distinctive characters and the general nature of plants from the point of view of their morphology, their behavior under external conditions, their mode of generation, and the whole course of their life.

Complaisance may be defined as a mode of address calculated to give pleasure, but not with the best tendency.

Officiousness would seem to be, in fact, a well-meaning presumption in word or deed.

The Chatty Man is one who will say to those whom he meets, if they speak a word to him, that they are quite wrong, and that he knows all about it, and that, if they listen to him, they will learn; then, while one is answering him, he will put in, ‘Do you tell me so? — don’t forget what you are going to say’ [...]

The Oligarchical temper would seem to consist in a love of authority, covetous, not of gain, but of power.

Cowardice would seem to be, in fact, the shrinking of the soul through fear.

Author Picture
First Name
Theophrastus
Birth Date
c. 370 B.C.
Death Date
c. 287 B.C.
Bio

Greek Philosopher, Botanist, Naturalist and Humorist, Man of Letters, Successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic School