Thucydides (c. 460-400 BCE)

“The fact is that when great prosperity comes suddenly and unexpectedly to a state, it usually breeds arrogance; in most cases it is safer for people to enjoy an average amount of success rather than something which is out of all proportion; and it is easier, I should say, to ward off hardship than to maintain happiness.”

  • From a speech written by Thucydides in the character of Cleon in History of the Peloponnesian War (Book 3, section 39) by Thucydides, translated by Rex Warner (Penguin Classics, 1972).

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