Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Geoffrey Chaucer


Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1342-1400)

"For every man will perish, king and page,
Some in their beds and some in the deep sea,
And some upon the battle-field, maybe.
There is no help for it, all take the track,
For all must die and there is none comes back"
  • The Canterbury Tales (The Knight's Tale) by Geoffrey Chaucer, translated to modern English by Nevill Coghill (Penguin Classics, 2003).



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Monday, July 15, 2019

Thucydides (speaking as Alcibiades)


Thucydides (c. 460-400 BCE)

"Democracy is the name given to any force that opposes absolute power."
  • From a speech attributed to Alcibiades (c. 450-404 BCE) in the History of the Peloponnesian War (Book VI, section 89) by Thucydides, translated by Rex Warner (Penguin Classics, 1972). 



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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Mencius


Mencius (4th century BCE)

"You can never gain the Empire without the heartfelt admiration of the people in it."
  • From The Mencius (Book IV, Part B, section 16) by Mencius, translated by D. C. Lau (Penguin Classics, 2003).



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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Hernán Cortés


Hernán Cortés (c. 1485-1547)

"Comrades, since we are few, we must always be as ready and as much on the alert as if we already saw our enemy coming to attack us."
  • Quote attributed to Hernán Cortés in The Conquest of New Spain (chapter 62) by Bernal Díaz del Castillo (c. 1492-1580), translated by J. M. Cohen (Penguin Classics, 1963).



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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Buddha


The Buddha (c. 6th-5th century BCE)

"Sorrow springs from attachment.
Fear springs from attachment.
For the person freed from attachment
there is no sorrow. From where could fear emmerge?"
  • The Dhammapada (Verses on the Way, Chapter 16), recorded in the 3rd century BCE. Translation by Glenn Wallis, 2004.




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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Christine de Pizan


Christine de Pizan

"Don't you know it's the very finest things which are the subject of the most intense discussion?"
  • The Book of the City of Ladies (Part I, chapter 2) by Christine de Pizan, translated by Rosalind Brown-Grant (Penguin Classics, 1999).


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Monday, July 8, 2019

Murasaki Shikibu


Murasaki Shikibu (10th-11th century)

"The heart decides what is to become of us. The great-hearted have great good fortune, and likewise the pusillanimous. Those who rise high have little peace, the reckless do not last, and those whose hearts are meek and mild are most likely to endure."
  •  From Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji (chapter 35), translated by Royall Tyler (Penguin Classics, 2003).


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