[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail:
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
Italiano

[Link to a series of help pages]
Help
[Link to the next level up]
Up
[Link to my homepage]
Home

This webpage reproduces the essay
De tuenda sanitate

by
Plutarch

as published in Vol. II
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1928

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. II) Plutarch, Moralia

p214 Advice about Keeping Well

Copyright

The work appears in pp213‑293 of Vol. II of the Loeb Classical Library's edition of the Moralia, first published in 1928. It is now in the public domain pursuant to the 1978 revision of the U. S. Copyright Code, since the copyright expired in 1956 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

Plutarch had more than a casual interest in medicine, for, besides this essay on keeping well, his other works abound in references to the behaviour of the sick and their treatment, and the medical practices of his day. Long before the time of Plutarch the art of medicine, always empirical, had been put on a solid foundation, and the acute observations of Hippocrates and his school had been set down in writing; and this body of Hippocratic medical writings, along with others, was in circulation, and had undoubtedly been read by Plutarch.

That medicine has made very great advances since Plutarch's time is, of course, self-evident; "aseptic," "antiseptic," and "sterilize" are now household words, and the germ theory of disease has, in recent times, shed light on much which before was dark. But Plutarch is not dealing with the technical side of medicine; he is only giving some common-sense advice on rational living, and much that he has to say in regard to rest, exercise, and diet is in accord with the best medical practice of the present day. In fact, it is doubtful if any physician would take exception to anything that Plutarch advises (his advice is meant for men whose work is done with their heads rather than their hands), and one might name men in public life to‑day, well on in years, who have followed many of his suggestions, unwittingly, no doubt, but to their own advantage.

p215 The essay seems, at the first glance, to be put in the form of a dialogue, but it is about as much of a dialogue as Quiller-Couch's Foe-Farrell. The dialogue form is merely a literary subterfuge to present an essay in a slightly more attractive form, and the third person of the dialogue, only occasionally recalled to the reader by the parsimonious injection of "he said," may be presumed to be Plutarch, the author. The two speakers in the brief dialogue at the beginning of the essay are Moschion, a physician, whom Plutarch introduces also into the Symposiacs (Moralia), 658A), and Zeuxippus, a friend of Plutarch's, who is introduced also as a speaking character in two other essays of Plutarch's (Moralia, 748E and 1086C), besides being mentioned several times in other essays.

That the essay was written some time after A.D. 81 is clear from the reference to the death of the Roman emperor Titus (123D).

The title of the essay is included in Lamprias' list of Plutarch's works, and Stobaeus, in his Florilegium, has several quotations from it, sometimes with a slightly different reading, but none of these readings changes the meaning of the passage at all, and rarely is one to be preferred to the reading found in the MSS. of Plutarch (see Vol. I Introd. p. xxi).

Indeed, the text of this essay has suffered more at the hands of modern editors than from the ancient copyists, for a glance at the foot-notes in Bernardakis's edition will show that the gratuitous and unnecessary changes introduced into the text by modern editors outnumber their corrections of the minor errors in spelling, and the like, made by the ancient copyists.

p217 (122) 1 1 Moschion. So, Zeuxippus, yesterday you drove away Glaucus, the physician, when he wished to join in your philosophical discussions.

Zeuxippus. No, my dear Moschion, I did not drive him away, nor did he wish to join in philosophical discussion, Cbut I avoided him and feared giving an opening to a man fond of contention. In medicine the man is, as Homer1 puts it,

Worth many others together,

but he is not kindly disposed towards philosophy, and there is always a certain harshness and ill-nature inherent in his remarks. And just then he was coming at us full tilt, crying out, even before he came near us, that it was no small or suitable task, amounting in fact to a confusion of all bounds, which had been boldly assumed by us in discussing a healthful manner of living. For he asserted that the subjects of philosophy and medicine are as "far remote" from each other as "are the boundaries of" any "Mysians and Phrygians";2 and thereupon, as he had at the tip of his tongue some statements of ours, which, though not very carefully formulated, are certainly not without utility, Dhe proceeded to tear them to pieces.

Moschion. Well, in this and in other matters, p219Zeuxippus, I should be very glad to be your attentive listener.

Zeuxippus. That is because you, Moschion, have a natural gift for philosophy, and you feel incensed at the philosopher who does not take an interest in medicine, and you are indignant that such a man should imagine it more becoming for him, in the eyes of mankind, to profess some knowledge of geometry, logical discussion, and music, than to desire to seek out and know

All that of evil and good may have chanced to betide in the dwelling3

which is his own body. And yet you will see a larger number of spectators in the theatres where money to pay for admission is distributed to those who gather together, as at Athens; Eand of the liberal arts medicine is inferior to none in elegance, distinction, and the satisfaction which it yields, and it gives to its students admission to something of very great importance — the preservation of their life and health. Consequently, the charge of trespass ought not to lie against philosophers if they discuss matters of health, but rather they should be blamed if they do not consider it their duty to abolish all boundary-lines altogether, and to make a single field, as it were, of all honourable studies, and therein to cultivate them in common, thus aiming in their discussion at both the pleasant and the essential.

