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maxims of the Oracle at Delphi (Maxims of Delphi), the most famous religious
location of Greece for over 1000 years were made up of very brief quotations
(two to five words) full of wisdom and moral values. The subject matter they
deal with varies from religious faith, to obedience to law, how to treat
friends, how to behave in a just manner, education, country, way of life,
maxims, 147 in total, were inscribed in the frontal columns at the temple of
the god Apollo, at the Oracle of Delphi. They were copied on single marble
tablets and were transported to all parts of the Ancient Greek World, as the
writing on paper or on parchment was not known at the time.
It should be noted that these 147 maxims of Delphi
embodied the complete universe of values for the ancient Greeks. The number 147
equals 3 times 7 times 7 (or 3x7x7). The meanings of numbers in the ancient
Greek world were quite important.
Number 3 represents divine perfection, and in
Pythagorean terms completion.
Number 4 represents the whole creation, as there are
4 seasons in a year, 4 winds, 4 directions, 4 elements (fire, water, air and ,
Number 7 is the combination of 3 and 4, and
represents the universe. Also Apollo’s lyre (musical instrument) had 7 strings,
there were 7 sages, etc. In Pythagorean terms 7 is a cosmic number with 3 of
heaven and 4 of the world. Number 147, being 3x7x7, represented all divine
values for all universes (a universe of a universe).
if not all, of these maxims (e.g., ‘Follow God’, ‘Obey the law’, ‘Worship God’,
‘Respect your parents’, etc.) have been attributed to the seven sages of
Ancient Greece: Thales, Pittacos, Bias, Solon, Cleovoulos, Periandros, and
Chilon, who are also credited of having their own quotations, as well. For a full list of these maxims, quotations
and sayings see my book ‘Pearls
of Wisdom of the 7 Sages of Ancient Greece’ at Amazon.
Ethical maxims and quotations play a significant role in shaping our
every-day life and social interactions with others, as they embody simple rules
to memorize and follow and thus make our life easier as they provide a level of
assurance that we are doing the right and accepted thing.
These Oracle of Delphi maxims and the quotations and sayings of the Seven Sages cover all areas of
living, such as:
1. Religiosity (faith, worship,
religious behavior, God, praying, etc.),
2. Governance (protect home
country, society, laws, ruling),
(wealth, protection of self and property, profit, finance, etc.),
4.Principles, Virtues and Values for
Association with Others (friendship and love, peace and hate, anger,
justice, honor, goodness, murder and vice, wisdom, mercy and forgiveness, and happiness),