Ai9 deuterai/ pwj fronti/dej sofw/tepai

Second thoughts are somehow the wiser. 


 Detail of a Byzantine mosaic in Jordan

 This quote is from the tragedy Hippolytus written by Euripides.

 EURIPIDES died in 406 B.C. He lived the life of a student and studied philosophy under Anaxagoras and, in later life, with Socrates. He is the latest of the Greek tragedians, both the most Attic and the most modern. He is saturated with the new skeptical spirit which was beginning to question old faiths, old traditions, and old customs.

 Where does the quote come from? From the play Hippolytus, when the nurse was talking to Pheadra. She was giving her advice and revising what she had said to her earlier in order to make her feel better. Translation by E. P. Coleridge:

NURSE: My queen, 'tis true thy tale of woe, but lately told, did for the moment strike me with wild alarm, but now I do reflect upon my foolishness; second thoughts are often best even with men. Thy fate is not uncommon nor past one's calculations; thou art stricken by the passion Cypris sends. Thou art in love; what wonder? So are many more.

 More Information on Euripides and the Hippolytus

 A biography of Euripides

 Another Biography of Euripides

 The Euripides Home Page

 Summary of the Play

 Another Summary of the Play

 A look at the political and religious atmosphere in which Euripides composed his plays.

S. Maud-Breton

St. Paul's School 2004