Aphorisms

Posted this week in Tarpley Hall, some historical aphorisms!

• Not to know what took place before you were born is to remain forever a child. -Cicero

• The study of history is the best medicine for a sick mind; for in history you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see; and in that record you can find for yourself and your country both examples and warnings, fine things to take as models, base things, rotten through and through, to avoid. -Livy

• Most people, in fact, will not take trouble in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear. -Thucydides

• The historians, therefore, are the most useful people and the best teachers, so that one can never honor, praise, or thank them enough. -Martin Luther

• Consciousness of the past alone can make us understand the present. -Herbert Luethy

• The aim of the historian, like that of the artist, is to enlarge our picture of the world, to give us a new way of looking at things. -James Joll

• A document is a witness, and like most witnesses it rarely speaks until one begins to question it. -Marc Bloch

• One of the most important obligations of the historian is to keep good faith with the dead and not score cheap points off them. -John Cannon

1 thought on “Aphorisms

  1. Wonderful aphorisms. I am inspired to get out my aphorism folder. 🙂 I like all of your contributions so far. Why didn’t we think to do this sooner? 🙂 Thanks.

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