Authority is power given by the state (in the form of Members of Parliament, Judges, Police Officers, etc.) or by academic knowledge of an area (someone can be an authority on a subject).


  • Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.
  • The peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet common in our country. With a simple oath, we affirm old traditions and make new beginnings.
  • In Amazon societies, women were mothers and their society's only warriors; mothers and their society's only hunters; mothers and their society's only political and religious leaders. No division of labor based on sex seems to have existed in such societies. Although Amazon leaders existed and queens were elected, the societies seem to have been...ones in which any woman could aspire to and achieve full human expression.
  • Autoritätsdusel ist der größte Feind der Wahrheit.
    • Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
    • Letter to Jost Winteler (1901), quoted in The Private Lives of Albert Einstein by Roger Highfield and Paul Carter (1993), p. 79. Einstein had been annoyed that Paul Drude, editor of Annalen der Physik, had dismissed out of hand some criticisms Einstein made of Drude's electron theory of metals.
  • Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    • English equivalent: Who watches the watchmen?
    • Satires by Juvenal [1]
  • This my dear friend is the one truly great contribution of my Wonder Woman strip to moral education of the young. The only hope for peace is to teach people who are full of pep and unbound force to enjoy being bound--enjoy submission to kind authority, wise authority, not merely tolerate such submission. Wars will only cease when humans enjoy being bound.
  • Cartman: Respect my authoritah!
    • South Park, Chickenlover written by Trey Parker, Matt Stone and David R. Goodman
  • Officium officialium, quorum te numero aggregasti, hodie est, jura confundere, suscitare lites, transactiones rescindere, innectere dilationes, suprimere veritatem, fovere mendacium, quaestum sequi, aeqitatem vendere, inhiare exactionibus, versutias concinnare.
    • The role of officials today is to upset the laws, to stir up lawsuits, to annul agreements, to devise delays, to suppress the truth, to encourage falsehood, to follow profit, to sell justice, to attend closely to exacting money, to practise cunning.
    • Peter of Blois letter 25, to the Judicial Vicar of the Bishop of Chartres, in J. A. Giles (ed.) Petri blesensis bathoniensis archidiaconi opera omnia (Oxonii: J. H. Parker, 1846-7) vol. 1, p. 91; translation from Walter Bower and D. E. R. Watt (eds.) Scotichronicon (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1987) vol. 7, p. 61.
  • To modern educated people, it seems obvious that matters of fact are to be ascertained by observation, not by consulting ancient authorities. But this is an entirely modern conception, which hardly existed before the seventeenth century. Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths. He said also that children would be healthier if conceived when the wind is in the north. One gathers that the two Mrs. Aristotles both had to run out and look at the weathercock every evening before going to bed. He states that a man bitten by a mad dog will not go mad, but any other animal will (Hiss. Am., 704a); that the bite of the shrewmouse is dangerous to horses, especially if the mouse is pregnant (ibid., 604.b); that elephants suffering from insomnia can be cured by rubbing their shoulders with salt, olive oil, and warm water (ibid., 605.a); and so on and so on. Nevertheless, classical dons, who have never observed any animal except the cat and the dog, continue to praise Aristotle for his fidelity to observation.
  • Shall remain!
    Hear you this Triton of the minnows? mark you
    His absolute "shall"?
  • Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar,
    And the creature run from the cur:
    There, thou might'st behold the great image of authority;
    A dog's obeyed in office.
  • Those he commands, move only in command,
    Nothing in love: now does he feel his title
    Hang loose about him, like a giant's robe
    Upon a dwarfish thief.
  • But man, proud man,
    Drest in a little brief authority,
    Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd,
    His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
    Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,
    As make the angels weep.
  • Punitis ingeniis, gliscit auctoritas.
    • When men of talents are punished, authority is strengthened.
    • Tacitus, Annales (AD 117), IV. 35.
  • Authority forgets a dying king
    Laid widow'd of the power in his eye
    That bow'd the will.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 47.
  • I appeal unto Cæsar.
    • Acts, XXV. 11.
  • All authority must be out of a man's self, turned * * * either upon an art, or upon a man.
    • Francis Bacon, Natural History, Century X, Touching emission of immateriate virtues, etc.
  • Authority intoxicates,
    And makes mere sots of magistrates;
    The fumes of it invade the brain,
    And make men giddy, proud, and vain.

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