Archive

Quotes

Often an entire city has suffered because of an evil man.

—Hesiod, c. 700 BC

I even gave up, for a while, stopping by the window of the room to look out at the lights and deep, illuminated streets. That’s a form of dying, that losing contact with the city like that.

—Philip K. Dick, 1972

There is no solitude in the world like that of the big city.

—Kathleen Norris, 1931

The first requisite to happiness is that a man be born in a famous city.

—Euripides, c. 415 BC

Great cities must ever be centers of light and darkness, the home of the best and the worst of our race, holding within themselves the highest talent for good and evil.

—Matthew Hale Smith, 1868

I have never felt salvation in nature. I love cities above all.

—Michelangelo Antonioni, 1967

By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

—Book of Proverbs, c. 350 BC

Towns oftener swamp one than carry one out onto the big ocean of life.

—D.H. Lawrence, 1908

We must consider that we shall be a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.

—John Winthrop, 1630

If the present be compared with the remote past, it is easily seen that in all cities and in all peoples there are the same desires and the same passions as there always were.

—Niccolò Machiavelli, c. 1513

Divine nature gave the fields; human art built the cities.

—Marcus Terentius Varro, c. 70 BC

Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. Rome is feminine. So is Odessa. London is a teenager, an urchin, and in this hasn’t changed since the time of Dickens. Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.

—John Berger, 1987

Do you suppose that will change the sense of the morals, the fact that we can’t use morals as a means of judging the city because we couldn’t stand it? And that we’re changing our whole moral system to suit the fact that we’re living in a ridiculous way?

—Philip Johnson, 1965