„With these examples before you, you should aspire to nobility of character, and not only abide by what I have said, but acquaint yourself with the best things in the poets as well, and learn from the other wise men also any useful lessons they have taught. For just as we see the bee settling on all the flowers, and sipping the best from each, so also those who aspire to culture ought not to leave anything untasted, but should gather useful knowledge from every source. For hardly even with these pains can they overcome the defects of nature.“
„Therefore, since the others are so lacking in spirit, I think it is opportune for you to head the war against the King; and, while it is only natural for the other descendants of Heracles, and for men who are under the bonds of their polities and laws, to cleave fondly to that state in which they happen to dwell, it is your privilege, as one who has been blessed with untrammeled freedom, to consider all Hellas (Greece) your fatherland, as did the founder of your race, and to be as ready to brave perils for her sake as for the things about which you are personally most concerned.“
To Philip, 5.127 (Loeb).
„Do not be surprised that many things which I have said do not apply to your at your present age. For I also have not overlooked this fact, but I have deliberately chosen to employ this one treatise, not only to convey to you advice for your life now, but also to leave with you precepts for the years to come; for you will then readily perceive the application of my precepts, but you will not easily find a man who will give you friendly counsel. In order, therefore, that you may not seek the rest from another source, but that you may draw from this as from a treasure-house, I thought that I ought not to omit any of the counsels which I have to give you.“
„So far has Athens left the rest of mankind behind in thought and expression that her pupils have become the teachers of the world, and she has made the name of Hellas distinctive no longer of race but of intellect, and the title of Hellene a badge of education rather than of common descent.“
— Isocrates, Panegyricus
„Believe that many precepts are better than much wealth; for wealth quickly fails us, but precepts abide through all time; for wisdom alone of all possessions is imperishable. Do not hesitate to travel a long road to those who profess to offer some useful instruction; for it were a shame, when merchants cross vast seas in order to increase their store of wealth, that the young should not endure even journeys by land to improve their understanding.“
Verse 19; variant translation: Of all our possessions, wisdom alone is immortal.
As quoted in Dictionary of Quotations (Classical) (1906), edited by Thomas Benfield Harbottle, p. 495.
„I shall be most grateful to the gods if I am not disappointed in the opinion which I have of you. For, while we find that the great majority of other men seek the society of those friends who join them in their follies and not of those to admonish them, just as they prefer the most pleasant to the most wholesome, you, I think, are minded otherwise as I judge from the industry you display in your general education. For when one sets for himself the highest standard of conduct, it is probable that in his relation to others he will approve only of those who exhort him to virtue. But most of all you would be spurred on to strive for noble deeds if you should realize that it is from them most of all that we also derive pleasure in the true sense. For while the result of indolence and love of surfeit is that pain follows on the heels of pleasure, on the other hand, devoted toil in the pursuit of virtue, and self-control in the ordering of one's life always yield delights that are pure and more abiding. In the former case we experience pain following upon pleasure, in the latter we enjoy pleasure after pain.“