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This webpage reproduces the essay
De cohibenda ira

by
Plutarch

as published in Vol. VI
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1939

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

(Vol. VI) Plutarch, Moralia

p90 On the Control of Anger

Copyright

The work appears in pp90‑159 of Vol. VI of the Loeb Classical Library's edition of the Moralia, first published in 1939. It is now in the public domain pursuant to the 1978 revision of the U. S. Copyright Code, since the copyright expired in 1967 and was not renewed at the appropriate time, which would have been that year or the year before. (Details here on the copyright law involved.)

Loeb Edition Introduction

The subject of this essay is not the emotion of anger itself, but the cure best applicable to the passion. In form it is a dialogue, but, apart from the beginning and the end, it is as undramatic as the later works of Plato. The principal speaker, Fundanus, treats the subject in a manner partly general and partly specific, and concludes with a pleasant history of his own cure. Hirzel (Der Dialog, II p170) has described the work as a monument (Ehrendenkmal) to the memory of Fundanus, dedicated to Sulla.

Scholars concerned in the investigation of the sources used by Plutarch for this discourse have arrived at varying results: some1 have imagined that Stoic writers were used, others2 that the Peripatetic Hieronymus of Rhodes was Plutarch's principal authority. The numerous parallels to Seneca's De Ira have been used by both parties to substantiate their theories, but it is more likely that Plutarch, while borrowing numerous loci communes and examples p91from earlier writers,3 constructed for himself the main features of the dialogue. The self-portrayal of Fundanus and his cure, the frame-work of the whole discourse, is clearly Plutarch's own device. The author's debt to preceding literature is, as always, immense, yet the creation of such a work as this is by selection and arrangement; and for that Plutarch is alone responsible.

The essay was known to Aulus Gellius (I.26), who relates a pleasant anecdote of Plutarch and a rascally slave who ventured to reprove the philosopher for his anger. Among English writers Jeremy Taylor has made admirable use of the essay by paraphrase and even translation, in his Holy Living, IV.8.

The MS. tradition is good.4 The work is apparently missing in the Lamprias catalogue, since Περὶ ὀργῆς5 (No. 93) almost certainly refers to a different work from which Stobaeus has preserved a fragment (Bernardakis, vol. VII p138).

p93 (452f) 1 1 Sulla.6 A good plan, as it seems to me, Fundanus,7 is that which painters follow: they scrutinize their productions from time to time before they finish them. They do this because, by withdrawing their gaze and by inspecting their work often, they are able to form a fresh judgement, and one which is more likely to seize upon any slight discrepancy, such as the familiarity of uninterrupted contemplation will conceal. 453Since, therefore, it is impossible for a man to contemplate himself from time to time by getting apart from himself and interrupting his consciousness of himself by breaking its continuity (and this is what, more than anything else, makes every man a poorer judge of himself than of others), the next best course would be for him to inspect his friends from time to time and likewise to offer himself to them, not to see if he is grown old suddenly or if his body is better or worse, but for them to examine both his behaviour and his character to learn whether time has added some excellence or taken away some vice. As for me, since I have returned to Rome after a year's absence and this is now the fifth month that I have been with you constantly, BI do not p95 find it altogether surprising that, of the virtues which were already yours by gift of Nature, there has been so great an increment and increase; but when I see that that violent and fiery tendency of yours toward anger has become so gentle and submissive to reason, it occurs to me to say with reference to your temper

O wonder, how much milder has it grown!8

Yet this mildness has brought about no inactivity or feebleness in you, but, like the earth when it has been subdued by cultivation, it has received a smoothness and depth conducive to fruitful action in place of that impetuousness of yours and quickness of temper. For that reason it is evident that the spirited part of your soul is not withering away through any abatement of vigour caused by age, nor yet spontaneously, but that it is receiving the skilful treatment of some excellent precepts. And yet — for I shall tell you the plain truth — when our friend Eros9 told me all this, CI suspected that he was bearing witness, by reason of his goodwill, to qualities that were not actually present in you, yet should be so in men of breeding, although, as you know, he is by no means the sort of man to surrender his own opinion as a favour to anyone. But as things are, Eros stands acquitted of the charge of bearing false witness, and do you, since our journey10 gives us leisure for conversation, tell me, as though you were recounting some medical treatment, what remedy you used that you have made your temper so obedient to the rein and tender-mouthed, so mild and subservient to reason.

Fundanus. Well, what about you, my generous friend Sulla? Are you careful not to let your p97goodwill and friendship for me make you overlook some of my real qualities? For since on many occasions not even Eros himself can keep his temper in its place Din that Homeric11 obedience, but when it becomes too exasperated through hatred of evil, it is reasonable to suppose that I appear more gentle to him, just as in changes of key certain high notes assume the position of low notes in contrast with other high notes.

Sulla. Neither of these suppositions is true, Fundanus. Please do as I ask.

2 1 Fundanus. One of those excellent precepts of Musonius12 which I remember, Sulla, is: "He that wishes to come through life safe and sound must continue throughout his life to be under treatment." For I do not think that reason should be used in one's cure as we use hellebore, and be washed out of the body together with the disease, but it must remain in the soul and keep watch and ward over the judgements. EFor the power of reason is not like drugs, but like wholesome food, engendering an excellent state, together with great vigour, in those who become accustomed to it; but exhortations and admonitions, if applied to the passions when they are at their height and swollen, can scarcely accomplish anything at all, and that with difficulty. They are no better than those aromatic preparations which rouse epileptics when they lie prostrate, and but do not rid them of the disease. Yet the other passions, even at their height, do in some sort yield and admit reason, when it comes from without to the rescue, p99into the soul; but temper does not, as Melanthius13 says,

Shunt off the mind, and then do dreadful deeds,

but on the contrary, it shuts out sense completely and locks it out, and just like those who burn themselves up in their own homes, Fit makes everything within full of confusion and smoke and noise, so that the soul can neither see nor hear anything that might help it. For this reason a ship deserted by her crew in the midst of a storm far out at sea14 will more easily be able to take on a pilot from the outside, than will a man who is being tossed upon the billows of passion and anger 454admit the reasoning of another, unless he has his own powers of reason prepared to receive it. But just as those who expect a siege collect and store up all that is useful to them if they despair of relief from without, so it is most important that we should acquire far in advance the reinforcements which philosophy provides against temper and convey them into the soul in the knowledge that, Bwhen the occasion for using them comes, it will not be possible to introduce them with ease. For the soul hears nothing from the outside because of its tumult unless it has its own reason within, which, like a boatswain who directs the rowers, will promptly catch and understand every order given. Yet if the soul has heard words of advice which have been quietly and mildly spoken, it despises them; and toward any who insist in a rougher fashion, it grows exasperated. In fact, temper is overbearing and stubborn and altogether difficult for anyone other than itself to move, and, like a well-fortified tyranny, p101must have its destroyer born and bred in the same household.

