The Maxims of Menander

Statue of Menander in Acropolis, Athens, Greece

Statue of Menander in Acropolis, Athens, Greece


Menander (Menandros) was a Hellenistic Greek dramatist. He was the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy. He wrote 108 comedies and took the prize at the Lenaia festival eight times. His work was lost during the Middle Ages and only fragments of it have survived to this day. He is known for his moral maxims. Here a some of them:

"Rest assured, for every piece of business the most businesslike thing is to choose the right moment."

"We live, not as we wish to, but as we can."

"He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor."

"Bad associates spoil a good character."

"Even God lends a hand to honest boldness."

"Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."

"The person who has the will to undergo all labor may win any goal."

"Culture makes all men gentle."

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