Famous Quotes. Biography

The nature of God is a circle of which the centre is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere.”

Empedocles : The Extant Fragments

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love

– Oedipus at Colonus

“The life which is unexamined is not worth living”

– The Apology of Socrates, Plato (Socrates 469-399BCE)

“Doubt everything. Find your own light.”

– Buddha, (563-483BCE)

“I will use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgement; I will abstain from harming or wronging any man by it.”

– The Hippocratic Oath (460 – 377BCE)

“I am a citizen of the world”

– Digoenes Laertius (c. 412-323BCE) – Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers

“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”

– Archimedes (c.287-212 BCE)

“Nil Desperandum” (Never despair)

– Horace (65-8BCE) Odes, Book 1, No.7

“Time the devourer of everything”

– Ovid (43-18CE) – The Metamorphoses 8 SCE

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”

– Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5.3

“Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.”

– Marcus Aurelius (121-180CE), Meditations

“The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

– The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

“Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith.”

– Prayer of St Francis of Assisi, 1205

“O how quickly passes away the glory of the earth”

– Thomas A Kempsis, The Imitation of Christ, 1414 – 1424

“Abandon hope, all ye who enter here”

– Dante (1265-1321) – The Divine Comedy (inscription at the entrance to hell)

“I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free.’

– Michelangelo on the statue of David.

“Finally we shall place the Sun himself at the centre of the Universe… if only we face the facts, as they say. “with both eyes open”

– Nicolaus Copernicus 1473-1543. On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres

“Knowledge is power” ‘Ipsa scientia potestas set’

– Sir Francis Bacon – 1561-1626 Sacred Meditations. From the 11th Meditation: Of Heresis, 1597

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,

Or close the wall up with our English dead!

– William Shakespeare 1564-1616. Henry V, Act III, Scene 1, 1599

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing them? To die: to sleep;

– William Shakespeare 1564-1616 Hamlet, Act III, Scene I, 1601

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause’

– William Shakespeare 1564-1616 Hamlet, Act III, Scene I, 1601

“Nature uses as little as possible of anything.”

– Johannes Kepler 1571-1630. Harmoices Mundi, 1619

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

– John Donne 1572-163. Meditation 17, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, 1624

“[The heart] is the household divinity which, discharging its function, nourishes, cherishes, quickens the whole body, and is indeed the foundation of life, the source of all action’

– William Harvey 1578-1657. Exercitatio, Anatomica, 1628 (Harvey was an English physician, who was first man to describe how blood was pumped around the body by the hear.

“I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for use to forgo their use”

– Galileo Galilei 1564-1642. Diaglogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 1632

“I think, therefore I am” ‘Ego cogito, ergo sum’

– Rene Descartes 1596-1650 Principles of Philosophy, 1644

“Man is his own star, and the soul that can

Render an honest and a perfect man

Commands all light, all influence, all fate.”

– John Fletcher 1579-1625. The Honest Man’s Fortune, Epilogue, 1647.

“But at my back I always hear Time’s winged Chariot hurrying near.”

– Andrew Marvell 1621-1678

“Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire”

– Francois le Duc de la Rochefoucauld, 1613-1680

“Eyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves”

– John Milton 1608-1674. Samson Agonistes, 1671

“Man is a social animal”

_ Baruch Spinoza 1632-1677. Ethics, 1677

“Musick has charms to soothe a savage breast”

– William Congreve 1670-1729. The Morning Bride, 1697.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”

– Sri Richard Steele, 1672-1729. Tatler, 18 March 1710

“For fools rush in where angels fear to tread”

– Alexander Pope 1688-1744. An essay on criticism, 1711

“Our God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come;

– Dr Isaac Watts 1674-1748. Our Help in Ages Past: The Psalms of David Imitated’ 1719.

“The great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me”

– Sir Isaac Newton, 1642-1727. Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, Sir David Brewster, 1855.

“Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains”

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1712-1778. The Social Contract, 1762

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”

– Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826. Draft of the Declaration of Independence, 11-28 June 1776

“With the great part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches”

– Adam Smith 1723-1790 An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. 1776

“God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform”

– William Cowper 1731-1800. ‘Light Shining out of Darkness’ Olney Hymns 1779

“Tyger! Tyger! burning bright’

In the forest of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful


– William Blake 1757-1827. ‘The Tyger’, Songs of Experience 1794

“To see a world in a grain of sand,

And a heaven in a wild flower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand

And eternity in an hour.:

– William Blake 1757-1827. Auguries of Innocence 1803.

“The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.”

– Thomas Paine 1737-1809. The Age of Reason, 1794

“I carry my ideas a long time, rejecting and rewriting until I am satisfied. Since I am conscious of what I want, I never lose sight of the fundamental idea. It rises higher and higher until I see the image of it, rounded and complete, standing there before my mental vision”

– Beethoven. Sketchbooks, 1802.

“My heart leaps up when I behold

A rainbow in the sky”

– William Wordsworth 1770 – 1850. Lyrical Ballards, 1802


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