Memorable Fragments by Heraclitus

Heraclitus and the Fragments:


Statue Resembling Heraclitus

Statue Resembling Heraclitus



Heraclitus is one of the most renowned Greek Philosophers during the Pre-Socratic times. Although not much is known about his upbringing and general biography, he was – and still is – considered a “pioneer of wisdom”, especially throughout his own era. In Plato’s Theaetetus, Chapter I. Heraclitus is mentioned and his famous quote, “No man ever steps in the same river twice”, was employed by Socrates in an effort to understand the nature of knowledge. Yet, Heraclitus is also quite memorable for his fragments: brief sentiments about Philosophy and life in general which were written by him in Greek. The list of known fragments which Heraclitus wrote are listed below in English translations. The translated texts were extracted from , and the site’s bibliography is referred respectively underneath the listed Fragments.

Painting of Heraclitus

Painting of Heraclitus



Fragment from Heraclitus

Fragment from Heraclitus


Below are some memorable Fragments written by Heraclitus, translated from Greek to English by G.T.W Patrick.


     “Into the same river you could not step twice,  for other waters are flowing.”

              – Heraclitus, Alleg. Hom. 24.

War is the father and king of all, and has produced some as gods and some as men, and has made some slaves and some free.

– Hippolytus, Ref. haer. ix. 9.

Recognizing oneself and being of a sound mind are for all men.

              – Fragment B116

Although the Law of Reason is common, the majority of people live as though they had an understanding of their own.

– Sextus Emp. adv. Math. vii. 133.

It is hard to contend against passion, for whatever it craves it buys with its life.

– Iamblichus, Protrept. p. 140, Arcer.

Dogs, also, bark at what they do not know.”

– Plutarch, An seni sit ger. resp. vii. p. 787.

Of all whose words I have heard, no one attains to this, to know that wisdom is apart from all.

-Stobaeus Floril. iii. 81.



From The Fragments of the Work of Heraclitus of Ephesus on Nature, translated from the Greek text of Bywater by G.T.W. Patrick, Baltimore: N. Murray, 1889. This was originally Patrick’s doctoral thesis at Johns Hopkins University, 1888. A note states that this 1889 edition was reprinted from the American Journal of Psychology, 1888.


3 thoughts on “Memorable Fragments by Heraclitus

  1. Pingback: Heraclitus and the Fragments | Thoughts of a Mad Man | Ancient Origins of Science |

  2. Pingback: All Wet | The Fenn Diagrams

  3. Pingback: Life on the river - globalhelpswap - Responsible Travel Blog

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