Know thyself  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

“That self-knowledge is the highest aim of philosophical inquiry appears to be generally acknowledged” --Essay on Man

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Ancient Greek aphorism "Know thyself" (gnōthi seauton) was inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi - according to the Greek periegetic (travelogue) writer Pausanias (10.24.1).

The aphorism has been attributed to at least six ancient Greek sages:

Diogenes Laertius attributes it to Thales (Lives I.40), but also notes that Antisthenes in his Successions of Philosophers attributes it to Phemonoe, a mythical Greek poetess, though admitting that it was appropriated by Chilon. In a discussion of moderation and self-awareness, the Roman poet Juvenal quotes the phrase in Greek and states that the precept descended de caelo (from heaven) (Satire 11.27).

The authenticity of all such attributions has been doubted; according to one pair of modern scholars, "The actual authorship of the three maxims set up on the Delphian temple may be left uncertain. Most likely they were popular proverbs, which tended later to be attributed to particular sages." (H. Parke and D. Wormell, The Delphic Oracle, (Basil Blackwell, 1956), vol. 1, p. 389.)

In Latin, the aphorism is generally given as nosce te ipsum. The Latin version of the aphorism is written on a plaque above the Oracle's door in the Matrix film series, where it is rendered in a non-traditional Latin; that is to say temet nosce ("thine own self thou must know").

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Know thyself" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools