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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1301
AUTHOR: Various authors
QUOTATION: There is nothing new under the sun.
ATTRIBUTION: Various authors. Some sources give as a first source the Bible, Ecclesiastes 1:9, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

However, Marcus Aurelius said in his Meditations, “Consider for example, and thou wilt find that almost all of the transactions in the time of Vespasian differed little from those of the present day. Thou there findest marrying and giving in marriage, educating children, sickness, death, war, joyous holidays, traffic, agriculture, flatterers, insolent pride, suspicions, laying of plots, longing for the death of others, newsmongers, lovers, misers, men canvassing for the consulship and for the kingdom;—yet all these passed away, and are nowhere.”—Craufurd Tait Ramage, Familiar Quotations from Greek Authors, p. 47 (1895, reprinted 1968).

For a range of variations of the above quotation, see The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, pp. 164–65 (1982).
SUBJECTS: Past and present