What are some famous Greek sayings?

By: | Post date: 2016-09-13 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

Some highlights from List of Greek phrases. See the Wikipedia page for more detail and other phrases.

  • ἀγεωμέτρητος μηδεὶς εἰσίτω. Ageōmétrētos mēdeìs eisítō. “Let no one untrained in geometry enter.”
  • ἀεὶ ὁ θεὸς γεωμετρεῖ. Aei ho theos geōmetreî. “God always geometrizes”
  • αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν. aièn aristeúein. “Ever to Excel”
  • γηράσκω δ᾽ αἰεὶ πολλὰ διδασκόμενος. Gēraskō d’ aíeí pollâ didaskómenos. “I grow old always learning many things.”
  • γνῶθι σεαυτόν. Gnôthi seautón. “Know thyself”
  • δῶς μοι πᾶ στῶ καὶ τὰν γᾶν κινάσω. Dôs moi pâ stô, kaì tàn gân kīnā́sō. “Give me somewhere to stand, and I will move the earth”.
  • εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος, ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ πάτρης. Heîs oiōnòs áristos, amýnesthai perì pátrēs. “There is only one omen, to fight for one’s country”
  • ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα. Hèn oîda hóti oudèn oîda. “I know one thing, that I know nothing”
  • εὕρηκα! Heúrēka! “I have found [it]!”
  • ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς. Ḕ tā̀n ḕ epì tâs. “Either [with] it [your shield], or on it”
  • θάλασσα καὶ πῦρ καὶ γυνή, κακὰ τρία. Thálassa kaì pŷr kaì gynḗ, kakà tría. “Sea and fire and woman, three evils.”
  • ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν. Iatré, therápeuson seautón. “Physician, take care of yourself!”
  • Κρῆτες ἀεὶ ψεῦσται. Krêtes aeì pseûstai. “Cretans always lie”
  • κτῆμα ἐς ἀεί. ktêma es aeí. “possession for eternity”
  • μέτρον ἄριστον. Métron áriston. “Moderation is best”
  • μὴ μοῦ τοὺς κύκλους τάραττε. Mḕ moû toùs kúklous táratte. “Do not disturb my circles.”
  • μηδὲν ἄγαν. Mēdèn ágan. “Nothing in excess”
  • μολὼν λαβέ! Molṑn labé! “Come take [them]!”
  • νενικήκαμεν. Nenikḗkamen. “We have won.”
  • οὐκ ἂν λάβοις παρὰ τοῦ μὴ ἔχοντος. Ouk àn labois parà toû mē ekhontos. “You can’t get blood out of a stone.” (Literally, “You can’t take from one who doesn’t have.”)
  • Πάντα ῥεῖ. Panta rhei. “All is flux; everything flows” –
  • ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς. Rhododáktylos Ēṓs. “Rosy-fingered Dawn.”
  • σπεῦδε βραδέως. Speûde bradéōs. “Hasten slowly; less haste, more speed”.
  • σὺν Ἀθηνᾷ καὶ χεῖρα κίνει. Sỳn Athēnâi kaì kheîra kinei. “Along with Athena, move also your hand” — cf. the English “God helps those who help themselves.”
  • Ὦ ξεῖν’, ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε / κείμεθα τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι. Ô xeîn’, angéllein Lakedaimoníois hóti têide / keímetha toîs keínōn rhḗmasi peithómenoi. “Stranger, tell the Spartans that here we lie, obedient to their laws.”

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