3 1 To be sure, when anger persists and its outbursts are frequent, there is created in the soul an evil state which is called irascibility,15 and this usually results in sudden outbursts of rage, moroseness, and peevishness when the temper becomes ulcerated, Ceasily offended, and liable to find fault for even trivial offences, like a weak, thin piece of iron which is always getting scratched. But if judgement at once opposes the fits of anger and represses them, it not only cures them for the present, but for the future also it renders the soul firm and difficult for the passion to attack. In my own case, at any rate, when I had opposed anger two or three times, it came about that I experienced what the Thebans did, who, when they had for the first time16 repulsed the Spartans, who had the reputation of being invincible, were never thereafter defeated by them in any battle; for I acquired the proud consciousness that it is possible for reason to conquer. Not only did I see that anger ceases when cold water is sprinkled on it, as Aristotle17 says, but that it is also extinguished when a poultice of fear is applied to it. DAnd, by Heaven, if joy comes on the scene, in the case of many the temper has been quickly "warmed," as Homer18 says, or dissipated. Consequently I came to the opinion that this passion is not altogether incurable, for those, at least, who wish to cure it.

For anger does not always have great and powerful beginnings; on the contrary, even a jest, a playful p103word, a burst of laughter or a nod on the part of somebody, and many things of the kind, rouse many persons to anger; just as Helen, by thus addressing her niece,

Electra, virgin for so long a time,

provoked her to reply,

Too late you're wise; but once you left your home

Disgraced.19

And so was Alexander provoked by Callisthenes,20 who said, when the great bowl was going its rounds, E"I do not care to have a drink of Alexander and then have to call in Asclepius."21

4 1 And so, just as it is an easy matter to check a flame which is being kindled in hare's fur22 or candle-wicks or rubbish, but if it ever takes hold of solid bodies having depth, it quickly destroys and consumes

With youthful vigour lofty craftsmen's work,23

as Aeschylus has it; so the man who at the beginning gives heed to his temper and observes it while it is still smoking and catching flame little by little from some gossip or rubbishy scurrility need have no great concern about it; on the contrary, he has often succeeded in extinguishing it merely by keeping silent and ignoring it. FFor he who gives no fuel to fire puts it out, and likewise he who does not in the beginning nurse his wrath and does not puff himself up with anger takes precautions against it and destroys it. I was therefore not satisfied with what p105Hieronymus24 says — although he contributes other useful remarks and advice — in the passage where he declares that we have no perception of anger when it comes into being, but only when it has already come into being and exists, the reason being the swiftness with which it acts. For the truth is that none of the emotions, at the time when they are gathering and beginning to move, has a birth and increase so easy to perceive.25 455Indeed Homer also skilfully teaches us this lesson when he causes Achilles to be suddenly overwhelmed by grief on receiving the report,26 in the passage where the poet says:

He spoke, and a black cloud of grief closed round Achilles;

but Homer portrays Achilles as being slow to lose his temper with Agamemnon27 and as becoming inflamed only when many words had been spoken. Yet if either one of the men had held back their words at the beginning and prevented their utterance, the quarrel would not have had so great a growth or have reached such magnitude. That is the reason why Socrates,28 as often as he perceived himself being moved to too great harshness against any of his friends, betaking himself to coast

Before the storm along some promontory,29

Bwould lower his voice, cause a smile to spread over his face, and make the expression of his eyes more gentle, preserving himself from fault and defeat by setting up within himself an influence to counteract his passion.

5 1 For the first way, my friend, to dethrone temper p107as you would a tyrant, is not to obey or hearken when it bids us cry aloud and look fierce and beat our breasts, but to keep quiet and not intensify the passion, as we would a disease, by tossing about and making a clamour. It is quite true that lovers' practices, such as serenading in concert or alone and crowning the beloved's door with garlands, do in some way or other bring an alleviation that is not without charm or grace:

I came, but did not shout your name or race;

I merely kissed the door. CIf this be sin,

Then I have sinned.30

So too the surrender of mourners to weeping and wailing carries away much of their grief together with their tears. But temper is the more readily fanned into flame by what people in that state do and say.

The best course, therefore, is for us to compose ourselves, or else to run away and conceal ourselves, and anchor ourselves in a calm harbour, as though we perceived a fit of epilepsy coming on,31 so that we may not fall, or rather may not fall upon others; and we are especially likely to fall most often upon our friends. For we do not love or envy or fear everyone indiscriminately, but there is nothing that temper will not touch and assail: Dwe grow angry with enemies and friends, with children and parents, yes, even with the gods, with wild beasts and soulless implements, as Thamyris did:

Breaking the lyre-arms, overlaid with gold,

Breaking his melodious, taut-strung lyre;32

p109 and Pandarus, who invoked a curse on himself if he did not "break with his hands"33 his bow and burn it. And Xerxes not only branded and lashed the sea,34 but also sent a letter to Mount Athos:35 E"Noble Athos, whose summit reaches Heaven, do not put in the way of my deeds great stones difficult to work. Else I shall hew you down and cast you into the sea." For temper can do many terrible things, and likewise many that are ridiculous; therefore it is both the most hated and the most despised of the passions. It will be useful to consider it in both of these aspects.

6 1 As for me — whether rightly I do not know — I made this start in the treatment of my anger: I began to observe the passion in others, just as the Spartans used to observe in the Helots36 what a thing drunkenness is. And first, as Hippocrates37 says that the most severe disease Fis that in which the countenance of the sufferer is most unlike itself, so I observed that those who are transported by anger also change most in countenance, colour, gait, and voice,38 and thus formed for myself a picture of that passion and was exceedingly uncomfortable to think that I should ever appear so terrible and deranged to my friends and my wife and daughters, not merely savage and unfamiliar to their sight, but also speaking with so harsh and rough a voice as were others of my intimate friends whom I used to meet at times when anger had made them unable to preserve their character or bearing or grace of speech or their p111 winning and affable manners. 456The case of Gaius Gracchus39 the orator will serve as an illustration. He was not only severe in his disposition, but spoke too passionately; so he caused a pitch-pipe but made of the sort which musicians use to lead the voice up and down the scales to the proper note; with this in hand his servant used to stand behind him as he spoke and give him a decorous and gentle tone which enabled Gracchus to remit his loud cries and remove from his voice the harsh and passionate element; just as the shepherds'

Wax-joined pipe, clear sounding,

Drones a slumberous strain,40

so did he charm and lay to rest the rage of the orator. But as for me, if I had some attentive and clever companion, I should not be vexed if he held a mirror41 up to me during my moments of rage, Bas they do for some persons after bathing, though to no useful purpose. For to see oneself in a state which nature did not intend, with one's features all distorted, contributes in no small degree toward discrediting that passion. In fact, those who delight in pleasant fables tell us that when Athena42 played on the pipes, she was rebuked by the satyr and would give no heed:

That look becomes you not; lay by your pipes

And take your arms and put your cheeks to rights;43

but when she saw her face in a river, she was vexed and threw her pipes away. Yet art makes melody p113 some consolation for unsightliness. And Marsyas,44 it seems, by a mouthpiece and cheek-bands repressed the violence of his breath Cand tricked up and concealed the distortion of his face:

He fitted the fringe of his temples with gleaming gold

And his greedy mouth he fitted with thongs bound behind;45

but anger, which puffs up and distends the face in an unbecoming way, utters a voice still more ugly and unpleasant,

Stirring the heart-strings never stirred before.46

For when the sea is disturbed by the winds and casts up tangle and seaweed, they say that it is being cleansed; but the intemperate, bitter, and vulgar words which temper casts forth when the soul is disturbed defile the speakers of them first of all and fill them with disrepute, Dthe implication being that they have always had these traits inside of them and are full of them, but that their inner nature is now laid bare by their anger. Hence for a mere word, the "lightest of things," as Plato47 says, they incur the "heaviest of punishments," being esteemed as hostile, slanderous, and malicious.

