Thumos: How to Re-Ignite The Fire Within You

Cam Billings
7 min readMay 27, 2022
Photo by Ryan Cryar on Unsplash

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato used an allegory of the chariot to describe the psyche or soul of a man. This psyche has three distinct elements that together make a man. These three elements are rationality, appetites, and thumos.

In the allegory, the three elements were represented by a chariot, charioteer, dark horse, and white horse.

The chariot is the soul, comprising all three elements. Reason or rationality is represented by the charioteer. The dark horse is rebellious, representing a man’s appetites or desires. And the white horse represents a man’s thumos.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the white horse… the element of thumos.

What is thumos?

The word “thumos”, also commonly known as “thymos”, loosely translates to spiritedness. Thumos represents the spirit within a man. This spiritedness is not spiritual in the religious sense.

Thumos is the power within a man. The Energy. The drive to win. Ambition. Courage. Honor.

The element of thumos can act as a separate entity from you. But it could also act with you as a tool, an accompaniment, or motivation that compels you to take action (1).



Cam Billings

Copywriter. Take action. Make mistakes. Learn. Implement. Win.