List of Greek phrases
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
List of Classical Greek Phrases/Proverbs
- ἀγεωμέτρητος μηδεὶς εἰσίτω
- Ageōmétrētos mēdeìs eisítō.
- "Let no one untrained in geometry enter."
- Motto over the entrance to Plato's Academy (quoted in Elias' commentary on Aristotle's Categories).
- ἀεὶ Λιβύη φέρει τι κακόν / καινόν
- Aeì Libýē phérei ti kakón / kainón.
- "Libya always bears something evil / new", Aristotle, Historia Animalium.
- Compare Latin Ex Africa semper aliquid novi "From Africa always something new", Pliny.
- ἀεὶ κολοιὸς παρὰ κολοιῷ ἱζάνει
- Aeì koloiòs parà koloiôi hizánei.
- "A jackdaw is always found near a jackdaw"
- Similar to English "birds of a feather flock together."
- ἀεὶ ὁ θεὸς γεωμετρεῖ
- Aei ho theos geōmetreî.
- "God always geometrizes", Plato
- Plutarch elaborated on this phrase in his essay Πῶς Πλάτων ἔλεγε τὸν θεὸν ἀεί γεωμετρεῖν "What is Plato’s meaning when he says that god always applies geometry". Based on the above phrase of Plato, a present day mnemonic for π (pi) was derived:
- ἀεὶ ὁ θεὸς ὁ μέγας γεωμετρεῖ τὸ σύμπαν
- Aeì ho theòs ho mégas geōmetreî tò sýmpan.
- "Always the great God applies geometry to everything"
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- ἀετοῦ γῆρας, κορυδοῦ νεότης
- Aetoû gêras, korydoû neótēs.
- "An eagle's old age (is worth) a sparrow's youth".
- αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν
- aièn aristeúein
- “Ever to Excel“
- Motto of the University of St Andrews (founded 1410), the Edinburgh Academy (founded 1824), and Boston College (founded 1863). The source is the sixth book of Homer's Iliad, (Iliad 6. 208) in a speech Glaucus delivers to Diomedes:
- "Hippolocus begat me. I claim to be his son, and he sent me to Troy with strict instructions: Ever to excel, to do better than others, and to bring glory to your forebears, who indeed were very great ... This is my ancestry; this is the blood I am proud to inherit."
- ἀνάγκᾳ δ’ οὐδὲ θεοὶ μάχονται
- Anánkāi d'oudè theoì mákhontai.
- "Not even the gods fight necessity" — Simonides, 8, 20.
- ἀνδρῶν γὰρ ἐπιφανῶν πᾶσα γῆ τάφος
- Andrôn gàr epiphanôn pâsa gê táphos.
- For illustrious men have the whole earth for their tomb. Pericles' Funeral Oration from Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 2.43.1
- ἀνεῤῥίφθω κύβος
- Anerrhíphthō kýbos.
- Alea iacta est.
- Latin: "The die has been cast"; Greek: "Let the die be cast."
- Julius Caesar as reported by Plutarch, when he entered Italy with his army in 49 BC. Translated into Latin by Suetonius as alea iacta est.
- ἄνθρωπος μέτρον
- Ánthrōpos métron.
- "Man [is] the measure [of all things]"
- Motto of Protagoras.
- ἅπαξ λεγόμενον
- Hápax legómenon.
- "Once said"
- A word that only occurs once.
- ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός
- Apò mēkhanês Theós
- Deus ex machina
- "God from the machine"
- The phrase originates from the way god figures appeared in ancient Greek theaters, held high up by a machine, to solve a problem in the plot.
- ἀπὸ τοῦ ἡλίου μετάστηθι
- Apò toû hēlíou metástēthi
- "Stand a little out of my sun"
- Legendary reply of Diogenes the Cynic when Alexander the Great asked him if he had any wish he desired to fulfil — version recounted by Plutarch
- ἄριστον μὲν ὕδωρ
- Áriston mèn hýdōr.
- "Greatest however [is] water" — Pindar, Olymp. 1, 1
- Used as the inscription over the Pump Room at Bath.
- βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν
- Basileía tôn ouranôn
- "kingdom of the heavens"
- "Heaven" is a foundational theological concept in Christianity and Judaism.
- "God's Kingdom" (Βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, Basileia tou Theou), or the "Kingdom of [the] Heaven[s]" was the main point of Jesus Christ's preaching on earth. The phrase occurs more than a hundred times in the New Testament.
- Βελλεροφόντης τὰ γράμματα
- Bellerophóntēs tà grámmata
- "Bellerophontic letter"
- King Proetus dared not to kill a guest, so he sent Bellerophon to King Iobates, his father-in-law, bearing a sealed message in a folded tablet: "Pray remove the bearer from this world: he attempted to violate my wife, your daughter."
