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List of Greek phrases  

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List of Greek phrases - tuotuofly - 墨·色
?ε? Λιβ?η φ?ρει τι κακ?ν / καιν?ν Similar to English "birds of a feather flock together." Plutarch elaborated on this phrase in his essay Π?? Πλ?των ?λεγε τ?ν θε?ν ?ε? γεωμετρε?ν "What is Plato’s meaning when he says that god always applies geometry". Based on the above phrase of Plato, a present day mnemonic for π (pi) was derived: ?ε? ? θε?? ? μ?γα? γεωμετρε? τ? σ?μπαν "Always the great God applies geometry to everything" π = 3.1415926...
"An eagle's old age (is worth) a sparrow's youth".
List of Greek phrases - tuotuofly - 墨·色
Motto of the (founded 1410), the Edinburgh Academy (founded 1824), and Boston College (founded 1863). The source is the sixth book of Homer's Iliad, (Iliad 6. 208) in a speech Glaucus delivers to Diomedes: "Hippolocus begat me. I claim to be his son, and he sent me to Troy with strict instructions: Ever to excel, to do better than others, and to bring glory to your forebears, who indeed were very great ... This is my ancestry; this is the blood I am proud to inherit." ?νδρ?ν γ?ρ ?πιφαν?ν π?σα γ? τ?φο? For illustrious men have the whole earth for their tomb. from Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 2.43.1 Latin: "The die has been cast"; Greek: "Let the die be cast." "Man [is] the measure [of all things]" "God from the machine" The phrase originates from the way god figures appeared in ancient Greek theaters, held high up by a machine, to solve a problem in the plot. "Stand a little out of my sun"


"kingdom of the heavens" "God's Kingdom" (Βασιλε?α το? Θεο?, 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.
List of Greek phrases - tuotuofly - 墨·色
From a ca 500 BC vase depicting writing with stylus and folding wax tablet
"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." "Food of the gods"


Translated from Hebrew ????? ???? (yehiy ?or) in Genesis. Often used for its metaphorical meaning of dispelling ignorance. γηρ?σκω δ? α?ε? πολλ? διδασκ?μενο?. "I grow old always learning many things. The Gordian Knot is a legend associated with . It is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem, solved by a bold stroke


"Horror and Fear" διπλο?ν ?ρ?σιν ο? μαθ?ντε? γρ?μματα. "Those who know the letters see double [as much as those who don't]." Attributed to Pythagoras. — Inscription in Edinburgh from 1954: ΔΙΠΛΟΥΝ ΟΡΩΣΙΝ ΟΙ ΜΑΘΟΝΤΕΣ ΓΡΑΜΜΑΤΑ. δ?? μοι π? στ? κα? τ?ν γ?ν κιν?σω "Give me somewhere to stand, and I will move the earth".


ε?? ο?ων?? ?ριστο?, ?μ?νεσθαι περ? π?τρη? 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 was twisting itself backwards till it struck the bird on the neck, forcing the eagle to let the snake fall. "Without things which [one can]not [be] without" Fighting in the forefront of the Hellenes, the Athenians at Marathon brought low the Medes' gilded power. ?πε? δ' ο?ν π?ντε? ?σοι τε περιπολο?σιν φανερ?? κα? ?σοι φα?νονται καθ' ?σον ?ν ?θ?λωσιν θεο? γ?νεσιν ?σχον, λ?γει πρ?? α?το?? ? τ?δε τ? π?ν γενν?σα? τ?δε 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 gennē?sas 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, Timaios, 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; having suddenly discovered what is today known as , i.e. 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 calculated 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!". "two-legged featherless animal" To criticize this definition, Diogenes the Cynic plucked a chicken and brought it into Plato's Academy saying: ο?τ?? ?στιν ? Πλ?τωνο? ?νθρωπο? "Here is Plato's man." In response, Plato added to his definition: "Having broad nails"


Maniot flag: Ν?κη ? Θ?νατο? - ? τ?ν ? ?π? τ?? "Victory or Death : Either With Your Shield or On It"
"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) "Nature does not make [sudden] jumps." "I came, I saw, I conquered".


