Our love of what is beautiful does not lead to extravagance;
our love of the things of the mind does not make us soft.
— Pericles, as recorded by Thucydides, in the History of the Peloponnesian War
This beautiful marble bust of Pericles bearing the inscription “Pericles, son of Xanthippus, Athenian” is a Roman copy after a Greek original from ca. 430 BC.
Pericles was famous as both a general and a statesman, leading a city state to become the Athenian empire. He also started the building of much of the Acropolis, including the Parthenon.
He also promoted the arts and literature; it is principally through his efforts that Athens holds the reputation of being the educational and cultural center of the ancient Greek world.
So when he says that love of the things of the mind does not necessarily lead to weakness, he knows whereof he speaks.
(Image: By Copy of Ktesilas (Jastrow (2006)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)