Friday, July 28, 2017

 

Who, What, Where, When

Augustine, City of God 6.3 (tr. William M. Green):
Varro wrote forty-one books of "Antiquities" which he divided into "Human Things" and "Divine Things," assigning twenty-five books to the former and sixteen to the latter. "Human Things" he divided into four parts of six books each, taking up in turn the persons who act, the places, the times and the actions. That is, in the first six books he writes about men, in the next six about places, in the next six about times, and finishes the work in the last six by writing about things. Four times six are twenty-four, but at the head of these books he placed a single book to discuss in a general way all the matters that follow. Again in the treatment of "Divine Things" the same plan is followed, as far as it is applicable to the rites performed for the gods. For men, in certain places, at certain times, perform certain sacred rites. These four topics which I have named, Varro discussed in three books each. In the first three he writes about men, in the next about places, in the third about times, and in the fourth about sacred rites, thus presenting the reader in this case also with a very neat distinction between those who perform, where and when they perform, and what they perform.

Quadraginta et unum libros scripsit antiquitatum; hos in res humanas divinasque divisit, rebus humanis viginti quinque, divinis sedecim tribuit, istam secutus in ea partitione rationem ut rerum humanarum libros senos quattuor partibus daret. Intendit enim qui agant, ubi agant, quando agant, quid agant. In sex itaque primis de hominibus scripsit, in secundis sex de locis, sex tertios de temporibus, sex quartos eosdemque postremos de rebus absolvit. Quater autem seni viginti et quattuor fiunt. Sed unum singularem, qui communiter prius de omnibus loqueretur, in capite posuit. In divinis identidem rebus eadem ab illo divisionis forma servata est, quantum adtinet ad ea quae diis exhibenda sunt. Exhibentur enim ab hominibus in locis et temporibus sacra. Haec quattuor, quae dixi, libris complexus est ternis: nam tres priores de hominibus scripsit, sequentes de locis, tertios de temporibus, quartos de sacris, etiam hic, qui exhibeant, ubi exhibeant, quando exhibeant, quid exhibeant, subtilissima distinctione commendans.

 

A Kind of a Gazette

Joseph Addison (1672-1719), Dialogues on Medals, III:
As soon as an emperor had done any thing remarkable, it was immediately stamped on a coin, and became current through his whole dominions. It was a pretty contrivance, says Cynthio, to spread abroad the virtues of an emperor, and make his actions circulate. A fresh coin was a kind of a gazette, that published the latest news of the empire.

 

A Way of Life

Oswyn Murray, "Arnaldo Momigliano, 1908-1987," Journal of Roman Studies 77 (1987) xi-xii (at xii):
The secret of his power was I believe also the source of his greatness as a historian. It was not his extraordinary learning (of which even Fraenkel was said to be afraid), or his ability to range over the whole of European history. It was his refusal to distinguish between scholarship and life; history was not a discipline to be practised in working hours in an institutional environment according to certain rules: it was a way of life, to be pursued with the same passionate commitment as life itself.

 

Remedy for the Crabbedness of Old Age

Plato, Laws 2.666 A-C (tr. R.G. Bury):
Shall we not pass a law that, in the first place, no children under eighteen may touch wine at all, teaching that it is wrong to pour fire upon fire either in body or in soul, before they set about tackling their real work, and thus guarding against the excitable disposition of the young? And next, we shall rule that the young man under thirty may take wine in moderation, but that he must entirely abstain from intoxication and heavy drinking. But when a man has reached the age of forty, he may join in the convivial gatherings and invoke Dionysus, above all other gods, inviting his presence at the rite (which is also the recreation) of the elders, which he bestowed on mankind as a medicine potent against the crabbedness of old age, that thereby we men may renew our youth, and that, through forgetfulness of care, the temper of our souls may lose its hardness and become softer and more ductile, even as iron when it has been forged in the fire.

