There is no great genius without a touch of madness.

[Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher

Attributed to Aristotle by Seneca the Younger, "On Tranquility of Mind" (17.10).

  • "No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness."
  • "No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness." [tr. Basore (1932)]
  • "There is no great genius without a mixture of madness."
  • "There was never a genius without a tincture of madness."
  • "No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness."
  • [tr. @sentantiq (2018)]

While Aristotle did not say precisely this, he did make comments about madness/melancholy and poets/prominent talents (here and here).
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-May-21
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  1. Pingback: Seneca the Younger - De Tranquillitate Animi [On Tranquility of Mind] [tr. W. Langsdorf (1900)] | WIST

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  3. Pingback: How far can we deduce that the act of writing poetry was a self-harming manifestation of Sylvia Plath’s mental illness? – Maya Elphick

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