Pythagoras quotes

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Pythagoras

Birthdate: 585 BC
Date of death: 495 BC
Other names: Ze Samu Pýthagorás

Pythagoras of Samos was an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and putative founder of the Pythagoreanism movement. He is often revered as a great mathematician and scientist and is best known for the Pythagorean theorem which bears his name.

Legend and obfuscation cloud his work, so it is uncertain whether he truly contributed much to mathematics or natural philosophy. Many of the accomplishments credited to Pythagoras may actually have been accomplishments of his colleagues or successors, or originated earlier. Some accounts mention that the philosophy associated with Pythagoras was related to mathematics and that numbers were important. It was said that he was the first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom, and Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato, and through him, all of Western philosophy.

„As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap the joy of love.“

—  Pythagoras

Attribution to Pythagoras by Ovid, as quoted in The Extended Circle: A Dictionary of Humane Thought (1985) by Jon Wynne-Tyson, p. 260; also in Vegetarian Times, No. 168 (August 1991), p. 4
Context: As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.

„Let not sleep fall upon thy eyes till thou has thrice reviewed the transactions of the past day.“

—  Pythagoras

As translated in The Rambler No. 8 http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=Joh1Ram.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=8&division=div1 (14 April 1750) by Samuel Johnson
Let not sleep e'er close thy eyes
Without thou ask thyself: What have I omitted and what done?
Abstain thou if 'tis evil; persevere if good.
As translated by Fabre d'Olivet
Do not let sleep close your tired eyes until you have three times gone over the events of the day. 'What did I do wrong? What did I accomplish? What did I fail to do that I should have done?' Starting from the beginning, go through to the end. Then, reproach yourself for the things you did wrong, and take pleasure in the good things you did.
As quoted in Divine Harmony: The Life and Teachings of Pythagoras by John Strohmeier and Peter Westbrook. (1999)
The Golden Verses
Context: Let not sleep fall upon thy eyes till thou has thrice reviewed the transactions of the past day. Where have I turned aside from rectitude? What have I been doing? What have I left undone, which I ought to have done? Begin thus from the first act, and proceed; and, in conclusion, at the ill which thou hast done, be troubled, and rejoice for the good.

„Envy has been, is, and shall be, the destruction of many.“

—  Pythagoras

The Sayings of the Wise (1555)
Context: Envy has been, is, and shall be, the destruction of many. What is there, that Envy hath not defamed, or Malice left undefiled? Truly, no good thing.

„It is better to suffer, than to do, wrong.“

—  Pythagoras

The Sayings of the Wise (1555), p. 164

„It is better wither to be silent, or to say things of more value than silence.“

—  Pythagoras

As quoted in A Dictionary of Thoughts: Being a Cyclopedia of Laconic Quotations from the Best Authors of the World, both Ancient and Modern (1908) by Tyron Edwards, p. 525
Context: It is better wither to be silent, or to say things of more value than silence. Sooner throw a pearl at hazard than an idle or useless word; and do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few.

„None but a Craftsman can judge of a craft.“

—  Pythagoras

The Sayings of the Wise (1555), p. 161

„There is no word or action but has its echo in Eternity.“

—  Pythagoras

As quoted in Pythagoron: The Religious, Moral, and Ethical Teachings of Pythagoras (1947) by Hobart Huson, p. 99
Context: There is no word or action but has its echo in Eternity.
Thought is an Idea in transit, which when once released, never can be lured back, nor the spoken word recalled. Nor ever can the overt act be erased All that thou thinkest, sayest, or doest bears perpetual record of itself, enduring for Eternity.

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„Know that death comes to everyone, and that wealth will sometimes be acquired, sometimes lost.“

—  Pythagoras

As quoted in Divine Harmony: The Life and Teachings of Pythagoras by John Strohmeier and Peter Westbrook. (1999)
The Golden Verses
Context: Know that death comes to everyone, and that wealth will sometimes be acquired, sometimes lost. Whatever griefs mortals suffer by divine chance, whatever destiny you have, endure it and do not complain. But it is right to improve it as much as you can, and remember this: Fate does not give very many of these griefs to good people.

„Many words befall men, mean and noble alike; do not be astonished by them, nor allow yourself to be constrained.“

—  Pythagoras

As quoted in Divine Harmony: The Life and Teachings of Pythagoras by John Strohmeier and Peter Westbrook. (1999)
The Golden Verses
Context: Many words befall men, mean and noble alike; do not be astonished by them, nor allow yourself to be constrained.
If a lie is told, bear with it gently.
But whatever I tell you, let it be done completely.
Let no one persuade you by word or deed to do or say whatever is not best for you.

„Meditate upon my counsels; love them; follow them;
To the divine virtues will they know how to lead thee.“

—  Pythagoras

As translated by Fabre d'Olivet
The Golden Verses
Context: Meditate upon my counsels; love them; follow them;
To the divine virtues will they know how to lead thee.
I swear it by the One who in our hearts engraved
The sacred Tetrad, symbol immense and pure,
Source of Nature and model of the Gods.

„It is requisite to choose the most excellent life; for custom will make it pleasant.“

—  Pythagoras

"Pythagorean Ethical Sentences From Stobæus" (1904)
Florilegium
Context: It is requisite to choose the most excellent life; for custom will make it pleasant. Wealth is an infirm anchor, glory is still more infirm; and in a similar manner, the body, dominion, and honour. For all these are imbecile and powerless. What then are powerful anchors. Prudence, magnanimity, fortitude. These no tempest can shake. This is the Law of God, that virtue is the only thing that is strong; and that every thing else is a trifle.

„You will know that wretched men are the cause of their own suffering, who neither see nor hear the good that is near them, and few are the ones who know how to secure release from their troubles.“

—  Pythagoras

As quoted in Divine Harmony: The Life and Teachings of Pythagoras by John Strohmeier and Peter Westbrook (1999)
The Golden Verses
Context: You will know that wretched men are the cause of their own suffering, who neither see nor hear the good that is near them, and few are the ones who know how to secure release from their troubles. Such is the fate that harms their minds; like pebbles they are tossed about from one thing to another with cares unceasing. For the dread companion Strife harms them unawares, whom one must not walk behind, but withdraw from and flee.

„Rest satisfied with doing well, and leave others to talk of you as they please.“

—  Pythagoras

As quoted in The World's Laconics: Or, The Best Thoughts of the Best Authors (1853) by Everard Berkeley
Variant: Rest satisfied with doing well, and leave others to talk of you as they will.

„There is geometry in the humming of the strings. There is music in the spacings of the spheres.“

—  Pythagoras

As quoted in the preface of the book entitled Music of the Spheres by Guy Murchie (1961)
The Golden Verses

„Educate the children and it won't be necessary to punish the men.“

—  Pythagoras

As quoted in Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists‎ (2007) by James Geary

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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