Who said this classic quote that I can't recall?
April 14, 2018 10:52 AM   Subscribe

It's from one of the Greek philosophers or historians I seem to recall. Not only can't I recall the author, I can't recall the exact wording.

And it goes something like:

“No great thing comes into one’s life without a disaster following."

Or something of that ilk.

The idea being that a big windfall or accomplishment is then compensated for with a hubris check of some sort.
posted by zenpop to Religion & Philosophy (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't recall that specific idea of necessary succession of something good by something bad, but in Herodotus 1.32, Solon tells Croesus of Lydia, "It is necessary to see how the end of every affair turns out, for the god promises fortune to many people and then utterly ruins them." This is after Croesus has asked Solon who is the happiest person, expecting Solon will say that Croesus is, and Solon replies with three examples of Greeks who lived good lives and then died happy.
posted by brianogilvie at 1:00 PM on April 14, 2018

No one encounters prosperity that does not also encounter danger.
posted by jamjam at 1:50 PM on April 14, 2018

Thank you both, although neither one of the above is the quote I'd seen last year. The maddening thing is I know I saved the quote in some text document -- but of course can't recall where or what.
posted by zenpop at 2:08 PM on April 14, 2018

I'm browsing this list on Goodreads of pessimism quotes.

Maybe this one fits (p2)?

"There are moments when everything goes well; don't be frightened, it won't last.”
― Jules Renard
posted by slipthought at 3:21 PM on April 14, 2018

Herodotus, quoting someone else: "No man, either of these here or of others, is made by nature so happy, that there will not come to him many times, and not once only, the desire to be dead rather than to live".
posted by rollick at 3:26 PM on April 14, 2018

Are you sure it was prose? While it definitely could be, it sounds like a bit of gnomic wisdom from a tragedy to me.
posted by praemunire at 4:07 PM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

I still think that the idea of a necessary sequence of good, then bad, isn't that common in ancient Greek thought. The closest I can come up with is the Hippocratic aphorism that it's dangerous to be an athlete in top form and health, because the only thing that can follow that is illness or decline.
posted by brianogilvie at 4:42 PM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

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