“For Wisdom be zealous” might be a better translation for this Maxim but “Long for Wisdom” still conveys the meaning of it in English. When we long for wisdom, we begin to take steps to learn and grow. Because of this, the message of this Maxim is one that we need to take to heart through our studies of all the other Maxims. It is also the inspiration for the title of a book by Allyson Szabo Longing for Wisdom: The Message of the Maxims which is another exploration of the Delphic Maxims.
But what does longing for something imply for us? Is it simply a yearning that we have or is it a call to action on our part? I would say that it is a call for us to take action as the yearning leads us to explore the world with our minds and our hearts working together. This exploration is what then leads us to a greater understanding of the messages the disparate Maxims have for us. It is the longing for wisdom that leads us to the understanding of how the imperative to “Know yourself” meshes with the need to “Pursue Honor” or how the command to “Honor the Hearth” dovetails with the advice “When you are a Stranger, Act like One”. I submit that it is a process that we begin, but will never truly see completed. For when one thinks themselves wise is when they are the most foolish.