θ?λασσα κα? π?ρ κα? γυν?, κακ? τρ?α "Sea and fire and woman, three evils." “The Sea! The Sea!“ 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 (Θ?χη?) in Armenia after participating in Cyrus the Younger's failed march against Persian Empire in the year 401 BC. θ?νατο? ο?δ?ν διαφ?ρει το? ζ?ν. "Death is no different than life." “Summer, harvest, war.“


"Physician, take care of yourself!" 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. was himself a physician. "The people's love [is] my strength.“

k, c

"And thou, my child?" or "Even you, my child?" On March 15, 44 BC, Julius Caesar was attacked by a group of senators, including , a senator and Caesar's adopted son. Caesar initially resisted his attackers, but when he saw Brutus, he supposedly spoke those words and resigned himself to his fate. It is almost certain that Caesar did not actually say these exact words. Ancient sources report that he either died wordlessly or spoke in Greek (Suetonius, De Vita Caesarum, LXXXII [4]). The Latin version was made famous by , who used it in his play, Julius Caesar (act 3, scene 1,85). I.e. like father, like son. "A bad man lives long" "For the prettiest one", "To the most beautiful" κ?τθανε, Διαγ?ρα, ο? κα? ?? ?λυμπον ?ναβ?σ? A Spartan spectator to Diagoras of Rhodes, a former Olympic champion himself, during the 79th Olympiad, when his two sons became Olympic champions and carried him around the stadium on their shoulders. "Cretans always lie" — One of the earliest logical paradoxes attributed to Epimenides of Knossos known as the Epimenides paradox. As Epimenides is a Cretan himself, it leads to the conclusion that the above statement is not true, hence the paradox.


"Live hidden" An Epicurean phrase, because of his belief that politics troubles men and doesn't allow them to reach inner peace. So Epicurus suggested that everybody should live "Hidden" far from cities, not even considering a political career. Cicero criticized this idea because, as a stoic, he had a completely different opinion of politics, but the sentiment is echoed by Ovid's statement bene qui latuit bene vixit ("he has lived well who has stayed well hidden", Tristia 3.4.25). Plutarch elaborated in his essay Is the Saying "Live in Obscurity" Right? (Ε? καλ?? ε?ρηται το λ?θε βι?σα?) 1128c. "I tell as I was told" or "I report reports" ?γ? δ? ?φε?λω λ?γειν τ? λεγ?μενα, πε?θεσθα? γε μ?ν ο? παντ?πασι ?φε?λω. And I must tell what I am told, since I don't have to be persuaded completely.


"Let it not be!" / "Heaven forbid!" "Moderation is best" On occasions where neither too much nor too little is a good choice, as when eating or celebrating. Cleobulus, according to Diogenes Laertius. "Do not disturb my circles." The last words attributed to Archimedes. During the raid of Syracuse by the Romans, Archimedes was busy drawing circles. He was eventually attacked and killed by a Roman soldier. "The least bad [choice] is the best." When there is no good option, one should pick the one that does the least harm. "Nothing in excess" "Apple of Discord" μηκ?τι ?δροπ?τει, αλλ' ο?ν? ?λ?γ? χρ? δι? τ?ν στ?μαχ?ν σου κα? τ?? πυκν?? σου ασθενε?α?. Stop drinking only water, but take a little wine for your stomach and your frequent illnesses. "Come take [them]!" King Leonidas of Sparta, in response to King Xerxes of Persia's demand that the Greek army lay down their arms before the . "Mystery of faith" Latinized as Mysterium Fidei is a Christian theological term. It means that believing has an unexplainable way of changing one's life. The phrase appears in the Roman Rite without indicating a specific mystery as the word mystery in that phrase has a more general meaning.


"Yes yes, no no;" “33 Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ 34 But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."
Painting of Pheidippides as he gave word of the Greek victory over Persia at the Battle of Marathon to the people of Athens.
Luc-Olivier Merson, 1869
"We have won." The traditional story relates that the Athenian herald Pheidippides ran the 40 km (25 mi) from the battlefield near the town of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory over Persia in the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) with the word 'We have won') and collapsed and died on the spot because of exhaustion. "Wash the sins not only the face" "Healthy mind in healthy body." A healthy body can sustain a healthy mind.


ξ?νο? ?ν ?κολο?θει το?? ?πιχωρ?οι? ν?μοι?. "As a foreigner, follow the laws of that country."


"Wine dark sea" "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. ο? με πε?σει?, κ?ν με πε?σ?? "You will not convince me even if you do convince me" "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. "My name is Nobody".


