I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, I am a mischievous person.
The end of life is to be like God, and the soul following God will be like Him.
He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.
Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.
Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.
I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled [poets] to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.
Wind buffs up empty bladders; opinion, fools.
He is richest who is content with the least.
If a rich man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.
The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be; all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them.
The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.
Envy is the ulcer of the soul.
The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.
Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions; but those who kindly reprove thy faults.
Get not your friends by bare compliments, but by giving them sensible tokens of your love.
When desire, having rejected reason and overpowered judgment which leads to right, is set in the direction of the pleasure which beauty can inspire . . .
Whenever, therefore, people are deceived and form opinions wide of the truth, it is clear that the error has slid into their minds through the medium of certain resemblances to that truth.
Living well and beautifully and justly are all one thing.
But already it is time to depart, for me to die, for you to go on living; which of us takes the better course, is concealed from anyone except God.
The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways--I to die and you to live. Which is the better, only God knows.
As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.
The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.
If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.
Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.
Remember what is unbecoming to do is also unbecoming to speak of.
The shortest and surest way to live with honour in the world, is to be in reality what we would appear to be; and if we observe, we shall find, that all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice of them.
Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.
True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.
I was afraid that by observing objects with my eyes and trying to comprehend them with each of my other senses I might blind my soul altogether.
Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.
To find yourself, think for yourself.
You are providing for your disciples a show of wisdom without the reality. For, acquiring by your means much information unaided by instruction, they will appear to possess much knowledge, while, in fact, they will, for the most part, know nothing at all; and, moreover, be disagreeable people to deal with, as having become wise in their own conceit, instead of truly wise.
Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of - for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.
When the debate is over, slander becomes the tool of the loser.
Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.
The unexamined life is not worth living.
And in knowing that you know nothing, that makes you the smartest of all.