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Know thyself
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Ancient Greek aphorism "Know thyself" (Greek: γνῶθι σεαυτόν, transliterated: gnōthi seauton; also ... σαυτόν ... sauton with the ε contracted), is one of the Delphic maxims and was inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to the Greek periegetic (travelogue) writer Pausanias (10.24.1).[1] The maxim, or aphorism, "know thyself" has had a variety of meanings attributed to it in literature. The Suda, a 10th-century encyclopedia of Greek knowledge, says: "the proverb is applied to those whose boasts exceed what they are,"[2] and that "know thyself" is a warning to pay no attention to the opinion of the multitude.[3] In Latin, the aphorism is generally given as nosce te ipsum[4]or temet nosce.[5]

Artist's impression of original text inscribed in Temple of Apollo at Delphi

1 Attribution 2 Usage 2.1 Ancient Egyptian 2.2 By Plato 2.3 By contemporaries of Socrates 2.4 Later usage 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

A stained glass window in a public building in Ludwigshafen, Germany with the contracted version γνῶθι σαυτόν.

The aphorism has been attributed to at least the following ancient Greek sages: Bias of Priene[6] Chilon of Sparta[7] Cleobulus of Lindus[8] Heraclitus[9] Myson of Chenae[10] Periander[11] Pittacus of Mitylene[12] Pythagoras
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_thyself 1/6

as if they were commands. the outer temple where the beginning initiates are allowed to come. The 10th-century Byzantine encyclopedia the Suda. but also notes that Antisthenes in his Successions of Philosophers attributes it to Phemonoe. which tended later to be attributed to particular sages. In a discussion of moderation and self-awareness.' These dialogues (and the Stephanus numbers indexing the pages where these discussions begin) are Charmides (164D).[24] In the balance of the Charmides (dialogue). "The actual authorship of the three maxims set up on the Delphian temple may be left uncertain. and thou shalt know the gods. is this: I am not yet able."[25] en. One of the proverbs in the Outer Temple is "The body is the house of God. a mythical Greek poetess. my friend. Benjamin Jowett's index to his translation of the Dialogues of Plato lists six dialogues which discuss or explore the saying of Delphi: 'know thyself. according to one pair of modern scholars. Plato has Socrates lead a longer inquiry as to how we may gain knowledge of ourselves.923A).. with Critias saying. as the Delphic inscription has it. Plato makes it clear that Socrates is referring to a long-established wisdom. know thyself . "Man know thyself."[23] In modern words Critias gives his opinion that 'Know Thyself!' was an admonition to those entering the sacred temple to remember or know their place and Critias says. and the reason. so it seems to me ridiculous.6/20/13 Know thyself . "But I have no leisure for them at all. recognized Chilon[16] and Thales[17] as the sources of the maxim "Know Thyself.Wikipedia."[18][19] Usage Ancient Egyptian There are two parts of the ancient temple of Luxor. when I do not yet know that. Phaedrus (229E)."[21] By Plato Plato employs the maxim 'Know Thyself' extensively by having the character of Socrates use it to motivate his dialogues. Philebus (48C). 132C).org/wiki/Know_thyself 2/6 .40). 129A. Critias refers to the maxim consistently with the view expressed in the Suda. and the inner temple where one can enter only after proven worthy and ready to acquire the higher knowledge and insights. the Roman poet Juvenal quotes the phrase in Greek and states that the precept descended de caelo (from heaven) (Satire 11. one of the many proverbs is "Man. Notice that when the words of Critias are written. Laws (II. to know myself. the free encyclopedia Socrates[13] Solon of Athens[14] Thales of Miletus[15] Diogenes Laertius attributes it to Thales (Lives I. to investigate irrelevant things. I Alcibiades (124A.[22] In Plato's Charmides.wikipedia. Protagoras (343B)." That is why it is said.27)." The authenticity of all such attributions has been doubted. though admitting that it was appropriated by Chilon."[20] In the Inner Temple. 'thyself' and 'temperate' are punctuated with exclamation marks in the English translations. Socrates uses the maxim 'know thyself' as his explanation to Phaedrus for why he has no time for mythology or other far flung topics. In Plato's Phaedrus. " 'know thyself!' and 'be temperate!' are the same. Socrates says.. "for they imagined that 'Know Thyself!' was a piece of advice which the god gave and not his salutation of the worshippers at their first coming in. Most likely they were popular proverbs.

Pittacus. Cleobulus.[28] Plato also alluded to the fact that understanding 'thyself. etc."[26] Socrates says examples of them are." influence our thoughts and motivate our actions. as he did in Phaedrus. hope. Xenophon reports Socrates's use of the saying 'Know Thyself' as an organizing theme for a long dialogue with Euthydymus in Xenophon's Memorabilia."[30] Later usage From 1539 onwards the phrase nosce te ipsum and its Latin variants were often used in the anonymous texts written for anatomical fugitive sheets printed in Venice as well as for later anatomical atlases printed throughout Europe. Myson. educates its people to that end. and Chilon. "but to teach us that for the similitude of the thoughts and passions of one man. He asserts Linnaeus' Systema Naturae (1748).. Socrates lauds the authors of pithy and concise sayings delivered precisely at the right moment and says that Lacedaemon. Thomas Hobbes used the term nosce teipsum which he translated as 'read thyself' in his famous work. where a slight effort gives great force.[27] Having lauded the maxims.". Socrates says. that one learns more by studying oneself: particularly the feelings that "HOMO. The Leviathan. Bias. fear. "And you will know yourself.org/wiki/Know_thyself 3/6 .' and 'Nothing too much'. which are in all men's mouths.wikipedia. or Sparta. whosoever looketh into himself and considereth what he doth when he does think. 'Hard is it to be good. the free encyclopedia In Plato's Protagoras. By contemporaries of Socrates Like Plato.Wikipedia.6/20/13 Know thyself . reason. that people make themselves appear ridiculous when they are trying to know obscure things before they know themselves. to the thoughts and passions of another.--'Know thyself. Socrates refers back to the same usage of 'know thyself' from Phaedrus] to build an example of the ridiculous for Protarchus. Socrates then spends a great deal of time getting to the bottom of what one of them means.' The irony here is that although the sayings of Delphi bear 'great force. and upon what grounds. Solon. The 1530s fugitive sheets are the first instances in which the phrase was applied to knowledge of the human body attained through dissection. In Plato's Philebus dialogue. the saying of Pittacus. Nosce te ipsum. who he says are gifted in that Lacedaemonian art of concise words "twisted together.[31] In 1651. he shall thereby read and know what are the thoughts and passions of all other men upon the like occasions. As Hobbes states.' it is not clear how to live life in accordance with their meanings. In The Clouds. like a bowstring. Aristophanes makes a mockery of philosophers in general and Socrates in particular.[29] Aristophanes is the third contemporary of Socrates whose descriptions of Socrates and his teaching remain extant. Socrates lists the Seven Sages as Thales. Syllogistically."[32] en. understanding onself would enable thyself to have an understanding of others as a result. "the far-famed inscriptions. opine. The words γνώσει δὲ σαυτὸν (and know yourself) are used in The Clouds by a father deriding his son for his lack of learning. He was responding to a popular philosophy at the time that you can learn Detail from the 6th edition of more by studying others than you can from reading books.' would have a greater yielded factor of understanding the nature of a human being. how ignorant and stupid you are.

^ "Nosce te ipsum . and to know one's self. Tr.stoa. in "Know Thyself. ^ Bias of Priene. 27. a Diamond.org/wiki/Know_thyself 4/6 .merriamwebster. ^ 'Know the value of Thyself' rightly.org/sol-entries/gamma/334>. 3. and strive to know thy God!' Coleridge's text references JUVENAL.edu/hopper/text? doc=Perseus:text:1999. Hugo von Hofmannsthal has his 16th-century alter ego in his letter to Francis Bacon mention a book he intended to call "Nosce te ipsum"."[34] In 1750 Benjamin Franklin.org/sol-entries/gamma/333>. Lana and Andy Wachowski used one of the Latin versions (temet nosce) of this aphorism as inscription over the Oracle's door in their movies The Matrix (1999) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003).stoa.24&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.edu/hopper/text? doc=Paus." [35] In 1831. the free encyclopedia In 1734. Merriam-webster. Steel.com.6/20/13 Know thyself .0178:text%3DProt.com: temet nosce" (http://en.wikipedia. a 10th-century Byzantine scholia in the Suda attributed the aphorism to Chilon. allexperts. 5.Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary" (http://www.allexperts.[36] In 1832. in "Know Thyself. 15 Feb 2011 <http://www. 10.+10. which begins "Know then thyself. Retrieved 2011-03-16."[33] In 1735. presume not God to scan.Wikipedia. ^ "AllExperts. Epistle II".tufts. Description of Greece.' The poem was an anthem to Emerson's belief that to 'know thyself' meant knowing the God which Emerson felt existed within each person.24 (http://www. 6. observed the great difficulty of knowing one's self.htm). Alexander Pope wrote a poem entitled "An Essay on Man. Samuel T.tufts. ^ 'Know Thyself' as an admonition. 'Gnôthi seauton!--and is this the prime And heaven-sprung adage of the olden time!--' and ending with 'Ignore thyself. 4. See also Delphic maxims I know that I know nothing Introspection Jnana Philosophy of self Self-knowledge (psychology) References 1.perseus. 13 Aug 2002. in his Poor Richard's Almanack.[37] In 1902. Retrieved 2013-02-17. Paus. Tr.:section%3D343a> 7. in Plato's Protagoras (343a-343b) Socrates lists Bias as one of the seven sources of the Delphic maxims including "Know Thyself. ^ Chilon of Sparta.com/q/Ancient-Languages-2210/Know-thyself. 15 Feb 2011 <http://www.0160) 2.01. The proper study of mankind is Man. 13 Aug 2002. ^ Pausanias. Coleridge wrote a poem entitled "Self Knowledge" in which the text centers on the Delphic maxim 'Know Thyself' beginning. Carl Linnaeus published the first edition of Systema Naturae in which he described humans (Homo) with the simple phrase "Nosce te ipsum.com. xi." <http://www. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a poem entitled "Γνώθι Σεαυτόν".perseus.01. on the theme of 'God in thee. Catherine Roth." Suda On Line." Suda On Line. with: "There are three Things extremely hard.com/dictionary/nosce%20te%20ipsum). "Know en. 2010-08-13. Catherine Roth. or Gnothi Seauton ('Know Thyself').

" <http://www. Socrates refers to it in Plato's Philebus 48c.tufts. 13 Aug 2002.:section%3D343b> 28.perseus. 15 Feb 2011 <http://www.0178:text%3DProt. Parke and D.0178:text%3DProt. ^ Chilon of Sparta. The Tufts Perseus web site shows Philebus text as: <http://www. 9. (See Index: Knowledge. Lucie Lamy..:section%3D165a> 24. Her-Bak: Egyptian Initiate.01.tufts.tufts. 28 Nov 2001.google. ^ Dempsey.com/books? id=4Cj0ueSqyVQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=A+HISTORY+OF+THE+DELPHIC+ORACLE&hl=en&ei=t8avTe T5OoXl0QGk34GpCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=book-previewlink&resnum=2&ved=0CDYQuwUwAQ#v=onepage&q=know%20thyself&f=false) (Alternative source for book at Internet Archive in various formats (http://www.perseus." Suda On Line.. 3rd edition revised and corrected (Oxford University Press. ^ H.wikipedia. 12.01. But Socrates who is cited by Pausanias as his source supports Myson.pg. M. "Thales. (Basil Blackwell. 16. T. concise wisdom.tufts. 1956).+48c&fromdoc=Perseus:text:1999.edu/hopper/text? doc=Plat.Wikipedia. ^ Myson of Chenae. ^ Solon of Athens. a 10th-century Byzantine scholia in the Suda attributed the aphorism to Thales.edu/hopper/text? doc=Perseus:text:1999. Paus.org/solentries/gamma/333>.01. and Phaedrus 229e as a saying of Delphi.com/books?id=j-POyLotCkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=know+thyself+xenophon&source=bl&ots=9X6iXLjSMd&sig=Mr0XrZLXlwGU1ZfCFns6 10.stoa. 8. <http://www.perseus.0176:text%3DCharm. ^ <http://www. 23.org/sol-entries/theta/17>.+343a&fromdoc=Perseus:text:1999.H. Oxford : B.24&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.+10. pp. Her-Bak: The Living Face of Ancient Egypt.S." Eliza G.know>. The Delphic Oracle.edu/hopper/text? doc=Perseus:text:1999. in Plato's Protagoras (343a-343b) Socrates lists Myson as one of the seven sages who were sources of the Delphic maxims including "Know Thyself.org/wiki/Know_thyself 7." <http://www. Blackwell.2. <http://books.perseus.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.perseus. ^ Isha Schwaller De Lubicz. vol.01.01. in Plato's Protagoras (343a-343b) Socrates lists Solon as one of the seven sages who were sources of the Delphic maxims including "Know Thyself. Tr.edu/hopper/text? doc=Plat.0160) 12.perseus. ^ Socrates uses the saying 'know thyself' to explain what is important for him to know.:section%3D343a>.stoa. ^ Thales of Miletus. Tr. ^ Critias says 'know thyself!' and 'be temperate!' are the same in Plato's Charmides (164e). p." <http://www.24 (http://www. Wormell. the free encyclopedia en. Chi. Lucie Lamy.:section=48c&highlight=thyself. ^ Plato.24 5/6 . ^ Pausanias 10.01.tufts.01. ^ Socrates seeks to understand 'Know thyself' as pithy. 1892).stoa.01. ^ Isha Schwaller De Lubicz." <http://www.. http://www. Delphic Oracle: Its Early History.:section%3D343a>.0178:text%3DProt.perseus.perseus. "Know Thyself in Greek and Latin Literature. ^ Socrates.org/details/cu31924028302630)) 20.tufts. (Inner Traditions International.perseus. Conway.tufts.24. 19. <http://www. U.google. 'know thyself' at Delphi).A. 1917. 13.perseus.1 mentions a controversy over whether Periander should be listed as the seventh sage instead of Myson.0174:text=Phileb.tufts.:section%3D343a>.01. (Hodder and Staughton (1954)) 21.0174:text%3DPhaedrus:section%3D229e 26.perseus.perseus.edu/hopper/text?doc=Paus. 389. Ross Scaife.edu/hopper/text? doc=Perseus:text:1999. 11.edu/hopper/text? doc=Perseus:text:1999. <http://www.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.archive.0178:text%3DProt. 1918. 10." Suda On Line.0178:text%3DProt. 1.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.0178> 27.6/20/13 Know thyself . ^ <http://www.01.+Prot. ^ Socrates use of 'Know thyself' in Philebus (48c) http://www. ^ Doctoral Thesis.:section%3D164e> 25. The Dialogues of Plato translated into English with Analyses and Introductions by Benjamin Jowett. Influence & Fall (http://books. Cf.01. ^ Pittacus of Mitylene. Catherine Roth.0174 29.com/books? id=4Cj0ueSqyVQC&printsec=frontcover). in Plato's Protagoras (343a-343b) Socrates lists Pittacus as one of the seven sages who were sources of the Delphic maxims including "Know Thyself.org/sol-entries/gamma/333> 17.tufts. 15.0176:text%3DCharm. ^ Xenophon describes Socrates use of 'Know Thyself' in Memorabilia 4. ^ Cleobulus of Lindus. ^ Critias states the meaning of 'know thyself' in Plato's Charmides (165a). <http://www.google. in Plato's Protagoras (343a-343b) Socrates lists Cleobulus as one of the seven sages who were sources of the Delphic maxims including "Know Thyself.edu/hopper/text? doc=Perseus:text:1999.org/sol-entries/theta/17>. 15 Feb 2011. 1978) 22.edu/hopper/text? doc=Perseus:text:1999.tufts. With a prefatory note by R.+Phileb. Wilkens. in Five Volumes. ^ Socrates lists the authors of Delphi's sayings.tufts.:section%3D343a>.01. 18. "Know Thyself. <http://www.stoa.141-142 (http://books. 14. a 10th-century Byzantine scholia in the Suda attributed the aphorism to Chilon.

