know thyself



Calque of Ancient Greek γνῶθι σεαυτόν (gnôthi seautón), one of the Delphic maxims, popularly attributed to various Ancient Greek sages. The proverb in Latin is given as nōsce tē ipsum.



know thyself

  1. (also philosophy) Be aware of your own strengths and limitations.
    • 1885, Miguel de Cervantes, chapter XLII, in John Ormsby, transl., Don Quixote, volume 2:
      "Secondly, thou must keep in view what thou art, striving to know thyself, the most difficult thing to know that the mind can imagine. If thou knowest thyself, it will follow thou wilt not puff thyself up like the frog that strove to make himself as large as the ox; if thou dost, the recollection of having kept pigs in thine own country will serve as the ugly feet for the wheel of thy folly."


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