So long as he was personally present, [Alcibiades] had the perfect mastery of his political adversaries; calumny only succeeded in his absence.
He who least likes courting favour, ought also least to think of resenting neglect; to feel wounded at being refused a distinction can only arise from an overweening appetite to have it.
The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.
The abuse of buying and selling votes crept in and money began to play an important part in determining elections.
You speak truth, said Themistocles; I should never have been famous if I had been of Seriphus; 4 nor you, had you been of Athens.
I would rather excel in the knowledge of what is excellent, than in the extent of my power and possessions.
To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.
Thus they let their anger and fury take from them the sense of humanity, and demonstrated that no beast is more savage than man when possessed with power answerable to his rage.
Laughing at his own son, who got his mother, and by his mother's means his father also, to indulge him, he told him that he had the most power of any one in Greece: For the Athenians command the rest of Greece, I command the Athenians, your mother commands me, and you command your mother.
Pompey had fought brilliantly and in the end routed Caesar's whole force... but either he was unable to or else he feared to push on. Caesar to his friends: 'Today the enemy would have won, if they had had a commander who was a winner.
A remorseful change of mind renders even a noble action base, whereas the determination which is grounded on knowledge and reason cannot change even if its actions fail.
Themistocles said to Antiphales, Time, young man, has taught us both a lesson.
Antiphanes said merrily that in a certain city the cold was so intense that words were congealed as soon as spoken, but that after some time they thawed and became audible; so that the words spoken in winter articulated next summer.
Good fortune will elevate even petty minds, and give them the appearance of a certain greatness and stateliness, as from their high place they look down upon the world; but the truly noble and resolved spirit raises itself, and becomes more conspicuous in times of disaster and ill fortune.
These are the materials for reflection which history affords to those who choose to make use of them.
It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risk everything.
Themistocles said that a man's discourse was like to a rich Persian carpet, the beautiful figures and patterns of which can be shown only by spreading and extending it out; when it is contracted and folded up, they are obscured and lost.
It is not reasonable that he who does not shoot should hit the mark, nor that he who does not stand fast at his post should win the day, or that the helpless man should succeed or the coward prosper.
It is a true proverb, that if you live with a lame man, you will learn a limp.
Moral habits, induced by public practices, are far quicker in making their way into men's private lives, than the failings and faults of individuals are in infecting the city at large.
Abstain from beans; that is, keep out of public offices, for anciently the choice of the officers of state was made by beans.
The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education.
Democritus said, words are but the shadows of actions.
For to err in opinion, though it be not the part of wise men, is at least human.
To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our days.