The paper deals with the beginnings of the Greek ethical discourse in elegies of an archaic lyric poet Theognis of Megara. In the introduction author shortly discusses the question of origin and influence of the Theognidea. Then he gradually follows and interprets the occurrences of the expression “μηδὲν ἄγαν” (Nothing in excess), of the words σωφροσύνη (soundness of mind), σάοφρων (temperate), μέτρον (measure) and μέτριος (moderate), according to the problem of ἀρετή (excellence). On the basis of symposium description in the Theognidea and its functions, author shows the crucial social dimension of researched capabilities. He also tries to show how Theognis grasps the wisdom as a quality that has to be tried for and cared for. In the end author states that for Theognis the excellences such as wisdom, justice, sound mind and proper measure are conditio sine qua non for functioning of all social relations – from erotic relations through symposium to polis itself.