"Men would never be superstitious if they could govern all their circumstances by set rule, or if they were always favored by fortune. But being frequently driven into straits where rules are useless, and being often kept in fluctuating pitiably between hope and fear by the uncertainty of fortune's greedily coveted favors, they are consequently, for the most part, very prone to credulity."

Baruch Spinoza, from the Theologico-Political Treatise. His parents were Jewish, and for that were tortured and condemned by the Inquisition in Portugal; they escaped to Amsterdam where Baruch was born. He received Jewish schooling, but became interested in the historical inaccuracies of the Bible, and was excommunicated from the Jewish community in Amsterdam for heresy in 1656. In 1661, Spinoza moved to a small town on the Dutch coast where he wrote the above treatise.

This was just one of many works Spinoza wrote, although it was the most controversial; other notable writings include a demonstration of Descartes’ thinking and a master work on Ethics. He is known today as one of the most influential philosophers of the Enlightenment.

"Fear the goat from the front, the horse from the rear, and the man from all sides."

Russian proverb

"When a lion eats a man, and a man eats an ox, why is the ox more made for the man, than the man for the lion?"

Thomas Hobbes, Questions Concerning Liberty, Necessity, and Chance, 1656

"Fear is stronger than arms."

Aeschylus, circa 467 BCE.

He was a playwrite, known as the “Father of Tragedy.” His plays are the earliest tragedies that we have the text for. Though unfortunately only seven of Aeschylus’ plays survived, of an estimated seventy to ninety plays he wrote.

"It is harder to make one’s name by means of a perfect work than to win praise for a second-rate one by means of the name one has already acquired."

Jean de La Bruyère (1645 - 1696), a French philosopher and moralist who was famous for his satire

"If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows not fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligence they are, the more they are frightened."

George S. Patton, an American general during World War II, c. 1945

"Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit."

Frank Borman, commander the second successful manned Apollo flight, Apollo 8, which was mankind's first flight around the Moon.

"It is important for all of us to appreciate where we come from and how that history has really shaped us in ways that we might not understand."

Sonia Sotomayor (1954 - ) the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.

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    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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