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Quotations From HERACLITUS


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  • The best people renounce all for one goal, the eternal fame of mortals; but most people stuff themselves like cattle.
    Heraclitus (c. 535-475 B.C.), Greek philosopher. Diels-Kranz, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 22B29. Heraclitus, one of the two or three most influential philosophers before Socrates, was known as "the riddler" or "the obscure."

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  • Eyes and ears are poor witnesses to people if they have the uncultured souls.
    Heraclitus (c. 535-475 B.C.), Greek philosopher. Diels-Kranz, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 22B107. Heraclitus, one of the two or three most influential philosophers before Socrates, was known as "the riddler" or "the obscure."

    Read more quotations about / on: people
  • It is impossible to step into the same river twice.
    Heraclitus (c. 535-475 B.C.), Greek philosopher. Diels-Kranz, fr. 91 (from Plutarch). Heraclitus, one of the two or three most influential philosophers before Socrates, was known as "the riddler" or "the obscure."

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  • Wisdom is one thing, to know how to make true judgment, how all things are steered through all things.
    Heraclitus (c. 535-475 B.C.), Greek philosopher. Diels-Kranz, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 22B41. Heraclitus, one of the two or three most influential philosophers before Socrates, was known as "the riddler" or "the obscure."
  • Immortal mortals, mortal immortals, one living the others' death and dying the others' life.
    Heraclitus (c. 535-475 B.C.), Greek philosopher. The Cosmic Fragments, no. 67 (c. 480 B.C.).

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  • Justice will overtake fabricators of lies and false witnesses.
    Heraclitus (c. 535-475 B.C.), Greek philosopher. The Presocratics, p. 74, ed. Philip Wheelwright, The Bobbs-Merrill Co., Inc. (1960).

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  • Corpses are more fit to be thrown out than is dung.
    Heraclitus (c. 535 B.C.-c. 475 B.C.), Greek philosopher. The Cosmic Fragments, no. 85 (written c. 480 B.C.).
  • You could not step twice into the same rivers; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.
    Heraclitus (c. 535-475 B.C.), Greek philosopher. quoted in Hippocrates, On The Universe, aph. 41.
  • A lifetime [or, eternity] is a child playing, playing checkers; the kingdom belongs to a child.
    Heraclitus (c. 535-475 B.C.), Greek philosopher. quoted in Hippolytus [early third century A.D.], Refutation 9.9.4, Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy, trans. by R.D. McKirahan, Jr., eds. S. Marc Cohen, Patricia Curd, and C.D.C. Reeve, Hackett Publishing Co. (1995).

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  • Uncomprehending when they have heard, they are like the deaf. The saying describes them: though present they are absent.
    Heraclitus (c. 535-475 B.C.), Greek philosopher. quoted in Clement [second century A.D.], Miscellanies 5.115.3, Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy, trans. by R.D. McKirahan, Jr., eds. S. Marc Cohen, Patricia Curd, and C.D.C. Reeve, Hackett Publishing Co. (1995).
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