Homer, The Iliad
A councilor ought not to sleep the whole night through, a man to whom the populace is entrusted, and who has many responsibilities.
A generation of men is like a generation of leaves; the wind scatters some leaves upon the ground, while others the burgeoning wood brings forth - and the season of spring comes on. So of men one generation springs forth and another ceases.
A multitude of rulers is not a good thing. Let there be one ruler, one king.
Even when someone battles hard, there is an equal portion for one who lingers behind, and in the same honor are held both the coward and the brave man; the idle man and he who has done much meet death alike.
Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.
He knew the things that were and the things that would be and the things that had been before.
He lives not long who battles with the immortals, nor do his children prattle about his knees when he has come back from battle and the dread fray.
I too shall lie in the dust when I am dead, but now let me win noble renown.
If you are very valiant, it is a god, I think, who gave you this gift.
It is entirely seemly for a young man killed in battle to lie mangled by the bronze spear. In his death all things appear fair. But when dogs shame the gray head and gray chin and nakedness of an old man killed, it is the most piteous thing that happens among wretched mortals.
It is not possible to fight beyond your strength, even if you strive.
It is not unseemly for a man to die fighting in defense of his country.
It was built against the will of the immortal gods, and so it did not last for long.
Miserable mortals who, like leaves, at one moment flame with life, eating the produce of the land, and at another moment weakly perish.
Of men who have a sense of honor, more come through alive than are slain, but from those who flee comes neither glory nor any help.
Once harm has been done, even a fool understands it.
The fates have given mankind a patient soul.
The glorious gifts of the gods are not to be cast aside.
The outcome of the war is in our hands; the outcome of words is in the council.
There is a fullness of all things, even of sleep and love.
There is a strength in the union even of very sorry men.
Thus have the gods spun the thread for wretched mortals: that they live in grief while they themselves are without cares; for two jars stand on the floor of Zeus of the gifts which he gives, one of evils and another of blessings.
Whoever obeys the gods, to him they particularly listen.
You will certainly not be able to take the lead in all things yourself, for to one man a god has given deeds of war, and to another the dance, to another lyre and song, and in another wide-sounding Zeus puts a good mind.