65 Herodotus Quotes On Success In Life

Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire. He is known for having written the book The Histories a detailed record of his “inquiry” on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars. These Herodotus quotes will motivate you.

Best Herodotus Quotes

  1. “The secret of success is that it is not the absence of failure, but the absence of envy.” ~ Herodotus
  2. “Men trust their ears less than their eyes.” ~ Herodotus
  3. “If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.” ~ Herodotus
  4. “Adversity has the effect of drawing out strength and qualities of a man that would have laid dormant in its absence.” ~ Herodotus
  5. “But this I know: if all mankind were to take their troubles to market with the idea of exchanging them, anyone seeing what his neighbor’s troubles were like would be glad to go home with his own.” ~ Herodotus
  6. “The most hateful grief of all human griefs is to have knowledge of a truth, but no power over the event.” ~ Herodotus
  7. “Of all possessions a friend is the most precious.” ~ Herodotus

  8. “Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use.” ~ Herodotus
  9. “Haste in every business brings failures.” ~ Herodotus
  10. “In peace sons bury fathers, but war violates the order of nature, and fathers bury sons.” ~ Herodotus
  11. “Great things are won by great dangers.” ~ Herodotus
  12. “All of life is action and passion, and not to be involved in the actions and passions of your time is to risk having not really lived at all.” ~ Herodotus
  13. “Circumstances rule men; men do not rule circumstances.” ~ Herodotus
  14. “The most hateful human misfortune is for a wise man to have no influence.” ~ Herodotus

  15. “Those who are skilled in archery bend their bow only when they are preparing to use it; when they do not require it, they allow it to remain unbent, for otherwise, it would remain unserviceable when the time for using it arrived. So it is with man. If he were to devote himself unceasingly to a dull round of business, without breaking the monotony by cheerful amusements, he would fall imperceptibly into idiocy, or be struck by paralysis” ~ Herodotus
  16. “If one is sufficiently lavish with time, everything possible happens.” ~ Herodotus
  17. “Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all. The conscientious historian will correct these defects.” ~ Herodotus
  18. “It is better to be envied than pitied.” ~ Herodotus

  19. “Far better it is to have a stout heart always and suffer one’s share of evils than to be ever fearing what may happen.” ~ Herodotus
  20. “A real friend … exults in his friend’s happiness, rejoices in all his joys, and is ready to afford him the best advice.” ~ Herodotus
  21. “He is the best man who, when making his plans, fears and reflects on everything that can happen to him, but in the moment of action is bold.” ~ Herodotus
  22. “Call no man happy before he dies.” ~ Herodotus

  23. “If you have two loaves of bread, keep one to nourish the body, but sell the other to buy hyacinths for the soul.” ~ Herodotus
  24. “The Scythians take kannabis seed, creep in under the felts, and throw it on the red-hot stones. It smolders and sends up such billows of steam-smoke that no Greek vapor bath can surpass it. The Scythians howl with joy in these vapor-baths, which serve them instead of bathing, for they never wash their bodies with water.” ~ Herodotus
  25. “We are less convinced by what we hear than by what we see.” ~ Herodotus
  26. “Illness strikes men when they are exposed to change.” ~ Herodotus
  27. “Historia (Inquiry); so that the actions of people will not fade with time.” ~ Herodotus

  28. “Bowmen bend their bows when they wish to shoot: unbrace them when the shooting is over. Were they kept always strung they would break and fail the archer in time of need. So it is with men. If they give themselves constantly to serious work, and never indulge awhile in pastime or sport, they lose their senses and become mad.” ~ Herodotus
  29. “The trials of living and the pangs of disease make even the short span of life too long.” ~ Herodotus
  30. “As the old saw says well: every end does not appear together with its beginning.” ~ Herodotus
  31. “I am bound to tell what I am told, but not in every case to believe it.” ~ Herodotus
  32. “A woman takes off her claim to respect along with her garments.” ~ Herodotus

  33. “But if you know that you are a man too, and that even such are those that rule, learn this first of all: that all human affairs are a wheel which, as it turns, does not allow the same men always to be fortunate.” ~ Herodotus
  34. “If anyone, no matter who, were given the opportunity of choosing from amongst all the nations in the world the set of beliefs which he thought best, he would inevitably—after careful considerations of their relative merits—choose that of his own country. Everyone without exception believes his own native customs, and the religion he was brought up in, to be the best.” ~ Herodotus
  35. “Whatever comes from God is impossible for a man to turn back.” ~ Herodotus