- βρῶμα θεῶν
- Brôma theôn
- "Food of the gods"
- Allegedly said by Nero of the poisoned mushrooms with which his mother Agrippina the Younger murdered Claudius.
- γενηθήτω φῶς.
- Genēthḗtō phôs.
- Fiat lux.
- "Let there be light."
- Translated from Hebrew יְהִי אוֹר (yehiy ʾor) in Genesis. Often used for its metaphorical meaning of dispelling ignorance.
- γηράσκω δ᾽ αἰεὶ πολλὰ διδασκόμενος.
- Gēraskō d' aíeí pollâ didaskómenos.
- "I grow old always learning many things.
- Solon the Athenian, one of the seven Sages of Greece, on learning.
- γλαῦκ’ Ἀθήναζε / εἰς Ἀθήνας
- Glaûk’ Athḗnaze / eis Athḗnas
- "Owls (Athenian drachmas) to Athens" — Aristophanes, The Birds 
- E.g., coals to Newcastle, ice to the Eskimos.
- γνῶθι σεαυτόν.
- Gnôthi seautón.
- "Know thyself"
- Aphorism inscribed over the entrance to the temple of Apollo at Delphi.
- Γόρδιος δεσμός
- Górdios desmós
- "Gordian Knot"
- The Gordian Knot is a legend associated with Alexander the Great. It is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem, solved by a bold stroke
- Δεῖμος καὶ Φόβος
- Deîmos kaì Phóbos
- "Horror and Fear"
- Deimos and Phobos, the moons of Mars, are named after the sons of the Greek god Ares (Roman Mars): Deimos "horror" and Phobos "fear".
- δέσποτα, μέμνεο τῶν Ἀθηναίων
- Déspota, mémneo tôn Athēnaírōn.
- "Master, remember the Athenians."
- When Darius was informed that Sardis had been captured and burnt by the Athenians he was furious. He placed an arrow on his bow and shot it into the sky, praying to god to grant him vengeance on the Athenians. He then ordered one of his servants to say three times a day the above phrase in order to remind him that he should punish the Athenians.
- διαίρει καὶ βασίλευε
- Diaírei kaì basíleue.
- "Divide and rule."
- διπλοῦν ὁρῶσιν οἱ μαθόντες γράμματα.
- Diploûn horôsin hoi mathóntes grámmata.
- "Those who know the letters see double [as much as those who don't]."
- Attributed to Pythagoras. — Inscription in Edinburgh from 1954: ΔΙΠΛΟΥΝ ΟΡΩΣΙΝ ΟΙ ΜΑΘΟΝΤΕΣ ΓΡΑΜΜΑΤΑ.
- δῶς μοι πᾶ στῶ καὶ τὰν γᾶν κινάσω
- Dôs moi pâ stô, kaì tàn gân kīnā́sō.
- "Give me somewhere to stand, and I will move the earth".
- Attributed to Archimedes.
- εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος, ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ πάτρης
- Heîs oiōnòs áristos, amýnesthai perì pátrēs
- "There is only one omen, to fight for one's country"
- The Trojan prince Hector to his friend and lieutenant Polydamas when the latter was superstitious about a bird omen. The omen was an eagle that flew with a snake in its talons, still alive and struggling to escape. The snake was twisting itself backwards till it struck the bird on the neck, forcing the eagle to let the snake fall.
- ἐκ τῶν ὧν οὐκ ἄνευ
- Ek tôn hôn ouk áneu
- Sine qua non
- "Without things which [one can]not [be] without"
- Ἑλλήνων προμαχοῦντες Ἀθηναῖοι Μαραθῶνι χρυσοφόρων Μήδων ἐστόρεσαν δύναμιν
- Hellḗnōn promachoûntes Athēnaîoi Marathôni chrysophórōn Mḗdōn estóresan dýnamin
- Fighting in the forefront of the Hellenes, the Athenians at Marathon brought low the Medes' gilded power.
- Epigram by Simonides on the tomb of the Athenians who died in the Battle of Marathon.
- ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα
- Hèn oîda hóti oudèn oîda
- "I know one thing, that I know nothing"
- Socrates, paraphrased from Plato's Apology.
