Today, we’re diving into the world of Spartan quotes — the iconic sayings that have inspired warriors, leaders, and everyday people alike for centuries.
The Spartans were a fiercely proud and skilled warrior society in Ancient Greece, well-known for their discipline, physical prowess, and unrelenting commitment to victory.
Despite their brutal reputation, the Spartans also had a rich tradition of wisdom and philosophy that still resonates to this day.
Whether you’re looking for motivation to push through struggle or inspiration to live the life you want, these Spartan quotes will certainly get your motivational juices flowing.
If you’re ready to channel your inner warrior and tap into the timeless wisdom of the Spartans, then let’s dive in!
Spartan Quotes About Strength
- “Crying is for cowards, but you my son, I will bury you without a tear; You are my son and son of Sparta too.” ~ Spartan Mother
- “To cry out was considered a sign of cowardice. It was not unheard of for a Spartan boy to die of a beating without uttering a word.” ~ Steven Pressfield
- “A harmless man is not a good man. He’s just too weak to be bad. A good man is someone who can destroy you but choose not to.”
- “The Spartans are the equal of any men when they fight as individuals; fighting together as a collective, they surpass all other men.” ~ Damaratus
- “The walls of Sparta were its young men, and its borders the point of their spears.” ~ King Agesilaus
- “There’s no room for softness, not in Sparta. No place for weakness. Only the hard and strong may call themselves Spartans.” ~ Dilios
- “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” ~ Mark Twain
- “There is nothing stronger than a broken man who has rebuilt himself.”
- “The city that is well fortified has a wall of men instead of brick.” ~ Lycurgus Of Sparta
- “Only the hard and the strong may call themselves Spartans. Only the hard, only the strong.” ~ Dilios
- “Warriors create themselves through trial and error, pain and suffering, and their ability to conquer their own faults.” ~ Disciple Of Iron
- “A spartan’s true strength is the warrior next to him. So give respect and honor to him, and it will be returned to you.” ~ Leonidas
- “The Spartans say that any army may win while it still has its legs under it; the real test comes when all strength is fled and the men must produce victory on will alone.” ~ Steven Pressfield
- “If numbers are what matters, all Greece cannot match a small part of that army; but if courage is what counts, this number is sufficient.” ~ Leonidas
- “Modern armies all follow the Spartan pattern. If you want to overcome adversity, you must constantly rehearse encountering adversity. Then, when real adversity arrives, you are not fazed by it.” ~ Tom Strabo
- “Fear conquers fear. This is how we Spartans do it, counterpoising to fear of death a greater fear: that of dishonor. Of exclusion from the pack.” ~ Steven Pressfield
Badass Spartan Quotes
If you’d just prefer to keep reading, then here’s some more badass spartan quotes that will fire you up.
- “The spartans do not ask how many are the enemy but where are they.” ~ Plutarch
- “Give them nothing, but take from them everything!” ~ Leonidas
- “I will not quit in the midst of the struggle.”
- “The man of principle never forgets what he is, because of what others are.” ~ Baltasar Gracian
- “Walk a mile to avoid one fight, but when one starts don’t back down an inch.”
- “If they say it’s impossible, it’s impossible for them, not you.”
- “God doesn’t give the hardest battles to his toughest soldiers, he creates the toughest soldiers through life’s hardest battles.”
- “Come back with your shield, or on it.” ~ Queen Gorgo
- “You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it.”
- “Eat a good breakfast, men. For we’ll all be sharing dinner in hell.” ~ Leonidas
- “The Spartans made short answers into an art form. The ideal was to produce just one-word answers to devastate their enemies.” ~ Tom Strabo
- “The Spartans were the first to give the world an ideal of the gentleman.” ~ John Stuart Mill
- “If you talk to any ordinary Spartan, he seems to be stupid. But eventually, like an expert marksman, he shoots in some brief remark that proves you to be only a child.” ~ Plato
- “We can’t kill them off, for we want to have some trainers for our young men.” ~ Cleomenes
- “Mental toughness is spartanism with qualities of sacrifice, self-denial, dedication. It is fearlessness, and it is love.” ~ Vince Lombardi
- “Let a man learn how to fight by first daring to perform mighty deeds.” Tyra
- “To flee is a disgrace, and an injury to Sparta.” ~ Callicratidas
- “Come back with your shield, or on it.” ~ Queen Gorgo
- “Act for this alone: for the man who stands at your shoulder. He is everything, and everything is contained within him. That is all I know. That is all I can tell you.” ~ Dienekes
- “Philip II of Macedon sent a message to Sparta: “If I invade Laconia, you will be destroyed, never to rise again.” The Spartan ephors replied with a single word, “If.” ~ The Way Of The Warrior
Short Spartan Quotes About Life
Let’s keep things rolling with some more short spartan quotes about life that are quick-hitting and powerful.
- “Only Spartan women give birth to real men.” ~ Gorgo
- “Better not bring up a lion inside your city, but if you must, then humor all his moods.” ~ Aristophanes
- “Smooth waters have never made a skilled sailor.”
- “I would die for any one of mine.” ~ King Leonidas
- “What we achieve inwardly will change our outer reality.” ~ Plutarch
- “Son, remember your courage with each step.” ~ Spartan Mother
- “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” ~ Sun Tzu
- “Spartans, stoics, heroes, saints and gods use short and positive speech.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “The Spartans were the first to show us the true meaning of courage.” ~ Alexander the Great
- “He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
- “Most people measure words spoken per day. Few measure thoughts per day.” ~ Monaristw
- “There are some things you can only learn in a storm.”
- “Fear is a reaction, courage is a decision.”
