21 Beautiful Lessons from Herodotus

Of all possessions a friend is the most precious.

In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.

It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half the evils we anticipate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what might happen.

I am bound to tell what I am told, but not in every case to believe it.

Do you see how the god always hurls his bolts at the greatest houses and the tallest trees. For he is wont to thwart whatever is greater than the rest.

If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.

21 Beautiful Lessons from Herodotus

Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks.

There is nothing more foolish, nothing more given to outrage than a useless mob.

The man who has planned badly, if fortune is on his side, may have had a stroke of luck; but his plan was a bad one nonetheless.

All men’s gains are the fruit of venturing.

Knowledge may give weight, but accomplishments give lustre, and many more people see than weigh.

Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; While others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than ever before.

It is clear that not in one thing alone, but in many ways equality and freedom of speech are a good thing.

21 Beautiful Lessons from Herodotus

Force has no place where there is need of skill.

The most hateful human misfortune is for a wise man to have no influence.

One should always look to the end of everything, how it will finally come out. For the god has shown blessedness to many only to overturn them utterly in the end.

How much better a thing it is to be envied than to be pitied.

I never yet feared those men who set a place apart in the middle of their cities where they gather to cheat one another and swear oaths which they break.

The destiny of man is in his own soul.

As the old saw says well: every end does not appear together with its beginning.

Of all men’s miseries the bitterest is this: to know so much and to have control over nothing.

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