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Characters Behind Ancient Quotes , Confucius & Polybius

Over the years, history has produced great thinkers, who were able to move masses with their words and touch millions with their wisdom. In this series of articles, you will learn about movers and shakers in the literary world, such as Confucius and the Greek historian, Polybius.

Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)

This Chinese thinker and philosopher of society has been one of the most influential teachers to touch the lives of the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese in regards to thinking and life. Certain values associated with Confucius are undeniable, as followers learn the meaning of personal morality that also extends into the government sector. He spoke of proper actions in regards to social relationships, justice, and being sincere. His values were respected in China over any other trains of thought throughout the Han Dynasty, including Taoism. It was Confucius’ thoughts that later built the foundation for the philosophical system known as Confucianism. To gain a better understanding of Confucius , consider his words below:

“Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.”

“He who will not economize will have to agonize.”

“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”

“They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.”

Polybius (205 BC – 118 BC)

Hailing from the Mediterranean Sea, Polybius served as a Greek historian who gained fame for his book titled “The Histories.” This publication would present a wealth of details that shed light between the years of 220 BC and 146 BC. His thoughts on political balance within the government were so strong that they were used as guidelines for the drafting of the United States Constitution, as well as ‘the Spirit of the Laws’ by Montesquieu.

As a historian, the man penned many different works. Sadly, they were all lost. His earliest book was a biography of the Greek statesman named Philopoemen, which served as a valuable source for Plutarch. The text that Polybius wrote was also lost. Additionally, he wrote what appeared as a treatise called ‘Tactics.’ This was an insightful piece that showcased some of the military strategies of both the Roman and Greek armies. Very few pieces of this work were able to survive and the book in its entirety has been lost.

Researchers also wonder what happened to another work (a historical piece depicting the Numantine War). However, his largest work called ‘Histories’ is mostly intact, despite a couple of missing books and other fragments. Interested in what Polybius has to say? Check out his words below.

“Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories.”
 
“There is no witness so dreadful, no accuser so terrible as the conscience that dwells in the heart of every man.”