- ἐπεὶ δ' οὖν πάντες ὅσοι τε περιπολοῦσιν φανερῶς καὶ ὅσοι φαίνονται καθ' ὅσον ἂν ἐθέλωσιν θεοὶ γένεσιν ἔσχον, λέγει πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὁ τόδε τὸ πᾶν γεννήσας τάδε
- Epeì d' oûn pántes hósoi te peripoloûsin phanerôs kaì hósoi phaínontai kath' hóson àn ethélōsin theoì génesin éskhon, légei pròs autoùs ho tóde tò pân gennḗsas táde
- "When all of them, those gods who appear in their revolutions, as well as those other gods who appear at will had come into being, the creator of the universe addressed them the following" — Plato, Timaios, 41a, on gods and the Creator of the universe.
- "I have found [it]!"
- While Archimedes was taking a bath, he noticed that the level of the water rose as he got in; having suddenly discovered what is today known as Archimedes' Principle, i.e. that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged. This meant that the volume of irregular objects could be calculated with precision, a previously intractable problem. He was so excited that he ran through the streets naked and still wet from his bath, crying "I have found it!".
- ζῷον δίπουν ἄπτερον
- Zôion dípoun ápteron
- "two-legged featherless animal"
- Plato's definition of man, latinized as "Animal bipes implume"
- To criticize this definition, Diogenes the Cynic plucked a chicken and brought it into Plato's Academy saying:
- οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Πλάτωνος ἄνθρωπος
- Oûtós estin o Plátōnos ánthrōpos
- "Here is Plato's man."
- In response, Plato added to his definition:
- ζῷον πολιτικόν
- Zôion politikòn
- "Man is by nature a political animal", i.e. animal of the polis or social being
- Aristotle, Politics, book 1: ὁ ἄνθρωπος φύσει πολιτικὸν ζῷον
- ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς
- Ḕ tā̀n ḕ epì tâs
- "Either [with] it [your shield], or on it"
- Meaning "either you will win the battle, or you will die and then be carried back home on your shield".
- It was said by Spartan mothers to their sons before they went out to battle to remind them of their bravery and duty to Sparta and Greece. A hoplite could not escape the field of battle unless he tossed away the heavy and cumbersome shield. Therefore losing one's shield meant desertion. (Plutarch, Moralia, 241)
- ἡ φύσις οὐδὲν ποιεῖ ἅλματα.
- Hē phýsis oudèn poieî hálmata.
- Natura non facit saltus.
- "Nature does not make [sudden] jumps."
- A principle of natural philosophies since Aristotle's time, the exact phrase coming from Carl von Linné.
- ἦλθον, εἶδον, ἐνίκησα.
- Êlthon, eîdon, eníkēsa.
- Veni, vidi, vici.
- "I came, I saw, I conquered".
- With these words, Julius Caesar described his victory against Pharnaces, according to Plutarch.
- θάλασσα καὶ πῦρ καὶ γυνή, κακὰ τρία
- Thálassa kaì pŷr kaì gynḗ, kakà tría.
- "Sea and fire and woman, three evils."
- θάλαττα, θάλαττα.
- Thálatta, thálatta.
- “The Sea! The Sea!“
- Thalatta! Thalatta! from Xenophon's Anabasis. It was the shouting of joy when the roaming 10,000 Greeks saw Euxeinos Pontos (the Black Sea) from Mount Theches (Θήχης) in Armenia after participating in Cyrus the Younger's failed march against Persian Empire in the year 401 BC.
- θάνατος οὐδὲν διαφέρει τοῦ ζῆν.
- Thánatos oudèn diaphérei tou zên.
- "Death is no different than life."
- Thales' philosophical view to the eternal philosophical question about life and death.
- θέρος, τρύγος, πόλεμος.
- Théros, trýgos, pólemos.
- “Summer, harvest, war.“
- ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν.
- Iatré, therápeuson seautón.
- "Physician, take care of yourself!"
- "Medice cura te ipsum."
- An injunction urging physicians to care for and heal themselves first before dealing with patients. It was made famous in the Latin translation of the Bible, the Vulgate. The proverb was quoted by Jesus, recorded in the Gospel of Luke chapter 4:23. Luke the Evangelist was himself a physician.
- Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς Σωτήρ
- Iēsoûs Khristòs Theoû Hyiòs Sōtḗr
- "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour." As an acronym: ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthys) — "fish".
- ἰσχύς μου ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ λαοῦ.
- Iskhýs mou hē agápē toû laoû.
- "The people's love [is] my strength.“
- Motto of the Royal House of Glücksburg.
- καὶ σὺ τέκνον;
- Kaì sỳ téknon?
- "You too, child?" or "You too, young man?"
