photo of HeraclitusPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Quotes by Heraclitus

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Heraclitus. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Heraclitus

Flavius Heraclius (Greek: Ἡράκλειος, Iraklios; c. 575 – February 11, 641) was the Byzantine emperor from 610 to 641. His rise to power began in 608, when he and his father, Heraclius the Elder, the exarch of Africa, led a revolt against the unpopular usurper Phocas.

Heraclius's reign was marked by several military campaigns. The year Heraclius came to power, the empire was threatened on multiple frontiers. Heraclius immediately took charge of the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628. The first battles of the campaign ended in defeat for the Byzantines; the Persian army fought their way to the Bosphorus but Constantinople was protected by impenetrable walls and a strong navy, and Heraclius was able to avoid total defeat.

Soon after, he initiated reforms to rebuild and strengthen the military. Heraclius drove the Persians out of Asia Minor and pushed deep into their territory, defeating them decisively in 627 at the Battle of Nineveh. The Persian king Khosrow II was overthrown and executed by his son Kavad II, who soon sued for a peace treaty, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territory. This way peaceful relations were restored to the two deeply strained empires.

Heraclius lost many of his newly regained lands to the Muslim conquests. Emerging from the Arabian Peninsula, the Muslims quickly conquered the Sasanian Empire. In 634 the Muslims marched into Roman Syria, defeating Heraclius's brother Theodore. Within a short period of time, the Arabs conquered Mesopotamia, Armenia and Egypt.

Heraclius entered diplomatic relations with the Croats and Serbs in the Balkans. He tried to repair the schism in the Christian church in regard to the Monophysites, by promoting a compromise doctrine called Monothelitism. The Church of the East (commonly called Nestorian) was also involved in the process. Eventually this project of unity was rejected by all sides of the dispute.

Quote: Nothing endures but change. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of selective focus photo of brown and blue hourglass on stones
Photo Credit: Aron Visuals

Nothing endures but change.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Nothing endures but change. There is nothing permanent except change. All is flux, nothing stays still.


Quote: There is nothing permanent except change. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of person holding fan of 100 us dollar bill
Photo Credit: Omid Armin

There is nothing permanent except change.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

There is nothing permanent except change. Nothing is permanent except change. The only constant is change. Change is the only constant. Change alone is unchanging.


Quote: Men that love wisdom must be acquainted with very many things indeed. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of grassland landscape
Photo Credit: DiscoverQuotes Staff

Men that love wisdom must be acquainted with very many things indeed.


Quote: It is in changing that we find purpose. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

It is in changing that we find purpose.


Quote: Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of white heart illustration
Photo Credit: Nicola Fioravanti

Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.


Quote: Much learning does not teach understanding. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of A stack of thick folders on a white surface
Photo Credit: Beatriz Pérez Moya

Much learning does not teach understanding.


Quote: A man's character is his fate. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of cup of latte on table
Photo Credit: Nathan Dumlao

A man's character is his fate.


Quote: One cannot step twice in the same river. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

One cannot step twice in the same river.


Quote: The Lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither reveals nor conceals, but gives a sign. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The Lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither reveals nor conceals, but gives a sign.


Quote: Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

part of The Cynic Epistles; possibly mistakenly attributed directly to Heraclitus


Quote: Learning many things does not teach understanding. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Learning many things does not teach understanding.


Quote: To get everything you want is not a good thing. Disease makes health seem sweet. Hunger leads to the appreciation of being full-fed. Tiredness creates the enjoyment of resting. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

To get everything you want is not a good thing. Disease makes health seem sweet. Hunger leads to the appreciation of being full-fed. Tiredness creates the enjoyment of resting.


Quote: Those who love wisdom must investigate many things. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Those who love wisdom must investigate many things.


Quote: Those who are awake all live in the same world. Those who are asleep live in their own worlds. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Those who are awake all live in the same world. Those who are asleep live in their own worlds.


Quote: To fight with desire is hard: whatever it wishes it buys at the price of a soul. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

To fight with desire is hard: whatever it wishes it buys at the price of a soul.


Quote: If they are gods, why do you lament them? If you lament them, you must no longer regard them as gods. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

If they are gods, why do you lament them? If you lament them, you must no longer regard them as gods.


Quote: Everything changes and nothing stands still. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Everything changes and nothing stands still.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Everything changes but change itself. Everything flows and nothing remains the same... You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters and yet others go flowing ever on.


Quote: There is but one world common for those who are awake, but when men are asleep, each turns away into a world of his own. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

There is but one world common for those who are awake, but when men are asleep, each turns away into a world of his own.


Quote: If one does not expect the unexpected, one will not find it out, since it is not to be searched out, and difficut to compass. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

If one does not expect the unexpected, one will not find it out, since it is not to be searched out, and difficut to compass.


Quote: The only constant in life is change. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The only constant in life is change.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

The only constant is change. Unless you get a small group of neighbors together to stop it.


