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"Delphic Maxims" in The World Today

"Delphic Maxims" in The World Today
"Delphic Maxims" in The World Today

"Delphic Maxims" in The World Today

In our world today there are many "truisms" or sayings that have orginated in the ancient world.

Most of them we do not realize from where they originate.

One such example is the "Delphic Maxim" Know Thyself.

A Delphic maxims is a short, concise statement expressing a fundamental moral rule or rule of conduct to live by.

Often claimed as the way to happyness, the Delphic Maxims are guidelines/advice, and are not to be read as absolute rules or codes.

The Origin of the Famous Saying "Know Thyself"

"Know thyself. These were the words inscribed almost as a warning in the pronaos of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. It was Plato who actually transmitted this phrase via his dialogues. Indeed, he suggested the importance of looking inwards before making any decisions or taking any steps forward.

Many centuries have passed since then. However, people still find themselves pretty helpless when it comes to self-knowledge. In fact, our society continues to act without reflecting first, blames others for its failures, and continues to behave without integrity.

For example, self-protective and rationalization biases abound. When you fail, you make an excuse. In fact, it’s always easier to hold others responsible for your own mistakes, to resort to the situational factor and say things like “I t’s an impossible situation, there’s just no way out”..." from the article: The Origin of the Famous Saying "Know Thyself"

"Know Thyself" In Popular Culture

The three best known maxims in popular culture today are – "Know thyself", "Nothing in excess", and "Give a pledge and trouble is at hand"

The Matrix movie trilogy made "Know Thyself" popular once again.

The Matrix movies combined many different religions very successfully with a New Age worldview.

The Matrix Oracle Scene


'The Matrix Oracle Scene" from video introduction

147 Delphic Maxims

"From Wikipedia: "The Delphic maxims are a set of maxims inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Originally, they were said to have been given by the Greek god Apollo's Oracle at Delphi, Pythia, and therefore were attributed to Apollo. The 3rd century doxographer Diogenes Laertius attributed them to the Seven Sages of Greece as did the 5th century scholar Stobaeus. Contemporary scholars, however, hold that their original authorship is uncertain, and that 'most likely they were popular proverbs, which tended later to be attributed to particular sages', Roman educator Quintilian argued that students should copy those aphorisms often to improve their moral core. Perhaps the most famous of these maxims is 'know thyself', which was the first of three maxims carved above the entrance to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. In the 5th-century [AD] anthology of Stobaeus, there is a list of 147 maxims attributed to the Seven Sages of Greece. Stobaeus cites a certain Sosiades as his source, but the identity of Sosiades is unknown, and it was once thought that this collection of maxims was of no great antiquity. However, parallel sayings have since been found in several ancient inscriptions, some dating to around 300 BC. These inscriptions also inform us that the original maxims were 'carved on the stele at Delphi'." Source for Greek Text: "Joannis Stobaei Anthologium recensuerunt Curtius Wachsmuth et Otto Hense." Berolini apud Weidmannos. 1884." from video introduction

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