“Always be the Best, my boy, the bravest,
and hold your head high above the others.”
–Homer II VI 247, Glaucus tells Diomedes his father’s words of advice.
These words inspired Cicero and, were said, to have motivated Alexander the Great. An ancient lofty quote such as this would have probably been tattooed on calves, penciled on to school notebooks, or stickered on the bumper of a car if it were to remain as popular today. #BringBackGlaucus
Fact Check it, yo!
 Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician, Anthony Everitt.
 Harries, Byron. “’Strange Meeting’: Diomedes and Glaucus in ‘Iliad’ 6.” Greece & Rome, vol. 40, no. 2, 1993, pp. 133–146. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/643154.
That man is best who sees the truth himself;
Good too is he who listens to wise counsel.
But who is neither wise himself nor willing
To ponder wisdom is not worth a straw.
-Hesiod, Works & Days c. 700 BC 
Fact Check it, Yo!
 Hesiod, ‘Works & Days‘, 700 BC. Whittingham, C., Woodfall, G., Davison, T., Baldwin, R., Payne, T., & Robinson, G. (1810). English translations, from ancient and modern poems,. London
Free speech, exercised both individually and through a free press, is a necessity in any country where the people are themselves free. Our Govern-ment is the servan[t] of the people…The President is merely the most im-portant among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in render-ing loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Na-tion as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else. [1
– Teddy Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States of America, Sedition, A Free Press, and a Personal Rule, May 7, 1918.
Fact Check it, yo!
I am writing “My Life” to laugh at myself, and I am succeeding. I write thirteen hours a day, and they pass like thirteen minutes. What pleasure in remembering one’s pleasures! But what effort to recall them to mind! It amuses me because I am inventing nothing. What chagrins me most is that I am forced, at this point, to mask the names, since I cannot expose the affairs of others.
– Giacomo Casanova, The Story of My Life on why he’s cool enough to ruin even the chastity of nuns.
On Christmas Eve of 820, the Emperor Leo V condemned the pretender Michael II to death by the rather bizarre method of having him tied to an ape and thrown into the furnaces that heated the imperial baths. Before the execution could take place, Michael’s supporters dressed up as monks and crept into the imperial palace to attack the emperor. Leo reportedly defended himself for more than an hour armed with nothing but a heavy metal cross that he swung around wildly before succumbing to the blades of his assailants. In what was surely the most undignified coronation in Byzantine history, Michael II was hastily brought up from the dungeons and crowned with the chains of his captivity still around his legs.
Found in Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization written by Lars Brownworth.
Nevertheless, let us take this business seriously and spare no pains; success is never automatic in this world–nothing is achieved without trying.
-Said by Mardonius, a Persian military commander, at a conference to Xerxes, urging the King of Persia to war with Greece. c. 5th century BC.
SPOILER ALERT: They lose.
by Hero “The Father of History” dotus.
Posted in Classical Antiquity, Primary Sources
- Tagged classical, Greece, Herodotus, history, military, Persia, Quotes, success, war, wisdom, Xerxes