My dear Kacvey,

According to Diogenes Laertius, Thales was born circa 585 B.C., and considered by Plato as one of the Seven Sages in the Ionian school of philosophy. He was a Phoenician by birth. After his expulsion from Phoenicia, he settled in Miletus and later was known as Thales the Milesian.

Here are current apothegms assigned to Thales:

He held there was no difference between life and death. “Why then do you not die?” said one. “Because” said he, ” there is no difference.”

To the question which is older, day or night, he replied: “Night is the older by one day.”

Some one asked him whether a man could hide an evil deed from the gods: “No,” he replied, “nor yet an evil thought.”

Being asked what is difficult, he replied, “To know oneself.” “What is easy?” “To give advice to another.” “What is most pleasant?” “Success.” “What is divine?” “That which has neither beginning nor end.”

To the question what was the strangest thing he had ever seen, his answer was, ” An aged tyrant.”

“How shall we lead the best and most righteous life?” “By refraining from doing what we blame in others.”

To Thales belongs the proverb “Know thyself.”