- “Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.” ~ Plutarch
- “If you had any knowledge of the noble things in life, you would refrain from coveting others’ possessions.” ~ Leonidas
- “Courage above all things, is the first quality of a warrior.” ~ Carl Von Clausewitz
- “Your mind is a battlefield. Be its commander, not its soldier.”
- “The question isn’t who is going to let you; the question is who is going to stop me.” ~ Ayn Rand
- “He who sweats more in training bleeds less than in war.” ~ Spartan Warrior Creed
- “Spartans have learned to respect their commanders and not to fear them.” ~ Polydorus
- “There is no use for bravery unless justice is present, and no need for bravery if all men are just.” ~ Agesilaus
- “Fate leads him who follows it, and drags him who resists.” ~ Plutarch
The Best Spartan Quotes From 300
One of the most famous Spartan movies of all-time is the movie “300”, which stars well-renowned actor Gerard Butler in a legendary role.
The movie is set in 480 B.C., and centers around the conflict between Persia and Greece, which rises to a crescendo at the Battle Of Thermopylae.
Throughout the film, many of the traits that made the Spartans true warriors are displayed — rigorous discipline, unmatched mental toughness, and total badassery on the battlefield.
There’s a plethora of iconic quotes from the movie that show the brutality and strength of the Spartans.
So without further ado, let’s dive into some of the best Spartan quotes from 300.
- “Freedom isn’t that free at all, that it comes with the highest of costs. The cost of blood.” ~ Queen Gorgo
- “You have many slaves, but few warriors. It won’t be long before they fear my spears more than your whips.” ~ Leonidas
- “There’s only one woman’s words that should affect the mood of my husband. Those are mine.” ~ Queen Gorgo
- “It isn’t wise to stand against me, Leonidas. Imagine what horrible fate awaits my enemies when I would gladly kill any of my own men for victory.” ~ Xerxes
- “This is where we hold them. This is where we fight. This is where they die.” ~ Herodotus
- “Give them nothing, but take from them everything.” ~ Leonidas
- “Remember this day, for it will be yours for all time.” ~ Leonidas
- “If they assassinate me, all of Sparta goes to war. Pray they’re that stupid, pray we’re that lucky.” ~ Leonidas
- “The enemy outnumber us a paltry three to one, good odds for any Greek. This day we rescue a world from mysticism and tyranny and usher in a future brighter than anything we can imagine.” ~ Dilios
- “There will be no glory in your sacrifice! The world will never know you existed at all.” ~ Xerxes
- “Unlike the cruel Leonidas, who demanded that you stand, I require only that you kneel.” ~ Xerxes
- “Taught never to retreat. Taught never to surrender. Taught that death on the battlefield in service to Sparta was the greatest glory he could achieve in his life.” ~ Dilios
- “There is much our cultures could share, haven’t you noticed? We’ve been sharing our culture with you all morning?” ~ Xerxes
- “The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many. And before this battle is over, that even a God king can bleed.” ~ Leonidas
- “No retreat, no surrender. That is Spartan law. And by Spartan law, we will stand and fight and die. A new age has begun; an age of freedom! All will know that 300 spartans gave their last dying breath to defend it.” ~ Leonidas
Quotes From Spartans About Death
To wrap up this list, here’s some of the best Spartan quotes about death and the willingness to put your life on the line.
- “To stay here, be it death or be it victory, is best.” ~ Callicratidas
- “Spartans, eat well, for tonight we dine in Hades.” ~ Leonidas
- “We choose to die on our feet rather than live on our knees.” ~ Themistokles
- “Falling down is how we grow, staying down is how we die.” ~ Maximus
- “Learn to love death’s ink-black shadow as much as you love the light of dawn.” ~ Tyrtaeus
- “Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.” ~ Morihei Ueshiba
- “If they stand behind you, protect them. If they stand beside you, respect them. If they stand against you, destroy them.”
- “A spartan pushes their mind and body to their limits.”
- “The brave do not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.” ~ Spartan Race
- “You should reach the limits of virtue before you cross the virtue of death.” ~ Dilios
- “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
- “Your scars are a warning to all future enemies, of the hell you have survived before them, every opponent you vanquished and every fight you won.”
- “Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.”
- “A man once told me…the most important thing every man should know is what he would die for.”
- “Pain is your friend. Pain is your ally. Pain tells you when you have been wounded badly. But you know what the best thing about pain is? It tells you that you are not dead yet.” ~ Spartan Ally
- “You’ve got this. Most of the time, the challenges you face are those you were already built to handle.” ~ Gladiator
- “Eat your breakfast as if you are to eat your dinner in another world.” ~ Leonidas
- “Courage, particularly in the face of death, was the foundation stone of Spartan culture.” ~ Donald J. Robertson
- “Feel no fear before the multitude of men, do not run in panic, but let each man bear his shield straight towards the fore-fighters, regarding his own life as hateful and holding the dark spirits of death as dear as the radiance of the sun.” ~ Spartan Proverb
The Spartans left a lasting legacy of discipline, strength, and mental toughness that continues to inspire people today.
From their emphasis on discipline and strength, to their unwavering loyalty and focus, there’s certainly lessons to be learned from the way they lived.
Embracing the Spartan mindset means never backing down from a challenge, pushing through adversity, and always being confident in yourself.
With this mindset, you can overcome whatever life puts in front of you and achieve your most ambitious goals.
So let’s honor the legacy of these legendary warriors and continue to draw inspiration from their words of wisdom.
And as far as life mottos go, I feel like “Come back with your shield, or on it,” is a pretty badass phrase to live by.
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