- βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν
- Basileía tôn ouranôn
- "kingdom of the heavens"
- "Heaven" is a foundational theological concept in Christianity and Judaism.
- "God's Kingdom" (Βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, Basileia tou Theou), or the "Kingdom of [the] Heaven[s]" was the main point of Jesus Christ's preaching on earth. The phrase occurs more than a hundred times in the New Testament.
From a ca 500 BC vase depicting writing with stylus and folding wax tablet
- Βελλεροφόντης τὰ γράμματα
- Bellerophóntēs tà grámmata
- "Bellerophontic letter"
- King Proetus dared not to kill a guest, so he sent Bellerophon to King Iobates, his father-in-law, bearing a sealed message in a folded tablet: "Pray remove the bearer from this world: he attempted to violate my wife, your daughter."
- βρῶμα θεῶν
- Brôma theôn
- "Food of the gods"
- Allegedly said by Nero of the poisoned mushrooms with which his mother Agrippina the Younger murdered Claudius.
- Δεῖμος καὶ Φόβος
- Deîmos kaì Phóbos
- "Horror and Fear"
- Deimos and Phobos, the moons of Mars, are named after the sons of the Greek god Ares (Roman Mars): Deimos "horror" and Phobos "fear".
- δέσποτα, μέμνεο τῶν Ἀθηναίων
- Déspota, mémneo tôn Athēnaíōn.
- "Master, remember the Athenians."
- When Darius was informed that Sardis had been captured and burnt by the Athenians he was furious. He placed an arrow on his bow and shot it into the sky, praying to the deities to grant him vengeance on the Athenians. He then ordered one of his servants to say three times a day the above phrase in order to remind him that he should punish the Athenians.
- διαίρει καὶ βασίλευε
- Diaírei kaì basíleue.
- "Divide and rule."
ΔΙΠΛΟΥΝ ΟΡΩΣΙΝ ΟΙ ΜΑΘΟΝΤΕΣ ΓΡΑΜΜΑΤΑ
- διπλοῦν ὁρῶσιν οἱ μαθόντες γράμματα
- Diploûn horôsin hoi mathóntes grámmata.
- "Those who know the letters see double [twice as much as those who don't]."
- Attributed to Pythagoras. — Inscription in Edinburgh from 1954: Διπλοῦν ὁρῶσιν οἱ μαθόντες γράμματα.
- δῶς μοι πᾶ στῶ καὶ τὰν γᾶν κινάσω
- Dôs moi pâ stô, kaì tàn gân kīnā́sō.
- "Give me somewhere to stand, and I will move the earth".
- Archimedes as quoted by Pappus of Alexandria, Synagoge, Book VIII.
Eagle carrying a snake in its talons
- Ἐὰν ᾖς φιλομαθής, ἔσει πολυμαθής
- Ean ēis philomathēs, esei polymathēs
- "If you are fond of learning, you will soon be full of learning"
- Isocrates, To Demonicus 18
- εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος, ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ πάτρης
- Heîs oiōnòs áristos, amýnesthai perì pátrēs
- "There is only one omen, to fight for one's country"
- The Trojan prince Hector to his friend and lieutenant Polydamas when the latter was superstitious about a bird omen. The omen was an eagle that flew with a snake in its talons, still alive and struggling to escape. The snake twisted backward until it struck the bird on the neck, forcing the eagle to let the snake fall.
- ἐκ τῶν ὧν οὐκ ἄνευ
- Ek tôn hôn ouk áneu
- Sine qua non
- "Without things which [one can]not [be] without"
- Ἑλλήνων προμαχοῦντες Ἀθηναῖοι Μαραθῶνι χρυσοφόρων Μήδων ἐστόρεσαν δύναμιν
- Hellḗnōn promachoûntes Athēnaîoi Marathôni chrysophórōn Mḗdōn estóresan dýnamin
- Fighting in the forefront of the Hellenes, the Athenians at Marathon brought low the Medes' gilded power.
- Epigram by Simonides on the tomb of the Athenians who died in the Battle of Marathon.
- ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα
- Hèn oîda hóti oudèn oîda
- "I know one thing, that I know nothing"
- Socrates, paraphrased from Plato's Apology.
- ἔνθεν μὲν Σκύλλη, ἑτέρωθι δὲ δῖα Χάρυβδις
- Enthen mén Skýllē, hetérōthi de dîa Charubdis
- "On one side lay Scylla and on the other divine Charybdis"
- Odysseus was forced to choose between Scylla and Charybdis, two mythical sea monsters, an expression commonly known as Between Scylla and Charybdis.
- ἐπεὶ δ' οὖν πάντες ὅσοι τε περιπολοῦσιν φανερῶς καὶ ὅσοι φαίνονται καθ' ὅσον ἂν ἐθέλωσιν θεοὶ γένεσιν ἔσχον, λέγει πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὁ τόδε τὸ πᾶν γεννήσας τάδε
- Epeì d' oûn pántes hósoi te peripoloûsin phanerôs kaì hósoi phaínontai kath' hóson àn ethélōsin theoì génesin éskhon, légei pròs autoùs ho tóde tò pân gennḗsas táde
- "When all of them, those gods who appear in their revolutions, as well as those other gods who appear at will had come into being, the creator of the universe addressed them the following" — Plato, Timaeus, 41a, on gods and the creator of the universe.
- "I have found [it]!"
- While Archimedes was taking a bath, he noticed that the level of the water rose as he got in, and he realized that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged. This meant that the volume of irregular objects could be measured with precision, a previously intractable problem. He was so excited that he ran through the streets naked and still wet from his bath, crying "I have found it!".
flag: Νίκη ἢ Θάνατος
— ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς
"Victory or Death : Either With Your Shield or On It"
- ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς
- Ḕ tā̀n ḕ epì tâs
- "Either [with] it [your shield], or on it"
- Meaning "either you will win the battle, or you will die and then be carried back home on your shield".
- It was said by Spartan mothers to their sons before they went out to battle to remind them of their bravery and duty to Sparta and Greece.
A hoplite could not escape the field of battle unless he tossed away the heavy and cumbersome shield. Therefore, "losing one's shield" meant desertion. (Plutarch, Moralia, 241)
- ἡ φύσις οὐδὲν ποιεῖ ἅλματα.
- Hē phýsis oudèn poieî hálmata.
- Natura non facit saltus.
- "Nature does not make [sudden] jumps."
- A principle of natural philosophies since Aristotle's time, the exact phrase coming from Carl von Linné.
- ἦλθον, εἶδον, ἐνίκησα.
- Êlthon, eîdon, eníkēsa.
- Veni, vidi, vici.
- "I came, I saw, I conquered."
- With these words, Julius Caesar described his victory against Pharnaces, according to Plutarch.
- θάλασσα καὶ πῦρ καὶ γυνή, κακὰ τρία
- Thálassa kaì pŷr kaì gynḗ, kakà tría.
- "Sea and fire and woman, three evils."
Θάλαττα, θάλαττα — “The Sea! The Sea!“ — painting by Granville Baker; from a 1901 issue of LIFE magazine
- θάλαττα, θάλαττα.
- Thálatta, thálatta.
- “The Sea! The Sea!“
- Thalatta! Thalatta! from Xenophon's Anabasis. It was the shouting of joy when the roaming 10,000 Greeks saw Euxeinos Pontos (the Black Sea) from Mount Theches (Θήχης) in Armenia after participating in Cyrus the Younger's failed march against Persian Empire in the year 401 BC.
- θάνατος οὐδὲν διαφέρει τοῦ ζῆν.
- Thánatos oudèn diaphérei tou zên.
- "Death is no different than life."
- Thales' philosophical view to the eternal philosophical question about life and death.
- ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν.
- Iatré, therápeuson seautón.
- "Physician, take care of yourself!"
- "Medice cura te ipsum."
