Quotations by Plutarch


When it was told that Antony and Dolabella were in a plot against him, Caesar said he did not fear such fat, luxurious men, but rather the pale, lean fellows, meaning Cassius and Brutus.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
“Caesar,” Lives [tr. Dryden (1693)]
Added on 4-Feb-14 | Last updated 4-Feb-14
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It is indeed desirable to be well descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
“Of the Training of Children,” Morals
Added on 15-May-13 | Last updated 15-May-13
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Judgement is to be made of actions in according to the times in which they were performed.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
“Poplicola and Colon Compared,” Parallel Lives [tr. Dryden (1693)]
Added on 22-May-13 | Last updated 22-May-13
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Let us carefully observe those good qualities wherein our enemies excel us; and endeavor to excel them, by avoiding what is faulty, and imitating what is excellent in them.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
(Attributed)

Sometimes attributed to Plato.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
(Attributed)

In Watson Adams, The Rule of Life: or a Collection of Select Moral Sentences (1834)
Added on 6-May-13 | Last updated 6-May-13
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Even a nod from a person who is esteemed is of more force than a thousand arguments or studied sentences from others.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
Life of Phocion
Added on 16-Feb-10 | Last updated 16-Feb-10
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Character is simply habit long continued.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
Moral Writings [Moralia], “On the Education of Children,” 4.3 [tr. Babbitt and Goodwin]
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Added on 29-Aug-17 | Last updated 29-Aug-17
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Base and absurd requests he should reject, not harshly but gently, informing the askers by way of consolation that the requests are not in accord with their own excellence and reputation.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
Moralia, Vol. 10 “Precepts of Statecraft” (13) [tr. Helmbold (1936)]
Added on 9-Jan-17 | Last updated 9-Jan-17
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When the candles are out, all women are fair.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
Morals [Moralia], “Conjugal Precepts” #46
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Alt. trans.: "All women are alike when the lamp is put out."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 8-Apr-15
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The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
Morals [Moralia], “On Listening to Lectures”

Alt trans.: "The correct analogy for the mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 11-Mar-15
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It is circumstance and proper measure that give an action its character, and make it either good or bad.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
Parallel Lives, “Agisilaus” [tr. Dryden (1693)]
Added on 8-Mar-16 | Last updated 8-Mar-16
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He who cheats with an oath acknowledges that he is afraid of his enemy, but that he also thinks little of God.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
Parallel Lives, “Lysander”
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Judgment is to be made of actions according to the times in which they were performed.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
Parallel Lives, “Policola and Colon Compared” [Dryden Ed. (1693)]
Added on 11-May-11 | Last updated 11-May-11
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