"ever seeking the truth" — Diogenes Laertius, Lives of eminent philosophers — a characteristic of Pyrrhonism. An abbreviated form, ζητε?ν τ?ν ?λ?θειαν (seek the truth), is a motto of the Geal family. παπα?, Μαρδ?νιε, κο?ου? ?π' ?νδρα? ?γαγε? μαχησομ?νου? ?μ?α?, ο? ο? περ? χρημ?των τ?ν ?γ?να ποιε?νται ?λλ? περ? ?ρετ??. "Good heavens! Mardonius, what kind of men have brought us to fight against? Men who do not compete for possessions, but for honour." Spontaneous response of Tigranes, a Persian general while Xerxes was interrogating some Arcadians after the . Xerxes asked why there were so few Greek men defending the Thermopylae. The answer was "All the other men are participating in the Olympic Games". And when asked "What is the prize for the winner?", "An olive-wreath" came the answer. — Herodotus, The Histories "(There is) learning in suffering/experience" π?μπε δ? μιν Λυκ?ηνδε, π?ρεν δ' ? γε σ?ματα λυγρ? γρ?ψα? ?ν π?νακι πτυκτ? θυμοφθ?ρα πολλ? The complete text of this fragment by Heraclitus is: π?λεμο? π?ντων μ?ν πατ?ρ ?στι, π?ντων δ? βασιλε??, κα? το?? μ?ν θεο?? ?δειξε το?? δ? ?νθρ?που?, το?? μ?ν δο?λου? ?πο?ησε το?? δ? ?λευθ?ρου? (War is the father of all and the king of all; and some he has made gods and some men, some bond and some free). "With fists, kicks, and bites"


"Rosy-fingered Dawn." This phrase occurs frequently in the Homeric poems referring to Eos, the Titanic goddess of the dawn. Eos opened the gates of heaven so that Helios could ride his chariot across the sky every day.



"Everything flows, nothing stands still." Attributed to Heraclitus — Plato, in his dialogue Cratylus, recounts Heraclitus' saying: τ? ?ντα ??ναι τε π?ντα κα? μ?νειν ο?δ?ν π?ντα χωρε? κα? ο?δ?ν μ?νει κα? δ?? ?? τ?ν α?τ?ν ποταμ?ν ο?κ ?ν ?μβα?η? "All things move and nothing remains still, and you cannot step twice into the same stream". τ?δ? ?στ? Πελοπ?ννησο?, ο?κ ?ων?α. τ?δ? ο?χ? Πελοπ?ννησο?, ?λλ? ?ων?α. τ?ν δ? μεγ?λην ?πειρον, ?φ' ?? ? μεγ?λη περι?χεται κ?κλ? θ?λαττα, τ?ν μ?ν ?λλων ?λαττον ?π?χει, τ?? δ' ?γυγ?α? περ? πεντακισχιλ?ου? σταδ?ου?. Tē?n dè megáalēn ē?peiron hyph' hês hē megálē periékhetai kýklō thálatta, tôn mèn állōn élatton apékhei, tês d' ?gygíās perì pentakiskhilíous stadíous. "The great continent, by which the great sea is surrounded on all sides, lies less distant from the others, but about five thousand stadia from Ogygia." Plutarch on the great continent west of the Atlantic Ocean (From: “On the Face in the Moon”, 941 B) τ? ?στιν ? μ?αν ?χον φων?ν τετρ?πουν κα? δ?πουν κα? τρ?πουν γ?νεται; "What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?." — The famous . Oedipus solved the riddle correctly by answering: “Man: as an infant, he crawls on fours; as an adult, he walks on two legs and; in old age, he uses a walking stick”. In allegorical terms it also describes the development of man: from a primitive state (four-footed animal), to self-sustained (two-footed) and finally to stable and mature (see also tripod). τ? ε?κολον; Τ? ?λλ? ?ποτ?θεσθαι. τ? καιν?ν ε?η τεθεαμ?νο?; Γ?ροντα τ?ραννον. τ? κοιν?τατον; ?λπ??. Κα? γ?ρ ο?? ?λλο μηδ?ν, α?τη παρ?στη. "What is quite common? Hope. When all is gone, there is still hope. Literally: "Because even to those who have nothing else, it is still nearby." — Thales τ? τ?χιστον; Νο??. Δι? παντ?? γ?ρ τρ?χει. "What is the fastest? The mind. It travels through everything." — Thales τ? πρ?τερον γεγ?νοι, ν?ξ ? ?μ?ρα; "ν?ξ, μι? ?μ?ρ? πρ?τερον. "Which is older, day or night? "Night is the older, by one day." — Thales τ? γ?ρ ?δ?, ??ν πολ?, ο? τ? γε ?δ?. "A sweet thing tasted too often is no longer sweet." τ? δ?? ?ξαμαρτε?ν ο?κ ?νδρ?? σοφο?. "To commit the same sin twice [is] not [a sign] of a wise man." "It's impossible to escape from what is destined."