7 1 When I, accordingly, observe these things, and store them carefully away, it occurs to me to lay up and quite thoroughly remember for my own use that, p115just as it is a good thing in a fever, so it is an even better thing in anger, to keep the tongue soft and smooth. For if the tongue of men who are sick of a fever is in an unnatural state, it is a bad symptom, but not the cause of their malady; but when the tongue of angry men becomes rough and foul and breaks out in unseemly speeches, Eit brings forth insolence which creates irremediable enmity and argues a festering malevolence within. For unmixed wine produces nothing so intemperate and odious as anger does: words flown with wine go well with laughter and sport, but those which spring from anger are mixed with gall; and whereas the man who keeps silent at a drinking-bout is disagreeable and irksome to the company, there is nothing more dignified, if one is angry, than holding one's peace, as Sappho48 advises:

When aggression swells within the breast,

Restrain the idly barking tongue.

8 1 But it is not these considerations only that constant watching of those who are in the grip of anger furnishes us, Fbut also an understanding of the general nature of ill temper — that it is not well-bred, nor manly, nor possessing any quality of pride or greatness. Yet most people think its turbulence to be activity, its blustering to be confident boldness, its obstinacy force of character; and some claim that even its cruelty is magnificence in action and its implacability firmness in resolution and its moroseness hatred of evil,49 but they are wrong in this. p117 For the actions and the motions and the whole demeanour of angry persons declare their utter littleness and weakness, 457not only when they rend little children and rage bitterly against women and think it proper to punish dogs and horses and mules, as Ctesiphon the pancratiast did, who thought it right to kick back at his mule; but also in the butcheries that tyrants perpetrate, their meanness of soul is apparent in their cruelty and their perverted state in their action, and is like the bites of vipers, which, when thoroughly inflamed with rage and pain, eject their excessive fiery passion upon those who have hurt them. For just as with the flesh a swelling results from a great blow, so with the weakest souls the inclination to inflict a hurt Bproduces a flaring up of temper as great as the soul's infirmity is great.50 That is also the reason why women are more prone to anger than men, and sick persons than healthy, and old men than men in their prime, and the unfortunate than the prosperous. Most prone to anger, for instance, are the miser with his steward, the glutton with his cook, the jealous man with his wife, the conceited man when he has been maligned; but worst of all are

Men who court too eagerly

Ambition in the towns:

Manifest is the pain they bring.

as Pindar51 has it. In like manner from the pain and suffering of the soul, caused generally by weakness, there arises the outburst of passion52 Cwhich is not, as p119 someone53 has said, like "sinews of the soul," but like the strainings and convulsions of the soul when it is stirred too vehemently in its impulse to defend itself.

9 1 These base examples, to be sure, were not pleasant to observe, but merely unavoidable; but in discussing those who deal with transports of rage in a mild and gentle way I offer instances which are very beautiful both to hear and to witness, and I begin with a word of scorn for those who say,

It was a man you wronged: should a man bear this?54

and

Trample him underfoot, tread on his neck,

And bring him to the ground!55

and other provocative expressions, by using which some err in transferring anger from the women's quarters to the men's. DFor although courage gets along well with justice in all other respects, yet, as it seems to me, it fights for the possession of gentleness alone, as belonging rather to itself. But although cases do occur in which even baser men gain the mastery over their betters, yet to erect in the soul a trophy of victory over anger (which Heracleitus56 says it is difficult to contend against: "for whatever it wishes, it buys at the price of the soul") is proof of a great and victorious strength which p121possesses against the passions the weapons of its judgements, as in very truth its nerves and sinews.57

For this reason I always strive to collect and to peruse, not only these sayings and deeds of the philosophers, who are said by fools to have no bile,58 but even more those of kings and despots. EThere is, for instance, the remark of Antigonus59 to his soldiers who were reviling him near his tent in the belief that he could not hear them: he merely thrust out his staff and cried, "Good heavens! will you not go somewhere farther off to abuse me?" And there is the case of Arcadion60 the Achaean who was always railing against Philip and advising flight

Until one comes to men who know not Philip;61

when Arcadion later visited Macedonia on some chance or other, Philip's friends thought that he should not be let off but punished. Yet Philip, when he met him, treated him kindly and sent him friendly presents and gifts; and later bade his friends inquire how Arcadion now spoke of him to the Greeks. FWhen all testified that the fellow had become a wonderful eulogist of the king, Philip said, "Then I am a better physician than you." So in Olympia62 when Philip was being defamed, and some persons said that the Greeks should smart for it since they spoke evil of Philip though they were being well p123 treated by him, Philip said, "What will they do, then, if they are badly treated?"

Likewise admirable was the behaviour of Peisistratus63 to Thrasybulus, 458and of Porsenna64 to Mucius, and of Magas65 to Philemon. For when Magas had been publicly ridiculed by Philemon in a comedy at the theatre:

A. For you some letters, Magas, from the king.

B. Unhappy Magas, who no letters know!66

Magas later captured Philemon, who had been cast ashore by a storm at Paraetonium, and ordered a soldier merely to touch Philemon on the neck with a naked sword and then depart courteously; and Magas sent dice and a ball to Philemon, as to a senseless child, and sent him on his way. So also Ptolemy, when he was jeering at a pedant for his ignorance, asked him who was Peleus' father; and the pedant replied, "I shall tell you if you will first tell me who was the father of Lagus."67 BThis was a jest at the dubious birth of the king, and everyone was indignant at its improper and inopportune character; but Ptolemy said, "If it is not the part of a king to take a jest, neither is it to make one." But Alexander had behaved more harshly than was his custom toward Callisthenes and Cleitus.68 And so Porus,69 when he was taken captive, requested Alexander to treat him "like a king." When Alexander asked, "Is there nothing more?" "In the words 'like a king,' " replied Porus, "there is p125 everything." For this reason also they call the king of the gods Meilichios, or the Gentle One, while the Athenians, I believe, call him Maimactes, or the Boisterous;70 Cbut punishment is the work of the Furies and spirits, not of the high gods and Olympian deities.

