Delphic maxims

Set of maxims inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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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.[1] Plato attributed them to the Seven Sages of Greece,[2] as did the 3rd-century doxographer Diogenes Laertius[3] and the 5th-century scholar Stobaeus.[4] 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".[5] Roman educator Quintilian argued that students should copy these aphorisms often to improve their moral core.[6] 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.

The specific order and wording of each maxim varies among different versions (and translations) of the text. Not all maxims appear in all versions.