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This webpage reproduces the essay
De tranquillitate animi

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

p163 On Tranquillity of Mind

Copyright

The work appears in pp163‑241 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

It is only natural that this essay should have aroused curiosity and speculation about its sources, for Plutarch in the very first paragraph conveys the information that he has rummaged among his note-books (ὑπομνήματα)1 in great haste for the material necessary to help his friend Paccius to composure in the midst of a busy life. R. Hirzel (Hermes, XIV.354 ff., especially 373 ff.) attempted to show that much was drawn from Democritus's Περὶ εὐθυμίης, some by way of the Stoic Panaetius, who, he thought, naturally opposed the Abderite's conclusions. R. Heinze (Rheinisches Museum, XLV.497 ff.) emphasized the relation between De Tranquillitate and De Virtute et Vitio: both go back to a Stoic2 prototype and De Tranquillitate to a model which has some close relation to the Cynic Bion's methods of presentation, that is, probably, to Ariston of Chios.3 M. Pohlenz4 (Hermes, XL.275 ff.), on the p164other hand, found that the source of the essay was Epicurean,5 while admitting that Plutarch added a certain amount of original material to fit the personality and circumstances of the friend he was addressing. Finally, G. Siefert6 (Plutarchs Schrift Περὶ εὐθυμίης, Progr. Pforta, Naumburg, 1908) reverts to Democritus and Panaetius, with particular emphasis on the material illustrative of Panaetius's lost work to be found in Cicero's De Officiis and in Seneca: Panaetius, who was following, not the Stoa, but Democritus, is the principal source of Plutarch, practically his only source.

Siefert's discussion, in particular, is impressive as well as learned; but I would remark that all these authorities may well be right — and wrong. Some of them admit that portions, at least, of the essay were written, or adapted, especially to suit the particular occasion for which the essay was composed. Plutarch himself is not averse to naming authorities here and elsewhere; that he followed exclusively one, or even two, is made very unlikely by his own opening statement and by the very mixed nature of his philosophical terminology.7

p165 Theological writers of all ages have made good use of this store-house of moral precepts. Many of the imitations in the works of St. Basil and of St. John Chrysostom will be found listed in the Teubner edition and discussed by Pohlenz (Zeit. f. wiss. Theologie, XLVIII.72‑95). Jeremy Taylor, also, in Holy Living, II.6, has again made some pleasant borrowings and paraphrases.

Sir Thomas Wyat's interesting translation of 1528, made from the Latin of Budaeus, has been reprinted, with an excellent introduction from the pen of C. R. Baskervill, by the authorities of the Huntington Library (Harvard University Press, 1931).

The MS. tradition is not good. Many passages are probably hopelessly corrupt and the reconstructions offered in the Teubner text and here are, at the best, make-shifts. The work is No. 95 in the catalogue of Lamprias.

p167 464EFrom Plutarch to Paccius,8 health and prosperity.

1 1 It was only very recently that I received your letter in which you urged me to write you something on tranquillity of mind, and also something on those subjects in the Timaeus9 which require more careful elucidation. And at the same time it chanced that our friend Eros10 was obliged to sail at once for Rome, since he had received from the excellent Fundanus11 a letter, which, in his usual style, urged haste. FBut since I neither had the time I might have desired to meet your wishes nor could I bring myself to let the friend who came from me be seen arriving at your home with hands quite empty, I gathered together from my note-books those observations on tranquillity of mind which I happened to have made for my own use, believing that you on your part requested this discourse, not for the sake of hearing a work which would aim at elegance of style, 465but for the practical use in living it might afford; and I congratulate you because, though you have commanders as your friends and a reputation second to none of the forensic p169speakers of our day, your experience has not been that of Merops in the play, and because it cannot be said openly, as of him, that

The plaudits of the mob have driven you12

from those emotions given us by nature; but you continue to remember what you have often heard, that an aristocratic shoe does not rid us of the gout, nor an expensive ring of a hangnail, nor a diadem of a headache. For what power is there in money or fame or influence at court to help us to gain ease of soul or an untroubled life, if it is not true that the use of them is pleasant to us when we have them Band that we never miss them when we have them not?13 And how else can this be achieved except through reason, which has been carefully trained quickly to hold back the passionate and irrational part of the soul when it breaks bounds, as it often does, and not to allow it to flow away and be swept downstream because it does not have what it wants? Therefore, just as Xenophon14 advised that in prosperity we should be particularly mindful of the gods and should honour them, so that, when some need comes upon us, we may invoke them with the confidence that they are already well-disposed and friendly; so also with such reasonings as give help in controlling the passions: wise men should give heed to them before the passions arise in order that, Cbeing prepared far in advance, their help may be more efficacious. For as savage dogs become excited at every strange cry and are soothed by the familiar voice only, so also the passions of the soul, when they are raging wild, are not easily p171allayed, unless customary and familiar arguments are at hand to curb the excited passions.

2 1 Now he15 who said: "The man who would be tranquil in his mind must not engage in many affairs, either private or public," first of all makes our tranquillity very expensive if it is bought at the price of inactivity; it is as though he advised every sick man:

Lie still, poor wretch, and move not from your bed.16

DAnd yet it is true that a state of bodily stupor is a bad remedy for insanity; but no whit better as a physician of the soul is he who would relieve it of its disturbances and distress by prescribing idleness and softness and the betrayal of friends and family and country.17

In the next place, it is also false that those who are not occupied with many things are tranquil in mind. For if that were true, women ought to be more tranquil than men, since for the most part they keep at home; but as it is, the North Wind

Blows not through the soft-skinned maid,

as Hesiod18 says, yet more pain and excitement and despondency than one could enumerate, caused by jealousy and superstition and ambition and vain p173imaginings, seep into the women's quarters. EAnd though Laërtes19 lived twenty years by himself in the country

With one old woman, who his food and drink

Would place beside him,

and abandoned his birthplace,20 his home, and his kingship, yet he had grief as an ever-constant companion of his inactivity and dejection. And for some persons, even inactivity itself often leads to discontent, as in this instance:

The swift Achilles, Peleus' noble son,

Continued in his wrath beside the ships;

Nor would he ever go to council that

Ennobles men, nor ever go to war,

But wasted away his heart, remaining there,

And always longed for tumult and for war.21

FAnd he himself is greatly disturbed and distressed at this and says:

But here I sit beside my ships,

A useless burden to the earth.22

For this reason not even Epicurus23 believes that men who are eager for honour and glory should lead an inactive life, but that they should fulfil their natures by engaging in politics and entering public life, on the ground that, because of their natural dispositions, 466they are more likely to be disturbed and harmed by inactivity if they do not obtain what they desire. But he is absurd in urging public life, not on those who are able to undertake it, but on those who are unable p175to lead an inactive life; tranquillity and discontent should be determined, not by the multitude or the fewness of one's occupations, but by their excellence or baseness; for the omission of good acts is no less vexatious and disturbing than the commission of evil acts, as has been said.24

3 1 To those who believe that one quite special kind of life is free from pain, as some do the life of farmers, others that of bachelors, others that of kings, the words of Menander25 are a sufficient reminder:

BI used to think the wealthy, Phanias,

Who have no need to borrow, would not groan

Of nights, nor tossing up and down would cry

"Ah, woe is me!" but that they slept a sweet

And tranquil sleep.

He then goes on to relate that he observes that even the wealthy fare the same as the poor:

Is there then kinship between life and grief?

Grief's in a famous life; with a rich life

It stays; with a mean life it too grows old.

But like people at sea26 who are cowardly and seasick and think that they would get through this voyage more comfortably if they should transfer from their little boat to a ship, and then again from the ship to a man-of‑war; Cbut they accomplish nothing by the changes, since they carry their nausea and cowardice along with them; so the exchange of one mode of life for another does not relieve the soul p177of those things which cause it grief and distress:27 these are inexperience in affairs, unreasonableness, the want of ability or knowledge to make the right use of present conditions. These are the defects which, like a storm at sea, torment rich and poor alike, that afflict the married as well as the unmarried; because of these men avoid public life, then find their life of quiet unbearable; because of these men seek advancement at court, by which, when they have gained it, they are immediately bored.

Through helplessness the sick are hard to please,28

for their wives are troublesome, they grumble at the doctor, they are vexed with the bed,

DEach friend that comes annoys, that goes affronts,

as Ion29 has it. But later, when the disease is over and a sounder disposition supervenes, health returns and makes everything pleasant and agreeable:30 he that yesterday loathed eggs and delicate cakes and fine bread to‑day eats eagerly and willingly of a coarse loaf with olives and water-cress.

4 1 Such contentment and change of view toward every kind of life is created by reason when it has been engendered within us. Alexander wept when he heard Anaxarchus31 discourse about an infinite number of worlds, and when his friends inquired what ailed him, "Is it not worthy of tears," he said, "that, when the number of worlds is infinite,32 we have not p179yet become lords of a single one?" EBut Crates, though he had but a wallet and a threadbare cloak, passed his whole life jesting and laughing as though at a festival. It was, indeed, burdensome to Agamemnon to be lord of many men:

Agamemnon you shall know, King Atreus' son,

Whom, beyond all, Zeus cast into a mesh

Of never-ending cares;33

but Diogenes, when he was being sold at auction,34 lay down on the ground and kept mocking the auctioneer; when this official bade him arise, he would not, but joked and ridiculed the man, saying, "Suppose you were selling a fish?" And Socrates,35 though in prison, discoursed on philosophic themes to his friends; Fbut Phaëthon, when he had mounted up to heaven, wept because no one would deliver to him his father's horses and chariot.

So, just as the shoe is turned with the foot, and not the contrary, so do men's dispositions make their lives like themselves. For it is not, as someone36 has said, habituation which makes the best life sweet to those who have chosen it, but wisdom which makes the same life at once both best and sweetest. 467Therefore let us cleanse the fountain of tranquillity that is in our selves, in order that external things also, as if our very own and friendly, may agree with us when we make no harsh use of them:

p181 It does no good to rage at circumstance;

Events will take their course with no regard

For us. But he who makes the best of those

Events he lights upon will not fare ill.37

5 1 Plato,38 for instance, compared life to a game of dice in which we must try, not only to throw what suits us best, but also, when we have thrown, to make good use of whatever turns up. But with circumstances, though it is not in our power to throw what we please, yet it is our task, if we are wise, to accept in a suitable manner whatever accrues from Fortune Band to assign to each event a place in which both what suits us shall help us most and what is unwanted shall do least harm. For those who are without skill and sense as to how they should live, like sick people whose bodies can endure neither heat nor cold, are elated by good fortune and depressed by adversity; and they are greatly disturbed by both, or rather by themselves in both and as much in what is called good as in the bad. Theodorus,39 called the Atheist, used to say that he offered his discourses with his right hand, but his audience received them with their left; Cso uninstructed persons, when Fortune presents herself adroitly on their right, often gauchely substitute their left hands in receiving her and cut a sorry figure. But men of sense, just as bees extract honey from thyme, the most pungent and the driest p183of plants,40 often in like manner draw from the most unfavourable circumstances something which suits them and is useful.

6 1 This, then, we should practice and cultivate first of all, like the man who threw a stone at his dog, but missed her and hit his stepmother, whereupon he exclaimed, "Not so bad after all!"41 For it is possible to change the direction of Fortune when she has given us things we do not wish. Diogenes42 was driven into exile: "Not so bad after all!" for after his exile he began to lead the life of a philosopher. DZeno43 of Citium had one merchantman remaining; when he learned that this had been sunk at sea and lost with all its cargo, he cried, "Much obliged, Fortune! You also drive me to the philosopher's cloak."44

What, then, prevents our imitating such men as these? Have you failed in your canvass for an office? You will be able to live in the country and look after your own affairs. Were you repulsed in wooing the friendship of some great man? Your life will be free from danger and trouble. Have you, again, become occupied with matters which take all your time and fill you with cares?

Nor shall hot water so soften the limbs,

p185 as Pindar45 has it, since high repute and honour conjoined with a measure of power make

Labour pleasant and toil to be sweet toil.46

EHave you, by reason of slander or envy, become the butt of jeers and cat-calls? The breeze is favouring that bears you to the Muses and the Academy,47 as it was Plato48 when he was buffeted by the storm of Dionysius's friendship.

For this reason it will also help greatly toward tranquillity of mind to observe that famous men have suffered nothing at all from evils the same as yours. Does childlessness, for example, vex you? Consider the kings49 of Rome, of whom not one was able to bequeath the kingdom to a son. Are you distressed by your present poverty? Well, what Boeotian rather than Epameinondas, what Roman rather than Fabricius, would you have preferred to be? "But my wife has been seduced." Have you, then, not read the inscription at Delphi,

FThe lord of land and sea, King Agis, put me here;50

and have you not heard that Alcibiades51 seduced Agis's wife, Timaea, and that, whispering to her handmaids, she called her child Alcibiades? But this did not prevent Agis from being the most celebrated and p187the greatest of Greeks. Just as the licentiousness of his daughter did not prevent Stilpo52 468from leading the most cheerful life of all the philosophers of his time; on the contrary, when Metrocles reproached him, he asked, "Is this my fault or hers?" And when Metrocles replied, "Her fault, but your misfortune," he said, "What do you mean? Are not faults also slips?" "Certainly," said Metrocles. "And are not slips also mischances of those who have slipped?" Metrocles agreed. "And are not mischances also misfortunes of those whose mischances they are?" By this gentle and philosophic argument he showed the Cynic's abuse to be but idle yapping.

7 1 BBut most people are pained and exasperated by the faults, not only of their friends and relatives, but also of their enemies. For abuse and rage on their part, envy and malevolence and jealousy, coupled with ill-will, are the bane of those who are subject to these faults, but it is fools whom they trouble and exasperate — as, for example, neighbours' outbursts of temper and friends' peevishness, and certain acts of dishonesty on the part of state officials charged with administration. By these things you yourself seem to me to be disturbed as much as anybody, and like the physicians to whom Sophocles53 alludes —

With bitter drugs they purge the bitter bile —

so you become angry and bitter against these men and suffer from their passions and infirmities; but this is irrational. CFor even in the execution of matters committed to your personal care, most of them are in fact administered, not by simple and excellent natures, p189men naturally suited to be another's instruments, as it were, but by jagged and crooked ones. Do not, therefore, consider it your business to straighten them out, and it would not in any case be easy to do so. But if — dealing with them as being what they are by nature, just as a physician uses forceps for teeth and clips for wounds54 — you show yourself as gentle and self-controlled as you can, you will have greater pleasure in your own state of mind than distress at the unpleasantness and villainy of those others, and you will think that they, like dogs when they bark, are but fulfilling their nature; and no longer will you unwittingly gather into this present captiousness or infirmity of yours many grievances, Dlike offscourings which drain into some hollow and low-lying ground,55 thus letting yourself be infected with the vices of others. For since some of the philosophers censure even pity that is expended upon unfortunate persons, on the ground that it is good to give help to our neighbours, but not to participate in their sorrows nor give in to them; and, what is more important, since these philosophers do not allow us, when we perceive ourselves to be doing wrong and to be getting into a bad state of mind, to despair or be dejected, but bid us cure our vice painlessly, as we should; just consider, then — how can it be anything but irrational to allow ourselves to become vexed and troubled Ebecause not everyone who has dealings with us or approaches us is honourable and cultivated? No, my dear Paccius, you must see to it that we are not unwittingly taking a stand in alarm, not at the p191general wickedness of those we encounter, but at their particular wickedness to us; so our motive would be a selfish interest, not detestation of villainy.56 For excessive apprehension about public affairs and unworthy appetites and desires, or, on the other hand, aversions and dislikes, engender suspicions and enmities toward persons who were, we think, the cause of our being deprived of some desirable things and of our encountering others which are unpleasant; it is the man who has become accustomed to adapt himself to public affairs easily and with self-control Fwho becomes the most gracious and gentle in his dealings with his fellows.

8 1 Therefore let us resume our discussion of circumstances.57 For just as in a fever everything we eat seems bitter and unpleasant to the taste, and yet when we see others taking the same food and finding no displeasure in it, we no longer continue to blame the food and the drink, but accuse ourselves and our malady; 469so we shall cease blaming and being disgruntled with circumstances if we see others accepting the same events cheerfully and without offence. And so it is conducive to tranquillity of mind, in the midst of happenings which are contrary to our wishes, not to overlook whatever we have that is pleasant and attractive, but, mingling good with bad, cause the better to outshine the worse. But as it is, while we turn away our eyes58 when they are wounded by too dazzling a light and refresh them with the tints and hues of flowers and grass, yet we strain the mind toward painful things and force it to dwell on the consideration of disagreeable matters, Ball but p193dragging it by compulsion away from those which are better. And yet one might adapt here not inaptly the remark addressed to the meddlesome man:59

Why do you look so sharp on others' ills,

Malignant man, yet overlook your own?

Why do you scrutinize too keenly your own trouble, my good sir, and continue to make it ever vivid and fresh in your mind, but do not direct your thoughts to those good things which you have? But, just as cupping-glasses60 draw the most virulent humour from the flesh, so you gather together against yourself the worst of your own conditions, proving yourself not a whit better than the man of Chios who sold excellent old wine to everyone else, Cbut tried to find sour wine for his own luncheon; and when one of his slaves was asked by the other what he had left his master doing, he answered, "Hunting bad when good was at hand." Most persons, in fact, do pass by the excellent and palatable conditions of their lot and hasten to those that are unpleasant and disagreeable. Aristippus,61 however, was not one of these, but was wise enough, like one who weighs things in a balance, by weighing the bad against the better, to rise above the conditions in which he found himself and thus to lighten his spirits. At any rate, when he had lost a fine estate, he asked one of those who made a great pretence of condoling with him and sharing in his ill humour at misfortune, p195"Isn't it true that you have only one small bit of land, while I have three farms remaining?" When the person agreed that this was so, DAristippus said, "Should I not then rather condole with you?" For it is the act of a madman to be distressed at what is lost and not rejoice at what is saved, but like little children, who, if someone takes away one of their many toys, will throw away all the rest as well and cry and howl; in the same way, if we are troubled by Fortune in one matter, we make everything else also unprofitable by lamenting and taking it hard.

9 1 "And what," someone may say, "do we really have and what do we not have?" One man has reputation, another a house, another a wife, another a good friend. Antipater62 of Tarsus, on his deathbed reckoning up the good things that had fallen to his lot, did not omit even the fair voyage he had from Cilicia to Athens; Eso we should not overlook even common and ordinary things, but take some account of them and be grateful that we are alive and well and look upon the sun; that there is neither war near factious strife among us, but that both the earth grants cultivation and the sea fair sailing to those who wish it; that we may speak or act, be silent or at leisure, as we choose. These things when they are present will afford us greater tranquillity of mind, if we but imagine them to be absent, and remind ourselves often how desirable is health to the sick, and peace to those at war, Fand, to an unknown stranger in so great a city,63 the acquisition of reputation and p197friends; and how painful it is to be deprived of these things when we have once had them. For it will not then be the case that we find each one of these important and valuable only when it has been lost, but worthless while securely held. Our not possessing it does not add value to anything, nor should we acquire these things as though they were of great worth and live in fear and trembling as though for things of great moment, lest we be deprived of them, and yet while we have them overlook and despise them as of no value: 470we should above all take care to use them for our pleasure and enjoyment, in order that we may bear their loss, if that should happen, with greater moderation. But most people, as Arcesilaüs said, think it right to examine poems and paintings and statues of others with the eyes of both the mind and the body, poring over them minutely and in every detail, whereas they neglect their own life, which has many not unpleasing subjects for contemplation, looking ever to externals and admiring the repute and the fortunes of others, as adulterers do other men's wives, yet despising themselves and their own possessions.

10 1 And yet it is also highly conducive to tranquillity of mind to examine, Bif possible, oneself and one's fortunes, but if that is not possible, to observe persons of inferior fortune, and not, as most people do, compare oneself with those who are superior; as, for example, those in prison account fortunate those who have been set free;64 and they, men born free; and free men, citizens; and citizens, in their turn, the rich; and the rich, satraps; and satraps, kings; and kings, the gods, scarcely stopping short of p199desiring the power to produce thunder and lightning. Thus, through being always conscious that they lack things which are beyond them, they are never grateful for what befits their station.

I want no wealth of Gyges rich in gold,

CNor have I ever envied him; I am

Not jealous of gods' works, nor love a great

Kingdom: such things are far beyond my ken.65

"But he was a Thasian," one may say.66 Yet there are others, Chians, Galatians, or Bithynians, who are not content with whatever portion of either repute or power among their own fellow-countrymen has fallen to their lot, but weep because they do not wear the patrician shoe; yet if they do wear it, they weep because they are not yet Roman praetors; if they are praetors, because they are not consuls; and if consuls, because they were proclaimed, not first, but later.67a What is this other than collecting excuses for ingratitude to Fortune Din order to chastise and punish oneself? But he, at least, who has a mind filled with salutary thoughts, knowing that the sun looks down upon countless myriads of men,

As many of us as win the fruit of the spacious earth,68

if he be less famous or wealthy than some others, does not sit down in sorrow and dejection, but since he knows that he lives ten thousand times better and p201more suitably than tens of thousands in so great a number, he will go on his way praising his own guardian spirit and his life.

Now at Olympia you cannot win the victory by selecting competitors, but in this life circumstances permit you to take pride in your superiority to many, and to be an object of envy rather than envious of the others — Eunless, indeed, you make a Briareus or a Heracles your opponent. Whenever, then, you are lost in admiration of a man borne in his litter as being superior to yourself, lower your eyes and gaze upon the litter-bearers also; and whenever you account happy, as the man of Hellespont69 did, that famous Xerxes crossing his bridge, look also upon those who are digging through Athos70 beneath the lash, and those whose ears and noses are mutilated because the bridge was broken by the current. Consider also their state of mind: they account happy your life and your fortunes.

FWhen Socrates71 heard one of his friends remark how expensive the city was, saying "Chian wine costs a mina, a purple robe three minae, a half-pint of honey five drachmas," he took him by the hand and led him to the meal-market, "Half a peck for an obol! the city is cheap"; then to the olive-market, "A quart for two coppers!", then to the clothes-market, "A sleeveless vest for ten drachmas! the city is cheap." We also, therefore, whenever we hear another say that our affairs are insignificant and in a p203woeful plight because we are not consuls or governors, may reply, 471"Our affairs are splendid and our life is enviable: we do not beg, or carry burdens, or live by flattery."

11 1 Yet since, however, through our folly we have grown accustomed to live with eyes fixed on everyone else rather than on ourselves, and since our nature contains much envy and malice and does not rejoice so much in our own blessings as it is pained by those which other men possess, do not look only at the splendour and notoriety of those you envy and wonder at, but open and, as it were, draw aside the gaudy curtain of their repute and outward appearance, and get inside them, and you will see many disagreeable things and many things to vex them there. BThus, when that renowned Pittacus,72 whose fame for bravery and for wisdom and justice was great, was entertaining some guests, his wife entered in a rage and upset the table; his guests were dismayed, but Pittacus said, "Every one of us has some trouble. He that has only mine is doing very well indeed."

This man's held happy in the market-place,

But when he enters home, thrice-wretched he:

His wife rules all, commands, and always fights.

His woes are more than mine, for mine are none!73

Many such evils attend wealth and repute and kingship, evils unknown to the vulgar, for ostentation hinders the vision.

CO happy son of Atreus, child of destiny,

Blessed with a kindly guardian spirit!74

p205 Such felicitation comes from externals only — for his arms and horses and far-flung host of warriors; but against the emptiness of his glory the voice of his sufferings cries out in protest from the very heart:

The son of Cronus, Zeus, entangled me

In deep infatuation,75

and

I envy you, old man;

I envy any man whose life has passed

Free from danger, unknown and unrenowned.76

By such reflections also, then, it is possible to reduce the violence of our fault-finding with fate, fault-finding which, through admiration of our neighbours' lot, both debases and destroys our own.

12 1 DFurther, another matter which greatly interferes with tranquillity of mind is that we do not manage our impulses, as sailors do their sails, to correspond to our capacity; in our expectations we aim at things too great; then, when we fail, we blame our destiny and our fortune instead of our own folly. For he is not unfortunate who wishes to shoot with his plough and hunt the hare with his ox, nor does a malicious destiny oppose him who cannot capture deer or boar with fishing creels or drag-nets; it is through folly and stupidity that such men attempt the impossible. And self-love is chiefly to blame, which makes men eager to be first and to be victorious in everything and insatiably desirous of engaging in everything. EFor not only do men demand to be at the same time rich and learned and strong and convivial p207spirits and good company, and friends of kings and magistrates of cities, but unless they shall also have dogs and horses and quails and cocks that can win prizes, they are disconsolate.

The elder Dionysius77 was not content with being the greatest tyrant of his age, but because he could not sing verses better than the poet Philoxenus or get the better of Plato in dialectic, enraged and embittered, he cast Philoxenus into the stone-quarries, and, sending Plato to Aegina, sold him into slavery. Alexander78 was not of this temper, but when Crison, the famous sprinter, ran a race with him and appeared to slacken his pace deliberately, Alexander was very indignant. FAnd when the Homeric Achilles79 had first said,

Of the bronze-clad Achaeans none is a match for me,

he did well to add,

In war; but in speaking others are better than I.

But when Megabyzus the Persian came up to the studio of Apelles80 472and attempted to chatter about art, Apelles shut his mouth by saying, "As long as you kept still, you seemed to be somebody because of your gold and purple; but now even these lads who grind the pigments are laughing at your nonsense."

But some think that the Stoics81 are jesting when they hear that in their sect the wise man is termed not only prudent and just and brave, but also an p209orator, a poet, a general, a rich man, and a king; and then they count themselves worthy of all these titles, and if they fail to get them, are vexed. Yet even among the gods different gods hold different powers: Bone bears the epithet "War-like," another "Prophetic," another "Gain-bringing"; and Zeus82 dispatches Aphroditê to marriages and nuptial chambers, on the ground that she has no part in deeds of war.

13 1 There are, indeed, some pursuits which cannot by their very nature exist together, but rather are by nature opposed to each other; for example, training in rhetoric and the pursuit of mathematics require a quiet life and leisure, while political functions and the friendship of kings cannot succeed without hard work and the full occupation of one's time. And83 "wine and indulgence in meat" do indeed "make the body strong and vigorous, but the soul weak";84 Cand unremitting care to acquire and preserve money increases wealth, yet contempt and disdain for it is greatly conducive to progress in philosophy. Therefore not all pursuits are for everyone, but one must, obeying the Pythian85 inscription, "know one's self," and then use one's self for that one thing for which Nature has fitted one and not do violence to nature by dragging one's self towards the emulation of now one sort of life, now another.

p211 The horse is for the chariot;

The ox for the plough; beside the ship most swiftly speeds the dolphin;

And if you think to slay a boar, you must find a stout-hearted hound.86

But that man is out of his wits who is annoyed and pained that he is not at the same time both a lion

Bred on the mountains, sure of his strength,87

and a little Maltese dogb cuddled in the lap of a widow.88 DBut not a whit better than he is the man who wishes at the same time to be an Empedocles or a Plato or a Democritus, writing about the universe and the true nature of reality, and, like Euphorion, to be married to a wealthy old woman, or, like Medius,89 to be one of Alexander's boon companions and drink with him; and is vexed and grieved if he is not admired for his wealth, like Ismenias, and also for his valour, like Epameinondas. We know that runners are not discouraged because they do not carry off wrestlers' crowns, but they exult and rejoice in their own.

Your portion is Sparta: let your crowns be for her!90

So also Solon:91

p213 But we shall not exchange with them our virtue

EFor their wealth, since virtue is a sure possession,

But money falls now to this man, now that.

And Strato, the natural philosopher, when he heard that Menedemus had many more pupils than he himself had, said, "Why be surprised if there are more who wish to bathe than to be anointed for the contest?"92 And Aristotle,93 writing to Antipater, said, "it is not Alexander alone who has the right to be proud because he rules over many men, but no less right to be proud have they who have true notions concerning the gods." For those who have such lofty opinions of their own possessions will not be offended by their neighbours' goods. FBut as it is, we do not expect the vine to bear figs nor the olive grapes,94 but, for ourselves, if we have not at one and the same time the advantages of both the wealthy and the learned, of both commanders and philosophers, of both flatterers and the outspoken, of both the thrifty and the lavish, we slander ourselves, we are displeased, we despise ourselves as living an incomplete and trivial life.

473Furthermore, we see that Nature also admonishes us; for just as she has provided different foods for different beasts and has not made them all carnivorous or seed-pickers or root-diggers, so has she p215given to men a great variety of means for gaining a livelihood,

To shepherd and ploughman and fowler and to him whom the sea

Provides with sustenance.95

We should, therefore, choose the calling appropriate to ourselves, cultivate it diligently, let the rest alone, and not prove that96 Hesiod spoke inexactly when he said,

Potter is angry with potter, joiner with joiner.

For not only are men jealous of fellow-craftsmen and those who share the same life as themselves, Bbut also the wealthy envy the learned, the famous the rich, advocates the sophists, and, by Heaven, free men and patricians regard with wondering admiration and envy successful comedians in the theatre and dancers and servants in the courts of kings; and by so doing they afford themselves no small vexation and disturbance.

14 1 But that every man has within himself the store-rooms of tranquillity and discontent, and that the jars containing blessings and evils are not stored "on the threshold of Zeus,"97 but are in the soul, is made plain by the differences in men's passions. CFor the foolish overlook and neglect good things even when they are present, because their thoughts are ever intent upon the future, but the wise by remembrance p217make even those benefits that are no longer at hand to be vividly existent for themselves. For the present good, which allows us to touch it but for the smallest portion of time and then eludes our perception, seems to fools to have no further reference to us or to belong to us at all; but like that painting of a man98 twisting rope in Hades, who permits a donkey grazing near by to eat it up as he plaits it, so insensible and thankless forgetfulness steals upon the multitude and takes possession of them, consuming every action and success, Devery pleasant moment of leisure and companionship and enjoyment; it does not allow life to become unified, when past is interwoven with present, but separating yesterday, as though it were different, from to‑day, and to‑morrow likewise, as though it were not the same as to‑day, forgetfulness straightway makes every event to have never happened because it is never recalled. For those who in the Schools do away with growth and increase on the ground that Being is in a continual flux, in theory make each of us a series of persons different from oneself;99 so those who do not preserve or recall by memory former events, but allow them to flow away, actually make themselves deficient and empty each day and dependent upon the morrow, Eas though what had happened last year and yesterday and the day before had no relation to them nor had happened to them at all.

