Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Pythagoras, aka Pythagoras of Samos or Pythagoras the Samian NULL

Greek Ionian Philosopher, Mathematician and founder of movement called Pythagoreanism

"Above all things reverence thy Self. [Respect yourself above all.]"

"Anger begins in folly, and ends in repentance."

"Be silent, or say something better than silence."

"Choose always the way that seems best, however rough it may be, and custom will soon render it easy and agreeable."

"Let a man use great reverence and manners to himself."

"Virtue is harmony."

"If you are asked, what is more ancient than gods? It is fear and hope."

"We ought not to quit our post without the permission of Him who commands; the post of man is life."

"No one is free who has not obtained the empire of himself. No man is free who cannot command himself."

"Let exercise alternate with rest."

"Wealth is a weak anchor, and glory cannot support a man; this is the law of God, that virtue only is firm, and cannot be shaken by a tempest."

"Ability and necessity dwell near each other."

"A wound from a tongue is worse than a wound from a sword; for the latter affects only the body, the former the spirit."

"Do not pray for yourself; you do not know what will help you."

"If you have a wounded heart, touch it as little as you would an injured eye. There are only two remedies for the suffering of the soul: hope and patience."

"Friends have all things in common.[Friends share all things.]"

"Choose the life that is best, and constant habit will make it pleasant. [Choose always the way that seems the best, however rough it may be; custom will soon render it easy and agreeable.]"

"It is better either to be silent or to say things of more value than silence. Sooner throw a pearl at hazard than an idle or useless word; and do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few."

"It is only necessary to make war with five things: with the maladies of the body, the ignorances of the mind, with the passions of the body, with the seditions of the city, and the discord of families."

"The soul of man is divided into three parts, intelligence, reason and passion. Intelligence and passion are possessed by other animals, but reason by man alone... Reason is immortal, all else mortal."

"Think before you act."

"Truth is so great a perfection, that if God would render himself visible to men, he would choose light for his body and truth for his soul."

"Friendship is equality."

"A blow from your friend is better than a kiss from your enemy."

"A citizen without a property doesn"

"A conversation should be conducted so that your conversational partners transform themselves from your enemies into your friends and not vice versa."

"A fool is known by his Speech; and a wise man by Silence."

"A good Soul hath neither too great joy, nor too great sorrow: for it rejoiceth in goodness; and it sorroweth in wickedness. By the means whereof, when it beholdeth all things, and seeth the good and bad so mingled together, it can neither rejoice greatly; nor be grieved with over much sorrow."

"Above and before all things, worship GOD! [Honor first the immortal gods, in the manner prescribed, and respect the oath.] Next, honor the reverent heroes and the spirits of the dead by making the traditional sacrifices. Honor your parents and your relatives. As for others, befriend whoever excels in virtue. Yield to kind words and helpful deeds, and do not hate your friend for a trifling fault as you are able. For ability is near to necessity."

"A thought is an idea in transit."

"A solitary man is a God, or a beast."

"Abstain from beans."

"Accustom thyself to a way of living that is neat and decent without luxury."

"Above the cloud with its shadow is the star with its light. Above all things reverence thyself."

"All is Number."

"Abstain from animals."

"And in your hearts lay deep these words of mine."

"As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love."

"As soon as laws are necessary for men, they are no longer fit for freedom."

"Attempt nothing above thy strength!"

"Avoid as much as possible hating thy friend for a slight fault."

"Be not hasty to speak; nor slow to hear!"

"Begin thus from the first act, and proceed; and, in conclusion, at the ill which thou hast done, be troubled, and rejoice for the good."

"Assist a man in raising a burden; but do not assist him in laying it down."

"Better be mute, than dispute with the Ignorant."

"By Silence, the discretion of a man is known : and a fool, keeping Silence, seemeth to be wise."

"By the air which I breathe, and by the water which I drink, I will not endure to be blamed on account of this discourse."

"Choose rather to be strong of soul than strong of body."

"Cut not fire with a sword. [Poke not the fire with a sword.]"

"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself."