War, Some Proverbs

Arsenius 7.16n

“In war, iron is stronger for safety than gold;
But for living, reason is better than wealth.”

᾿Εν μὲν πολέμῳ πρὸς ἀσφάλειαν σίδηρος χρυσοῦ κρείττων,
ἐν δὲ τῷ ζῆν ὁ λόγος τοῦ πλούτου [Socrates]

“You can’t fuck-up twice in a war
Οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν πολέμῳ δὶς ἁμαρτάνειν


“War is tear-free” A proverb applied to those who succeed easily through every danger and beyond expectations.”

῎Αδακρυς πόλεμος: ἐπὶ τῶν ἔξω κινδύνου παντὸς ῥᾷστα δὲ καὶ παρ’ ἐλπίδα τὰ πράγματα κατορθούντων.

Michael Apostolios

“Beginning of wars”: A proverb applied to those who try to do wrong
᾿Αρχὴ πολέμων: ἐπὶ τῶν ἀδικεῖν ἐπιχειρούντων.

“Endless War is Sweet”: A proverb applied to those who throw themselves into dangers because of inexperience

Γλυκὺς ἀπείρων πόλεμος: ἐπὶ τῶν ὑπ’ ἀπειρίας ἑαυτοὺς καθιέντων εἰς κινδύνους.


“War is sweet for someone with no experience of it”

Γλυκὺς ἀπείρῳ πόλεμος

[A variation on the line above]

Heraclitus, D64

“war is father of everything; war is king of everything.”

πόλεμος πάντων μὲν πατήρ ἐστι, πάντων δὲ βασιλεύς


Heraclitus, R53

“Heraclitus claims that Zeus and war are the same thing.”

καὶ | τὸν π̣όλεμο̣[ν] καὶ | τὸν Δ[ί]α τὸν αὐ̣τὸν | εἶν[αι, κα]θάπερ καὶ | τὸν [Ἡ]ράκλειτον λέ|γειν

Xenophon, Hiero 2

“If war is a terrible evil, then tyrants receive its greatest portion.”

εἰ δὲ πόλεμος μέγα κακόν, τούτου πλεῖστον μέρος οἱ τύραννοι μετέχουσιν.


Diogenes Laertius [Demetrius 82]

“Speech can win in politics however much iron can gain in War.”

ὅσον ἐν πολέμῳ δύνασθαι σίδηρον, τοσοῦτον ἐν πολιτείᾳ ἰσχύειν λόγον

Diogenes Laertius [Diogenes 50]

“Alliances come after war.”

μετὰ τὸν πόλεμον ἡ συμμαχία

Qajar-era Iranian court painter Mirza Baba’s depiction of Fath Ali Shah’s victory over the Russians at Yerevan (Siege of Erivan), part of the Russo-Persian War of 1804–1813. The painting is kept at the National Museum of Iran in Tehran.

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