- On March 15, 44 BC, Julius Caesar was attacked by a group of senators, including Marcus Junius Brutus, a senator and Caesar's adopted son. Suetonius (in De Vita Caesarum, LXXXII ) reported that some people thought that, when Caesar saw Brutus, he spoke those words and resigned himself to his fate. The expression has commonly been interpreted as meaning "You too, my child?" and taken as an indication that Brutus was, in fact, Julius Caesar's illegitimate son. However, there is no certainty that Caesar spoke these words (even Suetonius does not indicate a belief that he did so, but merely reports that it was rumoured) and even if he did, the expression could have meant no more than "You too, young man?" In addition, if it is read as meaning "child", it is still by no means certain that that meant "my child". Julius Caesar was fourteen when Brutus was born, making it improbable that he was his father. Among English speakers, much better known are the Latin words Et tu, Brute?, which William Shakespeare gave to Caesar in his play, Julius Caesar (act 3, scene 1,85). This means simply "You too, Brutus?"
- κακοῦ κόρακος κακὸν ὠόν
- Kakoû kórakos kakòn ōón.
- "From a bad crow, a bad egg"
- I.e. like father, like son.
- κακὸς ἀνὴρ μακρόβιος
- Kakòs anḕr makróbios
- "A bad man lives long"
- "For the prettiest one", "To the most beautiful"
- From the myth of the Golden Apple of Discord.
- κάτθανε, Διαγόρα, οὐ καὶ ἐς Ὄλυμπον ἀναβήσῃ
- Kátthane, Diagóra, ou kaì es Ólympon anabḗsē.
- "Die, Diagoras — you will certainly not ascend Olympus."
- A Spartan spectator to Diagoras of Rhodes, a former Olympic champion himself, during the 79th Olympiad, when his two sons became Olympic champions and carried him around the stadium on their shoulders.
- Κρῆτες ἀεὶ ψεῦσται
- Krêtes aeì pseûstai
- "Cretans always lie" — One of the earliest logical paradoxes attributed to Epimenides of Knossos known as the Epimenides paradox. As Epimenides is a Cretan himself, it leads to the conclusion that the above statement is not true, hence the paradox.
- κτῆμα ἐς ἀεί
- ktêma es aeí
- "possession for eternity" (Thucydides)
- Κύριε ἐλέησον
- Kýrie eléēson
- "Lord have mercy" — a very common phrase in Greek Orthodox liturgies, and also used in Greek in the Roman Catholic Mass.
- λάθε βιώσας
- Láthe biṓsas
- "Live hidden"
- An Epicurean phrase, because of his belief that politics troubles men and doesn't allow them to reach inner peace. So Epicurus suggested that everybody should live "Hidden" far from cities, not even considering a political career. Cicero criticized this idea because, as a stoic, he had a completely different opinion of politics, but the sentiment is echoed by Ovid's statement bene qui latuit bene vixit ("he has lived well who has stayed well hidden", Tristia 3.4.25). Plutarch elaborated in his essay Is the Saying "Live in Obscurity" Right? (Εί καλῶς είρηται το λάθε βιώσας) 1128c.
- λέγειν τὰ λεγόμενα
- Légein tà legómena
- Prodenda, quia prodita or Relata refero
- "I tell as I was told" or "I report reports"
- From Herodotus (7,152 etc.):
- Ἐγὼ δὲ ὀφείλω λέγειν τὰ λεγόμενα, πείθεσθαί γε μὲν οὐ παντάπασι ὀφείλω.
- Egṑ dè opheílō légein tà legómena, peíthesthaí ge mèn ou pantápasi opheílō.
- And I must tell what I am told, since I don't have to be persuaded completely.
- μὴ γένοιτο.
- Mḕ génoito.
- "Let it not be!" / "Heaven forbid!"
- Phrase used by St Paul.
- μέτρον ἄριστον.
- Métron áriston
- "Moderation is best"
- On occasions where neither too much nor too little is a good choice, as when eating or celebrating. Cleobulus, according to Diogenes Laertius.
- μὴ μοῦ τοὺς κύκλους τάραττε.
- Mḕ moû toùs kúklous táratte.
- "Do not disturb my circles."
- The last words attributed to Archimedes. During the raid of Syracuse by the Romans, Archimedes was busy drawing circles. He was eventually attacked and killed by a Roman soldier.
- μὴ χεῖρον βέλτιστον.
- Mḕ kheíron béltiston.
- "The least bad [choice] is the best."
- When there is no good option, one should pick the one that does the least harm.
- μῆλον της Ἔριδος.
- Mêlon tês Éridos.
- "Apple of Discord"
- goddess Eris tossed the Apple of Discord "to the fairest". Paris was the judge of the prettiest one.
- μηκέτι ὑδροπότει, αλλ' οἴνῳ ὀλίγῳ χρῶ διὰ τὸν στόμαχόν σου καὶ τὰς πυκνάς σου ασθενείας.
