Wide World of Quotes > Plutarch Quotes

Greek philosopher
(429-347 BC)

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A prating barber asked Archelaus how he would be trimmed. He answered, 'In silence.'
-- Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders

A visitor to Sparta, standing for a long time upon leg, said to a Spartan: 'I cannot believe you can do as much.' 'True,' said he, 'but every goose can.'
-- Laconic Apothegms, 260

For the mind does not require filling like a bottle, but rather, like wood, only requires kindlingto create in it an impulse to think independently and an ardent desire for the truth.
-- Moralia, sect. 48c, ' 'On Listening to Lectures'

I am writing biography, not history, and the truth is that the most brilliant exploits often tell us nothing of the virtues or vices of the men who performed them, while on the other hand a chance remark or a joke may reveal far more of a man's character than the mere feat of winning battles in which thousands fall, or of marshalling great armies, or laying siege to cities.
-- Parallel Lives, 'Alexander'

For we are told that when a certain man was accusing both of them to him, he [Julius Caesar] said that he had no fear of those fat and long-haired fellows, but rather of those pale and thin ones.
-- Parralel Lives, 'Anthony'
William Shakespeare is known to have read Plutarch's Parralel Lives and the above quote may have influenced the following lines in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar:
Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed and such as sleep o' nights;
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: Such men are dangerous.

The man who is thought to have been the first to see beneath the surface of Caesar's public policy and to fear it, as one might fear the smiling surface of the sea.
-- Of
Cicero, in: Parallel Lives, 'Julius Caesar'

Caesar said to the soothsayer, "The ides of March are come;" who answered him calmly, "Yes, they are come, but they are not past."
-- Parallel Lives, 'Julius Caesar'

He who triumphs by breaking an oath confesses that he fears his enemy, but despises God.
-- Parallel Lives, 'Lysander'

Even a nod from a person who is esteemed is of more force than a thousand arguments or studied statements from others.
-- Parallel Lives, 'Phocius'

Though others before him had triumphed three times, Pompeius, having gained his first triumph over Libya, his second over Europe, and this the last over Asia, seemed in a manner to have brought the whole world into his three triumphs.
-- Parallel Lives, 'Pompeius'

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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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