Cities are relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.
- When several villages are united in a single complete community, large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life.
- Aristotle, Politics, book 1, chapter 2; reported in Aristotle’s Politics and Poetics (translation by Benjamin Jowett and Thomas Twining, 1952), p. 5.
- I live not in myself, but I become
Portion of that around me; and to me
High mountains are a feeling, but the hum
Of human cities torture.
- God made the country, and man made the town.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book I, line 749.
- The axis of the earth sticks out visibly through the centre of each and every town or city.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (1858), VI.
- The American city should be a collection of communities where every member has a right to belong. It should be a place where every man feels safe on his streets and in the house of his friends. It should be a place where each individual’s dignity and self-respect is strengthened by the respect and affection of his neighbors. It should be a place where each of us can find the satisfaction and warmth which comes from being a member of the community of man. This is what man sought at the dawn of civilization. It is what we seek today.
- Lyndon B. Johnson, special message to the Congress on the nation's cities (March 2, 1965); reported in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, book 1, p. 240.
- [Solon] being asked, namely, what city was best to live in, “That city,” he replied, “in which those who are not wronged, no less than those who are wronged, exert themselves to punish the wrongdoers.”
- Plutarch, Plutarch's Lives, translated by Bernadotte Perrin (1914), life of Solon, section 18, vol. 1, p. 455.
- Petite ville, grand renom.
- Small town, great renown.
- François Rabelais, Pantagruel (1532), Book V, Chapter XXXV. Of Chinon, Rabelais's native town.
- We cannot afford merely to sit down and deplore the evils of city life as inevitable, when cities are constantly growing, both absolutely and relatively. We must set ourselves vigorously about the task of improving them; and this task is now well begun.
- Theodore Roosevelt, "The City in Modern Life", Literary Essays (vol. 12 of The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, national ed., 1926), p. 226. Book review in The Atlantic Monthly (April 1895).
- Les villes sont le gouffre de l'espèce humaine.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations 
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 121-22.
- Smyrna, Rhodos, Colophon, Salamis, Chios, Argos, Athenæ,
Hæ septem certant de stirpe insignis Homeri.
- Smyrna, Rhodes, Colophon, Salamis, Chios, Argos, Athens—these seven cities contend as to being the birthplace of the illustrious Homer. (The second line sometimes runs "Orbis de patria certat, Homere, tua.")
- Anonymous translation from Greek. Same in Antipater of Sidon.
- A rose-red city half as old as Time.
- John W. Burgon, Petra. See Libbey and Hoskins, Jordan Valley and Petia.
- The first requisite to happiness is that a man be born in a famous city.
- In the busy haunts of men.
- Felicia Hemans, Tale of the Secret Tribunal, Part I, line 2.
- Seven cities warr'd for Homer being dead,
Who living had no roofe to shroud his head.
- Thomas Heywood, Hierarchie of the Blessed Angells.
- Far from gay cities, and the ways of men.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book 14, line 410. Pope's translation.
- Non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum.
- Every man cannot go to Corinth.
- Horace, Epistles, I. 17. 36.
- Even cities have their graves!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Amalfi, Stanza 6.
- Friends and loves we have none, nor wealth, nor blest abode
But the hope, the burning hope, and the road, the lonely road.
Not for us are content, and quiet, and peace of mind,
For we go seeking cities that we shall never find.
- John Masefield, The Seekers.
- Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
- Matthew. V. 14.
- Towered cities please us then,
And the busy hum of men.
- John Milton, L'Allegro, line 117.
- Nisi Dominus frustra.
- Unless the Lord keep the city the watchman waketh in vain (lit., unless the Lord in vain).
- Motto of City of Edinburgh, adapted from Psalms. CVII. 1. Vulgate.
- Fields and trees are not willing to teach me anything; but this can be effected by men residing in the city.
- Plato, Works, Volume III. The Phædrus.
- I dwelt in a city enchanted,
And lonely indeed was my lot;
* * * * *
Though the latitude's rather uncertain,
And the longitude also is vague,
The persons I pity who know not the City
The beautiful City of Prague.
- W. J. Prowse, The City of Prague ("Little Village on Thames.").
- Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion,… the city of the great King.
- Psalms. XLVIII. 2.
- Great Homer's birthplace seven rival cities claim,
Too mighty such monopoly of Fame.
- Thomas Seward, on Shakespeare's Monument at Stratford-upon-Avon.
- Urbem lateritiam accepit, mamoream relinquit.
- He [Cæsar Augustus] found a city built of brick; he left it built of marble.
- Suetonius, (adapted), Cæsar Augustus, 28.
- The city of dreadful night.
- James Thomson, Current Literature for 1889, p. 492.
- Divina natura dedit agros, ars humana ædificavit urbes.
- Divine Nature gave the fields, human art built the cities.
- Marcus Terentius Varro, De Re Rustica, III. 1.
- This poor little one-horse town.
- Mark Twain, The Undertaker's Story.