ἆρ᾿ οὐ νομοθετήσομεν πρῶτον μὲν τοὺς παῖδας μέχρι ἐτῶν ὀκτωκαίδεκα τὸ παράπαν οἴνου μὴ γεύεσθαι, διδάσκοντες ὡς οὐ χρὴ πῦρ ἐπὶ πῦρ ὀχετεύειν εἴς τε τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὴν ψυχήν, πρὶν ἐπὶ τοὺς πόνους ἐγχειρεῖν πορεύεσθαι, τὴν ἐμμανῆ εὐλαβούμενοι ἕξιν τῶν νέων· μετὰ δὲ τοῦτο οἴνου μὲν δὴ γεύεσθαι τοῦ μετρίου μέχρι τριάκοντα ἐτῶν, μέθης δὲ καὶ πολυοινίας τὸ παράπαν τὸν νέον ἀπέχεσθαι· τετταράκοντα δὲ ἐπιβαίνοντα ἐτῶν, ἐν τοῖς ξυσσιτίοις εὐωχηθέντα, καλεῖν τούς τε ἄλλους θεοὺς καὶ δὴ καὶ Διόνυσον παρακαλεῖν εἰς τὴν τῶν πρεσβυτῶν τελετὴν ἅμα καὶ παιδιάν, ἣν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ἐπίκουρον τῆς τοῦ γήρως αὐστηρότητος ἐδωρήσατο [τὸν οἶνον] φάρμακον ὥστ᾿ ἀνηβᾷν ἡμᾶς, καὶ δυσθυμίας λήθῃ γίγνεσθαι μαλακώτερον ἐκ σκληροτέρου τὸ τῆς ψυχῆς ἦθος, καθάπερ εἰς πῦρ σίδηρον ἐντεθέντα τηκόμενον, καὶ οὕτως εὐπλαστότερον εἶναι;
Cf. Avicenna, Canon of Medicine § 810 (tr. O. Cameron Gruner):
To give wine to youths is like adding fire to a fire already prepared with matchwood. Young adults should take it in moderation. But elderly persons may take as much as they can tolerate.

 

Überlieferungsgeschichte and Quellenforschung

D. Iunii Iuvenalis Saturae. Editorum in usum edidit A.E. Housman (London: Grant Richards, 1905), p. xxviii (from Housman's introduction):
The truth is, and the reader has discovered it by this time if he did not know it beforehand, that I have no inkling of Überlieferungsgeschichte. And to the sister science of Quellenforschung I am equally a stranger: I cannot assure you, as some other writer will assure you before long, that the satires of Juvenal are all copied from the satires of Turnus. It is a sad fate to be devoid of faculties which cause so much elation to their owners; but I cheer myself by reflecting how large a number of human beings are more fortunate than I. It seems indeed as if a capacity for these two lines of fiction had been bestowed by heaven, as a sort of consolation-prize, upon those who have no capacity for anything else.
M. Annaei Lucani Belli Civilis Libri Decem. Editorum in usum edidit A.E. Housman (Oxford: Basil Backwell, 1950), p. xiii (from Housman's introduction):
I touch with reluctance, as Gibbon might say, and dispatch with impatience, an idle yet pretentious game in which Lucan's less serious critics find amusement, and which they call Ueberlieferungsgeschichte, because that is a longer and nobler name than fudge.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

 

Footnotes

Solomon Katz (1909-1985), "Remembrance of Things Past," Pacific Historical Review 38.1 (February, 1969) 1-20 (at p. 2, n. 1):
This paper violates the most sacred canon of historical scholarship by omitting footnotes, those bastions of learning and irrefutable proof that the author has ventured no opinion which cannot immediately be tracked down to its sources.
Related posts:

 

Scarcity

Juvenal 13.26-30 (tr. G.G. Ramsay):
For honest men are scarce; hardly so numerous as the gates of Thebes, or the mouths of the enriching Nile. We are living in a ninth age; an age more evil than that of iron—one for whose wickedness Nature herself can find no name, no metal from which to call it.

rari quippe boni: numera, vix sunt totidem quot
Thebarum portae vel divitis ostia Nili.
nona aetas agitur peioraque saecula ferri
temporibus, quorum sceleri non invenit ipsa
nomen et a nullo posuit natura metallo.
Housman's apparatus:


Besides the commentaries, see M.J. McGann, "Juvenal's Ninth Age (13, 28ff.)," Hermes 96.3 (1968) 509-514.

