Democritus Quotes

Democritus Quotes


Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is an opinion.


If your desires are not great, a little will seem much to you; for small appetite makes poverty equivalent to wealth.


I am the most traveled of all my contemporaries; I have extended my field of inquiry wider than anybody else, I have seen more countries and climes, and have heard more speeches of learned men. No one has surpassed me in the composition of lines, according to the demonstration, not even the Egyptian knotters of ropes, or geometers.


By convention sweet is sweet, by convention bitter is bitter, by convention hot is hot, by convention cold is cold, by convention color is color. But in reality, there are atoms and the void. That is, the objects of sense are supposed to be real and it is customary to regard them as such, but in truth, they are not. Only the atoms and the void are real.


Men achieve cheerfulness by moderation in pleasure and by the proportion in their life excess and deficiency are apt to fluctuate and cause great changes in the soul. And souls which change over great intervals are neither stable nor cheerful. So one should set one’s mind on what is possible and be content with what one has taken little account of those who are admired and envied and not dwelling on them in thought but one should consider the lives of those who are in distress thinking of their grievous sufferings so that what one has and possesses will seem great and enviable and one will cease to suffer in one’s soul through the desire for more.


The wise man belongs to all countries, for the home of a great soul is the whole world.

One man means as much to me as a multitude, and a multitude only as much as one man.

Everywhere man blames nature and fate yet his fate is mostly but the echo of his character and passion, his mistakes and his weaknesses.


In verità nulla sappiamo, ché la verità è nell’abisso.


This hard to fight with anger but the prudent man keeps it under control.

[I would] rather discover one cause than gain the kingdom of Persia. 

The brave man is not only he who overcomes the enemy, but he who is stronger than pleasures. Some men are masters of cities, but are enslaved to women.


If thou sustain injustice, console thyself; the true unhappiness is in doing it


Accept nothing pleasant unless it is beneficial.


To a wise man, the whole earth is open; for the native land of a good soul is the whole earth.


Virtue isn’t not wronging others but not wishing to wrong others.


It is greed to do all the talking but not to want to listen at all.


Medicine heals diseases of the body, wisdom frees the soul from passions.


Fortune provides a man’s table with luxuries, virtue with only a frugal meal.


Sexual intercourse is a slight attack of apoplexy.


The man enslaved to wealth can never be honest.


Man is a universe in little [Microcosm].


People sometimes rationalize their greed by saying that it is all for the good of their children but this is nothing but an excuse they use to make their despicable actions appear respectable and praiseworthy.


By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich.


The whole Earth is at the hand of the wise man since the fatherland of an elevated soul is the Universe.


Soul and intellect are just the same things.


Many much-learned men have no intelligence.


The wise man belongs to all countries, for the home of a great soul is the whole world


The brave man is he who overcomes not only his enemies but his pleasures


We know nothing in reality; for truth lies in an abyss.


The wise man’s home is the universe.


Sweet exists by convention, bitter by convention, color by convention; but in reality atoms and the void alone exist


We think there is color, we think there is sweet, we think there is bitter, but in reality there are atoms and a void.


We know nothing accurately in reality, but [only] as it changes according to the bodily condition, and the constitution of those things that flow upon [the body] and impinge upon it.


Moderation multiplies pleasures and increases pleasure.


Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains.


Our sins are more easily remembered than our good deeds.


Leave a Reply