What are your Favourite Quotes from History?

Nov 2018
349
Denmark
"Death must have a cause"

It is a Danish proverb, used to apologize for a morally questionable action.

The quote is from 1588, when King Frederik II died. (Born July 1, 1534, died April 4, 1588)

Several priests said in their funeral oration and memorial services that it was unfortunate that this vigorous man had been drinking so heavily that it killed him.

Frederik II had in fact, fallen into several moats. At that time, it was part of the job as king to drink a lot.

The priest Anders Sørensen Vedel, who spoke in Ribe Cathedral, shrugged his shoulders and finished his speech with the words: “Death will have a cause. We must all die of something. ”
 
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Aug 2012
1,554
To ensure the loyalty of powerful nobleman Lord Stanley, Richard III took his son prisoner and threatened to kill him if Stanley did not support him in the coming battle. Lord Stanley simply responded: "Sire, I have other sons."
Which, honestly, is just kind of impressive.

But for sheer comedy, you just can't beat the Zaporozhian Cossacks, who in a letter to Sultan Mehmed IV just sort of started vomiting insults at him, calling him everything from a "Babylonian scullion" to a "mare's arse". If you want a good chuckle, I'd recommend reading it for yourself, as the vulgarity just gets worse from there. I mean, Jesus, there's burning your bridges, and then there's burning them and taking a dump on the ashes.
 
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Nov 2018
349
Denmark
But for sheer comedy, you just can't beat the Zaporozhian Cossacks, who in a letter to Sultan Mehmed IV just sort of started vomiting insults at him, calling him everything from a "Babylonian scullion" to a "mare's arse". If you want a good chuckle, I'd recommend reading it for yourself, as the vulgarity just gets worse from there. I mean, Jesus, there's burning your bridges, and then there's burning them and taking a dump on the ashes.
I read the letter and expanded my vocabulary with several words :lol:
 
Oct 2017
110
South Australia
Quote by Alexis de Tocqueville: “There are at the present time two great nations...”

“There are at the present time two great nations in the world, which started from different points, but seem to tend towards the same end. I allude to the Russians and the Americans. Both of them have grown up unnoticed; and whilst the attention of mankind was directed elsewhere, they have suddenly placed themselves in the front rank among the nations, and the world learned their existence and their greatness at almost the same time.


All other nations seem to have nearly reached their natural limits, and they have only to maintain their power; but these are still in the act of growth. All the others have stopped, or continue to advance with extreme difficulty; these alone are proceeding with ease and celerity along a path to which no limit can be perceived. The American struggles against the obstacles which nature opposes to him; the adversaries of the Russian are men. The former combats the wilderness and savage life; the latter, civilization with all its arms. The conquests of the American are therefore gained with the ploughshare; those of the Russian by the sword. The Anglo-American relies upon personal interest to accomplish his ends, and gives free scope to the unguided strength and common sense of the people; the Russian centres all the authority of society in a single arm. The principal instrument of the former is freedom; of the latter, servitude. Their starting-point is different, and their courses are not the same; yet each of them seems marked out by the will of Heaven to sway the destinies of half the globe.”
That is a great quote, I'd never heard it. Amazing to think that de Tocqueville predicted this over a century before the beginning of the Cold War.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,889
Portugal
There are a few atributed to Julius Caesar that I find interesting:

“Veni, vidi, vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered), “The die is cast”, and something like “Caesar's wife must be above suspicion.”
 
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Feb 2019
863
Serbia
''Justice delayed is justice denied''-attributed to W.E. Gladstone.
''I do not say that the French cannot come, I say that they cannot come by sea.''-John Jervis, in the period between 1803-1805 when Britain faced a threat of Napoleonic Invasion.
There is a fun little story about Napoleon:

When Napoleon returned from his first exile King Louis XVIII sent troops to arrest him. When the 5th regiment reached Napoleon he stood up and said ''Soldiers of the 5th, shoot your emperor if you dare.'' None did and the regiment joined Napoleon. As Louis sent more and more troops almost all of them, veterans and conscripts alike joined Napoleon. In the end Napoleon sent a letter to Paris: ''From Napoleon to Louis XVIII. My good brother-there is no need to send any more troops-I have enough.''
 
Oct 2017
110
South Australia
“China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world “ Napoleon

China is the second power of the world which rivals usa. Another monster that was awoken by the Japanese. Let us hope these two industrial nations clash not in arms but only through economic or cyber means.
I never knew Napoleon said that, another remarkable prediction!

When you mentioned Japan and a sleeping giant waking in the same post I was reminded of the quote from Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when he said "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."

I didn't think Japan had much of a military these days though?
 
Oct 2017
110
South Australia
To ensure the loyalty of powerful nobleman Lord Stanley, Richard III took his son prisoner and threatened to kill him if Stanley did not support him in the coming battle. Lord Stanley simply responded: "Sire, I have other sons."
Which, honestly, is just kind of impressive.

But for sheer comedy, you just can't beat the Zaporozhian Cossacks, who in a letter to Sultan Mehmed IV just sort of started vomiting insults at him, calling him everything from a "Babylonian scullion" to a "mare's arse". If you want a good chuckle, I'd recommend reading it for yourself, as the vulgarity just gets worse from there. I mean, Jesus, there's burning your bridges, and then there's burning them and taking a dump on the ashes.
The quote from Lord Stanley reminds me of the Red Wedding in the TV version of Game of Thrones, where Catelyn threatens to kill Walder Frey's wife and he just says "I'll find another"

That does sound quite comedic!
 
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Oct 2017
110
South Australia
''I do not say that the French cannot come, I say that they cannot come by sea.''-John Jervis, in the period between 1803-1805 when Britain faced a threat of Napoleonic Invasion.
There is a fun little story about Napoleon:

When Napoleon returned from his first exile King Louis XVIII sent troops to arrest him. When the 5th regiment reached Napoleon he stood up and said ''Soldiers of the 5th, shoot your emperor if you dare.'' None did and the regiment joined Napoleon. As Louis sent more and more troops almost all of them, veterans and conscripts alike joined Napoleon. In the end Napoleon sent a letter to Paris: ''From Napoleon to Louis XVIII. My good brother-there is no need to send any more troops-I have enough.''
That Jervis quote is very accurate

I do love the story of Napoleon's return, didn't know about the letter though, that quote is very funny! :D

Edit: Sorry, I should have put these replies in one post, for some reason I made a separate post for each
 
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