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22 Feb, 36 tweets, 5 min read
Thread:
Thucydides Quotes
Introduction: Thucydides was an Athenian historian and general. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC.
To learn Thucydides is to learn war, politics and strategy and life
1. "Most people, in fact, will not take the trouble in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear"
2. "Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must"
3. "You should punish in the same manner those who commit crimes with those who accuse falsely"
4. "When one is deprived of ones liberty, one is right in blaming not so much the man who puts the shackles on as the one who had the power to prevent him, but did not use it"
5. "In practice we always base our preparations against an enemy on the assumption that his plans are good; to rest our hopes not on a belief in his blunders, but on the soundness of our provisions."
6. "War is a matter not so much of arms as of money"
7. "Men who are capable of real action first make their plans and then go forward without hesitation while their enemies have still not made up their minds"
8. "They whose minds are least sensitive to calamity, and whose hands are most quick to meet it, are the greatest men and the greatest communities."
9. "Mankind are tolerant of the praises of others as long as each hearer thinks that he can do as well or nearly as well himself, but, when the speaker rises above him, jealousy is aroused and he begins to be incredulous"
10. "A man who has the knowledge but lacks the power clearly to express it is no better off than if he never had any ideas at all"
11. "It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs. They expect too much of ordinary men'
12. "Think of it now, before you are comitted to war. The longer a war lasts, the more things tend to depend on accidents. We have to abide their outcome in the dark and we do things the wrong way round. Action comes first, and only when they have suffered they begin to think"
13. "Three of the greatest failings, want of sense, of courage, or of vigilance"
14. "Wars spring from unseen and generally insignificant causes, the first outbreak being often but an explosion of anger"
15. War is evil; but to submit to the dictation of other states is worse.
Freedom, if we hold fast to it, will restore our losses. Submission means permanent loss of all we value.
To you who call yourselves men of peace: You are not safe unless you have men of action on your side
16. "It is a general rule of human nature that people despise those who treat them well, and look up to those who make no concessions"
17. "Hope is an expensive commodity. It makes better sense to be prepared"
18. "Athens' biggest worry was the sheer recklessness of its own democratic government. A simple majority of the citizenry, urged on and incensed by clever demagogues, might capriciously send out military forces in unnecessary and exhausting adventures"
19. "When will there be justice in Athens? There will be justice in Athens when those who are not injured are as outraged as those who are"
20. "I am not blaming those who are resolved to rule, only those who show an even greater readiness to submit"
21. "It is from the greatest dangers that the greatest glory is to be won"
22. "When a man finds a conclusion agreeable, he accepts it without argument, but when he finds it disagreeable, he will bring against it all the forces of logic and reason."
23. "For so remarkably perverse is the nature of man that he despises whoever courts him, and admires whoever will not bend before him"
24. A private prosperous man is impacted by destruction of his country; but if he be an unprosperous citizen of a prosperous city, he is more likely to recover. Seeing then that States bear misfortunes of individuals, but individuals not that of States, let's stand by our country
25. "Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous"
26. "In a democracy, someone who fails to get elected to office can always console himself with the thought that there was something not quite fair about it"
27. "Mankind apparently finds it easier to drive away adversity than to retain prosperity"
28. "And where the rewards for merit are greatest, there are found the best citizens"
29. "I think the two things most opposed to good counsel are haste and passion; haste usaully goes hand in hand with folly, passion with coarseness and narrowness of mind"
30. "We secure our friends not by accepting favours but by doing them"
31. "For they had learned that true safety was to be found in long previous training, and not in eloquent exhortations uttered when they were going into action"
32. "Few things are brought to a successful issue by impetuous desire, but most by calm and prudent forethought"
33. "Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of war"
34. What are your favorite Thucydides quotes that are not included in this thread?
35. @threadreaderapp unroll please.

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