Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

History

"The first real mental illumination I remember to have experienced was when I saw that the universe exists in each of its individual atoms - that is, the universe is the result of a few simple processes infinitely repeated. When a drop of water has been mathematically measured, every principle will have been used which would be called form in the measurement of the heavens. All life on the globe is sustained by digestion and assimilation; when by voluntary and traumatic action these stop death follows. The history of an individual mind is the history of the race. Know one thing in its properties and relations and you will know all things." - H. B.

"Unrequited love is the meaning of life. We’re here to love but not to be loved, to give but not receive. Our mission in this world is to improve humanity and leave a better history than we found. Only selfless love has such power. Only love without interest or expectation of reward can change human beings... To give love without receiving love is the truest love and brings the greatest happiness there is in life." - Adolfo Barcella

"All the sin that has darkened human life an saddened human history began in believing in a falsehood." - John Albert Broadus

"Strike from mankind the principle of faith, and men would have no more history than a flock of sheep." -

"There are two lives to each of us, the life of our actions, and the life of our minds and hearts. History reveals men's deeds and their outward characters, but not themselves. There is a secret self that has its own life, unpenetrated and unguessed." -

"History is the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instructor of the present, and monitor to the future." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"Skepticism has never founded empires, established principles, or changed the world's heart. The great doers in history have always been men of faith." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"A true history of human events would show that a far larger proportion of our acts are the results of sudden impulses and accidents than of that reason of which we so much boast." - Susan Fenimore Cooper, fully Susan Augusta Fenimore Cooper

"A true history of human events would show a far larger proportion of our acts are the results of sudden impulses and accident, than of that reason of which we so much boast." - James Fenimore Cooper

"History repeats itself, and that's one of the things that's wrong with history." - Clarence Darrow, fully Clarence Seward Darrow

"The whole history of science, art and morals proves that the mind that appears in individuals, is not as such individual mind. The former is in itself a system of belief, recognitions, and ignorances, of acceptances and rejections, of expectancies and appraisals of meanings which have been instituted under the influence of custom and tradition." - John Dewey

"Our system of thought and opinion, is often the only history of our heart. Men do not so much will according to their reason, as reason according to their will." - Immanual Hermann Fichte

"Sin writes history; goodness is silent." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Not until the game is over and all of the chips have been counted can you calculate a man’s winnings or losses. And not until he stands against the perspective of history can you correctly measure his stature." - Jimmy Hoffa

"It is one of the deepest lessons of history that men do not need to be the slaves of their surroundings. They can master them. Every exodus in the history of mankind has been led by a Moses who was stronger than his environment." -

"From their own experience or from the recorded experience of others (history), men learn only what their passions and their metaphysical prejudices allow them to learn." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"What may be called “club-opinion” is one of the very strongest forces in life. The thief must not steal from other thieves; the gambler must pay his gambling-debts, though he pay no other debts in the world. The code of honor of fashionable society has throughout history been full of permissions as well as of vetoes, the only reason for following either of which is that so we best serve one of our social selves." - William James

"When at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment of each one of us - recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state - our success or failure, in whatever office we may hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions - were we truly men of courage... were we truly men of judgment... were we truly men of integrity... were we truly men of dedication?" - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"The history of an oppressed people is hidden in the lies and the agreed-upon myth of its conquerors." - Meridel Le Sueur, born Meridel Wharton

"The knowledge of our own being we have by intuition. The existence of a God, reason clearly makes known to us, as has been shown. The knowledge of existence of any other thing we can have only by sensation: for there being no necessary connection of real existence with any idea a man hath in his memory; nor of any other existence but that of God with the existence of any particular man: no particular man can know the existence of any other being but only when, by actual operating upon him, it makes itself perceived by him. For, the having the idea of anything in our mind, no more proves the existence of that thing, than the picture of a man evidences his being in the world, or the visions of a dream make thereby a true history." - John Locke

"Man is in his actions and practice, as well as in his fictions, essentially a story-telling animal. He is not essentially, but becomes through is history, a teller of stories that aspire to truth. But the key question for men is not about their own authorship; I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question, ‘Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?’ We enter human society, that is, with one or more imputed characters - roles into which we have been drafted - and we have to learn what they are in order to be able to understand how others respond to us and how our responses to them are a part to be construed... Deprive children of stories and you leave them unscripted, anxious strutters in their actions as in their words. Hence there is no way to give us an understanding of any society, including our own, except through the stock of stories which constitute its initial dramatic resource. Mythology, in its original sense, is at the heart of things. Vico was right and so was Joyce. And so too of course is that moral tradition fro heroic society to its medieval heirs according to which the telling of stories has a key part in educating us into the virtues." - Alasdair Chalmers MacIntyre

"In human history a moral victory is always a disaster, for it debauches and degrades both the victor and the vanquished." - H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

"Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love." - Barthold Niebuhr, fully Barthold Georg Neibuhr

"The metaphysical comfort - with which, I am suggesting even now, every true tragedy leaves us - that life is at the bottom of things, despite all the changes of appearances, indestructibly powerful and pleasurable - this comfort appears in the incarnate clarity in the chorus of satyrs, a chorus of natural being who live ineradicably, as it were behind all civilization and remain eternally the same, despite the changes of generations and of the history of nations." -

