Quotations by Euripides


It is a good thing to be rich, it is a good thing to be strong, but it is a better thing to be beloved of many friends.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Everyone asks if a man is rich, no one if he is good.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
(Attributed)

Quoted in Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholia, 1.2.4.6 (1621-51).
Added on 31-Oct-13 | Last updated 31-Oct-13
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Those whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
(Misattributed)

Frequently cited as a fragment, but not actually in his known writings. Similar phrases, attributed to old sayings, predate Euripides. For more see here.

See also Oates and Beard.
Added on 14-Nov-17 | Last updated 14-Nov-17
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You are neither the first nor the last of mortals
to lose a good wife. You have to learn
that death is a debt we all must pay.

[οὐ γάρ τι πρῶτος οὐδὲ λοίσθιος βροτῶν
γυναικὸς ἐσθλῆς ἤμπλακες· γίγνωσκε δὲ
ὡς πᾶσιν ἡμῖν κατθανεῖν ὀφείλεται.]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Alcestis [Ἄλκηστις], c. l. 415 [Chorus] (438 BC) [tr. Leuschnig]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:

Thou art by no means the first nor yet shalt be the last of men to lose a wife of worth; know this, we all of us are debtors unto death.
[tr. Coleridge (1910)]

Thou shalt not be the last, nor yet the first,
To lose a noble wife. Be brave, and know
To die is but a debt that all men owe.
[tr. Murray (1915)]

Not first of mortals thou, nor shalt be last
To lose a noble wife; and, be thou sure,
From us, from all, this debt is due -- to die.
[tr. Way (1984)]

You are neither the first nor the last mortal
Who has lost a good wife. Understand this:
Dying is a debt we all have to pay.
[tr. @sentantiq (2020)]
Added on 20-Nov-20 | Last updated 20-Nov-20
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Waste not fresh tears over old griefs.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Alexander, Fragment 44
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I care for riches, to make gifts
To friends, or lead a sick man back to health
With ease and plenty. Else small aid is wealth
For daily gladness; once a man be done
With hunger, rich and poor are all as one.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Electra (413 BC)
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Neither earth nor ocean
produces a creature as savage and monstrous
as woman.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Hecuba, l. 1180 [tr. Arrowsmith (1956)]
Added on 7-Feb-12 | Last updated 7-Feb-12
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Those whose cause is just will never lack good arguments.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Hecuba, l. 1235 (trans. W. Arrowsmith (1956))
Added on 5-Jan-09 | Last updated 5-Jan-09
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No man on earth is truly free,
All are slaves of money or necessity.
Public opinion or fear of prosecution
forces each one, against his conscience,
to conform.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Hecuba, l. 860 [tr. W.Arrowsmith (1956)]
Added on 2-Apr-09 | Last updated 2-Apr-09
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The common interests
of states and individuals alike demand
that good and evil receive their just rewards.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Hecuba, l. 900 [tr. Arrowsmith (1964)]
Added on 15-Dec-15 | Last updated 15-Dec-15
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A man’s most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Helen (412 BC)
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All is change; all yields its place and goes.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Heracles (421-416 B.C.)
Added on 11-Aug-16 | Last updated 11-Aug-16
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To persevere, trusting in what hopes he has,
Is courage in a man.  The coward despairs.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Heracles, l. 100 [tr. W. Arrowsmith (1956)]
Added on 8-Dec-09 | Last updated 8-Dec-09
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Courage: to bear unflinchingly what heaven sends.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Heracles, l. 1225 [tr. W. Arrowsmith (1956)]
Added on 10-Nov-09 | Last updated 10-Nov-09
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ORESTES: A terrible thing is the mob, whenever it has villains to lead it.
PYLADES: But with honest leaders its counsels are always honest.

[Ὀρέστης: δεινὸν οἱ πολλοί, κακούργους ὅταν ἔχωσι προστάτας.
Πυλάδης: ἀλλ᾽ ὅταν χρηστοὺς λάβωσι, χρηστὰ βουλεύουσ᾽ ἀεί.]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Orestes, ll. 772-773 [Orestes] (408 BC) [tr. Coleridge (1938)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alt. trans.:

ORESTES: Ah, my friend! When mobs have rotten leaders they are likely to do all sorts of nasty things.
PYLADES: It's a very different story when their leaders are wise, though ....
[tr. Theodoridis (2010)]

ORESTES: The mob is frightening when their leaders are criminal.
PYLADES: But when they have good one, their decisions are good.
[tr. Luschnig (2013)]

ORESTES:
The mob is nasty, when it has leaders
bent on doing wrong.
PYLADES:
          But when it’s controlled
by decent men, the decisions they make
are always good.
[tr. Johnston (2020), ll. 938-940]

The masses are terrible whenever they have scoundrels as leaders.
[tr. @sententiq (2020)]
Added on 2-Nov-20 | Last updated 2-Nov-20
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Where two discourse, if the one’s anger rise,
The man who lets the contest fall is wise.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Protesilaus, fragment 656

Also attributed to Plutarch.
Added on 16-Aug-13 | Last updated 9-May-14
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Slight not what’s near through aiming at what’s far.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Rhesus, 482
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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But this is slavery, not to speak one’s thought.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
The Phoenician Women, l. 392
Added on 29-Jan-08 | Last updated 29-Jan-08
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