The Best Arnold Toynbee quotes

Arnold Toynbee quotes thumbnail

Arnold Toynbee was born in 1875 and died in 1965. A British historian, Toynbee is most famous for his work A Study of History. During his lifetime, he was a professor at Oxford University and the London School of Economics. He also wrote dozens of articles and books on history and philosophy. Despite his accomplishments, Toynbee is not as well-known today as he once was. But his work offers valuable insights for entrepreneurs who are looking to achieve success. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Toynbee’s life and examine some of the key lessons that entrepreneurs can learn from him.

We are glad to present you the most known Civilization, Human Beings, Life, History quotes from Arnold Toynbee, and much more.


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About Arnold Toynbee

birth of the author

23 August 1852

death of the author

9 March 1883

country of the author


college of the author

Alma Mater:
Balliol College, Oxford

occupation of the author

Economic History


Angkor is perhaps the greatest of Man’s essays in rectangular architecture that has yet been brought to life. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

A life which does not go into action is a failure. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

History not used is nothing, for all intellectual life is action, like practical life, and if you don’t use the stuff well, it might as well be dead. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee


Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder. โ€” Arnold Toynbee

Civilizations in decline are consistently characterised by a tendency towards standardization and uniformity. โ€” Arnold Toynbee

To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

I do not believe that civilizations have to die because civilization is not an organism. It is a product of wills. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

civilizations die from suicide not by murder Arnold Toynbee quote

Militarism has been by far the commonest cause of the breakdown of civilizations. The single art of war makes progress at the expense of all the arts of peace. โ€” Arnold Joseph Toynbee

Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee


Of the twentyโ€“two civilizations that have appeared in history, nineteen of them collapsed when they reached the moral state the United States is in now. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

The only real struggle in the history of the world … is between the vested interest and social justice. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

Some historians hold that history is just one damned thing after another. โ€” Arnold Joseph Toynbee

History is a vision of God’s creation on the move. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee


The human race’s prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenceless against tigers than they are today when we have become defenceless against ourselves. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

Redundant Thematics

In Arnold Toynbee Statements


As human beings, we are endowed with freedom of choice, and we cannot shuffle off our responsibility upon the shoulders of God or nature. We must shoulder it ourselves. It is our responsibility. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

Human dignity can be achieved only in the field of ethics, and ethical achievement is measured by the degree in which our actions are governed by compassion and love, not by greed and aggressiveness. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

Society is the total network of relations between human beings. The components of society are thus not human beings but relations between them. โ€” Arnold Joseph Toynbee

Adversity in the things of this world opens the door for spiritual salvation. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

Inspiring Phrases From Arnold Toynbee

The equation of religion with belief is rather recent. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

The aim of all education is, or should be, to teach people to educate themselves. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

No being can be what he is unless he is putting his essence into action in his field. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee

The value of the goal lies in the goal itself; and therefore the goal cannot be attained unless it is pursued for its own sake. โ€” Arnold J. Toynbee


We hope that the quotes from Arnold Toynbee have inspired you as much as they have us. If you are looking for more ways to be motivated and learn about history, we encourage you to check out our courses. At Coursera, we believe in lifelong learning and providing access to education for everyone. With that goal in mind, we offer a variety of courses on many different topics, including history. So whatever your interests may be, we hope you will continue exploring Coursera and find the perfect course(s) to help you achieve your goals.

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