Democritus Quotes

Tis hard to fight with anger but the prudent man keeps it under control.

“Everywhere man blames nature and fate yet his fate is mostly but the echo of his character and passion, his mistakes and his weaknesses.”

“Many much-learned men have no intelligence.”

“By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich.”

“One man means as much to me as a multitude, and a multitude only as much as one man.”

“In verità nulla sappiamo, ché la verità è nell’abisso.”

Soul and intellect are just the same things.

The whole Earth is at the hand of the wise man, since the fatherland of an elevated soul is the Universe.

The brave man is he who overcomes not only his enemies but his pleasures

The wise man belongs to all countries, for the home of a great soul is the whole world

The wise man’s home is the universe.

We know nothing in reality; for truth lies in an abyss.

We think there is color, we think there is sweet, we think there is bitter, but in reality there are atoms and a void.

We know nothing accurately in reality, but [only] as it changes according to the bodily condition, and the constitution of those things that flow upon [the body] and impinge upon it.

Sweet exists by convention, bitter by convention, color by convention; but in reality atoms and the void alone exist

Moderation multiplies pleasures, and increases pleasure.

Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains.

The brave man is not only he who overcomes the enemy, but he who is stronger than pleasures. Some men are masters of cities, but are enslaved to women.

To a wise man, the whole earth is open; for the native land of a good soul is the whole earth.

“[I would] rather discover one cause than gain the kingdom of Persia.”

“If thou sustain injustice, console thyself; the true unhappiness is in doing it”

“Accept nothing pleasant unless it is beneficial.”

Our sins are more easily remembered than our good deeds.

“It is greed to do all the talking but not to want to listen at all.”

Sexual intercourse is a slight attack of apoplexy.

Virtue isn’t not wronging others but not wishing to wrong others.

Fortune provides a man’s table with luxuries, virtue with only a frugal meal.

The man enslaved to wealth can never be honest.

The wise man belongs to all countries, for the home of a great soul is the whole world

Medicine heals diseases of the body, wisdom frees the soul from passions.

“Men achieve cheerfulness by moderation in pleasure and by proportion in their life excess and deficiency are apt to fluctuate and cause great changes in the soul. And souls which change over great intervals are neither stable nor cheerful. So one should set one’s mind on what is possible and be content with what one has taking little account of those who are admired and envied and not dwelling on them in thought but one should consider the lives of those who are in distress thinking of their grievous sufferings so that what one has and possesses will seem great and enviable and one will cease to suffer in one’s soul through the desire for more.”

People sometimes rationalize their greed by saying that it is all for the good of their children but this is nothing but an excuse they use to make their despicable actions appear respectable and praiseworthy.

If your desires are not great, a little will seem much to you; for small appetite makes poverty equivalent to wealth.

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.

By convention sweet is sweet, by convention bitter is bitter, by convention hot is hot, by convention cold is cold, by convention color is color. But in reality there are atoms and the void. That is, the objects of sense are supposed to be real and it is customary to regard them as such, but in truth they are not. Only the atoms and the void are real.

I am the most travelled of all my contemporaries; I have extended my field of enquiry wider than anybody else, I have seen more countries and climes, and have heard more speeches of learned men. No one has surpassed me in the composition of lines, according to demonstration, not even the Egyptian knotters of ropes, or geometers.

Man is a universe in little [Microcosm].