Quote: Any day stands 
equal to the rest. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Any day stands
equal to the rest.


Quote: Fire lives in the death of earth, air lives in the death of fire, water lives in the death of air, and earth in the death of water. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Fire lives in the death of earth, air lives in the death of fire, water lives in the death of air, and earth in the death of water.


Quote: People do not know how what is at variance agrees with itself. It is an attunement of opposite tensions, like that of the bow and the lyre. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

People do not know how what is at variance agrees with itself. It is an attunement of opposite tensions, like that of the bow and the lyre.


Quote: The Sibyl, with frenzied mouth uttering things not to be laughed at, unadorned and unperfumed, yet reaches to a thousand years with her voice by aid of the god. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The Sibyl, with frenzied mouth uttering things not to be laughed at, unadorned and unperfumed, yet reaches to a thousand years with her voice by aid of the god.


Quote: The unexpected connection is more powerful than one that is obvious. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The unexpected connection is more powerful than one that is obvious.


Quote: Life has the name of life, but in reality it is death. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Life has the name of life, but in reality it is death.


Quote: How can you hide from what never goes away? by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

How can you hide from what never goes away?


Quote: The unlike is joined together, and from differences results the most beautiful harmony. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The unlike is joined together, and from differences results the most beautiful harmony.


Quote: You cannot step twice into the same river. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

You cannot step twice into the same river.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing in.


Quote: To me one man is worth ten thousand if he is first-rate. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

To me one man is worth ten thousand if he is first-rate.


Quote: Even a soul submerged in sleep 
is hard at work and helps 
make something of the world. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Even a soul submerged in sleep
is hard at work and helps
make something of the world.


Quote: The fairest order in the world is a heap of random sweepings. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The fairest order in the world is a heap of random sweepings.


Quote: If we do not expect the unexpected, we will never find it. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

If we do not expect the unexpected, we will never find it.


Quote: The waking have one common world, but the sleeping turn aside each into a world of his own. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The waking have one common world, but the sleeping turn aside each into a world of his own.


Quote: Eyes are more accurate witnesses than ears. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Eyes are more accurate witnesses than ears.


Quote: Thinking is a sacred disease and sight is deceptive. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Thinking is a sacred disease and sight is deceptive.


Quote: Without injustices,
the name of justice
would mean what? by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Without injustices,
the name of justice
would mean what?


Quote: Those who approach life like a child playing a game, moving and pushing pieces, possess the power of kings. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Those who approach life like a child playing a game, moving and pushing pieces, possess the power of kings.


Quote: The people must fight on behalf of the law as though for the city wall. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The people must fight on behalf of the law as though for the city wall.


Quote: A drunk man, staggering and mindless, must be led home by his son, so wet is his psyche... Water brings death to the psyche, as earth brings death to water... The psyche lusts to be wet. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

A drunk man, staggering and mindless, must be led home by his son, so wet is his psyche... Water brings death to the psyche, as earth brings death to water... The psyche lusts to be wet.


Quote: And some men are as ignorant of what they do when awake as they are forgetful of what they do when asleep. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

And some men are as ignorant of what they do when awake as they are forgetful of what they do when asleep.


Quote: A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one.


Quote: Knowledge of divine things for the most part is lost to us by incredulity. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Knowledge of divine things for the most part is lost to us by incredulity.


Quote: Men who are lovers of wisdom i.e., philosophers must be inquirers into many things. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Men who are lovers of wisdom i.e., philosophers must be inquirers into many things.


Quote: Immortal mortals, mortal immortals, one living the others death and dying the others life. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Immortal mortals, mortal immortals, one living the others death and dying the others life.


Quote: Men who love wisdom should acquaint themselves with a great many particulars. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Men who love wisdom should acquaint themselves with a great many particulars.


Quote: Many who have learned
from Hesiod the countless names
of gods and monsters
never understand
that night and day are one. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Many who have learned
from Hesiod the countless names
of gods and monsters
never understand
that night and day are one.


Quote: There is a stability in the Universe because of the orderly and balanced process of change, the same measure coming out as going in, as if reality were a huge fire that inhaled and exhaled equal amounts. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

There is a stability in the Universe because of the orderly and balanced process of change, the same measure coming out as going in, as if reality were a huge fire that inhaled and exhaled equal amounts.


Quote: The phases of fire are craving and satiety. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The phases of fire are craving and satiety.


Quote: The sun is the width of a human foot. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The sun is the width of a human foot.


Quote: Always having what we want
may not be the best good fortune
Health seems sweetest
after sickness, food
in hunger, goodness
in the wake of evil, and at the end
of daylong labor sleep. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Always having what we want
may not be the best good fortune
Health seems sweetest
after sickness, food
in hunger, goodness
in the wake of evil, and at the end
of daylong labor sleep.


