We are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size.

Dicebat Bernardus Carnotensis nos esse quasi nanos, gigantium humeris incidentes, ut possimus plura eis et remotiora videre, non utique proprii visus acumine, aut eminentia corporis, sed quia in altum subvehimur et extollimur magnitudine gigantea.

Bernard of Chartres

The phrase "standing on the shoulders of giants" is best known from a 1675 letter from Isaac Newton.

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Authentication Score 3


Bernard of Chartres. Quoted in The Metalogicon of John of Salisbury, written by John of Salisbury. c. 1159, bk. 3.