"Only-begotten son" Unigenitus (named for its Latin opening words Unigenitus dei filius, or "Only-begotten son of God") is an apostolic constitution in the form of a papal bull promulgated by Pope Clement XI in 1713. "The latter one first" Rhetorical device in which the most important action is placed first, even though it happens after the other action. The standard example comes from the Aeneid of Virgil (2.353): Moriamur, et in media arma ruamus "Let us die, and charge into the thick of the fight".


Φοβο? το?? Δαναο?? κα? δ?ρα φ?ροντα? — Maquette Trojan Horse, used in Troy film, a gift from Brad Pitt to the Turkish town Canakkale.
φοβο? το?? Δαναο?? κα? δ?ρα φ?ροντα? King Priam decides to take the abandoned by the Danaans Trojan Horse into the walls of Troy. In an effort to stop him, Laocoön the priest of Poseidon warns of the plot using according to Virgil, the well known verses from the Aeneid reading . But two sea serpents sent by Athena strangle Laocoön and his sons. Thus, the Trojan Horse is brought into the city and Troy is sacked. "Phoenician letters" The Phoenician prince Cadmus was generally accredited by Greeks like Herodotus with the introduction of the several centuries before the Trojan war, around 2000 BC.


χα?ρε, α?τοκρ?τορ· ο? ?πολο?μενο? σε ?σπαζ?μεθα "Hail, Emperor; we who are about to perish salute you." "The good/beautiful things [are] difficult [to attain]." "Naught without labor."


List of Greek phrases - tuotuofly - 墨·色

ψυχ?? ?ατρε?ον

"Hospital of the soul" The , also known as the Great Library in Alexandria, Egypt, was once the largest library in the world. A story concerns how its collection grew so large: by decree of , all visitors to the city were required to surrender any form of written media in any language in their possession which were listed under the heading "books of the ships". These writings were then swiftly copied by official scribes. Sometimes the copies were so precise that the originals were put into the library and the copies were delivered to the unsuspecting previous owners. This process also helped to create a reservoir of books in the relatively new city. The phrase is used in reverse as ?ατρε?ον ψυχ?? as a motto for Carolina Rediviva, a university library in Uppsala, and is echoed in the motto of the , "ψυχ?? ?ατρ?? τ? γρ?μματα" ("literature is the soul's physician").


? ξε?ν’, ?γγ?λλειν Λακεδαιμον?οι? ?τι τ?δε / κε?μεθα το?? κε?νων ??μασι πειθ?μενοι. Ô xeîn’, angéllein Lakedaimoníois hóti têide "Stranger, tell the Spartans that here we lie, obedient to their laws." "A mountain had labour pains and a mouse was born" Horace wrote Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus; "the mountains will labour, a ridiculous mouse will be born." Horace here meant to poke fun at heroic labours producing meager results; his line is also an allusion to one of Aesop's fables, . The title to Shakespeare's play, , expresses a similar sentiment. "As if in another world"
^ (Symposiacs Problem VIII, 2 [1], (in Greek) Quaestiones Convivales (718b-)718c @PerseusProject [2] ,(in English) Quaestiones Convivales 8.2.1 @PerseusProject [3]. Note: All three references , Symposiacs Problem VIII-2, Quaestiones Convivales (718b-)718c and Quaestiones Convivales 8.2.1 point to the same work and passage) ^ δειμ??. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at Perseus Project ^ Diogenes Laertios, Lives of eminent philosophers Chapter 2.40 ^ Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers Θαλ?? ^ Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers Κλε?βουλο?. ^ Plutarch, Apophthegmata Laconica, 51.11 ^ Alex Preminger, Terry V.F. Brogan, and Frank J. Warnke, The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 3rd ed., Princeton University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-691-02123-6, p. 874. ^ Diogenes Laertius, Lives of eminent philosophers Chapter 9.11 ^ Σ?ματα λυγρ? γρ?ψα? ?ν π?νακι πτυκτ? Hom. Il. 6.156 ^ Plutarch, Parallel Lives , Theseus, Plut. Thes. 25 ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, Paus. 10.24 ^ Meaning, "do not completely accept something, especially an offer that is a trick or way of getting something from you. See also
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