Quote: For when is death not within our selves? And as Heracleitus says: Living and dead are the same, and so are awake and asleep, young and old. The former when shifted are the latter, and again the latter when shifted are the former. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

For when is death not within our selves? And as Heracleitus says: Living and dead are the same, and so are awake and asleep, young and old. The former when shifted are the latter, and again the latter when shifted are the former.


Quote: Knowing many things doesn't teach insight. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Knowing many things doesn't teach insight.


Quote: Lifetime is a child at play, moving pieces in a game. Kingship belongs to the child. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Lifetime is a child at play, moving pieces in a game. Kingship belongs to the child.


Quote: One thunderbolt strikes
root through everything. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

One thunderbolt strikes
root through everything.


Quote: He who hears not me but the logos will say: All is one. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

He who hears not me but the logos will say: All is one.


Quote: If you do not hope, you will not win that which is not hoped for, since it is unattainable and inaccessible. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

If you do not hope, you will not win that which is not hoped for, since it is unattainable and inaccessible.




Quote: Presumption must be quenched even more than a fire. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Presumption must be quenched even more than a fire.


Quote: Give me one man
from among ten thousand
if he is the best. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Give me one man
from among ten thousand
if he is the best.


Quote: One must realize that war is common, and justice strife, and that all things come to be through strife and are so ordained. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

One must realize that war is common, and justice strife, and that all things come to be through strife and are so ordained.


Quote: Realize that war is common and justice is strife, and that all things come into being and pass away through strife. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Realize that war is common and justice is strife, and that all things come into being and pass away through strife.


Quote: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.
Nothing endures but change. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.
Nothing endures but change.


Quote: It is by disease that health is pleasant; by evil that good is pleasant; by hunger, satiety; by weariness, rest. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

It is by disease that health is pleasant; by evil that good is pleasant; by hunger, satiety; by weariness, rest.


Quote: Whoever cannot seek the unforeseen sees nothing for the known way is an impasse. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Whoever cannot seek the unforeseen sees nothing for the known way is an impasse.




Quote: The wise is one only. It is unwilling and willing to be called by the name of Zeus. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The wise is one only. It is unwilling and willing to be called by the name of Zeus.


Quote: Eternity is a child playing, playing checkers; the kingdom belongs to a child. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Eternity is a child playing, playing checkers; the kingdom belongs to a child.


Quote: All things flow, nothing abides. You cannot step into the same river twice, for the waters are continually flowing on. Nothing is permanent except change. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

All things flow, nothing abides. You cannot step into the same river twice, for the waters are continually flowing on. Nothing is permanent except change.


Quote: The river where you set your foot just now is gone-those waters give way to this, now this. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The river where you set your foot just now is gone-those waters give way to this, now this.


Quote: There is harmony in the tension of opposites, as in the case of the bow and lyre. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

There is harmony in the tension of opposites, as in the case of the bow and lyre.


Quote: The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become.


Quote: The fairest harmony springs from discord. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The fairest harmony springs from discord.


Quote: Everything flows and nothing abides. Everything gives way and nothing stays fixed. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Everything flows and nothing abides. Everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Everything flows and nothing abides; everything gives way and nothing stays fixed... Cool things become warm, the warm grows cool; the moist dries, the parched becomes moist... It is in changing that things find repose.




Quote: Silence, healing. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Silence, healing.


Quote: Character is destiny. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Character is destiny.


Quote: The sun is new each day. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The sun is new each day.


Quote: To be evenminded is the greatest virtue. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

To be evenminded is the greatest virtue.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

To be evenminded
is the greatest virtue.
Wisdom is to speak
the truth and act
in keeping with its nature.


Quote: If you do not the expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

If you do not the expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.


Quote: I am what libraries and librarians have made me, with little assistance from a professor of Greek and poets. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

I am what libraries and librarians have made me, with little assistance from a professor of Greek and poets.


Quote: Deliberate violence is more to be quenched than a fire. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Deliberate violence is more to be quenched than a fire.


Quote: Couples are wholes and not wholes, what agrees disagrees, the concordant is discordant. From all things one and from one all things. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Couples are wholes and not wholes, what agrees disagrees, the concordant is discordant. From all things one and from one all things.


Quote: Justice will overtake fabricators of lies and false witnesses. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Justice will overtake fabricators of lies and false witnesses.


Quote: No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger.


Quote: To God everything is beautiful, good, and just; humans, however, think some things are unjust and others just. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

To God everything is beautiful, good, and just; humans, however, think some things are unjust and others just.


Quote: The eyes are more exact witnesses than the ears. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The eyes are more exact witnesses than the ears.


Quote: The hidden harmony is better than the obvious. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

The hidden harmony is better than the obvious.


Quote: Big results require big ambitions. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Big results require big ambitions.


Quote: Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details.


Quote: A man's character is his guardian divinity. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

A man's character is his guardian divinity.


Quote: Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.


Quote: No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.


Quote: Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony. by author Heraclitus overlaid on photo of photo of author Heraclitus with quote

Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony.


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