15 1 This, then, is a matter disturbing to tranquillity p219of mind; and another, even more disturbing, arises when, like flies which slip off the smooth surfaces of mirrors, but stick to places which are rough or scratched, men drift away from joyous and agreeable matters and become entangled in the remembrance of unpleasant things; or rather, as they relate that when beetles have fallen into a place at Olynthus which is called "Death-to‑Beetles,"100 they are unable to get out, but turn and circle about there until they die in that place, Fso when men have slipped into brooding upon their misfortunes, they do not wish to recover or revive from that state. But, like colours in a painting,101 so in the soul it is right that we should place in the foreground bright and cheerful experiences and conceal and suppress the gloomy; for to wipe them out and be rid of them altogether is impossible. "For the harmony of the universe, like that of a lyre or a bow, is by alternatives,"102 474and in mortal affairs there is nothing pure and unmixed. But as in music there are low notes and high notes, and in grammar there are vowels and consonants, yet a musician or a grammarian is not the man who dislikes and avoids the one or the other, but rather the man who knows how to use all and to blend them properly,103 so also in human affairs, which contain the principles of opposition to each other (since, as Euripides104 has it,

The good and bad cannot be kept apart,

But there's some blending, so that all is well),

p221 we should not be disheartened or despondent in adversity, Bbut like musicians who achieve harmony by constantly deadening bad music with better and encompassing the bad with the good, we should make the blending of our life harmonious and conformable to our own nature.

For it is not true, as Menander105 says, that

By every man at birth a Spirit stands,

A guide of virtue for life's mysteries;

but rather, as Empedocles106 affirms, two Fates, as it were, or Spirits, receive in their care each one of us at birth and consecrate us:

Chthonia was there and far-seeing Heliopê,

And bloody Deris, grave-eyed Harmonia,

Callisto, Aeschra, Thoösa, and Denaea,

CLovely Nemertes, dark-eyed Asapheia.

16 1 The result is that since we at our birth received the mingled seeds of each of these affections, and since therefore our nature possesses much unevenness, a man of sense prays for better things, but expects the contrary as well, and, avoiding excess, deals with both conditions. For not only does "he who has least need of the morrow," as Epicurus107 says, "most gladly advance to meet the morrow," but also wealth and reputation and power and public office delight most of all those who least fear their p223opposites. DFor the violent desire for each of these implants a most violent fear that they may not remain, and so renders pleasure in them weak and unstable, like a fluttering flame. But the man whom Reason enables to say to Fortune without fear and trembling,

Welcome to me if any good thing you bring;

But if you fail, the pain is very slight,108

his confidence and the absence of fear that their loss would be unbearable cause him to make most pleasant use of present advantages. For it is possible not only to admire the disposition of Anaxagoras,109 which made him say at the death of his son, "I knew that my son was mortal," but also to imitate it and to apply it to every dispensation of Fortune: "I know that my wealth is temporary and insecure," E"I know that those who bestowed my magistracy can take it away," "I know that my wife is excellent, but a woman, and that my friend is but a man, by nature an animal readily subject to change, as Plato110 said." For men of such preparedness and of such disposition, if anything unwished yet not unexpected happens, disdain sentiments like these: "I never should have thought it," or "I had hoped for other things," or "I did not expect this," and so do away with anything like throbbings and palpitations of the heart, and speedily restore again to quiet the madness and disturbance of their minds. Carneades, indeed, reminded us Fthat in matters of great importance it is the unexpected111 that is completely and wholly the cause of grief and p225dejection. For example, the kingdom of Macedonia was infinitely smaller than the Roman dominion, yet when Perseus lost Macedonia, both he himself bewailed his own evil genius and every one thought that he had become the most unfortunate and ill-starred man in the world;112 475but Aemilius, his conqueror, handed over to another his supreme command of practically the whole earth and sea, yet was crowned and offered sacrifice and was esteemed fortunate — and with good reason, for he knew that he had taken a command which would have to be relinquished again, whereas Perseus lost his kingdom when he had not expected to do so. And well has the Poet taught us how strong the effect of an unexpected happening is: Odysseus, for instance, shed a tear when his dog fawned upon him,113 yet when he sat beside his weeping wife,114 gave way to no such emotion; for into the latter situation he had come with his emotion under control and fortified by reason, but he had stumbled into the former without having expected it, and suddenly.

17 1 BAnd, to speak generally, although some of the things which happen against our will do by their very nature bring pain and distress, yet since it is through false opinion that we learn and become accustomed to be disgruntled with the greatest part of them, it is not unprofitable to have the verse of Menander115 ever ready against the latter:

No harm's been done you, if you none admit

p227 (for what, he means, if they touch neither body nor soul, are such things to you as the low birth of your father, or the adultery of your wife, or the deprivation of a crown or of front seats,116 since when these misfortunes are present a man is not prevented from having both body and soul in the best of condition?); and against those things which seem to pain us by their very nature, as sicknesses, anxieties, Cand the death of friends and children, we should have ready that famous verse of Euripides:117

Alas! — Yet why alas? Our sufferings

Are but what we mortals must endure.

For no reasoning so effectively engages the emotional part of us, when it is being borne down and is slipping, as that which reminds us of the common and natural necessity to which man is exposed through his composite and corporeal nature: it is the only hold he gives to Fortune, while in his most vital and important parts he stands secure.

When Demetrius took the Megarians' city, he asked Stilpo if any of his possessions had been plundered. And Stilpo said, "I saw no one carrying off my property."118 And therefore when Fortune plunders and strips us of everything else, we have something Dwithin ourselves of the sort that

Achaeans could never harry or plunder.119

p229 Therefore120 we should not altogether debase and depreciate Nature in the belief that she has nothing strong, stable, and beyond the reach of Fortune, but, on the contrary, since we know that the corrupt and perishable part of man wherein he lies open to Fortune is small, and that we ourselves are masters of the better part, in which the greatest of our blessings are situated — right opinions and knowledge and the exercise of reason terminating in the acquisition of virtue, all of which have their being inalienable and indestructible — knowing all this, we should face the future undaunted and confident and say to Fortune Ewhat Socrates,121 when he was supposed to be replying to his accusers, was really saying to the jury, "Anytus and Meletus are able to take away my life, but they cannot hurt me." Fortune, in fact, can encompass us with sickness, take away our possessions, slander us to people or despot; but she cannot make the good and valiant and high-souled man base or cowardly, mean, ignoble, or envious, nor can she deprive us of that disposition, the constant presence of which is of more help in facing life than is a pilot in facing the sea. FFor a pilot cannot calm a savage wave or a wind, nor can he find a harbour wherever he wishes at need, nor can he await the event confidently and p231without trembling; as long as he has not despaired, making use of his skill,

With the mainsail dropped to the lower mast

He flees from the murky sea,122

476whereas when the sea towers over him, he sits there quaking and trembling. But the disposition of the wise man yields the highest degree of calm to his bodily affections, destroying by means of self-control, temperate diet, and moderate exertion the conditions leading to disease; even if the beginning of some evil comes from without, "he rides it out with light and well-furled sail," as Asclepiades123 has it, just as one passes through a storm. But if some great unforeseen disaster comes upon him and masters him, the harbour is close at hand and he may swim away from his body, as from a leaky boat.124

18 1 For it is the fear of death, not the desire for life, which makes the fool dependent on his body, Bclinging to it as Odysseus125 did to the fig-tree through fear of Charybdis below,

Where breezes let him neither stay nor sail,126

so that he is displeased at this and fearful of that. p233But he who understands somehow or other the nature of the soul and reflects that the change it undergoes at death will be for the better, or at least not for the worse, has no small provision to secure tranquillity of mind for facing life — fearlessness towards death. For he who can live pleasantly when the agreeable and congenial part of life is in the ascendant, but when alien and unnatural principles prevail, can depart fearlessly, saying,

