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Best Thucydides Quotes

Thucydides Quotes About War, Democracy, Strong, Human Nature, History, Pericles, Sparta, Death, Cowards, Warriors & Success! Thucydides was a Greek historian and commander in the 5th century BC and known as “the founder of scientific history. ” Around the year 460 BC, Thucydides was born in a suburb of Athens. Thucydides could fund his historical studies because he owned gold mines in his homeland. He was in Athens when the plague of 430 BC occurred. This was barely a year after the outbreak of the war.

Thucydides Quotes

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Between 431-404 BC, Thucydides wrote “History of the Peloponnesian War.” The Plague of Athens in 430 BC almost took Thucydides, yet he tried to live. As one of the year’s ten “stratgoi,” he was chosen in 424 BC. Thasos was the base of operations for his fleet. After Thucydides’ unsuccessful attempt at taking control of Amphipolis, the Spartan General Brasidas stepped in. As a result of an assault, Thucydides was forced to flee the city and go into exile.

His exile gave him more time to write and travel, particularly in the Peloponnesian region, which included Sparta and her allies. He organized his research into three distinct phases because of his background as a historian. He began by taking “notes” of what happened as they happened. After this, the notes were rewritten into a “chronicle” as a sequential narrative. He would also write up a lengthy summary of the events.

Thucydides is thought to have died about 404 BC. Athens had a monument and a tomb for him as far back as the second century AD. It took a long time for Thucydides to be recognized as one of history’s outstanding historians. According to Cicero and others in the first century BC, Thucydides is an excellent historian. Many copies of his works were made, guaranteeing that they would be there for many generations to come.

Best Thucydides Quotes

1. “It is a common mistake in going to war to begin at the wrong end, to act first, and wait for disaster to discuss the matter.” -Thucydides

2. “Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.” -Thucydides

3. “The real cause I consider to be the one which was formally most kept out of sight. The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Lacedaemon, made war inevitable.” -Thucydides

4. “Wars spring from unseen and generally insignificant causes, the first outbreak being often but an explosion of anger.” -Thucydides

5. “The strength of an Army lies in strict discipline and undeviating obedience to its officers.” -Thucydides

6. “We should remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school.” -Thucydides

7. “War is an evil thing; but to submit to the dictation of other states is worse… Freedom, if we hold fast to it, will ultimately restore our losses, but submission will mean permanent loss of all that we value… To you who call yourselves men of peace, I say: You are not safe unless you have men of action on your side.” -Thucydides

8. “Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of war.” -Thucydides

9. “The Nation that makes a huge distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.” -Thucydides

10. “War is a matter not so much of arms as of money.” -Thucydides

11. “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

12. “For the love of gain would reconcile the weaker to the dominion of the stronger, and the possession of capital enabled the more powerful to reduce the smaller towns to subjection.” -Thucydides

13. “They are surely to be esteemed the bravest spirits who, having the clearest sense of both the pains and pleasures of life, do not on that account shrink from danger.” -Thucydides

14. “Love of power, operating through greed and through personal ambition, was the cause of all these evils.” -Thucydides

15. “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

16. “I don’t blame those who want to rule but those who are more ready to obey.” -Thucydides

17. “The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Sparta, made war inevitable.” -Thucydides

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

19. “We Greeks are lovers of the beautiful, yet simple in our tastes, and we cultivate the mind without loss of manliness.” -Thucydides

20. “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

21. “When one is deprived of one’s 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

22. “Τhose who do not yield to their equals, who keep terms with their superiors, and are moderate towards their inferiors, on the whole succeed best.” -Thucydides

23. “Hope is an expensive commodity. It makes better sense to be prepared.” -Thucydides

24. “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

25. “The strong do what they have to do and the weak accept what they have to accept.” -Thucydides

26. “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

27. “Few things are brought to a successful issue by impetuous desire, but most by calm and prudent forethought.” -Thucydides

28. “Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.” -Thucydides

29. “We secure our friends not by accepting favors but by doing them.” -Thucydides

30. “Justice is an issue only between equals, otherwise those in power do what they can and the weak forgive.” -Thucydides

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