Mic Drop! The 14 Most Epic Quotes In History.

Awesome quotes from history are one of my favourite things. They remind me that, while many things change, wit, wisdom, and sass are eternal. There was as much shade thrown in the 3rd century BC as there is today. 

Courtesy of Quora users, here are the 14 most epic quotes from history. Let us know: what's your all-time favorite quote?

Voltaire, one of the greatest European thinkers of all time, and a committed atheist, was attended by a priest on his death bed. The priest asked him to renounce the Devil. Voltaire responded by saying, This is no time to be making enemies.

The quote may be apocryphal, but I really hope its not.

Mo Maatouk

In 1939, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin grew tired of tolerating the existence of Finland on his western border, so he decided to crush it. In December, 120,000 soldiers, backed up by 600 tanks and 1,000 artillery pieces, readied themselves to invade Finland.

The Finns were unperturbed. Their generals were competent, their borders were fortified, and their people were ready to fight and die for their homeland.

As Russian bombs fell on the capital Helsinki on the 30th of November, and Soviet divisions began crossing the border, a joke began to spread among the Finns. This surely has to rate as the coolest line in history:

They are so many and our country is so small, where shall we find room to bury them all?


Jimmie Byrne

On October 14, 1912, before a campaign speech in Milwaukee Wisconsin, Theodore Roosevelt was shot at close range, in the chest, by John Shrank.

Normally, when a person gets shot in the chest, they immediately get taken to the hospital, but not Teddy. Noticing that the bullet had not pierced his lung, he decided, against the advice of his associates, to continue on with his scheduled speech.

His speech began like this. (continued…)

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Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.

He then proceeded to speak for 90 minutes. But before he did, he unbuttoned his vest to show the horrified crowd his bloody shirt and the copy of his campaign speech with the bullet hole through it.

It was later discovered, through x-rays, that the bullet lodged in his ribcage could not be removed, and he spent the rest of his life with a bullet wedged inside him. We should all give a round of applause to Theodore Roosevelt for being a true bully.


Markee Jackson

When I was a child my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk, you'll be the Pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso. - Pablo Picasso

Mic drop.

This dude.

He was great, and he knew it. And his mother knew it. And he couldve been anything and he wouldve been the best, but he became himself, and then became the greatest artist of his time.

I want that level of confidence.

Brendon Lemon

Ludwig van Beethoven is responsible for giving us the coolest line in history, among many other things.

The ingenious pianist and composer had a way with words that equaled his musical talent.

Prince Karl Lichnowsky was one of his patrons and admirers, but Beethovens relationship with him was very contentious. Beethoven believed Lichnowskys rules of nobility were oppressive and he grew tired of the princes paternal attitude towards him.

The relationship reached its breaking point when Lichnowsky interrupted Beethovens dinner and asked him to perform for some French officers.

Beethoven stormed out of the house, leaving a spectacular note for the prince. (continued...)

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The note read:

"Prince, what you are, you are through chance and birth; what I am, I am through my own labor. There are many princes and there will continue to be thousands more, but there is only one Beethoven."

As a classical pianist, Beethoven is one of my idols.

Some may read his words and take them for arrogance. Its a fair observation.

But Ive always admired that letter because it demonstrates Beethovens belief in himself. In order to reach greatness, we have to first believe we are great.



The Battle of the Bulge. Winter 1944. An entire American armored division flees from a massive German onslaught. Trundling down the road, a tank pulls up to a lone Private First Class in a snow covered foxhole. The commander yells, down to the PFC in the foxhole.

The entire German Army is headed this way! Were retreating!

Are you looking for a safe place? replied PFC Martin.


Well, pull your tank behind this foxhole. Because Im the 82nd Airborne and this is as far as the bastards are going.


Daniel Kearns

Date: 9 April 1940.

Without any declaration of war, Nazi Germany has launched an invasion of Norway. Different parts of the country are attacked simultaneously; in the south, a fleet of German warships is heading towards the capital, Oslo.

This fleet had to move through the narrow Drbak Sound, a part of the Oslofjord. Located nearby is the old Oscarsborg Fortress, a coastal defense installation. Its commander was Colonel Birger Eriksen, age 64.

When the ships were spotted from the fortress, Eriksen had no knowledge of whether the ships were Allied or German. Norway was still officially neutral. Moreover, according to Norwegian rules of engagement, warning shots were to be fired first.

Eriksen gave the order to open fire at the lead ship, the heavy cruiser Blcher. Adding to his order, he uttered some truly epic words. (continued...)