10 1 Just as, then, someone said of Philip71 when he had razed Olynthus to the ground, "But he could not possibly repeople a city so large," so one may address Anger and say, "You are able to overturn and destroy and throw down, but to raise up and preserve and spare and forbear is the work of mildness and forgiveness and moderation in passion, the work of a Camillus or a Metellus72 or an Aristeides or a Socrates; but to attach oneself to the wound and to sting is the part of an ant or a horse-fly."73 As I study, however, anger's method of defending itself, I find it for the most part ineffectual, Dsince it spends itself in biting the lips74 and gnashing the teeth, in vain attacks and railings coupled with senseless threats, and eventually resembles children75 running races, who, through lack of self-control, fall down ridiculously before they reach the goal toward would they are human. Therefore there was point in what the Rhodian said to the Roman general's servant who was shouting and talking insolently: "What you say," said the Rhodian, "matters nothing p127 to me, but what your master doesn't say." And Sophocles,76 when he has armed Neoptolemus and Eurypylus, says

Without a vaunt, without reviling, they

Have rushed within the ring of brazen arms.

For although there are barbarians who poison their steel, true bravery has no need of bitter gall,77 for it has been dipped in reason; Ebut rage and fury are rotten and easily broken. At any rate the Spartans78 use the playing of pipes to remove from their fighting men the spirit of anger, and they sacrifice to the Muses before battle in order that reason may remain constant within them; and when they have routed the enemy, they do not pursue,79 but sound the recall to their high spirits, which, like small daggers,80 are manageable and can be easily withdrawn. Yet wrath has slain thousands before its revenge was accomplished, as, for instance, Cyrus81 and Pelopidas the Theban.82 But Agathocles83 endured with mildness the revilings of those he was besieging, and when one of them cried out, "Potter, how will you get pay for your mercenaries?" FAgathocles laughed and said, "If I take this town." And there is the case of Antigonus,84 who, when some men on the p129wall of a town jeered at him because of his deformity, said to them, "Why, I thought my face was handsome!" But when he took the town he sold as slaves those who jeered at him, protesting that he would have speech with their masters if they reviled him again.

I observe also that both advocates and orators commit serious mistakes because of anger; and Aristotle85 relates that the friends of Satyrus the Samian, 459when he was to plead, stopped up his ears with wax, that he might not spoil his case through temper at the insults of his enemies. And as for ourselves, does it not happen often that the punishment of a delinquent slave eludes our power? For slaves are made afraid by threatening words and run away.86 The words, therefore, which nurses use with children, "Stop crying and you shall have it!" may, not without benefit, be applied to temper: "Stop hurrying and shouting and making haste, and you shall have what you want better and more easily!" For if a father sees his son trying to cut something in two or to make a notch in it with a knife, he takes the knife himself and does it; so likewise, if reason takes upon itself the punishment which temper would inflict, it chastises the person who deserves it safely and harmlessly and for that person's good, Band does not, as temper often does, punish itself instead.87

11 1 But however true it is that all the passions have need of a process of habituation, which tames as it were and subdues by rigorous training the irrational and obstinate element of the soul, there is no passion p131 that we can better learn to control by practising on servants than temper. For no envy or fear or rivalry enters into our relations with them, but frequent fits of anger bring about many conflicts and errors, and because of the absolute power we possess, there being no one to oppose or to prevent us, these cause us to slide and fall, since we are, as it were, on slippery ground. For it is impossible that irresponsible power under the influence of passion should be free from error, unless he who wields this power shall encompass it with a bulwark of gentleness, Cand shall hold out against many pleas of wife and friends, all charging him with laxity and easy-going ways. By such charges I myself used to be very greatly exasperated against my slaves, in the conviction that they were being ruined by not being punished. At long last, however, though late it was, I came to perceive that, in the first place, it is better to make them worse by forbearance than by harshness and anger to pervert my own self for the correction of the others. In the second place, when I observed that many, just because they were not being punished, were often ashamed to be bad, and made pardon, rather than correction, the starting-point of reformation, and, I swear, performed their duties more zealously for the kind of master who gave orders silently with a nod Dthan for the others who used blows and branding-irons, I began to be convinced that reason is more fit than anger to govern. For it is not as the Poet88 has said,

Where fear is, there is also reverence;

but, on the contrary, in those who revere there is p133 engendered the kind of fear that corrects behaviour, whereas continual and unmerciful beating produces, not repentance for wrongdoing, but rather the far-sighted cunning to do wrong without detection. In the third place, I always keep in mind and reflect in privacy that he who taught us the use of the bow did not forbid us to shoot, but only to miss the mark,89 and that the infliction of punishment will not be hindered by our teaching how to inflict it at the right time,90 with moderation, and in a useful and suitable manner; and, remembering these things, I try to get rid of my anger, if possible, Eby not depriving those who are to be punished of the right to speak in their defence, but by listening to their plea. For both the passage of time gives a pause to passion and a delay which dissolves it, and also the judgement discovers a suitable manner of punishment and an adequate amount; furthermore, the man who suffers punishment has no pretext left for opposing the correction if punishment is inflicted, not in anger, but after the accused has been proved guilty; and finally, the most shameful thing is avoided — that the slave should seem to be making a juster plea than his master.

And so, just as Phocion91 after Alexander's death, trying to keep the Athenians from revolting prematurely or believing the report too quickly, said to them, "If, men of Athens, he is dead to‑day, Fhe will be dead to‑morrow also, and the day after"; in like manner, I think, the man who, urged on by anger, is in a hurry for vengeance, should suggest to himself, "If this person is guilty of wronging you to‑day, he will still be guilty to‑morrow also, and the day after; p135 no harm will be done if he shall be punished somewhat late, but if he is punished in haste he will always be thought to have suffered without offending; and this has happened many times in the past." For which of us is so harsh that he scourges and chastises a slave 460because five or ten days ago he overroasted the meat or upset the table or came too slowly at our bidding? And yet these are the very things which cause us to be excited and in a cruel and implacable mood at the moment they happen and are still fresh in our memory. For as the shapes of persons seen through a fog, so things seen through a mist of rage appear greater than they are.

These are the reasons why we should immediately call to mind such instances and precepts; and when we are free from all suspicion of passion, if the offence still appears evil to the clear and settled judgement, we should attend to it then and not dismiss or abandon the punishment, as we leave food when we have lost our appetite. And nothing is so much the cause of our punishing in a rage as that, Bwhen our anger is over, we do not punish, but leave things alone. We are very much like lazy oarsmen, who during calm weather lie in port, and later, at the risk of their lives, avail themselves of a wind to go sailing. And so do we condemn reason for remissness and softness in punishment and hasten on to the deed rashly and to our peril when anger, like a gale, is upon us. For while a hungry man indulges in food as nature dictates, yet punishment is indulged in by one who is not hungry or thirsty for it, nor does he need anger as a relish to stimulate him to punish; on the contrary, when he finds himself very far removed from the desire to p137punish, he brings up reason to reinforce him and punishes under compulsion. CAristotle92 relates that in Etruria in his day slaves were scourged to the music of pipes. But one should not, in that spirit, through a craving for the punishment as for a kind of enjoyment, gorge oneself with it, and rejoice while inflicting chastisement and after inflicting it repent93 — of these the first is bestial, the second womanish — but without either sorrow or pleasure one should mete out punishment in reason's own good time, leaving anger no excuse.

