Quotes by Xenophanes

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If God had not made brown honey, men would think figs much sweeter than they do. more...

There is one god, greatest among gods and men, who bears no similarity to humans either in shape or thought... but humans believe that the gods are born like themselves, and that the gods wear clothes and have bodies like humans and speak in the same way... but if cows and horses or lions had hands or could draw with the hands and manufacture the things humans can make, then horses would draw the forms of gods like horses, cows like cows, and they would make the gods' bodies resemble those which each kind of animal had itself. more...

If oxen and horses and lions could draw and paint, they would delineate the gods in their own image. more...

The clear and perfect truth no man has seen, nor will there be anyone who knows about the gods and what I say about all things...; for, however perfect what he says may be, yet he does not know it; all things are matters of opinion. more...

Pure truth no man has seen, nor ever shall know. more...

It takes a wise man to recognize a wise man. more...

There is one God - supreme among gods and men - who is like mortals in neither body nor mind. more...

No human being will ever know the Truth, for even if they happen to say it by chance, they would not even known they had done so. more...

If cattle and horses, or lions, had hands, or were able to draw with their feet and produce the works which men do, horses would draw the forms of gods like horses, and cattle like cattle, and they would make the gods' bodies the same shape as their own. more...

Men create the gods in their own image. more...

It isn't right to judge strength as better than good wisdom. more...

God is one, greatest of gods and men, not like mortals in body or thought. more...

The gods did not reveal, from the beginning, all things to us. more...

But if cattle and horses or lions had hands, or were able to draw with their hands and do the work that men can do, horses would draw the forms of the gods like horses, and cattle like cattle, and they would make their bodies such as they each had themselves. more...

All men begin their learning with Homer. more...

Better than the strength of men and horses is our wisdom. more...

Truly the gods have not from the beginning revealed all things to mortals, but by long seeking, mortals discover what is better. more...

If cattle and horses, or lions, had hands... more...

All things that come into being and grow are earth and water. more...

For we are all sprung from earth and water more...

...for our wisdom is better than the strength of men or of horses. ... nor is it right to prefer strength to excellent wisdom. For if there should be in the city [any athlete whose skill] is honoured more than strength ... the city would not on that account be any better governed. more...

If oxen and lions had hands and could paint with their hands and produce works of art, as men do, horses would paint the forms of the gods likes horses and oxen like oxen. Each would represent them with bodies according to the bodies of each. So the Ethiopians make their gods black and snub-nosed; the Thracians give theirs red hair and blue eyes. more...

Ethiopians imagine their gods as black and snub-nosed; Thracians blue-eyed and red-haired. But if horses or lions had hands, or could draw and fashion works as men do, horses would draw the gods shaped like horses and lions like lions, making the gods resemble themselves. more...

The sea is the source of water and the source of wind; for neither would blasts of wind arise in the clouds and blow out from within them, except for the great sea, nor would the streams of rivers nor the rain-water in the sky exist but for the sea ; but the great sea is the begetter of clouds and winds and rivers. more...

No human being will ever know the truth, for even if they happen to say it by chance, they would not even know they had done so. more...

But without effort [God] sets in motion all things by mind and thought. more...

In the beginning the gods did not at all reveal all things clearly to mortals, but by searching men in the course of time find them out better. more...

If cows and horses had hands and could draw, cows would draw gods that look like cows and horses would draw gods that look like horses. more...

The Gods did not reveal, from the beginning, all things to us, but in the course of time through seeking we may learn & know things better. But as for certain truth no man knows it, nor shall he know it, neither of the Gods nor yet of all things that I speak. For even if by chance he were to utter The Final Truth, he would himself not know it: for all is but a woven web of guesses. more...

This upper limit, of earth at our feet is visible and touches the air, but below it reaches to infinity more...

Men always makes gods in their own image. more...

The Ethiops say that their gods are flat-nosed and black, While the Thracians say that theirs have blue eyes and red hair. "If oxen and horses and lions had hands and were able to draw with their hands and do the same things as men, horses would draw the shapes of gods to look like horses and oxen would draw them to look like oxen, and each would make the gods' bodies have the same shape as they themselves had. more...

For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth. more...

The Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and black the Thracians that theirs have light blue eyes and red hair. more...

Even if a man should chance to speak the most complete truth, yet he himself does not know it; all things are wrapped in appearances more...

The sun comes into being each day from little pieces of fire that are collected. more...

God is one, supreme among gods and men, and not like mortals in body or in mind.The whole [of god] sees, the whole perceives, the whole hears. But without effort he sets in motion all things by mind and thought. more...

Homer and Hesiod attributed to the gods all things which are disreputable and worthy of blame when done by men; and they told of them many lawless deeds, stealing, adultery, and deception of each other. more...

If horses had Gods, they would look like horses. more...

No man knows distinctly anything, and no man ever will. more...

Mortals deem that the gods are begotten as they are, and have clothes like theirs, and voice and form. more...

But if cattle and horses and lions had hands or could paint with their hands and create works such as men do, horses like horses and cattle like cattle also would depict the gods' shapes and make their bodies of such a sort as the form they themselves have. more...

Ethiopians say that their gods are snubnosed and black Thracians that they are pale and red-haired. more...


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