"The People have the right to the Truth as they have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not right that they be exploited and deceived with false views of life, false characters, false sentiment, false morality, false history, false philosophy, false emotions, false heroism, false notions of self-sacrifice, false views of religion , of duty, of conduct and manners." - Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Norris

"Mankind never loses any good thing, physical, intellectual, or moral, till it finds a better, and then the loss is a gain. No steps backward, is the rule of human history. What is gained by one man is invested in all men, and is a permanent investment for all time." - Theodore Parker

"There is no history but that of the soul, no peace but that of the soul." - Saint-John Perse, first Saint-Leger Leger, pseudonyms of Alexis Leger

"The great comprehensive truths, written in letters of living light on every page of our history, are these: Human happiness has no perfect security but freedom; freedom, none but virtue; virtue, none but knowledge; and neither freedom nor virtue has any vigor or immortal hope except the principles of the Christian faith..." - James H. Aughey

"No progress in ethnology will be achieved until scholars rid themselves once and for all of the curious notion that everything possesses a history; until they realize that certain ideas and certain concepts are as ultimate for man, as a social being, as specific physiological reactions are ultimate for him, as a biological being." - Paul Radin

"Each person is a one time phenomenon, an occurrence that has never been before and will never be again. You have a unique blend of character traits and personality. You are unique in your particular family constellation, born in a specific time of history and in a specific environment. This uniqueness gives you great importance. Only you can accomplish your unique life tasks." - Rashi, born Shlomo ben Yitzchok, aka Salomon Isaacides, Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki NULL

"To achieve something great in the world you need Passion To fulfill vision, a great leader’s courage comes from Passion Whatever it may be, you must find your Passion If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins Follow your passion and success will follow you! Never underestimate the power of passion Without passion religion is spiritless Without Passion history is meaningless Without Passion art is useless Follow your passion and success will follow you! When you take up a mission with passion There are no dreams too large No innovation unimaginable No frontiers beyond reach Follow your passion and success will follow you! Our passions are the winds that propel our vessel Our reason is the pilot that steers her Without winds the vessel would not move Without a pilot she would be lost Follow your passion and success will follow you! There is no end and there is no beginning There is only the passion of life Passion is universal humanity Passion is the genesis of genius Follow your passion and success will follow you! " - Pooja Natarajan

"Those institutions which are static in their nature raise walls of division; this is why, in the history of religions, priesthood has always maintained dissensions and hindered the freedom of man. But the principle of life unites, it deals with the varied, and seeks unity." -

"Surely the shortest commencement address in history - and for me one of the most memorable - was that of Dr. Harold E. Hyde, President of New Hampshire's Plymouth State College. He reduced his message to the graduating class to these three ideals: 'Know yourself - Socrates. Control yourself - Cicero; Give yourself - Christ'" - Walter T. Tatara

"The highest wisdom is not founded on reason alone, not on those worldly sciences of physics, history, chemistry, and the like, into which intellectual knowledge is divided. The highest wisdom is one. The highest wisdom has but one science - the science of the whole - the science explaining the whole creation and man’s place in it. To receive that science it is necessary to purity and renew one’s inner self, and so before one can know, it is necessary to believe and to perfect one’s self. And to attain this end, we have the light called conscinece tht God has implanted in our souls." -

"The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice." - Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens

"There is nothing that solidifies and strengthens a nation like reading of the nation’s own history, whether that history is recorded in books, or embodied in customs, institutions, and monuments." - Joseph Anderson, fully Joseph Inslee Anderson

"The major fact about history is that in large part it appears criminal." - Thomas Arnold, aka Thomas "Tom" Arnold the Younger

"All humanity is passion; without passion, religion, history, novels, art would be ineffectual." - Honoré de Balzac

"Passion is universal humanity. With it religion, history, romance and art would be useless." - Honoré de Balzac

"More history's made by secret handshakes than by battles, bills and proclamations." - John Barth, fully John Simmons Barth

"There is no more dangerous misconception than this which misconstrues the arms race as the cause rather than a symptom of the tensions and divisions which threaten nuclear war. If the history of the past fifty years teaches us anything, it is that peace does not follow disarmament - disarmament follows peace." - Bernard Baruch, fully Bernard Mannes Baruch

"What a power has Death to awe and hush the voices of this earth! How mute we stand when that presence confronts us, and we look upon the silence he has wrought in a human life! We can only gaze, and bow our heads, and creep with our broken stammering utterances under the shelter of some great word which God has spoken, and in which we see through the history of human sorrow the outstretching and overshadowing of the eternal arms." - W. W. Battershall

"History is a pageant and not a philosopher." - Augustine Birrell

"Bring the history of the past not as a gloomy memento mori, but as a friendly forget-me-not, whose lessons we may recall with love." - Ludwig Börne, fully Karl Ludwig Börne

"There is only one history of importance, and it is the history of what you once believed in and the history of what you came to believe in." - Kay Boyle

"Strike from mankind the principle of faith, and men would have no more history than a flock of sheep." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"The history of the world is the record of the weakness, frailty and death of public opinion." - Samuel Butler

"The history of every century begins in the heart of a man or a woman." -

"The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or woman." -