SKU: BODS-102049

Words of wisdom and advice for leading a good life have long been part of society, handed down from one generation to the next.

Plenty of these wise observations originated from the philosophers of Ancient Greece and Rome, and went on to circulate widely among the Arabic-speaking communities of the middle ages, who added new sayings of their own. This collection features over 400 sayings, riddles and aphorisms from the ancient and medieval world in English translation. Grouped by themes including medicine, food, politics and nature, they derive from a range of philosophers and physicians, from Aristotle, Socrates and Plato to al-Kindī, Ibn Hindū and al-Rāzī.

Packed with timeless advice to contemplate, share and enjoy, this entertaining book offers readers a gateway to ancient and medieval cultures whose musings on philosophy, health and life are as authoritative and relevant now as they were then.


EMILIE SAVAGE-SMITH is Emeritus Professor of the History of Islamic Science at the University of Oxford.  SIMON SWAIN is Professor of Classics and Greco-Arabic at the University of Warwick. 


  • Hardback
  • 176 pages, 184 x 118 mm 
  • ISBN   9781851246144
  • Publication September 2023

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