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius 42.1 (tr. Richard M. Gummere):
Has that friend of yours already made you believe that he is a good man? And yet it is impossible in so short a time for one either to become good or be known as such. Do you know what kind of man I now mean when I speak of "a good man"? I mean one of the second grade, like your friend. For one of the first class perhaps springs into existence, like the phoenix, only once in five hundred years.

iam tibi iste persuasit virum se bonum esse? atqui vir bonus tam cito nec fieri potest nec intellegi. scis quem nunc virum bonum dicam? huius secundae notae. nam ille alter fortasse tamquam phoenix semel anno quingentesimo nascitur.
Cf. Genesis 18.20-32, where God promises Abraham he will spare Sodom and Gomorrah if 50, 45, 40, 30, 20, even 10 righteous men be found therein.

 

What is Man?

Seneca, De Consolatione ad Marciam 11.3 (tr. John W. Basore):
What is man? A vessel that the slightest shaking, the slightest toss will break. No mighty wind is needed to scatter you abroad; whatever you strike against, will be your undoing. What is man? A body weak and fragile, naked, in its natural state defenceless, dependent upon another's help, and exposed to all the affronts of Fortune; when it has practised well its muscles, it then becomes the food of every wild beast, of everyone the prey; a fabric of weak and unstable elements, attractive only in its outer features, unable to bear cold, heat, and toil, yet from mere rust and idleness doomed to decay; fearful of the foods that feed it, it dies now from the lack of these, and now is burst open by their excess; filled with anxiety and concern for its safety, it draws its very breath on sufferance, keeping but a feeble hold upon it—for sudden fear or a loud noise that falls unexpectedly upon the ears will drive it forth—and fosters ever its own unrest, a morbid and a useless thing.

quid est homo? quolibet quassu vas et quolibet fragile iactatu. non tempestate magna, ut dissiperis, opus est; ubicumque arietaveris, solveris. quid est homo? imbecillum corpus et fragile, nudum, suapte natura inerme, alienae opis indigens, ad omnis fortunae contumelias proiectum; cum bene lacertos exercuit, cuiuslibet ferae pabulum, cuiuslibet victima, ex infirmis fluidisque contextum et lineamentis exterioribus nitidum, frigoris, aestus, laboris impatiens, ipso rursus situ et otio iturum in tabem, alimenta metuens sua, quorum modo inopia deficit, modo copia rumpitur; anxiae sollicitaeque tutelae, precarii spiritus et male haerentis, quem pavor repentinus aut auditus ex improviso sonus auribus gravis excutit; sollicitudinis semper sibi nutrimentum, vitiosum et inutile.

 

Only Aristophanes

Aldus Manutius, preface to the editio princeps of Aristophanes (1498), tr. N.G. Wilson:
For people wishing to learn Greek there is nothing more suitable, nothing better to read. And that is not simply my opinion, but that of Theodore Gaza, a man of much learning in all fields. When he was asked which Greek author should be read assiduously by people wishing to learn Greek, he replied, "Only Aristophanes," because he was very witty, rich, erudite and pure in his Attic language.

Graece discere cupientibus nihil aptius, nihil melius legi potest, non meo solum iudicio, quod non magnifacio, sed etiam Theodori Gazae, viri undecunque doctissimi, qui, interrogatus quis ex Graecis auctoribus assidue legendus foret Graecas literas discere volentibus, respondit: 'Solus Aristophanes,' quod esset sane quam acutus, copiosus, doctus et merus Atticus.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

 

Lucian Lambasted

N.G. Wilson, Scholars of Byzantium, rev. ed. (London: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd., 1996), p. 12:
Another writer capable of moving the Byzantines to anger was Lucian, whose occasional scornful comments on the early Christians earned him equally scornful epithets from the orthodox reader. The ancient and medieval commentaries on his essays are found to contain no less than thirty-nine terms of abuse directed against him.3 Yet the essays remained firm favourites with Byzantine readers of all periods.

3 H. Rabe, Scholia in Lucianum (Leipzig 1906) 336.
Rabe's list of terms of abuse directed against Lucian:


 

Free and Easy

The Complete Works of Zhuangzi, tr. Burton Watson (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013), p. 239:
Shun tried to cede the empire to Shan Quan, but Shan Quan said, "I stand in the midst of space and time. Winter days, I dress in skins and furs; summer days, in vine cloth and hemp. In spring, I plow and plant—this gives my body the labor and exercise it needs; in fall, I harvest and store away—this gives my form the leisure and sustenance it needs. When the sun comes up, I work; when the sun goes down, I rest. I wander free and easy between heaven and earth, and my mind has found all that it could wish for. What use would I have for the empire? What a pity that you don’t understand me!"

