Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Genius is two percent inspiration, ninety-eight percent perspiration.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > Sophocles Quotes

Sophocles
(c. 496 B.C. - c. 406 B.C.)

Greek dramatist and poet who wrote 123 dramas, including Antigone and Oedipus Rex, and others which have survived since the 5th century B.C.

Science Quotes by Sophocles (8 quotes)

πολλὰ τὰ δεινὰ κοὐδὲν ἀνθρώπου δεινότερον πέλει.
Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man.
— Sophocles
First line of a choral ode in Antigone, line 332, translated by R.C. Jebb (1891). This may not be the closest translation of ambiguous words. Walter Arnold Kaufmann suggests a closer meaning would be “Much is awesome, but nothing more awesome than man” in Tragedy and Philosophy (1992), 237. Alternate word translations could be terrors, danger, misfortune or distress. Hence the variation in other standard translations on this web page.
Science quotes on:  |  Awesome (14)  |  Man (2249)  |  More (2559)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Wonderful (149)

Man is uncanny, yet nothing
uncannier than man bestirs itself, rising up beyond him.
— Sophocles
First line of a choral ode in Antigone, line 332, as translated from a French translation. One of several variations given in Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 3, (2010), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Beyond (308)  |  Man (2249)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Rise (166)  |  Rising (44)  |  Stir (21)  |  Uncanny (5)

Many the forms of life,
Fearful and strange to see,
But man supreme stands out
For strangeness and for fear.
— Sophocles
First line of a choral ode in Antigone, line 332, as translated in Harvard Classics. One of several variations given in Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 3, (2010), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Fear (199)  |  Form (960)  |  Life (1799)  |  Man (2249)  |  See (1082)  |  Stand (274)  |  Strange (157)  |  Strangeness (10)  |  Supreme (71)

Many the wonders but nothing walks stranger than man.
— Sophocles
First line of a choral ode in Antigone, line 332, as translated by Elizabeth Wyckoff (1954) in David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (eds.)The Complete Greek Tragedies: Sophocles (1957), Vol. 2, 170.
Science quotes on:  |  Man (2249)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Strange (157)  |  Walk (124)  |  Wonder (236)

Many things cause terror and wonder, yet nothing
is more terrifying and wonderful than man.
— Sophocles
First line of a choral ode in Antigone, line 332, as translated by M. Blake Tyrrell and Larry J. Bennett. One of several variations given in Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 3, (2010), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (542)  |  Man (2249)  |  More (2559)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Terrify (11)  |  Terror (30)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Wonderful (149)

Much wisdom goes with fewest words.
— Sophocles
In Hialmer Day Gould, New Practical Spelling (1905), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Fewest (5)  |  Wisdom (221)  |  Word (622)

One must learn by doing the thing; though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try.
— Sophocles
In play, 'Trachiniae', collected in George Young (trans.), The Dramas of Sophocles: Rendered in English Verse: Dramatic and Lyric (1916), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (174)  |  Doing (280)  |  Know (1519)  |  Learn (632)  |  Must (1526)  |  Practice (204)  |  Self-Taught (5)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Try (283)

There are many strange and wonderful things, but nothing more strangely wonderful than man.
— Sophocles
First line of a choral ode in Antigone, line 332, as translated by Ian Johnson. One of several variations given in Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 3, (2010), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Man (2249)  |  More (2559)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Strange (157)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Wonderful (149)



Quotes by others about Sophocles (1)

The dice of God are always loaded.
[A fragment from a lost play of Sophocles, “Ever the dice of Zeus fall well.”]
A colloquial translation, presumably ironic, from the original Greek phrase (preceding it), as given in 'Compensation', collected in The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1903), 102. The more literal translation of the original Greek is discussed in the added Notes section by Joseph Slater in The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson: First Series, Essays (1979), 234. Fragment translation from Paul Shorey, 'The Influence of Classics on American Literature', The Chautauquan (1906), 43, 129.
Science quotes on:  |  Always (7)  |  Chance (239)  |  Dice (21)  |  Fall (230)  |  Fragment (54)  |  God (758)  |  Loaded (4)  |  Luck (42)  |  Zeus (6)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.