12 1 However this, perhaps, will not appear to be a cure for anger, but a temporary reprieve and prophylactic94 against those errors which some men commit in anger. And yet, though the swelling of the spleen is but a symptom of fever, reducing it assuages the fever, as Hieronymus says. DBut when I contemplated the origin of anger itself, I observed that different persons are liable to anger from different causes; yet in the case of practically all of them there is present a belief that they are being despised or neglected.95 For this reason we should assist those who endeavour to avoid anger, by removing as far as possible the act that rouses wrath from any suspicion of contempt or arrogance and by imputing it to ignorance or necessity or emotion or mischance. So Sophocles:96

O king, not even the reason Nature gives

Stays with the unfortunate, but goes astray;

p139 and so likewise Agamemnon97 ascribes the taking away of Briseïs Eto divine infatuation:

I wish again to make amends, to give

You countless ransom.

Supplication, indeed, is the act of one who does not despise; and when he that has done an injury shows himself humble, he removes all notion of contempt. But the man in a rage should not wait for such humility, but should take to himself the reply of Diogenes:98 when someone said to him, "They are laughing at you, Diogenes," he answered, "But I am not laughed down." Just so the angry man should not consider himself despised, but rather despise the man who gave the offence as acting from weakness or rashness, carelessness or illiberality, dotage or childishness. But such a notion must not on any account be entertained toward servants or friends; for our servants presume on our upright character, our friends on our affection, and both disregard us, Fnot as being impotent or ineffectual, but because of our reasonableness or our goodwill. As it is, thinking ourselves despised, we not only treat harshly wife and slaves and friends, but also through rage often fall out with innkeepers and sailors and drunken muleteers; we even rage against dogs that bark at us and asses that jostle us,99 461like the man who wished to beat the ass-driver, but when the driver cried out, "I am an Athenian," indicated the ass and said, "You at any rate are not an Athenian," and fell to beating it with many blows.

p141 13 1 Furthermore it is especially selfishness and peevishness, together with luxury and softness, which beget in us those continuous or oft-recurring fits of anger that are gathered together in the soul little by little, like a swarm of bees or wasps. And so there is nothing more conducive to gentleness and graciousness and simplicity toward servants and wife and friends if a man is able to get along with what comforts he has and is in no need of many superfluities:

BBut he who liked his meat not overdone

Nor underdone, nor medium, nor boiled

Too much; and liked no food enough to praise;100

who will drink no wine if there is no snow with it,101 nor eat bread purchased in the market, nor touch food served on cheap or earthenware dishes, nor sleep upon a bed that does not billow like the sea stirred to its depths; he who with rods and blows makes his servants at table hasten about running and crying out and sweating as though they were bringing poultices for boils,102 Csuch a man is enslaved to an impotent, querulous, and discontented mode of life. His many shocks of anger are like a chronic cough by which he reduces himself to a condition where anger becomes a running sore. We must, therefore, accustom the body to contentment by plain living and to self-sufficiency, for those who need but little are not disappointed of much.

And, to begin with our food, it is no great hardship p143if we partake in silence of whatever is set before us and do not, by being repeatedly choleric and peevish, thrust upon ourselves and our friends the worst sauce for meat, anger.

No more unpleasant supper could there be103

than that wherein servants are beaten and wife is reviled because something is burned or smoked or not salted enough, or because the bread is too cold.104

DArcesilaüs was once entertaining his friends and with them some foreign guests, and when dinner was served, there was no bread, since the slaves had neglected to buy any. In such a predicament which one of us would not have rent the walls asunder with outcries? But Arcesilaüs merely smiled and said, How lucky it is that the wise man takes to the flowing bowl!"105

Once when Socrates took Euthydemus home with him from the palaestra, Xanthippê came up to them in a rage and scolded them roundly, finally upsetting the table.106 Euthydemus, deeply offended, got up and was about to leave when Socrates said, "At your house the other day did not a hen fly in and do precisely this same thing, yet we were not put out about it?"

EFor we should receive our friends affably and with laughter and cheerful friendliness, not with frowning brows, or striking fear and trembling into our servants. We must, further, accustom ourselves to make cheerful use of any kind of table utensils and not to prefer this service to that, as some men do p145who select one goblet or horn out of the many they have, and will drink from no other, as they relate of Marius. Some have this same feeling about oil-flasks and strigils, of which they have a liking for but one out of many; and so when one of these preferred objects is broken or lost, they take it hard and punish severely. Therefore anyone who is prone to anger should abstain from rare and curiously wrought things, like drinking-cups and seal-rings and precious stones; Ffor their loss drives their owner out of his senses more than do objects which are easily procured and may be seen everywhere. This is the reason why, when Nero had had an octagonal tent built, a huge structure which was a sight to be seen because of its beauty and costliness, Seneca remarked, "You have proved yourself a poor man, for if you ever lose this you will not have the means to procure another like it." 462And indeed it did so happen that the ship which conveyed it was sunk and the tent lost. But Nero remembered Seneca's saying and bore his loss with greater moderation.

A cheerful behaviour toward the affairs of life makes a master cheerful and gentle toward his slaves also; and if to slaves, he will evidently be so to his friends as well as to those who are subject to his rule. And in fact we observe that newly purchased slaves inquire about their new master, not whether he is superstitious or envious, but whether he is ill-tempered;107 and, speaking generally, we see that if anger is present in a home, husbands cannot endure even their wives' chastity, nor wives even their husbands' love, nor friends even familiar intercourse with one another. Thus neither marriage nor friendship is tolerable if anger is there, Bbut without anger even p147drunkenness is easily borne. For the wand of Dionysus suffices to punish the drunkard, unless hot temper is added and makes the undiluted drink a cause of savagery and madness instead of a dispeller of care and an inspirer or the dance.108 Madness pure and simple can indeed be cured by Anticyra;109 but if madness is mixed with anger, it produces tragedies and tales of horror.

14 1 Surely we should allow no place to anger even in jest, for that brings enmity in where friendliness was; nor in learned discussions, for that turns love of learning into strife; nor when rendering judgement, for that adds insolence to authority; Cnor in teaching, for that engenders disappointment and hatred of learning; nor in prosperity, for that increases envy; nor in adversity, for that drives away compassion when men become irritable and quarrel with those who sympathize with them, as Priam110 did:

Be gone, you wretched, shameful men! Have you

No cause for grief at home that you have come

To trouble me?