 

Civil Service Requirements for Hiring and Promotion

Theodosian Code 14.1.1 (tr. Clyde Pharr with his notes):
Emperor Constantius Augustus and Julian Caesar to Julianus.2

In the distinguished order of the decuries3 which bears the name of either copyists or fiscal clerks or tax assessment clerks, by no means shall any person obtain a place of the first order, unless it is established that he excels in the practice and training of the liberal studies and that he is so polished in the use of letters that words proceed from him without the offense of imperfections, and it is Our will that all men shall be so informed. Moreover, in order that its rewards may not be denied to literature, which is the greatest4 of all the virtues, if any man should appear to be worthy of the first place on account of his studies and his skill in the use of words, Our provision shall make him of more honorable rank ... or Your Sublimity shall report his name to Us, so that We may deliberate as to the kind of high rank that should be conferred upon him.

Given on the sixth day before the kalends of March at Constantinople: February 24 (25). Received on the ides of May at Rome in the year of the ninth consulship of Constantino Augustus and the second consulship of Julian Caesar.—May 15, 357; 360.5

2 His official position is unknown.
3 Guilds of clerical workers in the imperial service, found primarily in Rome.
4 the teacher, G.
5 The tenth consulship of Constantius Augustus and the third consulship of Julian Caesar (360), since Constantius was not in Constantinople in 357 and did not arrive there before 359/360, G.

Imp. Constantius a. et Iulianus caes. ad Iulianum.

In decuriarum ordine insigni, cui librariorum vel fiscalium sive censualium nomen est, nequaquam aliquis locum primi ordinis adipiscatur nisi is, quem constiterit studiorum liberalium usu adque exercitatione pollere et ita esse litteris expolitum, ut citra offensam vitii ex eodem verba procedant: quod cunctis volumus intimari. Ne autem litteraturae, quae omnium virtutum maxima est, praemia denegentur, eum, qui studiis et eloquio dignus primo loco videbitur, honestiorem faciet nostra provisio sublimitate ... tuave eius nomina indicante, ut deliberemus, quae in eum dignitas deferenda sit.

Dat. VI kal. mar. Constantinopoli; accepta id. mai. Romae Constantio a. VIIII et Iuliano caes. II conss. (357 [360] febr. 24).

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

 

Our Masters

The Diary of H.L. Mencken, ed. Charles A. Fecher (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989), p. 127 (August 11, 1939, with the editor's note):
One cannot read the narrative without recalling Oxenstjerna's saying to his son: "My son, as you grow older, you will be astonished to discover what imbeciles run the world."1

1 In A New Dictionary of Quotations, under the rubric "Government," Mencken gives this saying as "You do not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed (An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia mundus regatur)," and then adds: "Commonly ascribed to BISHOP AXEL OXENSTJERNA, Chancellor of Sweden (1583–1654), but Büchman says in Geflügelte Worte that it probably originated with Pope Julius III, who said to a Portuguese monk: 'If you knew with how little expenditure of sense the world is governed, you would wonder.'"
Georg Büchmann, Geflügelte Worte. Der Citatenschatz des Deutschen Volks, 10th ed. (Berlin: Haude- und Spener'sche Buchhandlung, 1877), p. 267:


 

Talking to Oneself

John Jackson (1881-1952), Marginalia Scaenica (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955), p. 110:
Anne Boleyn is said to have been perplexed by the fact that she understood French perfectly when speaking it to herself, but not otherwise. The same thing — mutatis mutandis — may be true of emenders...

 

A Quick Study

Joseph Fontenrose (1903-1986), Classics at Berkeley: The First Century 1869-1970 (Berkeley: Department of Classics, History Fund, 1982), p. 59:
My study of Greek began in August, 1925, after I had taken my A.B. in Political Science at Berkeley. In October I decided upon a classical career and that fall I went through Smith's Latin Lessons by myself (under Roger Jones's supervision) and then began German in January and Hebrew the following August (under William Popper, a great teacher). Later I learned French and Italian without attending classes (before 1925 I had studied only Spanish). In May, 1928, I received the M.A. degree in Greek, just two years and nine months after learning the Greek alphabet.

