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Ηράκλειτος, 544-484 BC ,  Ancient Greek philosopher
HeraclitusA pre-Socratic Greek philosopher and a native of the city of Ephesus remembered for his cosmology, in which fire forms the basic material principle of an orderly universe. He was famous for his insistence on ever-present change as being the fundamental essence of the universe.
Little is known about his life, and the one book he apparently wrote is lost. His views survive in the short fragments quoted and attributed to him by later authors.
At some time in antiquity he acquired this epithet The “Obscure” (or “Dark”) philosopher denoting that his major sayings were difficult to understand.

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Character is destiny.

No man can step twice into the same river.

War is the father and king of all: some he has made gods, and some men; some slaves and some free.

Ancient Greek

Much learning does not teach the mind.

Πολυμαθίη νόον ου διδάσκει.

The road up and the road down is the same.

Οδός άνω και κάτω μία.

This world, which is the same for all, has not been made by any god or man, but it always has been, is, and will be an ever-living fire.

Κόσμον τονδε, τον αυτόν απάντων, ούτε τις θεών ούτε ανθρώπων εποίησεν, αλλ' ην αεί και έστιν και έστε πύρ αείζωον.

Good and evil are the same thing.

Αγαθόν και κακόν ταυτόν.

The souls in the underworld smell.

Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

It is harder to fight against pleasure than against anger.

Χαλεπώτερον ηδονῇ μάχεσθαι ή θυμῷ.

Everything flows, nothing stands still.

Τα πάντα ρει και ουδέν μένει.

Character is destiny.

Ήθος ανθρώπω δαίμων.

The opinions of men are toys for boys.

Τα ανθρώπων δοξάσματα παίδων αθύρματα.

War is the father and king of all: some he has made gods, and some men; some slaves and some free.

Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς. Και τους μεν θεούς έδειξε, τους δε ανθρώπους, τους μεν δούλους εποίησε, τους δε ελευθέρους.

He who does not hope for the unexpected, will not find it.

Εάν μη έλπηται ανέλπιστον, ουκ εξευρήσει.

I searched for myself.

Εδιζησάμην εμεωυτόν.

Time is a child playing checkers; the kingdom belongs to a child.

Χρόνος παις εστι παίζων πεττεύων. Παιδός η βασιλεία.

No man can step twice into the same river.

Ποταμώ ουκ έστιν εμβήναι δις τω αυτώ.

Nature is wont to hide herself.

Φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεί.

It is better to conceal ignorance than to expose it.

Κρύπτειν αμαθίην κρέσσον, ή ες το μέσον φέρειν.

The sun, as Heraclitus says, is new every day.

Ο ήλιος, καθάπερ ο Ηράκλειτος φησι, νέος εφ’ ημέρη εστίν.

Corpses are more useless than dung.

Νέκυες κοπρίων εκβλητότεροι.


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou