οὔ τι τὰ πολλὰ ἔπη φρονίμην ἀπεφήνατο δόξαν -> a multitude of words is no proof of a prudent mind, many words do not declare an understanding heart

spiros

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οὔ τι τὰ πολλὰ ἔπη φρονίμην ἀπεφήνατο δόξαν -> a multitude of words is no proof of a prudent mind, many words do not declare an understanding heart
Diogenes Laërtius, The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, I, 35; as translated in Dictionary of Quotations (Classical) edited by Thomas Benfield Harbottle, p. 455


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spiros

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many words do not declare an understanding heart


τόνδε Θαλῆν Μίλητος Ἰὰς θρέψασ᾿ ἀνέδειξεν ἀστρολόγων πάντων πρεσβύτατον σοφίᾳ.

Τῶν τε ᾀδομένων αὐτοῦ τάδε εἶναι·

οὔ τι τὰ πολλὰ ἔπη φρονίμην ἀπεφήνατο δόξαν· ἕν τι μάτευε σοφόν, ἕν τι κεδνὸν αἱροῦ· δήσεις γὰρ ἀνδρῶν κωτίλων γλώσσας ἀπεραντολόγους.

Φέρεται δὲ καὶ ἀποφθέγματα αὐτοῦ τάδε·

πρεσβύτατον τῶν ὄντων θεός· ἀγένητον γάρ. κάλλιστον κόσμος· ποίημα γὰρ θεοῦ. μέγιστον τόπος· ἅπαντα γὰρ χωρεῖ. τάχιστον νοῦς· διὰ παντὸς γὰρ τρέχει. ἰσχυρότατον ἀνάγκη· κρατεῖ γὰρ πάντων. σοφώτατον χρόνος· ἀνευρίσκει γὰρ πάντα.

οὐδὲν ἔφη τὸν θάνατον διαφέρειν τοῦ ζῆν. “σὺ οὖν,” ἔφη τις, “διὰ τί οὐκ ἀποθνήσκεις;” “ὅτι,” ἔφη, 36“οὐδὲν διαφέρει.” πρὸς τὸν πυθόμενον τί πρότερον γεγόνοι, νὺξ ἢ ἡμέρα, “ἡ νύξ,” ἔφη, “μιᾷ ἡμέρᾳ πρότερον.” ἠρώτησέ τις αὐτὸν εἰ λήθοι θεοὺς ἄνθρωπος ἀδικῶν· “ἀλλ᾿ οὐδὲ διανοούμενος,” ἔφη. πρὸς τὸν μοιχὸν ἐρόμενον εἰ ὀμόσειε μὴ μεμοιχευκέναι, “οὐ χεῖρον,” ἔφη, “μοιχείας ἐπιορκία.” ἐρωτηθεὶς τί δύσκολον, ἔφη, “τὸ ἑαυτὸν γνῶναι·” τί δὲ εὔκολον, “τὸ ἄλλῳ ὑποθέσθαι·” τί ἥδιστον, “τὸ ἐπιτυγχάνειν·” τί τὸ θεῖον, “τὸ μήτε ἀρχὴν ἔχον μήτε τελευτήν.” τί δὲ καινὸν εἴη τεθεαμένος


Pride of Miletus and Ionian lands, Wisest astronomer, here Thales stands.

Of songs still sung these verses belong to him:

Many words do not declare an understanding heart. Seek one sole wisdom. Choose one sole good. For thou wilt check the tongues of chatterers prating without end.

Here too are certain current apophthegms assigned to him:

Of all things that are, the most ancient is God, for he is uncreated. The most beautiful is the universe, for it is God’s workmanship. The greatest is space, for it holds all things. The swiftest is mind, for it speeds everywhere. The strongest, necessity, for it masters all. The wisest, time, for it brings everything to light.

He held there was no difference between life and death. “Why then,” said one, “do you not die?” “Because,” said he, “there is no difference.” To the question which is older, day or night, he replied: “Night is the older by one day.” Some one asked him whether a man could hide an evil deed from the gods: “No,” he replied, “nor yet an evil thought.” To the adulterer who inquired if he should deny the charge upon oath he replied that perjury was no worse than adultery. Being asked what is difficult, he replied, “To know oneself.” “What is easy?” “To give advice to another.” “What is most pleasant?” “Success.” “What is the divine?” “That which has neither beginning nor end.” To the question what was the strangest


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