Monday, July 24, 2017

 

Anonymity

F.W. Farrar (1831-1903), Ephphatha or The Amelioration of the World: Sermons (London: Macmillan and Co., 1880), pp. 55-56:
Or look at Hatred, its rarer active forms of murder, assault, violence, cruelty; its more universal, and in their aggregate hardly less injurious forms of envy, spite, scandal, uncharitableness, innuendo, depreciation, slander, malice, whispering, backbiting—multiform developments of one base passion, multiform names for one base thing. Thousands of men, for instance, get their living by writing anonymously. The anonymous is to them an invisible ring whereby they can, with impunity, often even unsuspected, speak of others all words that may do hurt. It is as an impregnable shield, from behind whose shelter they can shower arrow-flights of falsehoods, sneers, misrepresentations, disparagements at their defenceless victims. They can tarnish the merits of an opponent. They can obliterate the services of a rival. They can gild the follies of a partisan. They can secretly blight the hopes of a nominal friend. They can give a false aspect to fair reasonings, a foolish appearance to just opinions. They can sneer away honest reputations, and push empty pretensions into prominence. They can abuse the good, and belaud the bad. They can be as false, as hollow, as malignant as many such writers daily show themselves to be.

 

Learning

Xunxi: The Complete Text, tr. Eric L. Hutton (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014), p. 5:
Where does learning begin? Where does learning end? I say: Its order begins with reciting the classics, and ends with studying ritual. Its purpose begins with becoming a well-bred man, and ends with becoming a sage. If you truly accumulate effort for a long time, then you will advance. Learning proceeds until death and only then does it stop. And so, the order of learning has a stopping point, but its purpose cannot be given up for even a moment. To pursue it is to be human, to give it up is to be a beast.
The same, from Xunxi: Basic Writings, tr. Burton Watson (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), pp. 19-20:
Where does learning begin and where does it end? I say that as to program, learning begins with the recitation of the Classics and ends with the reading of the ritual texts; and as to objective, it begins with learning to be a man of breeding, and ends with learning to be a sage. If you truly pile up effort over a long period of time, you will enter into the highest realm. Learning continues until death and only then does it cease. Therefore we may speak of an end to the program of learning, but the objective of learning must never for an instant be given up. To pursue it is to be a man, to give it up is to become a beast.

 

Sufficit Una Domus

Juvenal 13.157-161 (tr. Susanna Morton Braund, with her note):
This is only a tiny proportion of the crimes that Gallicus,27 guardian of Rome, hears continuously from the morning star until the sun sets! If you want to understand the behaviour of humankind, a single courthouse is enough. Spend a few days there and then dare to call yourself unlucky, after you've come away.

27 Gaius Rutilius Gallicus, City Prefect under Domitian.

haec quota pars scelerum, quae custos Gallicus Vrbis
usque a lucifero donec lux occidat audit?
humani generis mores tibi nosse volenti
sufficit una domus; paucos consume dies et        160
dicere te miserum, postquam illinc veneris, aude.
Cambridge University Examination Papers. Michaelmas Term, 1871 to Easter Term, 1872 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1873), p. 9:
Una domus: what place is here meant?
Ludwig Friedlaender, ed., D. Junii Juvenalis Saturarum Libri V. Mit erklärenden Anmerkungen (Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1895), Vol. II, p. 537:
jedes beliebige einzelne Haus.
Lowell Edmunds, "Juvenal's Thirteenth Satire," Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 115.1 (1972) 59-73 (at 69):
...any one house...
F.W. Farrar, Ephphatha or The Amelioration of the World: Sermons (London: Macmillan and Co., 1880), p. 19:
Look, for instance, at the world of disease and pain. You need not go far to look. One house will suffice you to see the wretchedness of the human race.2

"Humani generis mores tibi nosse volenti,
Sufficit una domus; paucos consume dies et
Dicere te miserum, postquam illinc veneris aude."
                                              —Juv. Sat. xiii.159.
George Santayana, "My Father," Selected Critical Writings, Vol. I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968), pp. 279-286 (at 282):
He had a great respect for authority in science or letters, and would quote Quintilian in support of his own preference for limited views: Ad cognoscendum genus humanum sufficit una domus:* 'For exploring human nature one household is large enough.'