But a cheerful disposition in some circumstances is helpful, others it adorns, and still others it helps to sweeten; by its gentleness it overcomes both anger and all moroseness. Thus Eucleides,111 when his brother said to him after a quarrel, "Damned if I don't get even with you!" answered, "But as for me, may I be damned if I don't convince you!" and so at once turned him from his purpose and won him over. DAnd Polemon, when a man who was fond of precious stones and quite mad about expensive seal-rings p149reviled him, made no answer, but fixed his gaze on one of the seal-rings and eyed it closely. The man, accordingly, was pleased and said to him, "Do not look at it in this light, Polemon, but under the sun's rays, and it will appear to you far more beautiful." Aristippus, again, when anger had arisen between him and Aeschines and someone said, "Where now, Aristippus, is the friendship of you two?" replied, "It is asleep, but I shall awaken it"; and, going to Aeschines, he said, "Do I appear to you so utterly unfortunate and incurable as not to receive correction from you?" EAnd Aeschines replied, "No wonder if you, who are naturally superior to me in all things, should in this matter also have discerned before I did the right thing to do."

For not a woman only, even a child,

Tickling the bristly boar with tender hand,

May throw him easier than a wrestler might.112

But we who tame wild beasts and make them gentle and carry about in our arms young wolves and lions' cubs,113 then under the impulse of rage cast off children, friends, and companions and let loose our wrath, like some wild beast, on servants and fellow-citizens — we, I say, do not well to use a cozening word for our anger by calling it "righteous indignation,"114 Fbut it is with anger, I believe, as with the other passions and diseases of the soul: we can rid ourselves of none of them by calling one "foresight," another "liberality," another "piety."

15 1 And yet, as Zeno115 used to say that the seed p151was a mixture and compound drawn from all the faculties of the soul, so temper appears to be a mixture of seeds drawn from all the passions. 463For it is drawn from pain and pleasure, and from insolence; and although it has envy's malicious joy in the ills of others, it is even worse than envy; for the object of its striving is, not that it may itself avoid suffering evil, but that at the cost of suffering evil, it may utterly ruin its antagonist; and the most unlovely kind of desire is innate in it, inasmuch as it is a craving to pain someone else. And that is why, when we approach the houses of profligates, we hear a flute-girl still playing in the early morning, and we see "muddy dregs of wine,"116 as someone has said, "and mangled fragments of garlands," and tipsy servants reeling at the doors; Bbut the tokens of savage and irascible men you will see on the faces of their servants and in the marks branded upon them and their fetters.

The only music heard within the house

of an angry man

Is wailing cries,117

and the stewards are being lashed within and the serving-maids being tortured, so that those who witness the anguish caused by anger in gratifying its desires and ministering to its pleasures must feel pity.

16 1 However, those of whom it is true that righteous indignation causes them frequently to be overwhelmed by anger should get rid of its excessive and violent form, together with their extreme confidence in those with whom they live.118 For such p153confidence more than any other cause increases the spirit of wrath, when, for example, one who has been accounted honourable proves to be base,119 or one whom we have supposed a true friend quarrels and finds fault with us. CAs for my own temperament, you doubtless know how strong are the impulses which incline it to be of goodwill toward my fellow-men and to trust them. Consequently, like men who attempt to walk on empty air, the more I give myself up to loving a person the more I go astray, and when I stumble and fall, the greater my distress; and although I may no longer be able to reduce my too great propensity and eagerness to love, yet I may perhaps be able to use Plato's120 caution as a curb against excessive trust. For Plato says that he praises Helicon the mathematician in such terms as he uses121 because man is by nature an animal readily subject to change; and that he does well to fear those who have been educated in the city Dlest, being men and the seeds of men,122 they may reveal somewhere the weakness inherent in their nature. But when Sophocles123 says

Search out most human traits; you'll find them base,

he seems to go too far in trampling upon and belittling us. This peevish and censorious judgement does, however, tend to make us more considerate in our outbursts of temper; for it is the sudden and the unexpected that throw men off their bearings.124 p155But we should, as Panaetius also has somewhere remarked, make use of the precept of Anaxagoras,125 and just as he, at the death of his son, said, "I knew that I had begotten a mortal"; so on each occasion we should remark with reference to the faults which exasperate us: E"I knew that I had not bought a philosopher for a slave," "I knew that the friend I had made was not incapable of error," "I knew that my wife was a woman." And if we keep repeating to ourselves Plato's question, "Can it be that I am like that?"126 and turn our reason inward instead of to external things, and substitute caution for censoriousness, we shall no longer make much use of "righteous indignation" toward others when we observe that we ourselves stand in need of much indulgence. But as it is, everyone of us, when we are angry and inflicting punishment, brings out the injunctions of an Aristeides or a Cato: "Do not steal!" "Do not lie!" "Why are you so lazy?"; and — what is most disgraceful of all — while angry we chide others for being angry and punish by rage faults which have been committed in a rage, Fnot like physicians, who

With bitter drugs can purge the bitter bile;127

but rather make more intense the malady and aggravate it.

Whenever, therefore, I have become engaged in these reflections, at the same time I try to do away with some part of my inquisitiveness. 464For to search out with great precision and detect and drag into the p157light every little concern of a slave, every action of a friend, every pastime of a son, every whisper of a wife, produces frequent, or rather continual and daily, fits of anger, of which the sum total is a morose and intractable disposition. It may be, as Euripides128 says, that God

Will intervene in matters grown too great,

But small things he lets pass and leaves to Fate;

but I am of the opinion that a man of sense should commit nothing to Fate, nor overlook anything at all, but should trust and use for some things his wife, for others servants, for others friends, Bas a ruler makes use of overseers and accountants and administrators, but himself keeps under his own control the most important and weighty matters by the use of reason. For as small writing strains the eyes, so do trifling matters, by causing a greater strain, prick and stir up anger,129 which become a bad habit that affects more important matters.

Accordingly, in addition to all these considerations,130 I have been wont to regard as great and divine that saying of Empedocles,131 "Fast from evil," and to applaud also those other vows made in prayer as being neither ungracious nor inappropriate to a philosopher: to abstain from love and wine for a year, honouring God by continence; or again to refrain from lying for a stated time, paying close heed to ourselves that we shall be truthful always whether p159in jest or earnest. CThen with these I compared my own vow, thinking it no less sacred and pleasant in the sight of God: first, to pass a few days without anger, sober and wineless days, as it were, as though I were offering a sacrifice of honey unmixed with wine;132 then I would do so for a month or two, and so, making trial of myself little by little, in time I made some progress in my forbearance, continently observing and keeping myself courteous in speech, placid, and free from anger, and pure of the taint of evil words and offensive actions and of passion which, Dat the price of a little unsatisfying pleasure, brings great perturbations of spirit and the most shameful repentance. By such means, I think — and God also gave me help — experience has shown the truth of that judgement: this placid and gentle and humane spirit is not so agreeable and pleasant and free from sorrow to any of those brought in contact with it as it is to those who themselves possess it.