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Either I will be decorated, he said, or I will be court-martialed. Fire!

But my personal favorite is what he said when questioned about what type of ammunition was to be used:

[Expletive] right we're firing live ammunition!

The ship Blcher was sunk, thwarting the seaborne invasion, and allowing the royal family and government to escape from the capital. After the war, Eriksen was awarded the War Cross with sword, the Croix de guerre and the Lgion dhonneur.

He definitely was not court-martialed. 


Hvard Holand

Famous English poet John Keats travelled to Rome and died there, aged just 25, in February, 1821. He told his friend Joseph that he didn't want his name to appear on his tombstone, but merely this line:

"Here lies one whose name was writ in water."

In lifes grand scheme of things, everything is so transient (just as if it were written on water). This too shall pass.

Vinay BS

Does it surprise you that the most daring quote in history comes from Napoleon? It probably shouldnt.

After Napoleons defeat at the Battle of Paris, he was exiled to Elba. However, he always planned to make his return.

On February 26, 1815, he slipped off of Elba with a handful of soldiers and eluded the British fleet.

After making a mistake or suffering a misfortune, he said, the man of genius always gets back on his feet.

Once ashore, only the Kings army would stand between Napoleon and Paris. 

Six days after landing in France, he confronted a regiment of infantry ordered to bar his way. Now, Napoleon knew that he had charisma and people in France still secretly loved him. So he advanced alone to meet them. Here comes the coolest line in history. (continued...)

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Soldiers, he cried, if there is one among you who wants to kill his general, his Emperor, here I am.

Suddenly, the soldiers began cheering wildly, Long live the Emperor! Long live the Emperor!

In ten days, Napoleon said, we will be in Paris… The eagle will fly from steeple to steeple until it reaches the towers of Notre Dame.

Two weeks later, Napoleon was in the French capital, and Louis XVIII had fled. The news hit Europe like a bombshell.

The Devil, his enemies said, has been unchained.

Nothing has ever been more epic.


Michael Tan

Leonardo Da Vinci was a  true Renaissance polymath: inventor, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, writer, mathematician, anatomist, military engineer. Just to name a few.

Leonardo Da Vincis last words were: I have offended God and Mankind, by doing so little with my life.

What makes his last words so special?

In the 1400s he sketched: a bicycle, a helicopter, a plane, a military tank, a submarine, a 65-foot mechanical bat, a detailed illustration of human anatomy, the brain, digestive tracts, muscles, the skeleton.

Leonardo designed mechanical devices that were 400 years ahead of his time.

And he felt he hadnt done enough with his life.


Danish Bhee

I hope you are a Republican! said Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, to his surgeon when he was entering the operation theater after a failed assassination attempt on him.

And thats not all. Reagan loved to joke about being shot.

When the First Lady arrived at the hospital, the president apologized to her saying, Honey, I forgot to duck. He complained to his daughter that the assassination ruined one of my best suits!

I dont think anything could be cooler than having a sense of humor about something so traumatic.


Yash Bhalgat

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During World War One, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck was a German captain in the German-controlled port town of Tanga. When faced with a British landing at the town, he was forced to retreat into the surrounding jungle area where he trained a large number of Askari to fight a guerrilla war.

For the entire duration of the war, Lettow-Vorbeck and his army gave the British more than they could handle in Africa. They mowed them down whenever the Brits tried to cross into their territory, and at one point used ship guns as artillery by putting them on wheels fashioned out of barrels. 

It was considered the most successful guerrilla war in history and made a legend out of Lettow-Vorbeck. In fact, he even managed to invade Imperial British soil, making him the only commander in the entirety of the war to do so.

After the war, Lettow-Vorbeck became a conservative anti-nazi.

In 1935 when he was asked by Hitler if he wanted to become ambassador to the UK, Paul simply replied, Go [expletive] yourself.

And he survived doing so.


Rufus Masters

This was the exchange that took place when Alexander the Great defeated King Porus (a king of Pauravas, modern-day Pakistan).

Wounded in his shoulder, standing over 67 tall, but still on his feet, Porus was asked by Alexander how he wished to be treated.

Treat me, Alexander, the way a King treats another King, Porus said.

And so Alexander restored his kingship.


Afzal Balti

Philip II of Macedon, who after invading southern Greece and receiving the submission of other key city-states, sent a message to Sparta:

You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.

The Spartan ephors replied with a single word:


Subsequently, neither Philip nor his son Alexander the Great attempted to capture the city.


Larry Froncek

Article source

Answers edited for clarity.

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