The Delphic Maxims

The Delphic maxims are a set of 147 aphorisms inscribed at Delphi in Greece.  Originally, they were said to have been given by the Greek god Apollo's Oracle at Delphi and were therefore attributed to Apollo himself.  The 5th century scholar Stobaeus later attributed them to the Seven Sages of Greece.  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."  Perhaps the most famous of these maxims is 'know thyself', which was carved into the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. The specific order and wording of each maxim varies between different versions (and translations) of the text.

147 Delphic maxims
No. Greek English
001. Επου θεω Follow God
002. Νομω πειθου Obey the law
003. Θεους σεβου Worship the Gods
004. Γονεις αιδου Respect your parents
005. Ηττω υπο δικαιου Be overcome by justice
006. Γνωθι μαθων Know what you have learned
007. Ακουσας νοει Perceive what you have heard
008. Σαυτον γνωθι Know yourself
009. Γαμειν μελλε Intend to get married
010. Καιρον γνωθι Know your opportunity
011. Φρονει θνητα Think as a mortal
012. Ξενος ων ισθι If you are a stranger act like one
013. Εστιαν τιμα Honor the hearth (or Hestia)
014. Αρχε σεαυτου Control yourself
015. Φιλοις βοηθει Help your friends
016. Θυμου κρατει Control anger
017. Φρονησιν ασκει Exercise prudence
018. Προνοιαν τιμα Honor providence
019. Ορκω μη χρω Do not use an oath
020. Φιλιαν αγαπα Love friendship
021. Παιδειας αντεχου Cling to discipline
022. Δοξαν διωκε Pursue honor
023. Σοφιαν ζηλου Long for wisdom
024. Καλον ευ λεγε Praise the good
025. Ψεγε μηδενα Find fault with no one
026. Επαινει αρετην Praise virtue
027. Πραττε δικαια Practice what is just
028. Φιλοις ευνοει Be kind to friends
029. Εχθρους αμυνου Watch out for your enemies
030. Ευγενειαν ασκει Exercise nobility of character
031. Κακιας απεχου Shun evil
032. Κοινος γινου Be impartial
033. Ιδια φυλαττε Guard what is yours
034. Αλλοτριων απεχου Shun what belongs to others
035. Ακουε παντα Listen to everything
036. Ευφημος ιοθι Be (religiously) silent
037. Φιλω χαριζου Do a favor for a friend
038. Μηδεν αγαν Nothing to excess
039. Χρονου φειδου Use time sparingly
040. Ορα το μελλον Foresee the future
041. Υβριν μισει Despise insolence
042. Ικετας αιδου Have respect for suppliants
043. Πασιν αρμοζου Be accommodating in everything
044. Υιους παιδευε Educate your sons
045. Εχων χαριζου Give what you have
046. Δολον φοβου Fear deceit
047. Ευλογει παντας Speak well of everyone
048. Φιλοσοφος γινου Be a seeker of wisdom
049. Οσια κρινε Choose what is divine
050. Γνους πραττε Act when you know
051. Φονου απεχου Shun murder
052. Ευχου δυνατα Pray for things possible
053. Σοφοις χρω Consult the wise
054. Ηθος δοκιμαζε Test the character
055. Λαβων αποδος Give back what you have received
056. Υφορω μηδενα Down-look no one
057. Τεχνη χρω Use your skill
058. Ο μελλεις, δος Do what you mean to do
059. Ευεργεςιας τιμα Honor a benefaction
060. Φθονει μηδενι Be jealous of no one
061. Φυλακη προσεχε Be on your guard
062. Ελπιδα αινει Praise hope
063. Διαβολην μισει Despise a slanderer
064. Δικαιως κτω Gain possessions justly
065. Αγαθους τιμα Honor good men
066. Κριτην γνωθι Know the judge
067. Γαμους κρατει Master wedding-feasts
068. Τυχην νομιζε Recognize fortune
069. Εγγυην φευγε Flee a pledge
070. Αμλως διαλεγου Speak plainly