The Editor's Notes:

1 Wilamowitz, Hermes, XXIX.152; Schlemm, Hermes, XXXVIII.587 ff.

2 Allers, De Senecae Librorum de Ira Fontibus, p9; Pohlenz, Hermes, XXXI.321 ff.; accepted by Daebritz, REI.8.1562. In Hermes, XL.292, note 1, Pohlenz attempts to refute Schlemm's arguments.

3 Books on "Anger" were very plentiful in Cicero's day (Epp. ad Quint. Frat., I.1.37).

4 There is extant also a free Syriac translation (ed. Lagarde, Analecta Syriaca, Leipzig, 1858) which helps occasionally in the constitution of the text.

5 Cf. Patzig, Quaest. Plut., p42.

6 Sextius Sulla, a friend of Plutarch (cf. Moralia, 636A, and Prosopographia Imperii Romani, III p239).

7 C. Minicius Fundanus, a friend of Pliny (Epp.V.16); cf. Pros. Imp. Rom., II p377.

8 Homer, Il.XXII.373.

9 This friend of Plutarch is mentioned again in connexion with Fundanus in 464E, infra.

10 See Hirzel, Der Dialog, II p168, note 4.

11 Od., XX.23, cited in full 506B, infra.

12 Frag. 36 ed. Hense.

13 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p760; quoted again in Moralia, 551A. The poet is not the Athenian tragic poet, but Melanthius of Rhodes (circa 150 B.C.), according to Wilamowitz, Hermes, XXIX.150 ff.

14 Cf. Moralia, 1103C.

15 Cf. Plato, Republic, 411B‑C.

16 At the battle of Leuctra, 371 B.C.

17 This is apparently from a lost work, though not included in Rose's collection of fragments. In Problemata, X.60 (898 A4) however, Aristotle observes that fear is a process of cooling; cf. also De Partibus Animalium, II.4 (651 A8 ff.).

18 Il.XXIII.598, 600, al.; for Plutarch's interpretation of ἰαίνεσθαι see Moralia, 947D: ἀλέαν τῷ σώματι μεθ᾽ ἡδονῆς, ὄπερ Ὅμηρος ἰαίνεσθαι κέκληκεν; see also Moralia, 735F.

19 Euripides, Orestes, 72, 99.

20 Cf. Moralia, 623F‑624A; Athenaeus, X 434D.

21 A jibe at Alexander's assumed divinity, "Alexander" taking the place of Dionysus, the wine god, until the physician god, Asclepius, would have to be called in; on the authenticity of the story see Macurdy, Jour. Hell. Stud., L (1930), 294‑297.

22 Cf. Moralia, 138F.

23 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p107, Frag. 357.

24 Of Rhodes, Peripatetic philosopher of the third century B.C.

25 But cf. Plutarch, De Amore, 5 (Bernardakis, vol. VII p134).

26 Of Patroclus's death, brought by Antilochus; Il.XVIII.22.

27 Il.I.101 ff.

28 Cf. Seneca, De Ira, III.13.3.

29 Author unknown: Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec., III p721; Diehl, Anthologia Lyrica, II p163; Edmonds, Lyra Graeca, III p473; quoted more fully in Moralia, 129A, 503A.

30 Callimachus, Epigram 43 (42), vv. 5, 6 (Anth. Pal., XII.118). Cf. Propertius, II.30.24: Hoc si crimen erit, crimen amoris erit.

31 Cf. Seneca, De Ira, III.10.3.

32 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p183, Sophocles, Frag. 223 (Frag. 244 ed. Pearson). Cf. Homer, Il.II.594‑600.

33 Il.V.216.

34 Cf. Herodotus, VII.35.

35 Contrast ibid. VII.24.

36 Cf. Moralia, 239A, and the note.

37 Prognosticon, 2 (vol. I p79 ed. Kühlewein).

38 Cf. Seneca, De Ira, II.35.

39 Cf. Life of the Gracchi, ii (825B), and Ziegler's references ad loc.

40 Aeschylus, Prometheus, 574‑575; Io speaks with reference to the piping of Argus as he guards her.

41 Cf. Seneca, De Ira, II.36.1‑3.

42 Cf. Life of Alcibiades, ii (192E); Ovid, Ars Amatoria, III.505 ff.; Fasti, VI.699 ff.; Athenaeus, XIV 616E ff.; Tzetzes, chiliades, I.364 ff.

43 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p911, ades. 381.

44 Cf. Moralia, 713D.

45 Simonides, according to Tzetzes, Chiliades, I.372 (Frag. 177 Bergk, 160 Diehl, 115 Edmonds); attributed by Schneidewin to Simias Rhodius (cf. Powell, Coll. Alex., p111).

46 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p907, ades. 361; quoted again in Moralia, 43D; 501A, 502D, infra; 657C.

47 A combination of Laws, 935A and 717D, as in Moralia, 90C, 505C, 634F; cf. also Schlemm, Hermes, XXXVIII.596.

48 Frag. 27 ed. Bergk, 126 ed. Diehl, 137 ed. Edmonds; it is unlikely that Plutarch wrote Aeolic accents which are here restored.

49 Cf. 462E, 482C, infra.

50 The cruel tyrant, like the viper, indulges in rages as a sort of defence-reaction, a proof of inherent weakness.

51 Frag. 210 ed. Bergk, 229 ed. Boeckh; p609 ed. Sandys.

52 Cf. Life of Coriolanus, xv (220E).

53 Plato, Republic, 411B; contrast Moralia, 449F, supra. Plutarch seems to be unwilling to name Plato when he is forced to contradict him. But see Pohlenz, Hermes, XXXI.332 (on Philodemus, De Ira, XXXI.24).

54 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p912, ades. 382.

55 Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec., III p694; Diehl, Anthologia Lyrica, I p265; Edmonds, Elegy and Iambus, II p304; an anonymous tetrameter attributed by Meineke to Archilochus.

56 Diels. Frag. d. Vorsokratiker5, I p170, Frag. 85: cf. Life of Coriolanus, xxii (224C), and Moralia, 755D. But Heracleitus's meaning is probably that it is Love, not anger, which it is difficult to contend against.

57 Perhaps a correction (as 457C, supra) of Plato, Republic, 411B (cf. also Moralia, 449F, supra).

58 That is, our "no guts"; cf. Archilochus, Frag. 131, Bergk, and Capps's note on Menander, Perikeiromenê, 259.

59 Cf. Moralia, 182C; Seneca, De Ira, III.22.2.

60 Cf. Athenaeus, VI 249C‑D: Arcadion, while in flight from Macedonia, accidentally met Philip who asked him how long he was going to stay in exile. This is Arcadion's reply.

