From Wikiquote
Latest comment: 7 years ago by in topic Misattributed
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Heraclitus. --Antiquary 19:30, 2 July 2009 (UTC)Reply

One good secondary source:
6birc (talk) 09:23, 3 December 2013 (UTC)Reply
  • A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one.
    • Variant: Invisible harmony is better than visible.
  • Abundance of knowledge does not teach men to be wise.
  • Big results require big ambitions.
  • Deliberate violence is more to be quenched than a fire.
  • Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.
  • If it were not for injustice, men would not know justice.
  • Immortal mortals, mortal immortals, one living the others death and dying the others life.
  • It is in changing that things find purpose.
  • Justice will overtake fabricators of lies and false witnesses.
  • Men who are lovers of wisdom must be inquirers into many things.
    • Variants: Men who love wisdom should acquaint themselves with a great many particulars.
      Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details.
  • Much learning does not teach understanding.
  • No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger.
  • One must know that war is common, justice is strife, and everything happens according to strife and necessity.
  • One must talk about everything according to its nature, how it comes to be and how it grows. Men have talked about the world without paying attention to the world of their own minds, as if they were asleep or absent-minded.
  • Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of those we envy.
  • Poor witnesses for men are their eyes and ears if they have barbarian souls.
    • Variants: Eyes and ears are poor witnesses to people if they have uncultured souls.
      Evil witnesses are eyes and ears of men, if they have souls that do not understand their language.
  • The best people renounce all for one goal, the eternal fame of mortals; but most people stuff themselves like cattle.
  • The eyes are more exact witnesses than the ears.
  • The Lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither reveals nor conceals, but gives a sign.
  • The most beautiful ape is ugly when compared to a human. The wisest human will seem like an ape when compared to a god with respect to wisdom, beauty, and everything else.
  • The most perfect mind is a dry light.
  • The phases of fire are craving and satiety.
  • The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny — it is the light that guides your way.
  • The sun is new each day.
  • The world is nothing but a great desire to live and a great dissatisfaction with living.
  • There is exchange of all things for fire and of fire for all things, as there is of wares for gold and of gold for wares.
  • To do the same thing over and over again is not only boredom: it is to be controlled by rather than to control what you do.
    • Variant: To do the same thing over and over is not only boredom; it is to be controlled by rather than to control what you do.
  • To God everything is beautiful, good, and just; humans, however, think some things are unjust and others just.
    • Variant: To God all things are beautiful, good, and right; human beings, on the other hand, deem some things right and others wrong.
  • Uncomprehending when they have heard, they are like the deaf. The saying describes them: though present they are absent.
  • War is the father and king of all: some he has made gods, and some men; some slaves and some free.
  • We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play.
    • Variant: Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.
  • Where there is no strife there is decay: The mixture which is not shaken decomposes.
  • Wisdom is one thing — to know how to make true judgment, how all things are steered through all things.
  • All men are deceived by the appearances of things, even Homer himself, who was the wisest man in Greece; for he was deceived by boys catching lice, they said to him, "What we have caught and what we have killed we have left behind, but what has escaped us we bring with us."


Where is the evidence that the quote that "the only constant is change" is being misattributed to Heraclitus? If he didn't write it, then who did? 18:02, 30 April 2017 (UTC)Reply

The "He will bring the others back" quote is verifiably in Suarez' book, but according to this forum Suarez claims to have gotten it from "Warrior Words," a 1992 book of military quotations by Peter Tsouras Slingstone (talk)