* Probably a confused memory, mine or my father's, of Juvenal, Satire XIII, 159-160...
J.D. Duff, ed., Fourteen Satires of Juvenal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1900), p. 408:
either the office or private house, used as an office, of Gallicus: not (as Friedl.), any private house taken at random.
Thomas J. B. Brady, "Notulae," Hermathena 2 (1876) 193-197 (at 196-197):
Surely, here 'domus' is not, as it is usually explained, the private house of Ponticus [sic]; it is the police court where he sits from morning till night...
Edward Courtney, A Commentary on the Satires of Juvenal (1980; rpt. Berkeley: Department of Classics, University of California, 2013), pp. 488-489:
Not his [Gallicus'] house, but his office, by the temple of Tellus (RE 22.2519, Lanciani Bull. del Commissione Archeol. di Roma 20, 1892, 19); cf. Demosth. 21.85 τὸ τῶν ἀρχόντων οἴκημα.
The reference is to Rodolfo Lanciani, "Gli edificii della prefettura urbana fra la Tellure e le terme di Tito e di Traiano," Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma 20 (1892) 19-37.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

 

Competitive Eating

Pausanias 5.5.4 (tr. W.H.S. Jones):
There was also a story that Lepreüs contended with Heracles that he was as good a trencherman. Each killed an ox at the same time and prepared it for the table. It turned out, even as Lepreüs maintained, that he was as powerful a trencherman as Heracles.

ἐλέγετο δὲ καὶ ὡς πρὸς Ἡρακλέα ἐρίσειεν ὁ Λεπρέος μὴ ἀποδεῖν τοῦ Ἡρακλέους ἐσθίων· ἐπεὶ δὲ ἑκάτερος βοῦν αὐτῶν ἐν ἴσῳ τῷ καιρῷ κατέσφαξε καὶ εὐτρέπισεν ἐς τὸ δεῖπνον, καὶ ἦν ὥσπερ καὶ ὑφίστατο ὁ Λεπρέος φαγεῖν οὐκ ἀδυνατώτερος τοῦ Ἡρακλέους.
Natale Conti, Mythologies 7.1 (tr. Glenn W. Most; I changed Hercules' force to Heracles' force):
According to legend, when Heracles set out for Triphylia, a district of Elis, he had a competition in gluttony with Lepreus, the son of Pyrgeus, as Hesiod [fragment 265 Merkelbach-West] says in The Wedding of Ceyx; and after each one had killed an ox for his meal, Lepreus turned out to be not at all slower or less ready to eat. But after dinner they came to blows because of each one’s resentment at his rival's virtue, and Lepreus fell victim to Heracles' force.

fama est Herculem in Triphyliam regionem Eleorum profectum habuisse controversiam de voracitate cum Lepreo Pyrgei filio, ut inquit Hesiodus in Ceycis nuptiis; atque cum uterque bovem in epulas occidisset, Lepreus nihilo fuit tardior aut imparatior edendo inventus. sed cum post epulas ventum esset ad pugnam ob indignationem aemulae virtutis, Lepreus cecidit ob vim Herculeam.
But according to Athenaeus and Aelian, Heracles won the contest.

Athenaeus 10.412a (tr. S. Douglas Olson):
Heracles is also represented as having an eating-contest with Lepreus, after Lepreus challenged him, and as winning.

εἰσάγεται δὲ ὁ Ἡρακλῆς καὶ Λεπρεῖ περὶ πολυφαγίας ἐρίζων ἐκείνου προκαλεσαμένου, καὶ νενίκηκεν.
Aelian, Historical Miscellany 1.24 (tr. N.G. Wilson):
At Astydamia's request Heracles gave up his dislike of Lepreus. But they were overcome by a youthful spirit of quarrelsomeness, and competed with each other in throwing the discus, in bailing out water, in seeing who could first consume a bull for dinner. In all these matters Lepreus was defeated.

δεηθείσης δὲ τῆς Ἀστυδαμείας διαλύεται τὴν πρὸς τὸν Λεπρέα ὁ Ἡρακλῆς ἔχθραν. φιλονεικία δ᾿ οὖν αὐτοῖς ἐμπίπτει νεανικὴ καὶ ἐρίζουσιν ἀλλήλοις περὶ δίσκου καὶ ὕδατος ἀντλήσεως καὶ τίς καταδειπνήσει ταῦρον πρότερος· καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τούτοις ἡττᾶται Λεπρεύς.
See Reinhold Merkelbach and Martin West, "The Wedding of Ceyx," Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 108.4 (1965) 300-317 (at 306-307).