- Mēkéti hydropótei, all' oínōi olígōi khrô dià tòn stómakhón sou kaì tàs pyknás sou astheneías.
- Stop drinking only water, but take a little wine for your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
- From the I Timothy 5:23
- μολὼν λαβέ!
- Molṑn labé!
- "Come take [them]!"
- King Leonidas of Sparta, in response to King Xerxes of Persia's demand that the Greek army lay down their arms before the Battle of Thermopylae.
- μυστήριον τῆς πίστεως
- Mystḗrion tês písteōs
- "Mystery of faith"
- Latinized as Mysterium Fidei is a Christian theological term. It means that believing has an unexplainable way of changing one's life. The phrase appears in the Roman Rite without indicating a specific mystery as the word mystery in that phrase has a more general meaning.
- ναὶ ναί, οὒ οὔ·
- Naì naí, où oú;
- "Yes yes, no no;"
- Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 5
- “33 Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ 34 But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."
- "We have won."
- The traditional story relates that the Athenian herald Pheidippides ran the 40 km (25 mi) from the battlefield near the town of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory over Persia in the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) with the word 'We have won' and collapsed and died on the spot because of exhaustion.
- νίψον ἀνομήματα μὴ μόναν ὄψιν
- Nípson anomḗmata mḕ mónan ópsin
- "Wash the sins not only the face"
- A palindromic inscription attributed to Gregory of Nazianzus, inscribed in Hagia Sophia and on many church fonts. In the Greek alphabet, the /ps/ sound is rendered by the single letter ψ (psi).
- νοῦς ὑγιὴς ἐν σώματι ὑγιεῖ
- Noûs hugiḕs en sṓmati hugieî.
- Latin: Mens sana in corpore sano
- "Healthy mind in healthy body."
- A healthy body can sustain a healthy mind.
- ξένος ὢν ἀκολούθει τοῖς ἐπιχωρίοις νόμοις.
- Xénos ṑn akoloúthei toîs epikhōríois nómois.
- "As a foreigner, follow the laws of that country."
- Loosely, "Do in Rome as Rome does." Quotation from the works of Menander.
- ξύλινον τεῖχος
- Xýlinon teîkhos
- "Wooden defensive wall"
- The "walls" of ships during the Persian Wars.
- οἶνοψ πόντος
- Oînops póntos
- "Wine dark sea"
- A common Homeric epithet of the sea, on which many articles have been written.
- ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι (ΟΕΔ)
- Hóper édei deîxai. (abbreviated as OED)
- "Quod erat demonstrandum"
- "what was required to be proved"
- Used by early mathematicians including Euclid (Elements, 1.4), Aristotle (APo.90b34) and Archimedes, written at the end of a mathematical proof or philosophical argument, to signify the proof as complete. Later it was latinized as "QED" or the Halmos tombstone box symbol.
- οὔ με πείσεις, κἂν με πείσῃς
- Oú me peíseis, kàn me peísēis
- "You will not convince me even if you do convince me"
- οὐ φροντὶς Ἱπποκλείδῃ
- Ou phrontìs Hippokleídēi.
- "Hippocleides doesn't care."
- From a story in Herodotus (6.129), in which Hippocleides loses the chance to marry Cleisthenes' daughter after getting drunk and dancing on his head. Herodotus says the phrase was a common expression in his own day.
- Οὖτις ἐμοί γ' ὄνομα
- Oûtis emoí g' ónoma.
- "My name is Nobody".
- Odysseus to Polyphemus when asked what his name was. (Homer, Odyssey, ix, 366).
- πάντοτε ζητεῖν τὴν ἀλήθειαν
- Pántote zeteῖn tḕn alētheian
- "ever seeking the truth" — Diogenes Laertius, Lives of eminent philosophers — a characteristic of Pyrrhonism. An abbreviated form, ζητεῖν τὴν ἀλήθειαν (seek the truth), is a motto of the Geal family.
- παπαί, Μαρδόνιε, κοίους ἐπ' ἄνδρας ἤγαγες μαχησομένους ἡμέας, οἳ οὐ περὶ χρημάτων τὸν ἀγῶνα ποιεῦνται ἀλλὰ περὶ ἀρετῆς.
- Papaí, Mardónie, koíous ep' ándras ḗgages makhēsoménous hēméas, hoì ou perì khrēmátōn tòn agôna poieûntai allà perì aretês.
- "Good heavens! Mardonius, what kind of men have you brought us to fight against? Men who do not compete for possessions, but for honour."
