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

Flattery may be considered as a mode of companionship degrading but profitable to him who flatters.

Petty ambition would seem to be a mean craving for distinction.

The Evil-speaker is one who, when asked who so-and-so is, will reply, in the style of genealogists, ‘I will begin with his parentage.

The Reckless man is one who will lightly take an oath, being proof against abuse, and capable of giving it; in character a coarse fellow, defiant of decency, ready to do anything; just the person to dance the cordax, sober and without a mask, in a comic chorus.

Garrulity is the discoursing of much and ill-considered talk.

Recklessness is tolerance of shame in word and deed.

The Gossip is a person who, when he meets his friend, will assume a demure air, and ask with a smile — ‘Where are you from, and what are your tidings?

The Shameless man is one who, in the first place, will and borrow from the creditor whose money he is withholding.

Gossip is the framing of fictitious saying and doings at the pleasure of him who gossips.

Shamelessness may be defined as neglect of reputation for the sake of base gain.

The Gross man is one who will insult freeborn women; who, in a theatre, will applaud when others cease, and hiss the actors who please the rest of the spectators.

The Stupid man is one who, after doing a sum and setting down the total, will ask the person sitting next to him ‘What does it come to?’

Ah, yes, superstition: it would appear to be cowardice in face of the supernatural.

Grossness is not difficult to define; it is obtrusive and objectionable pleasantry.

Stupidity may be defined as mental slowness in speech and action.

The Grumbler is one who, when his friend has sent him a present from his table, will say to the bearer, ‘You grudged me my soup and my poor wine, or you would have asked me to dinner.’

The Superstitious man is one who will wash his hands at a fountain, sprinkle himself from a temple-font, put a bit of laurel-leaf into his mouth, and so go about the day.

An orator without judgment is a horse without a bridle

Grumbling is undue censure of one’s portion.

Superstition is cowardice in the face of the Divine.

The habit of Evil-speaking is a bent of the mind towards putting things in the worst light.

The Surly man is one who, when asked where so-and-so is, will say, ‘Don’t bother me’.

Anaximenes… also says that the underlying nature is one and infinite... but not undefined as Anaximander said but definite, for he identifies it as air; and it differs in its substantial nature by rarity and density. Being made finer it becomes fire; being made thicker it becomes wind, then cloud, then (when thickened still more) water, then earth, then stones; and the rest come into being from these.

He [the flatterer] is just the person, too, who can run errands to the women’s market without drawing breath. He is the first of the guests to praise the wine; and to say, as he reclines next the host, ‘How delicate is your fare!’ and (taking up something from the table)

Superstition would seem to be simply cowardice in regard to the supernatural.

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