The god himself shall free me, when I will,127

Cwhat can we imagine might befall such a man as this that would vex or trouble or disturb him? For he128 who said, "I have anticipated you, Fortune, and taken from you every entry whereby you might get at me," encouraged himself, not with bolts or keys or battlements, but by precepts and reasoning in which everyone who desires may share. And one must not despair or disbelieve any of these arguments, but should admire and emulate them and, being filled with their inspiration, make trial of oneself and observe oneself in smaller matters with a view to the greater, not avoiding or rejecting from the soul the care of these things, Dnor taking refuge in the remark, "Perhaps nothing will be more difficult than this." For languor and flabby softness are implanted by that self-indulgence of the soul which ever occupies itself with the easiest way, and retreats from the undesirable to what is most pleasant. But the soul which endeavours, by study and the severe application of its p235powers of reasoning, to form an idea of what sickness, suffering, and exile really are will find much that is false and empty and corrupt in what appears to be difficult and fearful, as the reason shows in each particular.129

19 1 And yet many shudder even at the verse of Menander,130

No man alive may say, "I shall not suffer this,"

since they do not know how much it helps in warding off grief to be able by practice and study Eto look Fortune in the face with eyes open, and not to manufacture in oneself "smooth, soft"131 fancies, like one reared in the shade of many hopes which ever yield and hold firm against nothing. We can, however, make this reply to Menander: "True,

No man alive may say, 'I shall not suffer this,'

yet while still alive one can say, 'I will not do this: I will not lie nor play the villain nor defraud nor scheme.' " For this is in our power and is not a small, but a great help toward tranquillity of mind. Even as, on the contrary again,

My conscience, since I know I've done a dreadful deed,132

Flike133 an ulcer in the flesh, leaves behind it in the soul regret which ever continues to wound and prick it. For the other pangs reason does away with, but p237regret is caused by reason itself, since the soul, together with its feeling of shame, is stung and chastised by itself. 477For as those who shiver with ague or burn with fevers are more distressed and pained than those who suffer the same discomforts through heat or cold from a source outside the body, so the pangs which fortune brings, coming, as it were, from a source without, are lighter to bear; but that lament,

None is to blame for this but me myself,134

which is chanted over one's errors, coming as it does from within, makes the pain even heavier by reason of the disgrace one feels. And so it is that no costly house nor abundance of gold nor pride of race nor pomp of office, no grace of language, no eloquence, impart so much calm and serenity to life as does a soul free from evil acts and purposes and possessing an imperturbable and undefiled character as the source of its life, Ba source whence flow fair actions135 which have both an inspired and joyous activity joined with a lofty pride therein, and a memory sweeter and more stable than that hope of Pindar's136 which sustains old age. For do not censers,137 as Carneades said, even if they have been completely emptied, retain their p239fragrance for a long time,138 and in the soul of the wise man do not fair actions leave behind the remembrance of them eternally delightful and fresh, by which joy in them is watered and flourishes, Cand he comes to despise those who bewail and abuse life as a land of calamities or a place of exile appointed here for our souls?

20 1 And I am delighted with Diogenes, who, when he saw his host in Sparta preparing which much ado for a certain festival, said, "Does not a good man consider every day a festival?" and a very splendid one, to be sure, if we are sound of mind. For the universe is a most holy temple and most worthy of a god; into it man is introduced through birth as a spectator, not of hand-made or immovable images, but of those sensible representations of knowable things that the divine mind, says Plato,139 has revealed, representations which have innate within themselves the beginnings of life and motion, Dsun and moon and stars, rivers which ever discharge fresh water, and earth which sends forth nourishment for plants and animals. Since life is a most perfect initiation into these things and a ritual celebration of them, it should be full of tranquillity and joy, and not in the manner of the vulgar, who wait for the festivals of Cronus140 and of Zeus and the Panathenaea and other days of the kind, at which to enjoy and refresh themselves, paying the wages of hired laughter to mimes and dancers. It is true that we sit there on p241those occasions decorously in reverent silence, for no one wails while he is being initiated or laments as he watches the Pythian games or as he drinks at the festival of Cronus; Ebut by spending the greater part of life in lamentation and heaviness of heart and carking cares men shame the festivals with which the god supply us and in which he initiates us. And though men delight in sweetly sounding instruments and singing birds, and take pleasure in seeing animals romping and frisking, and, on the contrary, are displeased when they howl and bellow and look fierce; yet though they see that their own life is unsmiling and dejected and ever oppressed and afflicted by the most unpleasant experiences and troubles and unending cares, Fthey not only do not provide themselves with some alleviation or ease — from what source could they do so? — but even when others urge them, they do not accept a word of admonition by following which they would acquiesce in the present without fault-finding, remember the past with thankfulness, and meet the future without fear or suspicion, with their hopes cheerful and bright.


The Editor's Notes:

1 Pohlenz and Siefert have at times insisted that in spite of the plural there is only one main source. This lacks all probability.

Speaking generally, the fact that I speak of a number of notebooks doesn't make them necessarily multiple sources. On my desk as I write, there's a set of over a dozen little notebooks of my own, containing a record of the photographs I've taken, mostly of Italy, with other little squibs of information, diagrams, etc.: this photo log, although written in at many times over a period of fifteen years, is still a single source; and I occasionally rummage thru them in great haste to compile material for a friend, or for one of my own webpages. I would use Plutarch's exact language to describe the process.

2 But Heinze (p507) admitted the possibility of some Epicurean excerpts also being used.

3 At the same time, O. Hense (Rheinisches Museum, XLV.550 ff.) was attempting to trace De Curiositate to Ariston. Readers of the Jahresberichte should note that F. Bock (Jbb., CLII.1911, p334) had not read these articles and is, as often, a thoroughly untrustworthy guide.

4 See also Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie, XLVIII.95 and note.

5 But now Pohlenz (in the Teubner ed., 1929) has become partially converted to Siefert's views, while rightly continuing to maintain some Epicurean influence. The fact that Plutarch in the last part of his work follows the εὐχαριστία to the gifts of Fortune urged by Epicurus (Fragg. 435 and 491 ed. Usener) seems to me decisive, in spite of Siefert's evasions.

6 For the structure of the essay see Siefert's earlier work (Commentationes Ienenses, VI 1896, pp57‑74), supplemented and corrected by Pohlenz, l.c.

7 This conclusion bears some resemblance to that reached by H. N. Fowler (Harvard Stud. Cl. Phil., I.149 ff.), whose work is called by Siefert "noch unergiebiger" than the "Biomanie" of the Hense-Heinze school: but Fowler was inclined to stress too much the relation to Democritus and the parallels which Hirzel had urged between Seneca and Plutarch. That Seneca's De tranquillitate Animi goes back to an immediate original common to Plutarch's work also is extremely unlikely. Only one anecdote, one quotation, and a dozen or so commonplaces are not nearly enough to show any close relationship. And how dissimilar the two works are in treatment, design, terminology, and form (pace Hirzel, Der Dialog, II p28, n. 1)!

8 All that is known of Paccius is inferred from the present essay.

9 We possess a work of Plutarch entitled De Animi Procreatione in Timaeo, but it is addressed by the writer to his sons, Autobulus and Plutarch (Moralia, 1012A ff.).

10 See 453C, supra.

11 The principal speaker of De Cohibenda Ira, 452F, supra.

12 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p606, Euripides, Frag. 778.

13 Cf. Frag. Contra Divitias, 2 (Bernardakis, vol. VII, p123); Lucretius, III.957: semper avetº quod abest.

14 Cyropaedia, I.6.33.

15 Democritus; Diels, Frag. d. Vorsokratiker5, II, p132, Frag. 3; Marcus Aurelius, IV.24; Seneca, De tranquillitate Animi, xiii.1, where the statement is made that these words form the beginning of Democritus's work (see especially Siefert, op. cit., p8); De Ira, III.6.3. But Plutarch misunderstands the meaning; Democritus did not advise renouncing public life completely: cf. Moralia, 1100B‑C. Note also the word "many" in the present passage. (The following paragraph is cited by Stobaeus, vol. III pp651 f. ed. Hense.)

16 Euripides, Orestes, 258; quoted again 501C, infra, and in Moralia, 788F, 901A, 1126A; the words are addressed by Electra to Orestes, delirious after the murder of his mother, and must be taken closely with the following clause.