- Spontaneous response of Tigranes, a Persian general while Xerxes was interrogating some Arcadians after the Battle of Thermopylae. Xerxes asked why there were so few Greek men defending the Thermopylae. The answer was "All the other men are participating in the Olympic Games". And when asked "What is the prize for the winner?", "An olive-wreath" came the answer. — Herodotus, The Histories
- πάθει μάθος
- Páthei máthos
- "(There is) learning in suffering/experience"
- Aeschylus, Agamemnon — I also like the variant πάθος μάθος "suffering is learning/learning is suffering."
- πέμπε δέ μιν Λυκίηνδε, πόρεν δ' ὅ γε σήματα λυγρὰ
- γράψας ἐν πίνακι πτυκτῷ θυμοφθόρα πολλά
- Pémpe dé min Lykíēnde, póren d' hó ge sḗmata lygrà
- grápsas en pínaki ptyktôi thȳmophthóra pollá
- "So he sent him to Lycia, and gave (him) terrible signs/letters
- he had engraved these on a folded tablet, they were many and life-destroying."
- Homer, Iliad 6.168-9 — This passage shows that Homer actually knew the verb γράφειν (inscribe, later write).
- πίστις, ἐλπίς, ἀγάπη
- Pístis, elpís, agápē
- "Faith, hope, (and) love." (1 Corinthians, 13, 13.)
- πόλεμος πάντων μὲν πατήρ ἐστι
- Pólemos pántōn mèn patḗr esti
- "War is the father of all" — Heraclitus
- The complete text of this fragment by Heraclitus is: πόλεμος πάντων μὲν πατήρ ἐστι, πάντων δὲ βασιλεύς, καὶ τοὺς μὲν θεοὺς ἔδειξε τοὺς δὲ ἀνθρώπους, τοὺς μὲν δούλους ἐποίησε τοὺς δὲ ἐλευθέρους (War is the father of all and the king of all; and some he has made gods and some men, some bond and some free).
- πύξ, λάξ, δάξ
- Pýx, láx, dáx
- "With fists, kicks, and bites"
- Πύξ = fist, Λάξ = kick, Δάξ = bite
- Epigram describing how laypersons were chased away from the Eleusinian Mysteries.
- ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς
- Rhododáktylos Ēṓs
- "Rosy-fingered Dawn."
- This phrase occurs frequently in the Homeric poems referring to Eos, the Titanic goddess of the dawn. Eos opened the gates of heaven so that Helios could ride his chariot across the sky every day.
- σπεῦδε βραδέως
- Speûde bradéōs.
- "Hasten slowly" (cf. Latin festina lente), "less haste, more speed".
- σὺν Ἀθηνᾷ καὶ χεῖρα κίνει
- Sỳn Athēnâi kaì kheîra kinei.
- "Along with Athena, move also your hand" — cf. the English "God helps those who help themselves."
- τὰ πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει.
- Tà pánta rheî kaì oudèn ménei.
- "Everything flows, nothing stands still."
- Attributed to Heraclitus — Plato, in his dialogue Cratylus, recounts Heraclitus' saying:
- τὰ ὄντα ἰέναι τε πάντα καὶ μένειν οὐδέν
- Tà ónta iénai te pánta kaì ménein oudèn
- "[That] things that exist move and nothing remains still", which he expands:
- πάντα χωρεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει καὶ δὶς ἐς τὸν αὐτὸν ποταμὸν οὐκ ἂν ἐμβαίης
- Pánta khōreî kaì oudèn ménei kaì dìs es tòn autòn potamòn ouk àn embaíēs
- "All things move and nothing remains still, and you cannot step twice into the same stream".
- τάδ᾽ ἐστὶ Πελοπόννησος, οὐκ Ἰωνία.
- Tád' estì Pelopónnēsos, ouk Iōnía.
- "Here is Peloponnesus, not Ionia" — Inscription written on a pillar erected by Theseus on the Isthmus of Corinth facing towards the West, i.e. towards the Peloponnese.
- τάδ᾽ οὐχὶ Πελοπόννησος, ἀλλ᾽ Ἰωνία.
- Tád' oukhì Pelopónnēsos, all' Iōnía.
- "Here is not Peloponnesus, but Ionia" — inscription as per above, but towards East, i.e. towards Attica.
- τὴν δέ μεγάλην ἤπειρον, ὑφ' ἧς ἡ μεγάλη περιέχεται κύκλῳ θάλαττα, τῶν μὲν ἂλλων ἔλαττον ἀπέχει, τῆς δ' Ὠγυγίας περὶ πεντακισχιλίους σταδίους.
- Tḕn dè megáalēn ḗpeiron hyph' hês hē megálē periékhetai kýklō thálatta, tôn mèn állōn élatton apékhei, tês d' Ōgygíās perì pentakiskhilíous stadíous.