  36. “Those who are guided by reason are generally successful in their plans; those who are rash and precipitate seldom enjoy the favour of the gods.” ~ Herodotus
  37. “The man of affluence is not in fact more happy than the possessor of a bare competency, unless, in addition to his wealth, the end of his life be fortunate. We often see misery dwelling in the midst of splendour, whilst real happiness is found in humbler stations.” ~ Herodotus
  38. “Let there be nothing untried; for nothing happens by itself, but men obtain all things by trying.” ~ Herodotus
  39. “All men’s gains are the fruit of venturing.” ~ Herodotus
  40. “Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks.” ~ Herodotus

  41. “I know that human happiness never remains long in the same place.” ~ Herodotus
  42. “One should always look to the end of everything, how it will finally come out. For the god has shown blessedness to many only to overturn them utterly in the end.” ~ Herodotus
  43. “The Colchians, Ethiopians and Egyptians have thick lips, broad nose, woolly hair and they are burnt of skin.” ~ Herodotus
  44. “In soft regions are born soft men.” ~ Herodotus
  45. “The worst part a man can suffer is to have insight into much and power over nothing.” ~ Herodotus
  46. “The ear is a less trustworthy witness than the eye.” ~ Herodotus

  47. “Calumny is a monstrous vice: for, where parties indulge in it, there are always two that are actively engaged in doing wrong, and one who is subject to injury. The calumniator inflicts wrong by slandering the absent; he who gives credit to the calumny before he has investigated the truth is equally implicated. The person traduced is doubly injured–first by him who propagates, and secondly by him who credits the calumny.” ~ Herodotus
  48. “Some give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than ever before.” ~ Herodotus
  49. “One man envies the success in life of another, and hates him in secret; nor is he willing to give him good advice when he is consulted, except it be by some wonderful effort of good feeling, and there are, alas, few such men in the world. A real friend, on the other hand, exults in his friend’s happiness, rejoices in all his joys, and is ready to afford him the best advice.” ~ Herodotus
  50. “Remember that with her clothes a woman puts off her modesty.” ~ Herodotus

  51. “This king [Sesostris] divided the land among all Egyptians so as to give each one a quadrangle of equal size and to draw from each his revenues, by imposing a tax to be levied yearly. But everyone from whose part the river tore anything away, had to go to him to notify what had happened; he then sent overseers who had to measure out how much the land had become smaller, in order that the owner might pay on what was left, in proportion to the entire tax imposed. In this way, it appears to me, geometry originated, which passed thence to Hellas.” ~ Herodotus
  52. “History is marked by alternating movements across the imaginary line that separates East from West in Eurasia.” ~ Herodotus
  53. “It [Egypt] has more wonders in it than any other country in the world and provides more works that defy description than any other place.” ~ Herodotus
  54. “Civil strife is as much a greater evil than a concerted war effort as war itself is worse than peace.” ~ Herodotus

  55. “The Andrians were the first of the islanders to refuse Themistocles’ demand for money. He had put it to them that they would be unable to avoid paying because the Athenians had the support of two powerful deities, one called Persuasion and the other Compulsion.The Andrians had replied that Athens was lucky to have two such useful gods, who were obviously responsible for her wealth and greatness; unfortunately, they themselves, in their small & inadequate land, had two utterly useless deities, who refused to leave the island and insisted on staying; and their names were Poverty and Inability.” ~ Herodotus
  56. Happiness is not fame or riches or heroic virtues, but a state that will inspire posterity to think in reflecting upon our life, that it was the life they would wish to live.” ~ Herodotus
  57. “The period of a [Persian] boy’s education is between the ages of five and twenty, and he is taught three things only: to ride, to use the bow, and to speak the truth.” ~ Herodotus
  58. “As the old saw says well: every end does not appear together with its beginning. It’s impossible for someone who is human to have all good things together, just as there is no single country able to provide all good things for itself.” ~ Herodotus
  59. “A multitude of rulers is not a good thing. Let there be one ruler, one king.” ~ Herodotus

  60. “There is nothing more foolish, nothing more given to outrage than a useless mob.” ~ Herodotus
  61. “The man who has planned badly, if fortune is on his side, may have had a stroke of luck; but his plan was a bad one nonetheless.” ~ Herodotus
  62. “Force has no place where there is need of skill.” ~ Herodotus
  63. “It is sound planning that invariably earns us the outcome we want; without it, even the gods are unlikely to look with favour on our designs.” ~ Herodotus
  64. “The worst pain a man can have is to know much and be impotent to act.” ~ Herodotus
  65. “The sun will not shine on any country that has borders with ours.” ~ Herodotus.

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