The strong do what they have to do and the weak accept what they have to accept.— Thucydides
The most glamorous Thucydides quotes that are little-known but priceless
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.
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.
Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and respect of self, in turn, is the chief element in courage.
The strong do what they have to do and the weak accept what they have to accept.
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.
When will there be justice in Athens? There will be justice in Athens when those who are not injured are as outraged as those who are.
We Greeks believe that a man who takes no part in public affairs is not merely lazy, but good for nothing
Hope is an expensive commodity. It makes better sense to be prepared.
Athens' biggest worry was the sheer recklessness of its own democratic government. A simple majority of the citizenry, urged on and incensed by clever demagogues, might capriciously send out military forces in unnecessary and exhausting adventures.
If it had not been for the pernicious power of envy, men would not so have exalted vengeance above innocence and profit above justice... in these acts of revenge on others, men take it upon themselves to begin the process of repealing those general laws of humanity which are there to give a hope of salvation to all who are in distress.
When a man finds a conclusion agreeable, he accepts it without argument, but when he finds it disagreeable, he will bring against it all the forces of logic and reason.
It is a common mistake in going to war to begin at the wrong end, to act first, and wait for disasters to discuss the matter.
When tremendous dangers are involved, no one can be blamed for looking to his own interest.
History is Philosophy teaching by example.
Few things are brought to a successful issue by impetuous desire, but most by calm and prudent forethought.
Amassing of wealth is an opportunity for good deeds, not hubris
It must be thoroughly understood that war is a necessity, and that the more readily we accept it,the less will be the ardor of our opponents, and that out of the greatest dangers communities and individuals acquire the greatest glory.
For so remarkably perverse is the nature of man that he despises whoever courts him, and admires whoever will not bend before him.
I think the two things most opposed to good counsel are haste and passion;
haste usaully goes hand in hand with folly, passion with coarseness and narrowness of mind.
When one is deprived of ones 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.
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.
The peoples of the Mediterranean began to emerge from barbarism when they learned to cultivate the olive and the vine.
We Greeks are lovers of the beautiful, yet simple in our tastes, and we cultivate the mind without loss of manliness.
Three of the gravest failings, want of sense, of courage, or of vigilance.
concessions to adversaries only end in self reproach, and the more strictly they are avoided the greater will be the chance of security.
The secret of freedom, courage.
Ignorance is bold and knowledge reserved.
The secret of Happiness is Freedom, and the secret of Freedom, Courage.
I am not blaming those who are resolved to rule, only those who show an even greater readiness to submit.
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.
Of all manifestations of power, restraint impresses men most.
If you give way, you will instantly have to meet some greater demand, as having been frightened into obedience in the first instance; while a firm refusal will make them clearly understand that they must treat you more as equals.
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 cities to subjection.
And it is certain that those who do not yield to their equals, who keep terms with their superiors, and are moderate towards their inferiors, on the whole succeed best.
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.
For they had learned that true safety was to be found in long previous training, and not in eloquent exhortations uttered when they were going into action.
An avowal of poverty is no disgrace to any man;
to make no effort to escape it is indeed disgraceful.
It is the habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not desire
Abstinence from all injustice to other first-rate powers is a greater tower of strength than anything that can be gained by the sacrifice of permanent tranquillity for an apparent temporary advantage.
It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs.
They expect too much of ordinary men.
I have written my work, not as an essay which is to win the applause of the moment, but as a possession for all time
The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Sparta, made war inevitable.
Wealth to us is not mere material for vainglory but an opportunity for achievement; and poverty we think it no disgrace to acknowledge but a real degredation to make no effort to overcome.
Hope, danger's comforter
Hatred also is short lived; but that which makes the splendor of the present and the glory of the future remains forever unforgotten here we bless your simplicity but do not envy your folly.
Now the only sure basis of an alliance is for each party to be equally afraid of the other
Wars spring from unseen and generally insignificant causes, the first outbreak being often but an explosion of anger.
One's sense of honor is the only thing that does not grow old, and the last pleasure, when one is worn out with age, is not, as the poet said, making money, but having the respect of one's fellow men.
People get into the habit of entrusting the things they desire to wishful thinking, and subjecting things they don't desire to exhaustive thinking
For men can endure to hear others praised only so long as they can severally persuade themselves of their own ability to equal the actions recounted: when this point is passed, envy comes in and with it incredulity.