a non-profit organization. Inc.binghamton. Thomas.google. ^ Aristophanes use of 'Know Thyself' in The Clouds Card 814.perseus. "The Leviathan" (http://oregonstate. Winter 1997..edu/hopper/text? doc=Perseus:text:1999.google.edu/hopper/text? doc=Perseus:text:1999. Know thyself .html). The Paradox of Rembrandt's "Anatomy of Dr.readbookonline. <http://www. <http://www.org/archive/2008/03/hbc-90002748>.pdf) at Binghamton University Retrieved from "http://en.harpers. 33. en.com/books? id=_XUOAAAAQAAJ&lpg=PA1&dq=Linnaeus%201735%20%22nosce%20te%20ipsum%22&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q=L 35. 1982). Retrieved 6/1/2011.tufts. Poem 1831. ^ Ben Franklin observes that it is extremely hard to know oneself. the free encyclopedia External links Gnothi sauton (http://www2. 37.Wikipedia.edu/instruct/phl302/texts/hobbes/leviathan-contents. ^ Alexander Pope begins his Essay on Man Epistle II "Know then thyself.0241:card%3D814>.2.html>. Tulp (Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine: London. 34. ^ Hobbes. Coleridge wrote the poem 'Self Knowledge' discussing 'Gnôthi seauton' or know thyself. <http://www." <http://www.net/readOnLine/37203/>. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation. additional terms may apply.01. By using this site.vcu. 31.24 <http://www. Civil peace and social unity through perfect government.6/20/13 29.tufts. 67-68 32.wikipedia.0208:book%3D4:chapter%3D2:section%3D24> 30. you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. ^ http://books. ^ Xenophon describes Socrates use of 'Know Thyself' in Memorabilia 4.com/books? id=MYkTAQAAMAAJ&dq=Autobiography%2C%20Sayings%20of%20Poor%20Richard%2C%20Letters&pg=PA195#v 36.01. ^ Samuel T.php?title=Know_thyself&oldid=559263479" Categories: Delphi Greek philosophical phrases Spirituality Classical oracles Philosophical phrases Socrates Plato Self Knowledge This page was last modified on 10 June 2013 at 18:05. ^ William Schupbach. pp.edu/cnes/docs/gnothi_sauton. ^ Ralph Waldo Emerson Gnothe Seauton. Great Voyages: the History of Western Philosophy from 1492-1776.org/wiki/Know_thyself 6/6 .wikipedia.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/authors/emerson/poems/gnothi. <http://books. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Oregon State University: Phl 302.org/w/index.perseus.

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