Plato said that virtue has no master. If a person does not honor this principle and rejoice in it, but is purchasable for money, he creates many masters for himself.
O thou Sun, send me as far over the earth as is my pleasure and thine, and may I make the acquaintance of good men, but never hear anything of bad ones, nor they of me.
If any man has left us for fear of Nero, I shall not account him a coward; but I shall hail as a philosopher any man who has been superior to this fear, and I shall teach him all I know.
Just as an individual of pre-eminent worth transforms democracy into a monarchy of the best man, even so the rule of one man, if in all things it has an eye to the common welfare, is democracy.
In my travels, which have been wider than ever man yet accomplished, I have seen many, many wild beasts of Arabia and India; but this beast, that is commonly called a Tyrant, I know not how many heads it has, nor if it be crooked of claw, and armed with horrible fangs.
A man must fortify himself and understand that a wise man who yields to laziness or anger or passion or love of drink, or who commits any other action prompted by impulse and inopportune, will probably find his fault condoned; but if he stoops to greed, he will not be pardoned, but render himself odious as a combination of all vices at once.
I delight to lodge in such temples as are not regularly kept closed. None of the gods reject me; they make me partner of their roof.
When I review Xerxes’ achievements, I praise him, not for having yoked the Hellespont, but for having crossed it. But I can see that Nero will neither sail through the Isthmus nor complete his digging.
I asked certain rich men if they felt embittered. ‘How could we not?’ they said. So I asked them what caused this anguish. They blamed their wealth.
Multicolored stones and paintings, walkways, and theaters are useless in a city unless it also contains wisdom and law. Such things are the subject of wisdom and law, not equivalent to them.