Quotes by Isocrates

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If all who are engaged in the profession of education were willing to state the facts instead of making greater promises than they can possibly fulfill, they would not be in such bad repute with the lay- public. more...

If you be a lover of instruction, you will be well instructed. more...

Be gracious to all men, but choose the best to be your friends. more...

I maintain, then, that we should make peace, not only with the Chians, the Rhodians, the Byzantines and the Coans, but with all mankind... more...

Of all our possessions, wisdom alone is imortal. more...

It is not fitting that the evil produced by men should be imputed to things; let those bear the blame who make an ill use of things in themselves good. more...

Whetstones are not themselves able to cut, but make iron sharp and capable of cutting. more...

Guard yourself against accusations, even if they are false; for the multitude are ignorant of the truth and look only to reputation. more...

Spend your leisure time in cultivating an ear attentive to discourse, for in this way you will find that you learn with ease what others have found out with difficulty. more...

So far has Athens left the rest of mankind behind in thought and expression that her pupils have become the teachers of the world, and she has made the name of Hellas distinctive no longer of race but of intellect, and the title of Hellene a badge of education rather than of common descent. more...

Never hope to conceal any shameful thing which you have done; for even if you do conceal it from others, your own heart will know. ... Pursue the enjoyments which are of good repute; for pleasure attended by honor is the best thing in the world, but pleasure without honor is the worst. more...

Democracy destroys itself because it abuses its right to freedom and equality. Because it teaches its citizens to consider audacity as a right, lawlessness as a freedom, abrasive speech as equality, and anarchy as progress. more...

Oratory is good only if it has the qualities of fitness for the occasion, propriety of style, and originality of treatment, while in the case of letters there is no such need whatsoever. more...

And let no one suppose that I claim that just living can be taught for, in a word, I hold that there does not exist an art of the kind which can implant sobriety and justice into depraved natures. Nevertheless, I do think that the study of political discourse can help more than any other thing to stimulate and form such qualities of character more...

But I marvel when I observe these men setting themselves up as instructors of youth who cannot see that they are applying the analogy of an art with hard and fast rules to a creative process more...

It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement. Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs, therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity or undue depression in adversity. more...

Consider that nothing in human life is stable; for then you will not exult overmuch in prosperity, nor grieve overmuch in adversity. Rejoice over the good things which come to you, but grieve in moderation over the evils which befall you. more...

Make no man your friend before inquiring how he has used his former friends; for you must expect him to treat you as he has treated them. Be slow to give your friendship, but when you have given it, strive to make it lasting; for it is as reprehensible to make many changes in one's associates as to have no friends at all. Neither test your friends to your own injury nor be willing to forego a test of your companions. more...

We should not call a city happy because it attracts masses of citizens from everywhere; a fortunate city is one in which the race of the original inhabitants is best preserved. more...

Argos is the land of your fathers. more...

... all men will be grateful to you: the Hellenes (Greeks) for your kindness to them and the rest of the nations, if by your hands they are delivered from barbaric despotism and are brought under the protection of Hellas. more...

Conduct yourself towards your parents as you would have your children conduct themselves towards you. more...

Always when you are about to say anything, first weigh it in your mind; for with many the tongue outruns the thought. more...

Let there be but two occasions for speech - when the subject is one which you thoroughly know and when it is one on which you are compelled to speak. On these occasions alone is speech better than silence; on all others, it is better to be silent than to speak. more...

Regard as your most faithful friends, not those who praise everything you say or do, but those who criticize your mistakes. more...

Abhor flatterers as you would deceivers; for both, if trusted, injure those who trust them. If you admit as friends men who seek your favor for the lowest ends, your life will be lacking in friends who will risk your displeasure for the highest good. more...

And let no one suppose that I claim that just living can be taught for, in a word, I hold that there does not exist an art of the kind which can implant sobriety and justice into depraved natures. Nevertheless, I do think that the study of political discourse can help more than any other thing to stimulate and form such qualities of character more...


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