Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Homer

850 BCE - ?

Primogenitor of Western culture

Called by Plato the “first teacher” and "leader of Greek culture,” Homer spread an immense influence over all Western culture. A blind bard prophet, his books the Iliad and Odyssey represent the first European literature as well as one of the main influences that shaped Western culture. The “Greek Bible,” these books taught the best behavior for almost any situation with true and timeless images of human goodness and wisdom. Describing the most enduring legends known to the Western world, these universal themes inspire and enlighten.

Eras

Sources

Iliad

Odyssey, Ὀδύσσεια

Unlisted Sources

Quotes by Homer (17 quotes)

“A small rock holds back a great wave.”

Chapters: 60. Less is More

Themes: Less is More

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“Any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.”

from Iliad

Chapters: 24. Unnecessary Baggage

Themes: Death and Dying

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“Empty words are evil.”

Chapters: 56. One with the Dust

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“How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise!”

from Iliad

Chapters: 63. Easy as Hard

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“I didn't lie! I just created fiction with my mouth!”

Chapters: 65. Simplicity: the Hidden Power of Goodness

Themes: Lies Deception

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“I say no wealth is worth my life!”

Chapters: 44. Fame and Fortune

Themes: Wealth

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“Life is largely a matter of expectation.”

Chapters: 81. Journey Without Goal

Themes: Projection

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“The journey is the thing.”

Chapters: 81. Journey Without Goal

Themes: Travel

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“There in the heat of Love, the pulsing rush of Longing, the lover’s whisper, irresistible–magic to make the sanest man go mad.”

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

Themes: Sex Magic

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“Discontent springs from a constant endeavor to increase the amount of our claims when we are powerless to increase the amount which will satisfy them.”

from Odyssey, Ὀδύσσεια

Themes: Suffering Hope

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“Wake, wake up! See with your own eyes what all these years you longed for!”

from Odyssey, Ὀδύσσεια

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“The glorious heaven stretches itself to its widest and the multitudinous stars sparkle
Gladdening the hearts of the toil-wearied shepherds
While champing, war-wearied horses close by their chariots wait the coming of gold-throned dawn.”

from Iliad

Themes: Sacred World

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“Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war.”

from Iliad

Themes: War

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“'Tis man's to fight, but Heaven's to give victory.”

from Iliad

Themes: Victory

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“All strangers and beggars are from Zeus, and a gift, though small, is precious.”

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“How vain, without the merit, is the name.”

from Iliad

Themes: Fame

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“there is nothing greater and better than this—when a husband and wife keep a household in oneness of mind”

Themes: Marriage Family

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Quotes about Homer (8 quotes)

“When Homer said that he wished war might disappear from the lives of gods and men, he forgot that without opposition all things would cease to exist.”

Heraclitus Ἡράκλειτος 535 – 475 BCE
(of Ephesus, the "Weeping Philosopher")
A Greek Buddha

Themes: War Problems

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“Homer is one of the men of genius who solve that fine problem of art — the finest of all, perhaps — truly to depict humanity by the enlargement of man: that is, to generate the real in the ideal.”

Victor Hugo 1802 – 1885 CE
Literary pioneer, poet, and social justice provocateur
from William Shakespeare, 1864)

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“This Fire is discerned in Virgil, but discerned as through a glass, reflected from Homer, more shining than fierce, but every where equal and constant.

Alexander Pope 1688 – 1744 CE
Second most quoted English writer

Themes: Confidence

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“An ancient writer says of Homer that he touched nothing without somehow honoring and glorifying it.”

Edith Hamilton 1867 – 1963 CE
from The Greek Way, 1930

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“Who was Homer? The ancient Greeks had no doubt that Homer was a real person... This so-called Homeric Question has provoked some of the bloodiest professorial battles. Speculation about Homer has itself spawned fantasies of epic proportions. Homer himself became a myth.”

Daniel J. Boorstin 1914 – 2004 CE
American intellectual Paul Revere
from Creators: Heroes of the Imagination

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“Pindar astounds, but Homer brings the more sustaining cup. One is a fountain of prodigious ascent; the other, the unsounded purple sea of marching billows.”

George Meredith 1828 – 1909 CE
Victorian novelist nominated 7 times for the Nobel Prize
from The Egoist

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“Homer and Hesiod have attributed to the gods all sorts of things that are disreputable and worthy of blame when done by men: theft, adultery, and mutual deception.”

Xenophanes Ξενοφάνης ὁ Κολοφώνιος 570 – 475 BCE
(Xenophanes of Colophon)

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“In Homer’s day life was action, and Homer was action’s prophet. Through his turbulent hexameters, the story runs like some broad and power stream, his verse and style, dictated by action… We give his name to all the poets who compound these tales because we are at ease with unity, and dislike the fragmentariness of truth”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE via John Little/Shan Dao
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time, 1968

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