17 Cf. Moralia, 135B.

18 Works and Days, 519, where the poet adds "who stays indoors with her dear mother." Cf. 516F, infra.

19 Homer, Od., I.191.

20 That is, the town of Ithaca; he continued to live on the island.

21 Homer, Il., I.488 ff.

22 Ibid. XVIII.104.

23 Usener, Epicurea, p328, Frag. 555. The following passage is cited by Stobaeus, vol. III p652 ed. Hense.

24 Probably by Democritus (cf. Frag. 256), not Plutarch.

25 Kock, Com. Att. Frag., III p79, Frag. 281 (p238 ed. Allinson, L. C. L.); from the Citharistes.

26 The rest of this chapter and the beginning of the next is cited by Stobaeus, vol. III p249 ed. Hense. It is also imitated by St. Basil, Epistle II (vol. I p8 ed. Deferrari, L. C. L.).

27 Cf. Lucretius, III.1057 ff.: commutare locum quasi onus deponere possit; Seneca, De Tranquillitate Animi, II.13 f.

28 Euripides, Orestes, 232.

29 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p743, Frag. 56.

30 Cf.  Moralia, 101C‑D.

31 Diels, Frag. d. Vorsokratiker5, II p238, A 11; this Anaxarchus accompanied Alexander to India (Diogenes Laertius, IX.61).

32 Cf. F. M. Cornford, Cl. Quart., XXVIII (1934), 1 ff. on "Innumerable Worlds in Presocratic Philosophy."

33 Homer, Il., X.88‑89.

34 Cf. Diogenes Laertius, VI.29.

35 Cf. Moralia, 607F.

36 A Pythagorean precept, cf. Moralia, 602B, 47B‑C, 123C; probably not Democritus, as Hirzel (Hermes, XIV.367) suggests, or Seneca, as Apelt in his translation of Plutarch supposes.

37 Euripides, Bellerophon, Frag. 287 (Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p446); quoted also in De Vita et Poesi Homeri, 153 (Bernardakis, vol. VII p424).

38 Republic, 604C; quoted in Moralia, 112E‑F.

39 Cf. Moralia, 378B, 5A; Polybius, XXXVIII.2.8‑9; see also von Scala, Rheinisches Museum, XLV.474 f.

40 Cf. Moralia, 32E, 41F; Porphyry, De Abstinentia, IV.20 (p264 ed. Nauck).

41 Cf. Moralia, 147C.

42 Cf. Diogenes Laertius, VI.21.

43 Ibid. VII.5; cf. also Moralia, 87A, 603D; Seneca, De Tranquillitate Animi, xiv.3; Crates, Frag. 21 A (Edmonds, Elegy and Iambus, Vol. II p66).

44 In the MSS. the words "and the Stoa" follow. F. H. Sandbach, Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, Nov. 7, 1929, has shown that these words are interpolated by someone, who, "seeing that τὸν τρίβωνα means the cynic's cloak, thought to air his knowledge that Zeno was not a Cynic but a Stoic." If Zeno had made the remark our MSS. credit him with, it would be "remarkable prescience on the part of the beginner in philosophy, who was to spend many years as a pupil first of the Cynic Crates and then of other philosophers before starting his own school in the Stoa!"

45 Nemean Odes, IV.4.

46 Euripides, Bacchae, 66; cf. Moralia, 758C, 794B; Commentarii in Hesiodum, 48 (Bernardakis, vol. VII p75).

47 The Academy was dedicated to the Muses.

48 Cf. for example Diogenes Laertius, III.19‑21. When Dionysius had caused Plato to be sold into slavery, a friend ransomed him and bought for him "the little garden in the Academy."

49 Others prefer to translate "Emperors," and regard the passage as proof that this essay was written during the reign of Vespasian, who was the first emperor to be succeeded by a son. I consider such an early date for this work altogether unlikely.

50 Preger, Inscr. Graec. Metricae p76, no. 87.

51 Cf. Life of Alcibiades, xxiii.7 (203D).

52 Cf. Diogenes Laertius, II.114.

53 Cf. 463F, supra, and the note.

54 See J. S. Milne, Surgical Instruments in Greek and Roman Times, pp162‑163.

55 Cf. 479B, infra.

56 Cf., for example, 456F, supra.

57 That is, the argument presented in chap. 4, supra.

58 Cf. Moralia, 490C‑D, infra, 543E‑F, 854B‑C; Life of Demosthenes, xxii (856B).

59 Kock, Com. Att. Frag., III p476, ades. 359; cf. 515D, infra. Cf. Horace, Sermones, I.3.25‑27:

Cum tua pervideas oculis male lippus inunctis,

cur in amicorum vitiis tam cernis acutum

quam aut Aquila aut serpens Epidaurius?

60 Cf. Moralia, 518B, 600C.

61 Cf. Moralia, 330C.

62 Von Arnim, Stoic. Vet. Frag., III p246, Frag. 15; cf. Life of Marius, xlvi.2 (433A); Stobaeus, vol. V p1086 ed. Hense.

63 Probably Rome.

64 Cf. Teles, p43 ed. Hense.

65 Archilochus, Frag. 25 ed. Bergk and ed. Edmonds: Frag. 22 ed. Diehl.

66 Aristotle (Rhetoric, III.17, 1418 B31) says that Archilochus (who long resided in Thasos) speaks, not in propria persona, but through the mouth of Charon the carpenter. Charon is, then, the Thasian, if we can believe that Plutarch drew the quotation directly from Archilochus, and not from a florilegium (aliter, Fowler, Harv. Stud., I p144). Plutarch probably means that one nationality is no more exempt from this vice than another, but the argument is very oddly stated.

67 For the importance of being announced first in the renuntiatio, see, for example, Cicero, Pro Murena, viii.18.

68 Simonides, Frag. 5 ed. Bergk, 4 ed. Diehl, 19 ed. Edmonds, verse 17; quoted again in Moralia, 485C, infra, 743F.

69 Cf. Herodotus, VII.56: "O Zeus, why have you taken the likeness of a Persian and changed your name to Xerxes, and now lead the whole world with you in your desire to uproot Greece? Surely you might have done all this without these means."

70 Cf. 455D, supra.

71 Cf. Teles, pp12‑13 ed. Hense; Diogenes Laertius, VI.35 (of Diogenes).

72 Cf. 461D, supra, of Socrates.

73 Kock, Com. Att. Frag., III p86, Menander, Frag. 302, verses 4‑7 (p397 ed. Allinson, L. C. L.); cf. Moralia, 100E.

74 Homer, Il., III.182.

75 Homer, Il., II.111, IX.18.

76 Agamemnon to his old servant: Euripides, Iphigeneia at Aulis, 16‑18.

77 Cf. Moralia, 334C, and Nachstädt's references ad loc.

78 Ibid. 58F.

79 Il., XVIII.105‑106.

80 Cf. Moralia, 58D; Zeuxis, according to Aelian, Varia Historia, II.2.

81 Von Arnim, Stoic. Vet. Frag., III p164, Frag. 655; cf. Moralia, 58E; Horace, Sermones, I.3.124 ff. See also Siefert, op. cit., p54, note 2.

82 Cf. Homer, Il., V.428 ff.

83 This passage to the beginning of the quotation from Pindar below is quoted by Stobaeus, vol. III p559 ed. Hense.

84 Words of Androcydes: cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, VII.6 ed. Stählin; see also Moralia, 995E, Athenaeus, IV 157D.

85 Cf. Moralia, 164B.

86 Pindar, Frag. 234; cf. 451D, supra.

87 Homer, Od., VI.130.

88 Cf. O. Hense, Rheinisches Museum, XLV.549, note 1.

89 Cf. Life of Alexander, lxxv (706C); Moralia, 65C, 124C; Arrian, Anabasis, VII.225.1.

90 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p588, Euripides, Frag. 723, from the Telephus; cf. Moralia, 602B; Paroemiographi Graeci, II p772.