- "The great continent, by which the great sea is surrounded on all sides, lies less distant from the others, but about five thousand stadia from Ogygia." Plutarch on the great continent west of the Atlantic Ocean (From: “On the Face in the Moon”, 941 B)
- Τί δύσκολον; Τὸ ἑαυτὸν γνῶναι. 
- Tí dýskolon? Tò heautòn gnônai.
- "What is hard? To know thyself." — attributed (among other sages) to Thales, according to Pausanias 
- τί ἐστιν ὃ μίαν ἔχον φωνὴν τετράπουν καὶ δίπουν καὶ τρίπουν γίνεται;
- Ti estin ho mian ekhon phōnēn tetrapoun kai dipoun kai tripoun ginetai?
- "What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?." — The famous riddle of the Sphinx. Oedipus solved the riddle correctly by answering: “Man: as an infant, he crawls on fours; as an adult, he walks on two legs and; in old age, he uses a walking stick”. In allegorical terms it also describes the development of man: from a primitive state (four-footed animal), to self-sustained (two-footed) and finally to stable and mature (see also tripod).
- τί εὔκολον; Τὸ ἄλλῳ ὑποτίθεσθαι.
- Tí eúkolon? Tò állōi hypotíthesthai.
- "What is easy? To advise another." — Thales
- τί καινὸν εἴη τεθεαμένος; Γέροντα τύραννον.
- Tí kainòn eiē tetheaménos? Géronta týrannon.
- "What is the strangest thing to see? "An aged tyrant." — Thales
- τί κοινότατον; Ἐλπίς. Καὶ γὰρ οἷς ἄλλο μηδέν, αὔτη παρέστη.
- Tí koinótaton? Elpís. Kaì gàr hoîs állo mēdén, aútē paréstē.
- "What is quite common? Hope. When all is gone, there is still hope. Literally: "Because even to those who have nothing else, it is still nearby." — Thales
- τί τάχιστον; Νοῦς. Διὰ παντὸς γὰρ τρέχει.
- Tí tákhiston? Noûs. Dià pantòs gàr trékhei.
- "What is the fastest? The mind. It travels through everything." — Thales
- τί πρότερον γεγόνοι, νὺξ ἢ ἡμέρα; "νύξ, μιᾷ ἡμέρᾳ πρότερον.
- Tí próteron gegónoi, nỳx ē hēméra? núx, miâi hēméraa próteron.
- "Which is older, day or night? "Night is the older, by one day." — Thales
- τὸ γὰρ ἡδύ, ἐὰν πολύ, οὐ τί γε ἡδύ.
- Tò gàr hēdý, eàn polý, ou tí ge hēdý.
- "A sweet thing tasted too often is no longer sweet."
- τὸ δὶς ἐξαμαρτεῖν οὐκ ἀνδρὸς σοφοῦ.
- Tò dìs examarteîn ouk andròs sophoû.
- "To commit the same sin twice [is] not [a sign] of a wise man."
- τὸ πεπρωμένον φυγεῖν ἀδύνατον.
- Tò peprōménon phygeîn adýnaton.
- "It's impossible to escape from what is destined."
- υἱὸς μονογενής
- Hyiòs monogenḗs
- "Only-begotten son"
- Unigenitus (named for its Latin opening words Unigenitus dei filius, or "Only-begotten son of God") is an apostolic constitution in the form of a papal bull promulgated by Pope Clement XI in 1713.
- ὕστερον πρότερον
- Hýsteron próteron
- "The latter one first"
- Rhetorical device in which the most important action is placed first, even though it happens after the other action. The standard example comes from the Aeneid of Virgil (2.353):
- Moriamur, et in media arma ruamus "Let us die, and charge into the thick of the fight".
- φοβοῦ τοὺς Δαναοὺς καὶ δῶρα φέροντας
- Phoboû toùs Danaoùs kaì dôra phérontas.
- Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes." Virgil's Aeneid (II, 49)
- "Fear the Danaans (Greeks), even when bearing gifts."
- King Priam decides to take the abandoned by the Danaans Trojan Horse into the walls of Troy. In an effort to stop him, Laocoön the priest of Poseidon warns of the plot using according to Virgil, the well known verses from the Aeneid reading (Quidquid id est) timeo Danaos et dona ferentīs. But two sea serpents sent by Athena strangle Laocoön and his sons. Thus, the Trojan Horse is brought into the city and Troy is sacked.
- An expression to urge cautiousness when an enemy acts as a friend. — Figuratively: don't "swallow the bait".
- Φοινικήϊα γράμματα
- Phoinikḗïa grámmata
- "Phoenician letters"
- The Phoenician prince Cadmus was generally accredited by Greeks like Herodotus with the introduction of the Phoenician alphabet several centuries before the Trojan war, around 2000 BC.