61 A parody of Homer, Od., XI.122; XXIII.269.

62 Cf. Moralia, 143F; 179A with Nachstädt's note ad loc.

63 Cf. Moralia, 189C, and Nachstädt ad loc.

64 Ibid. 305F; Life of Publicola, xvii (106A‑D) with Lindskog's note.

65 Cf. 449F, supra.

66 Kock, Com. Att. Frag., II p522, Frag. 144.

67 Officially the father of Ptolemy I, who, however, was commonly thought to have been the bastard son of Philip of Macedon.

Thayer's Note: For (a) Lagos, and (b) Ptolemy's uncertain parentage, see my note to Chapter 2 of Bevan's House of Ptolemy.

68 Cf. Life of Alexander, lv (696D‑E); 449E, supra; Seneca, De Ira, III.17.1.

69 Cf. Moralia, 181E, 332E; Life of Alexander, lx (609C), and Ziegler's note.

70 But "Gentle" when propitiated. See Hesychius and Roscher, Lexicon d. gr. u. röm. Mythologies.v.; and Hewitt, Harvard Stud. Class. Phil., XIX (1908), 75‑78.

71 Cf. Moralia 40E, 215B. For the thought see Pindar, Pythian Odes, IV.484.

72 Plutarch probably means Q. Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus; cf. Moralia, 202A.

73 Cf. Seneca, De Ira, II.34.1; cf. Socrates' comparison of himself to a gad-fly in Apology, 30E.

74 Cf. Seneca, De Ira, I.19.2‑3.

75 Cf. 447A, supra.

76 Frag. 210.8, 9, ed. Pearson, vol. I pp152 ff., where see the careful discussion of the relation of this passage to Ox. Pap., IX.1175; Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, Sophocles, Frag. 768.

77 The poison of anger.

78 Cf. Moralia, 238B, with Nachstädt ad loc.

79 Cf.  Pausanias, IV.8.11.

80 Cf. Seneca, De Ira, II.35.1: tale ira telum est: vix retrahitur.

81 Probably Cyrus the Younger, cf. Xenophon, Anabasis, I.8.26‑27; but Cyrus the Great may be meant, cf. Seneca, De Ira, III.21, which is not, however, quite in point; nor is Herodotus, I.205 ff.

82 Cf. Life of Pelopidas, xxxii (296A).

83 Cf. Moralia, 176E; Diodorus, XX.63. Agathocles was the son of a potter.

84 The One-eyed; cf. Seneca, De Ira, III.22.4‑5; related of Agathocles in Moralia, 176E‑F.

85 Problemata, III.27 (875 A34 ff.); cited by Stobaeus, III p551 ed. Hense.

86 Cf. Seneca, De Ira, III.5.4.

87 Cf. Xenophon, Hellenica, V.3.7.

88 (Homer), Cypria, Frag. 20 ed. Kinkel; cf. Plutarch, Life of Cleomenes, ix (xxx) (808E); Plato, Euthyphro, 12A‑B.

89 Cf. 451E, supra.

90 When it is really deserved.

91 Cf. Life of Phocion, xxii (751E); Moralia, 188D.

92 Frag. 608 ed. Rose.

93 Cf. Moralia, 550E, where the whole context may be compared with this chapter. See also Seneca, De Ira, I.17‑18.

94 For the phrase cf. Moralia, 420E.

95 Cf. Aristotle, Rhetoric, II.3 (1380 A8 ff.).

96 Antigonê, 563‑564; quoted with the same textual variants in the Life of Phocion, i (742A).

97 Homer, Il.XIX.138.

98 Cf. Life of Fabius Maximus, x (179F); Diogenes Laertius, VI.54.

99 Cf. Plato, Republic, 563C.

100 Kock, Com. Att. Frag., III p472, ades. 343.

101 Cf. Seneca, De Ira, II.25.4.

102 A matter evidently requiring urgent haste.

103 Homer, Od., XX.392.

104 Cf. Seneca, De Ira, II.25.

105 There being no bread for the deipnon, the symposium will come later.

106 Cf. 471B, infra, of Pittacus.

107 Cf. Plutarch, De Calumnia, Frag. 1 (Bernardakis, vol. VII p128).

108 Choreius and Lyaeus, epithets of Dionysus.

109 A town on the Corinthian Gulf in Phocis, famous for its hellebore; see Rolfe's note on Aulus Gellius, XVII.15.6 (L. C. L., vol. III p260).

110 Homer, Il.XXIV.239‑240.

111 Cf. 489D, infra.

112 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p912, ades. 383.

113 Cf. 482C, infra.

114 Cf. 456F, 449A, supra.

115 Von Arnim, Stoic. Vet. Frag., I p36, Frag. 128.

116 Cf. Sophocles, Frag. 783 ed. Pearson, with the notes ad loc.

117 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p913, ades. 387; quoted more completely in 518B‑C, infra.

118 Cf. Plato, Phaedo, 89D.

119 "Nothing fans the flame of human resentment so much as the discovery that one's bosom has been utilized as a snake sanatorium." — H. H. Munro.

120 Epistle xiii 360C; cf. 474E, infra, and Moralia, 533B‑C.

121 δεδιὼς δὲ λέγω ταῦτα, ὅτι ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπου δόξον ἀποφαίνομαι, οὐ φαύλου ζῴον ἀλλ᾽ εὐμεταβόλου: "This, however, I say with trepidation, since I am uttering an opinion about a man, and man, though not a worthless, is an inconstant creature." — (Bury in L. C. L.).

122 Cf. Plato, Laws, 853C.

123 Frag. 853 ed. Pearson; Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p311, Frag. 769; quoted again in 481F, infra.

124 Cf. 449E, supra.

125 Cf. 474D, infra; Moralia, 118D and the references ad loc.; Diels, Frag. d. Vorsokratiker5, II p14, § 33.

Thayer's Note: More thorough references are given in David Magie's note to the Life of Gallienus.

126 Cf. Moralia, 40D, 88E, 129D. Cf. Horace, Satires, I.4.136: Numquid ego illi | imprudens olim faciam simile?; "There but for the grace of God go I."

127 Sophocles, Frag. 854 ed. Pearson, with the note; Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p312, Frag. 770; quoted in a different form 468B, infra, and Moralia, 923F.

128 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p675, Frag. 974; quoted also in Moralia, 811D. Cf. Lucan, V.340 ff.; and perhaps Horace, Ars Poetica, 191‑192.

129 Cf. Seneca, De Ira, II.26; III.11.

130 Erasmus, followed by Amyot, believed this concluding paragraph to be a Christian appendix added to Plutarch's work. This is very unlikely.

131 Diels, Frag. d. Vorsokratiker5, I p369, Frag. 144; cf. Herrick:

To starve thy sin, not bin,

That is to keep thy Lent.

132 Like the offerings to the Eumenides, Aeschylus, Eumenides, 107; Sophocles, Oedipus Coloneus, 100, 481; cf. also Wyttenbach's note on Moralia, 132E.


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