People today still quote Aristotle, Napoleon Bonaparte and Issac Newton. It seems like wisdom comes from remembering the old, such as in these ancient Greek proverbs, rather then trying to find new phrases to live by.

I have gone through some of the most powerful proverbs from ancient Greek philosophers and scholars, and found these ancient Greek proverbs to be the best. Read on for captivating, moving quotes that you can apply to your daily life.

Give me leverage and I will move the Earth -Archimedes

First, A quote from Archimedes: one of ancient Greece’s leading scientists and mathematicians.

Still to this day Archimedes is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. As he said, with the proper leverage, you can reach incredible heights. If you can utilize the right advantages, you can achieve incredible things.

When in ape’s company, one must play the ape – Apollodorus

This phrase is from Apollodorus: a Greek renowned scholar and historian. It is wise to relate at a level of the person you are with.

A rolling stone gathers no moss. – Anonymous

Out of all of these ancient Greek proverbs, this is one of my favorite to model my life after. These unknown wise Greek words hold very true today. Keep going and do not stop. For if you do, you will gather moss… in other words, if you’re not growing, you’re dying! You’re never stagnant.

In great attempts, even to fail is glorious – Anonymous

Another anonymous Greek reminds us there is no failure in trying your best and giving this life you all. Even in your greatest embarrassment, you’re epic failure, or even you greatest scars… if you gave it your best try, you are victorious.

Time is a doctor who heals all griefs” – Diphilus

Diphilus was a Greek poet and playwright. His words still ring clear: if you are hurting now, just remember it will pass. Time is a healer of all sadness.

Nature creates nothing without a purpose – Aristotle

Aristotle was the “Founder of Western Philosophy”. He was wise Greek philosopher, scientist and teacher to Alexander The Great.

Always remember this quote, it is a good reminder that every one of us has a purpose.

Man is the measure of the universe. – Protagoras

Protagoras was an ancient Greek philosopher. Our perception of the universe is what defines it. Remember this, and you will know that everything can change in your life if you only change your perspective.

Whatever is good to know is difficult to learn – Anonymous

If it seems like it is hard to learn new things and embark on new careers, it is because it takes a lot of study, practice and focus to build new knowledge and skills. Think about a brain surgeon. Yes, that’s maybe an extreme example, but it takes years of study, practice and focus to get to a point where you are able to perform the surgery, show successful recoveries, and get paid for doing so.

If you want to learn something worthwhile, enjoy the process and remember that everything worth knowing takes time to learn.

Life is short, art is long – Hippocrates

Since life is short, (although you can read about how science has proved reincarnation exists… so depending on who you ask…) live your life in “creation” mode. Art lasts, creations last. Build your legacy on what you will leave behind.

Action achieves more than words – Euripides

If you are serious about achievement, and care more about actually realizing your goals than just trying to prove yourself to others, stop talking and begin doing.

Proverbs are simple, yet they hold powerful messages. Let’s recap the top 10 proverbs for you to reference whenever you need guidance and wisdom from the ancient Greeks:

  1. Give me leverage and I will move the Earth -Archimedes
  2. When in ape’s company, one must play the ape – Apollodorus
  3. A rolling stone gathers no moss. – Anonymous
  4. In great attempts, even to fail is glorious – Anonymous
  5. Time is a doctor who heals all griefs” – Diphilus
  6. Nature creates nothing without a purpose – Aristotle
  7. Man is the measure of the universe. – Protagoras
  8. Whatever is good to know is difficult to learn – Anonymous
  9. Life is short, art is long – Hippocrates
  10. Action achieves more than words – Euripides

My favorite of the ten is the proverb spoken by the mysterious Greek, “In great attempts, even to fail is glorious.” Try your best at everything that you do. Give this life your all, and you will always be a winner.

Comment below your favorite of the 10, and if you have any other powerful proverbs to add in, do share!

ancient greek proverbs

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