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Old Sayings | Old Quotes

Please enjoy our collection of old sayings from Ancient Greece to Colonial America.

Old Greek Sayings

Know thyself, and thou shalt know the Universe and God.
- Pythagoras

Happiness depends upon ourselves.
- Aristotle

All religions must be tolerated... for every man must get to heaven in his own way.
- Epictetus

No man is free who is not master of himself.
- Epictetus

There is nothing good or evil save in the will.
- Epictetus

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.
- Epictetus

We can't control the impressions others form about us, and the effort to do so only debases our character.
- Epictetus

We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how to respond to them.
- Epictetus

It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows.
- Epictetus

As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.
- Socrates

If God listened to the prayers of men, all men would quickly have perished: for they are forever praying for evil against one another.
- Epicurus

If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.
- Epicurus

It is not so much our friends' help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.
- Epicurus

Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempest.
- Epicurus

Old Chinese Sayings

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
- Confucius

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
- Confucius

Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
- Confucius

The words of truth are always paradoxical.
- Lao Tzu

He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.
- Lao Tzu

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
- Lao Tzu

Sayings from Ancient India

What we think, we become. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
- The Buddha

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
- The Buddha

Hate is never conquered by hate, Hate is only conquered by love.
- The Buddha

The mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it.
- Bhagavad Gita

A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.
- Bhagavad Gita

Creation is only the projection into form of that which already exists.
- Bhagavad Gita

Medieval Sayings

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
- Maimonides

You must accept the truth from whatever source it comes.
- Maimonides

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.
- Rumi

Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love.
- St. Francis of Assisi

Never was anything great achieved without danger.
- Niccolo Machiavelli

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
- Leonardo da Vinci

Follow your own star!
- Dante Alighieri

Old English Sayings

This above all, to thine own self be true.
- William Shakespeare

What's done is done.
- William Shakespeare

Comparisons are odious.
- Old English Saying

To err is human, to forgive divine.
- Alexander Pope

American Sayings

Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.
- George Washington

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
- Thomas Jefferson

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
- Thomas Jefferson

Well done is better than well said.
- Benjamin Franklin

Life's Tragedy is that we get old to soon and wise too late.
- Benjamin Franklin

Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.
- Alexander Hamilton

Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.
- John Adams

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