Friday, July 21, 2017

 

Learning to Read

Inscription preserved by Plutarch, Education of Children 20 (= Moralia 14 B-C), tr. N.G.L. Hammond, The Genius of Alexander the Great (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), p. 3:
Eurydice, daughter of Sirras, dedicated this (statue probably of Hermes) to her city's Muses, because she had in her soul a longing for knowledge. The happy mother of sons growing up, she laboured to learn letters, the recorders of the spoken word.
The Greek, from Plutarchi Moralia, Vol. I, ed. W.R. Paton and I. Wegehaupt, rev. Hans Gärtner (Stuttgart: B.G. Teubner, 1993), p. 27, with my apparatus:
Εὐρυδίκη Ἵρρα πολιῆτισι τόνδ' ἀνέθηκε
    Μούσαις εὐκταῖον ψυχῇ ἑλοῦσα πόθον.
γράμματα γὰρ μνημεῖα λόγων μήτηρ γεγαυῖα
    παίδων ἡβώντων ἐξεπόνησε μαθεῖν.


1 Ἵρρα πολιῆτισι Wilamowitz, "Lesefrüchte, CLXIX," Hermes 54.1 (Jan., 1919) 71-72; Σίρρα πολιῆτισι Adolf Wilhelm, "Ein Weihgedicht der Grossmutter Alexanders des Grossen," Mélanges Henri Grégoire (Brussels, 1949 = Annuaire de l'Institut de Philologie et d'Histoire Orientales et Slaves, 9), Vol. 2, pp. 625–633, rpt. Kleine Schriften, II.iv (Vienna, 2002), pp. 627–635: πολιῆτις Ω, ἱεραπολιῆτις Μ2Π
2 Μούσαις εὐκταῖον Wilamowitz; ἐμ Μούσαις εὐκτὸν Wilhelm: Μούσαις εὔιστον codd.
Hammond translated Wilhelm's conjecture in the first line, but the manuscripts' εὔιστον (hapax according to Liddell-Scott-Jones) in the second line. I haven't seen Wilhelm's article. See also Jeanne and Louis Robert, "Bulletin épigraphique," Revue des Études Grecques 97 (1984) 419-522 (at 450-451).

 

Criticism

J.S. Phillimore (1873-1926), The Revival of Criticism. A Paper Read at the Meeting of the Classical Association at Oxford on May 17th, 1919 (Oxford: B.H. Blackwell, 1919), p. 8:
The civilized mind is naturally critical: bred by the interaction of various studies, criticism is the peculiar mark of high civilization. But criticism is itself a composite thing: restlessness of intellect is a part of it, but so is a wariness against delusion: curiosity and suspicion are both necessary elements.

 

Cleopatra's Polyglottism

Plutarch, Life of Antony 27.3-4 (tr. Bernadotte Perrin):
There was sweetness also in the tones of her voice; and her tongue, like an instrument of many strings, she could readily turn to whatever language she pleased, so that in her interviews with Barbarians she very seldom had need of an interpreter, but made her replies to most of them herself and unassisted, whether they were Ethiopians, Troglodytes, Hebrews, Arabians, Syrians, Medes or Parthians. Nay, it is said that she knew the speech of many other peoples also, although the kings of Egypt before her had not even made an effort to learn the native language, and some actually gave up their Macedonian dialect.

ἡδονὴ δὲ καὶ φθεγγομένης ἐπῆν τῷ ἤχῳ· καὶ τὴν γλῶτταν, ὥσπερ ὄργανόν τι πολύχορδον, εὐπετῶς τρέπουσα καθ᾿ ἣν βούλοιτο διάλεκτον ὀλίγοις παντάπασι δι᾿ ἑρμηνέως ἐνετύγχανε βαρβάροις, τοῖς δὲ πλείστοις αὐτὴ δι᾿ αὑτῆς ἀπεδίδου τὰς ἀποκρίσεις, οἷον Αἰθίοψι, Τρωγλοδύταις, Ἑβραίοις, Ἄραψι, Σύροις, Μήδοις, Παρθυαίοις. πολλῶν δὲ λέγεται καὶ ἄλλων ἐκμαθεῖν γλώττας, τῶν πρὸ αὐτῆς βασιλέων οὐδὲ τὴν Αἰγυπτίαν ἀνασχομένων παραλαβεῖν διάλεκτον, ἐνίων δὲ καὶ τὸ μακεδονίζειν ἐκλιπόντων.
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