071. Ομοιοις χρω Associate with your peers
072. Δαπανων αρχου Govern your expenses
073. Κτωμενος ηδου Be happy with what you have
074. Αισχυνην σεβου Revere a sense of shame
075. Χαριν εκτελει Fulfill a favor
076. Ευτυχιαν ευχου Pray for happiness
077. Τυχην στεργε Be fond of fortune
078. Ακουων ορα Observe what you have heard
079. Εργαζου κτητα Work for what you can own
080. Εριν μισει Despise strife
081. Ονειδος εχθαιρε Detest disgrace
082. Γλωτταν ισχε Restrain the tongue
083. Υβριν αμυνου Keep yourself from insolence
084. Κρινε δικαια Make just judgements
085. Χρω χρημασιν Use what you have
086. Αδωροδοκητος δικαζε Judge incorruptibly
087. Αιτιω παροντα Accuse one who is present
088. Λεγε ειδως Tell when you know
089. Βιας μη εχου Do not depend on strength
090. Αλυπως βιου Live without sorrow
091. Ομιλει πραως Live together meekly
092. Περας επιτελει μη αποδειλιων Finish the race without shrinking back
093. Φιλοφρονει πασιν Deal kindly with everyone
094. Υιοις μη καταρω Do not curse your sons
095. Γυναικος αρχε Rule your wife
096. Σεαυτον ευ ποιει Benefit yourself
097. Ευπροσηγορος γινου Be courteous
098. Αποκρινου εν καιρω Give a timely response
099. Πονει μετ ευκλειας Struggle with glory
100. Πραττε αμετανοητως Act without repenting
101. Αμαρτανων μετανοει Repent of sins
102. Οφθαλμου κρατει Control the eye
103. Βουλευου χρονω Give a timely counsel
104. Πραττε συντομως Act quickly
105. Φιλιαν φυλαττε Guard friendship
106. Ευγνωμων γινου Be grateful
107. Ομονοιαν διωκε Pursue harmony
108. Αρρητον κρυπτε Keep deeply the top secret
109. Το κρατουν φοβου Fear ruling
110. Το συμφερον θηρω Pursue what is profitable
111. Καιρον προσδεχου Accept due measure
112. Εχθρας διαλυε Do away with enmities
113. Γηρας προσδεχου Accept old age
114. Επι ρωμη μη καυχω Do not boast in might
115. Ευφημιαν ασκει Exercise (religious) silence
116. Απεχθειαν φευγε Flee enmity
117. Πλουτει δικιως Acquire wealth justly
118. Δοξαν μη λειπε Do not abandon honor
119. Κακιαν μισει Despise evil
120. Κινδυνευε φρονιμως Venture into danger prudently
121. Μανθανων μη καμνε Do not tire of learning
122. Φειδομενος μη λειπε Do not stop to be thrifty
123. Χρησμους θαυμαζε Admire oracles
124. Ους τρεφεις αγαπα Love whom you rear
125. Αποντι μη μαχου Do not oppose someone absent
126. Πρεσβυτερον αιδου Respect the elder
127. Νεωτερον διδασκε Teach a youngster
128. Πλουτω απιστει Do not trust wealth
129. Σεαυτον αιδου Respect yourself
130. Μη αρχε υβριζειν Do not begin to be insolent
131. Προγονους στεφανου Crown your ancestors
132. Θνησκε υπερ πατριδος Die for your country
133 Τω βιω μη αχθου. Do not be discontented by life
134. Επι νεκρω μη γελα Do not make fun of the dead
135. Ατυχουντι συναχθου Share the load of the unfortunate
136. Χαριζου αβλαβως Gratify without harming
137. Μη επι παντι λυπου Grieve for no one
138. Εξ ευγενων γεννα Beget from noble routes
139. Επαγγελου μηδενι Make promises to no one
140. Φθιμενους μη αδικει Do not wrong the dead
141. Ευ πασχε ως θνητος Be well off as a mortal
142. Τυχη μη πιστευε Do not trust fortune
143. Παις ων κοσμιος ισθι As a child be well-behaved
144. Ηβων εγκρατης As a youth be self-disciplined
145. Μεσος δικαιος As of middle-age be just
146. Πρεσβυτης ευλογος As an old man be sensible
147. Τελευτων αλυπος On reaching the end be without sorrow





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