- χαῖρε, αὐτοκράτορ· οἱ ἀπολούμενοί σε ἀσπαζόμεθα
- Khaîre, autokrátor; hoi apoloúmenoí se aspazómetha.
- "Hail, Emperor; we who are about to perish salute you."
- Latin: Ave Caesar morituri te salutant.
- The first literary attestation of the Latin is in Suetonius, De Vita Caesarum, 5 (Divus Claudius), 21, 6,
- χαλεπὰ τὰ καλά
- Khalepà tà kalá
- "The good/beautiful things [are] difficult [to attain]."
- "Naught without labor."
- Cf. Plato, Republic 4, 435c.
- Psykhês iatreîon.
- "Hospital of the soul"
- The Library of Alexandria, also known as the Great Library in Alexandria, Egypt, was once the largest library in the world.
- A story concerns how its collection grew so large: by decree of Ptolemy III of Egypt, all visitors to the city were required to surrender any form of written media in any language in their possession which were listed under the heading "books of the ships". These writings were then swiftly copied by official scribes. Sometimes the copies were so precise that the originals were put into the library and the copies were delivered to the unsuspecting previous owners. This process also helped to create a reservoir of books in the relatively new city. Galen XVIIa p.606.
- The phrase is used in reverse as ἰατρεῖον ψυχῆς as a motto for Carolina Rediviva, a university library in Uppsala, and is echoed in the motto of the American Philological Association, "ψυχῆς ἰατρὸς τὰ γράμματα" ("literature is the soul's physician").
- Ὦ ξεῖν’, ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε / κείμεθα τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
- Ô xeîn’, angéllein Lakedaimoníois hóti têide / keímetha toîs keínōn rhḗmasi peithómenoi.
- "Stranger, tell the Spartans that here we lie, obedient to their laws."
- Epigram , a single elegiac couplet by Simonides on the dead of Thermopylae.
- ὤδινεν ὄρος καὶ ἔτεκε μῦν.
- Ṓdinen óros kaì éteke mŷn.
- "A mountain had labour pains and a mouse was born"
- Horace wrote Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus; "the mountains will labour, a ridiculous mouse will be born."
- Horace here meant to poke fun at heroic labours producing meager results; his line is also an allusion to one of Aesop's fables, The Mountain in Labour. The title to Shakespeare's play, Much Ado about Nothing, expresses a similar sentiment.
- ὡς ἐν ἄλλῳ κόσμῳ
- Hōs en állōi kósmōi
- "As if in another world"
- Proverb quoted by Desiderius Erasmus in his Adagia.
See also 
- English words of Greek origin
- Greek language
- List of Greek words with English derivatives
- List of Latin phrases
- (Symposiacs Problem VIII, 2 , (in Greek) Quaestiones Convivales (718b-)718c @PerseusProject  ,(in English) Quaestiones Convivales 8.2.1 @PerseusProject . Note: All three references , Symposiacs Problem VIII-2, Quaestiones Convivales (718b-)718c and Quaestiones Convivales 8.2.1 point to the same work and passage)
- Plutarch, Alexander, 14.3
- Aristophanes, The Birds, 302
- δειμός. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at Perseus Project
- φόβος in Liddell and Scott
- Herodotus, The Histories, 5.105.2
- Homer, Iliad 12.243
- Plato, Statesman 266e
- Diogenes Laertios, Lives of eminent philosophers Chapter 2.40
- Plutarch, Caesar Plut. Caes. 50.2
- Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers Θαλῆς
- Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers Κλεόβουλος.
- Plutarch, Apophthegmata Laconica, 51.11
- Alex Preminger, Terry V.F. Brogan, and Frank J. Warnke, The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 3rd ed., Princeton University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-691-02123-6, p. 874.
- Diogenes Laertius, Lives of eminent philosophers Chapter 9.11
- Herodotus, The Histories Hdt. 8.26
- Σήματα λυγρὰ γράψας ἐν πίνακι πτυκτῷ Hom. Il. 6.156
- Plato, Cratylus, Plat. Crat. 401d
- Plato, Cratylus Plat. Crat. 402a
- Plutarch, Parallel Lives , Theseus, Plut. Thes. 25
- Pausanias, Description of Greece, Paus. 10.24
- Apollodorus, Library Apollod. 3.5.8
- Meaning, "do not completely accept something, especially an offer that is a trick or way of getting something from you. See also Definition of swallow the bait
- Herodotus, Histories, Book V, 58.
- Herodotus. Histories, Book II, 2.145
- Horace, Ars Poetica, l. 139
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