91 Frag. 4, verses 10‑12 ed. Diehl; Frag. 15, verses 2‑4 ed. Edmonds; cf. Moralia, 78C, 92E, Life of Solon, iii (79F).

92 Cf. the anecdote of Zeno, Moralia, 78D‑E, 545F.

93 Frag. 664 ed. V. Rose; cf. Moralia, 78D, 545A; Julian's Letter to Themistius, 265A (II p231 ed. Wright, L. C. L.).

94 "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"

95 Pindar, Isthmian Odes, I.48; cf. Moralia, 406C.

96 Works and Days, 25; the whole passage, to the end of the chapter, is quoted in the Munich scholia on this verse of Hesiod (Usener, Rheinisches Museum, XXXII.592).

97 Cf. Homer, Il., XXIV.527; Moralia, 24B and the note, 105C and the note, 600C; Plato, Republic, 379D; Siefert, op. cit., pp37 f. and the notes.

98 Ocnus or "Sloth"; the painting was by Polygnotus in the Leschê at Delphi: Pausanias, X.29.1. Cf. also Propertius, IV.3.21‑22: dignior obliquo funem qui torqueat Ocno, | aeternusque tuam pascat, aselle, famem; Diodorus, I.97; Pliny, Natural History, XXXV.137.

99 Cf. Moralia, 392D, 559B.

100 Cf. Aristotle, De Mirabilibus Auscultationibus, 120 (842 A5 f.); Pliny, Natural History, XI.28.99.

101 Cf. Moralia, 599F‑600A; 863A.

102 Diels, Frag. d. Vorsokratiker5, I p162, Heracleitus, Frag. 51; cf. Moralia, 369B, 1026B; "by alternatives," that is, by alternate tightening and relaxing.

103 Cf. Plato, Philebus, 17B ff.

104 Nauck Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p369, Frag. 21, from the Aeolus; quoted again in Moralia, 25C‑D and 369B.

105 Kock, Com. Att. Frag., III p167, Frag. 550 (p491 ed. Allinson).

106 Diels, Frag. d. Vorsokratiker5, I pp360‑361, Frag. 122. The names are intended to mean Earth-maiden, Sun-maiden; Discord, Harmony; Beauty, Ugliness; Swiftness, Slowness; Truth, Uncertainty.

107 Usener, Epicurea, p307, Frag. 490 (p139 Bailey); cf. Horace, Epistulae, I.4.13‑14.

108 Perhaps a fragment of Callimachus (cf. Frag. Anon. 371 ed. Schneider); see also Seneca, De Tranquillitate Animi, XI.3.

109 Cf. 463D, supra, and the note.

110 Epistle XIII 360D; cf. 463D, supra, and the note.

111 Cf. 449E, supra.

112 Cf., for example, Life of Aemilius Paulus, xxxiv.1‑2 (273C‑E).

113 Od., XVII.302‑304: ἀπομόρξατο δάκρυ.

114 Ibid. XIX.208 ff.; quoted in 442D, supra, where see the note.

115 Kock, Com. Att. Frag., III p52, Frag. 179, from the Epitrepontes; Allinson, p127. The translation is that of A. M. Harmon.

Thayer's Note: See also Moralia, 599C.

116 The προεδρία was the privilege of sitting in the front seats at public games, or the theatre, or public assemblies, granted to distinguished citizens, foreigners, or magistrates.

117 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p449, Frag. 300, from the Bellerophon; cf. Boswell's Life of Johnson, aetat. 45 (vol. I p277 ed. Hill).

118 "Virtue" according to Moralia, 5F; "knowledge" in the Life of Demetrius, ix (893A): οὐδένα γὰρ εἶδον ἐπιστάμαν ἀποφέροντα.

119 Adapted from Homer, Il., V.484.

120 The following passage is cited in Stobaeus, vol. II p161 ed. Wachsmuth, as from Πλουτάρχου Περὶ φιλίας; but Patzig (Quaest. Plutarch., p34) is doubtless right in thinking that φιλίας is a scribal error for εὐθυμίας.

121 Cf. Plato, Apology, 30C‑D; the same form of this statement with almost the same differences from Plato's words is found in Epictetus, I.29.18, and the Encheiridion, liii.4.

122 Cf. Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec.2, III p730, Edmonds, Lyra Graeca, III p474, or Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p910, ades. 377. The text is quite uncertain, though Pohlenz's interpretation seems better than any earlier one. Cf. also Moralia, 169B, where the fragment is quoted in another form.

123 Asclepiades of Samos; cf. Knox, Choliambica, p270, who rewrites the line.

124 Apparently by suicide; cf. the admiration Plutarch expresses for Demosthenes' suicide (Comp. Cic. and Dem., v 888C); but his position is quite different in the polemic against Epicurus, Moralia, 1103E.

125 Homer, Od., XII.432; cf. De Anima, VI.4 (Bernardakis, vol. VII p26).

126 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p81, Aeschylus, Frag. 250, from the Philoctetes; Frag. 137 ed. Smyth (L. C. L.).

127 Euripides, Bacchae, 498; cf. Horace, Epistulae, I.16.78‑79:

"Ipse deus simul atque volam me solvet." opinor

hoc sentit, "moriar." mors ultima linea rerum est.

128 Metrodorus of Lampsacus, Frag. 49 ed. Körte.

129 Cf. Cicero, Disputationes Tusculanae, III.81 f.

130 Kock, Com. Att. Frag., III p103, Frag. 355, v. 4.

131 Probably a quotation of Od., XXI.151.

132 Euripides, Orestes, 396; cf. Diels, Frag. d. Vorsokratiker5, II p199, Democritus, Frag. 264.

133 The following passage is cited by Stobaeus, vol. III p604 ed. Hense.

134 Assigned by Schneider to Callimachus (Frag. anon. 372); cf. also Teles, ed. Hense, p8; Sternbach, Gnomologicumº Parisinum, 331 (Acad. Litt. Cracov., XX 1893). The verse was perhaps suggested by Homer, Il., I.335.

135 Cf. von Arnim, Stoic. Vet. Frag., I p50, Zeno, Frag. 203; see also Moralia, 56B, 100C.

136 Frag. 214 Bergk, 233 Boeckh; p608 ed. Sandys. See also Plato, Republic, 331A.

137 On the form λιβανωτρίδες see F. Solmsen, Rheinisches Museum, LIV.347.

138 Cf. Horace, Epistulae, I.2.69:

quo semel est imbuta recens servabit odorem

testa diu.

139 Cf. Timaeus, 92C, Epinomis, 984A.

140 The Roman Saturnalia.


Thayer's Notes:

a The reader will have noticed how Plutarch's Roman sequence, unlike the Greek one a few lines earlier that extended to kings and gods, prudently stops before reaching the emperor: even suggesting that someone might envy the emperor seems dangerous. This in turn might just conceivably date the work to the reign of the notoriously paranoid Domitian; under Nerva and Trajan it would probably not have been dangerous for Plutarch to extend his sequence.

b I haven't seen the note in Hense, and if it deals with the dog breed I may be reinventing the wheel; but it's probably safer to translate Plutarch's Greek (κυνίδιον Μελιταῖον) as "Melitaean (or Melitene) dog": although Malta was called Melite in antiquity, and Strabo (VI.2.11) believes the little dogs to come from that island, there were other places by the name. Such also is the official opinion of the International Dog Federation as stated in the standard for the modern Maltese Dog breed, although in the version once found online (and now vanished) that opinion is very much vitiated, and shown to be derived from some popular work, by the gross historical errors: "Strabon" (i.e., Strabo, a minor translation error from the Italian Strabone) is not a Latin poet, but a Greek historian and geographer, Aristotle didn't write in Latin, etc.

As for the dog itself, perennity of name is no indication of course that the breed now called Maltese (already much cross-bred in recent times) is anything like the dogs Plutarch and Strabo had in mind; all that can be said is that they were little lap-dogs.


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