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36 Notable Quotes By Thucydides

Famous As: Athenian Historian and General
Born On: 460 AD
Died On: 400 AD
Born In: Halimus
Died At Age: -60

Thucydides was a distinguished Athenian general and historian. He has given the historical account of the fifth-century BC war between Athens and Sparta until the year 411 BC in his work titled ‘History of the Peloponnesian War.’ He is regarded as the father of the school of ‘political realism,’ besides being considered as the ‘father of scientific history,’ by many. Thucydides is also accredited with developing an understanding of human nature to explain behaviour in crises like civil wars, plagues, and massacres. We have curated Thucydides’ quotes from his writings, manuscripts, interpretations, etc. Zoom through the some notable quotes by Thucydides on respect, anger, friends, desire, calm, justice, legal, happy, strong, peace, loss, life, secret, thinking, etc.

Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.

Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.

Thucydides
Most people, in fact, will not take the trouble in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear.

Most people, in fact, will not take the trouble in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear.

Thucydides
We Greeks believe that a man who takes no part in public affairs is not merely lazy, but good for nothing

We Greeks believe that a man who takes no part in public affairs is not merely lazy, but good for nothing

Thucydides
The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.

Thucydides
In a democracy, someone who fails to get elected to office can always console himself with the thought that there was something not quite fair about it.

In a democracy, someone who fails to get elected to office can always console himself with the thought that there was something not quite fair about it.

Thucydides
Of all manifestations of power, restraint impresses men the most.

Of all manifestations of power, restraint impresses men the most.

Thucydides
You should punish in the same manner those who commit crimes with those who accuse falsely.

You should punish in the same manner those who commit crimes with those who accuse falsely.

Thucydides
Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

Thucydides
Ignorance is bold, and knowledge is reserved

Ignorance is bold, and knowledge is reserved

Thucydides
When will there be justice in Athens? There will be justice in Athens when those who are not injured are as outraged as those who are.

When will there be justice in Athens? There will be justice in Athens when those who are not injured are as outraged as those who are.

Thucydides
They whose minds are least sensitive to calamity, and whose hands are most quick to meet it, are the greatest men and the greatest communities.

They whose minds are least sensitive to calamity, and whose hands are most quick to meet it, are the greatest men and the greatest communities.

Thucydides
War is a matter not so much of arms as of money.

War is a matter not so much of arms as of money.

Thucydides
Peace is an armistice in a war that is continuously going on.

Peace is an armistice in a war that is continuously going on.

Thucydides
When one is deprived of ones liberty, one is right in blaming not so much the man who puts the shackles on as the one who had the power to prevent him, but did not use it.

When one is deprived of ones liberty, one is right in blaming not so much the man who puts the shackles on as the one who had the power to prevent him, but did not use it.

Thucydides
Men's indignation, it seems, is more exited by legal wrong than by violent wrong; the first looks like being cheated by an equal, the second like being compelled by a superior.

Men's indignation, it seems, is more exited by legal wrong than by violent wrong; the first looks like being cheated by an equal, the second like being compelled by a superior.

Thucydides
A collision at sea will ruin your entire day

A collision at sea will ruin your entire day

Thucydides
My work is not a piece of writing designed to meet the needs of an immediate public, but was done to last for ever.

My work is not a piece of writing designed to meet the needs of an immediate public, but was done to last for ever.

Thucydides
It is useless to attack a man who could not be controlled even if conquered, while failure would leave us in an even worse position.

It is useless to attack a man who could not be controlled even if conquered, while failure would leave us in an even worse position.

Thucydides
It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs. They expect too much of ordinary men.

It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs. They expect too much of ordinary men.

Thucydides
Men who are capable of real action first make their plans and then go forward without hesitation while their enemies have still not made up their minds.

Men who are capable of real action first make their plans and then go forward without hesitation while their enemies have still not made up their minds.

Thucydides
The people made their recollections fit in with their sufferings

The people made their recollections fit in with their sufferings

Thucydides
...when these matters are discussed by practical people, the standard of justice depends on the equality of power to compel...

...when these matters are discussed by practical people, the standard of justice depends on the equality of power to compel...

Thucydides
Three of the greatest failings, want of sense, of courage, or of vigilance.

Three of the greatest failings, want of sense, of courage, or of vigilance.

Thucydides
I think the two things most opposed to good counsel are haste and passion; haste usaully goes hand in hand with folly, passion with coarseness and narrowness of mind.

I think the two things most opposed to good counsel are haste and passion; haste usaully goes hand in hand with folly, passion with coarseness and narrowness of mind.

Thucydides
Indeed it is generally the case that men are readier to call rogues clever than simpletons honest, and are ashamed of being the second as they are proud of being the first.

Indeed it is generally the case that men are readier to call rogues clever than simpletons honest, and are ashamed of being the second as they are proud of being the first.

Thucydides
It is the habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not desire

It is the habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not desire

Thucydides
Difficulty of subsistence made the invaders reduce the numbers of the army to a point at which it might live on the country during the prosecution of the war.

Difficulty of subsistence made the invaders reduce the numbers of the army to a point at which it might live on the country during the prosecution of the war.

Thucydides
It is a general rule of human nature that people despise those who treat them well, and look up to those who make no concessions.

It is a general rule of human nature that people despise those who treat them well, and look up to those who make no concessions.

Thucydides
What we should lament is not the loss of houses or of land, but the loss of men’s lives. Men come first; the rest is the fruit of their labour.

What we should lament is not the loss of houses or of land, but the loss of men’s lives. Men come first; the rest is the fruit of their labour.

Thucydides
To feel pity, to be carried away by the pleasure of hearing a clever argument, to listen to the claims of decency are three things that are entirely against the interests of an imperial power.

To feel pity, to be carried away by the pleasure of hearing a clever argument, to listen to the claims of decency are three things that are entirely against the interests of an imperial power.

Thucydides
The question is not so much whether they are guilty as whether we are making the right decision for ourselves.

The question is not so much whether they are guilty as whether we are making the right decision for ourselves.

Thucydides
Especially as they did not trust one another.

Especially as they did not trust one another.

Thucydides
...good deeds can be shortly stated but where wrong is done a wealth of language is needed to veil its deformity.

...good deeds can be shortly stated but where wrong is done a wealth of language is needed to veil its deformity.

Thucydides
A man who has the knowledge but lacks the power clearly to express it is no better off than if he never had any ideas at all.

A man who has the knowledge but lacks the power clearly to express it is no better off than if he never had any ideas at all.

Thucydides
Most people, in fact, will not take trouble in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear.

Most people, in fact, will not take trouble in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear.

Thucydides
People are inclined to accept all stories of ancient times in an uncritical way – even when these stories concern their own native countries.

People are inclined to accept all stories of ancient times in an uncritical way – even when these stories concern their own native countries.

Thucydides