Hi! Welcome to “Dusty Phrases.” You will find a phrase below, in one ancient language or another, along with its English translation. You may also find the power to inspire your friends or provoke dread among your enemies.
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The Ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” (Greek: γνῶθι σεαυτόν, transliterated: gnōthi seauton; also … σαυτόν … sauton with the ε contracted) is the first of three Delphic maxims inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to the Greek writer Pausanias (10.24.1). The two maxims that follow “know thyself” were “nothing to excess” and “certainty brings insanity”. In Latin the phrase, “know thyself”, is given as nosce te ipsum or temet nosce.
The maxim, or aphorism, “know thyself” has had a variety of meanings attributed to it in literature, and over time, as in early ancient Greek the phrase means “know thy measure”.