- An injunction urging physicians to care for and heal themselves first before dealing with patients. It was made famous in the Latin translation of the Bible, the Vulgate. The proverb was quoted by Jesus, recorded in the Gospel of Luke chapter 4:23. Luke the Evangelist was a physician.
ΙΧΘΥΣ: Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς Σωτήρ
- Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς Σωτήρ
- Iēsoûs Khristòs Theoû Hyiòs Sōtḗr
- "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour." As an acronym: ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthys) — "fish".
- ἰσχύς μου ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ λαοῦ.
- Iskhýs mou hē agápē toû laoû.
- "The people's love [is] my strength.“
- Motto of the Royal House of Glücksburg.
- ἰχθὺς ἐκ τῆς κεφαλῆς ὄζειν ἄρχεται.
- Ikhthỳs ek tês kephalês ózein árkhetai.
- "A fish starts to stink from the head."
- Greek equivalent of the English phrase "A fish rots from the head down"; attested in fifteenth century CE Paroemiae of Michael Apostolius Paroemiographus.
οἶνοψ πόντος — wine dark sea
- οἶνοψ πόντος
- Oînops póntos
- "Wine dark sea"
- A common Homeric epithet of the sea, on which many articles have been written. (Further: Sea in culture)
- ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι (ΟΕΔ)
- Hóper édei deîxai. (abbreviated as OED)
- "Quod erat demonstrandum"
- "what was required to be proved"
- Used by early mathematicians including Euclid (Elements, 1.4), Aristotle (APo.90b34), and Archimedes, written at the end of a mathematical proof or philosophical argument, to signify the proof as complete. Later it was latinized as "QED" or the Halmos tombstone box symbol.
- ὁ σῴζων ἑαυτὸν σωθήτω
- Ho sôizōn heautòn sōthētō.
- "he who saves himself may be saved"
- Used in cases of destruction or calamity, such as an unorderly evacuation. Each one is responsible for himself and is not to wait for any help.
- οὐ φροντὶς Ἱπποκλείδῃ
- Ou phrontìs Hippokleídēi.
- "Hippocleides doesn't care."
- From a story in Herodotus (6.129), in which Hippocleides loses the chance to marry Cleisthenes' daughter after getting drunk and dancing on his head. Herodotus says the phrase was a common expression in his own day.
. 5th-1st century BC. All of these pseudo-coins have no sign of attachment, are too thin for normal use, and are often found in burial sites.
- οὐκ ἂν λάβοις παρὰ τοῦ μὴ ἔχοντος
- Ouk àn labois parà toû mē ekhontos.
- "You can’t get blood out of a stone." (Literally, "You can't take from one who doesn't have.")
- Menippus to Charon when the latter asked Menippus to give him an obol to convey him across the river to the underworld.
- Οὖτις ἐμοί γ' ὄνομα
- Oûtis emoí g' ónoma.
- "My name is Nobody".
- Odysseus to Polyphemus when asked what his name was. (Homer, Odyssey, ix, 366).
The Ancient Library of Alexandria
- Psykhês iatreîon.
- "Hospital of the soul"
- The Library of Alexandria, also known as the Great Library in Alexandria, Egypt, was once the largest library in the world.
- The phrase is used in reverse as ἰατρεῖον ψυχῆς as a motto for Carolina Rediviva, a university library in Uppsala, and is echoed in the motto of the American Philological Association, "ψυχῆς ἰατρὸς τὰ γράμματα" ("literature is the soul's physician").
Epitaph at the Thermopylae
- Ὦ ξεῖν’, ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε / κείμεθα τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
- Ô xeîn’, angéllein Lakedaimoníois hóti têide / keímetha toîs keínōn rhḗmasi peithómenoi.
- "Stranger, tell the Spartans that here we lie, obedient to their laws."
- Epitaph, a single elegiac couplet by Simonides on the dead of Thermopylae.
- Translated by Cicero in his Tusculan Disputations (1.42.101) as «Dic, hospes, Spartae nos te hic vidisse iacentis / dum sanctis patriae legibus obsequimur» (often quoted with the form iacentes).