Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Original Meaning of "Know Thyself"

The famous saying inscribed over the south entrance of Eno Hall at Princeton University.
"Know your place" is perhaps a fitting motto for the Ivy League.

According to this piece by Elizabeth Cady, the original meaning of the famous Greek saying gnothi seauthon was actually "Know your place," and it was intended to warn entrants of the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi to avoid the sin of hubris. Socrates seems to have imaginatively reinterpreted the motto when he used it to express the ideal of the examined life.
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