Moschion. Well, Zeuxippus, let us say no more about Glaucus, who is so self-important that he wants to be a law unto himself, needing no help from philosophy; but do you tell us in detail the whole discussion; For, if you prefer, just those statements p221which you first referred to as not altogether carefully formulated, which you say Glaucus seized upon.

2 1 Zeuxippus. Well, our companion4 asserted that he had heard somebody say that keeping the hands always warm, and never allowing them to get cold, is in no small measure conducive to health, 123and, conversely, the chilling of the extremities, by concentrating the warmth of the interior of the body, creates, as it were, a habit or a predisposition towards feverishness; and for a man to divert the substances in his body toward the surface, and to conduct and distribute them, along with the warmth, to all parts of his body, is healthful.5 If therefore we happen to be doing something with our hands and using them, the motion itself brings the warmth to these parts, and keeps it there; but when not engaged in such activities we must by no means allow the cold to find lodgement in our extremities.

3 1 This, then, was one of the things ridiculed. The second, I think, concerned the food which you people serve to the sick. BFor he urged that we should partake of it and taste it from time to time, and get ourselves used to it in time of health, and not abhor and detest such a regimen, like little children, but gradually make it familiar and congenial to our appetites, so that in sickness we may not be disaffected over our fare as if it were so much medicine, and may not show impatience at receiving something simple, unappetising, and savourless.6 For this reason, too, omitting the bath now and then before going to a meal is not a thing to be avoided, nor drinking only water when wine is at hand, nor drinking anything lukewarm in the summer-time when there is snow on the table; and while dismissing p223once for all time the ostentatious and studied abstinence from such things Cand the bragging over it, we should silently, by our own selves, habituate the appetite to be obedient to expediency with all serenity, and long beforehand we must rid our soul of its squeamishness in times of sickness about such trifles, and its lamentation thereat, as it deplores how it has been driven away from great and fond pleasures to an ignoble and humiliating way of living.

Well has it been said, "Choose the life that is best, and constant habit will make it pleasant,"7 and, in particular, it is profitable for a man, experimenting with each several department of life and especially with those which have to do with the practices which affect the body, to inculcate a fixed habit during periods of stoutest health, so thus to make these things agreeable, familiar, and congenial to his nature,8 Dbearing in mind how some men feel and act in times of sickness, being angry and fretful when hot water and gruel, or plain bread, is served to them, calling these things abominable and unpleasant, and abominable and hard-hearted also those who would force such things upon them. A bath has proved to be the death of many men who at the outset had not much the matter with them, save only that they could not and would not bear to taste food unless they had first had their bath; of whom Titus the Emperor9 was one, as those who attended him in his illness affirm.

4 1 Something, moreover, was said to this effect, that, while the less expensive things are always more healthful for the body, we ought especially to guard against excess Ein eating and drinking, and against p225all self-indulgence when we have immediately on hand some festival or a visit from friends, or when we are expecting an entertainment of some king or high official with its unavoidable social engagements; and thus we should, as it were, in fair weather make our body trim and buoyant against the oncoming wind and wave. It is indeed a hard task, in the midst of company and good cheer, to keep to moderation and one's habits and at the same time to avoid the extreme disagreeableness which makes one appear offensive and tiresome to the whole company. Therefore, to avoid adding fire to fire (as the proverb has it),10 and gorging to gorging, and strong drink to strong drink, Fwe ought with all seriousness to imitate the polite joke of Philip. It was in this wise:11 A man had invited Philip to dinner in the country, assuming that he had but a few with him, but when later the host saw Philip bringing a great company, no great preparations having been made, he was much perturbed. Philip, becoming aware of the situation, sent word privately to each of his friends to "leave room for cake." 124They, following the advice, and looking for more to come, ate sparingly of what was before them, and so the dinner was ample for all. In this manner, then, we ought to prepared ourselves in anticipation of our imperative round of social engagements by keeping room in the body for elaborate dishes and pastry, and, I dare to say it, for indulgence in strong drink also, by bringing to these things an appetite fresh and willing.

5 1 If, however, such imperative occasions suddenly confront us when we are overloaded and in no condition for taking part — if, for instance, we receive an invitation from a high official, or guests appear, so p227that we are constrained by a false sense of shame to join company with men who are in fit condition and to drink with them — Bthen especially, in order to combat "shame which works mischief for men"12 (or rather I would call it shamefacedness), we should summon to our defence the words which Creon speaks13 in the tragedy:

'Twere better, friend, to gain your hatred now

Than be soft-hearted and lament anon.

For to be so afraid of being thought ill-bred as to plunge oneself into a pleurisy or brain-fever is proof that one is in very truth ill-bred, possessed of neither sense nor the reason which knows how to consort with men without the wine-glass and the savour of food.14 For a request to be excused, if characterized by cleverness and wit, is no less agreeable than joining in the round of gaiety; Cand if a man provides a banquet in the same spirit in which he provides a burnt-offering which it is forbidden to taste, and personally abstains when the wine-cup and the table are before him, at the same time volunteering cheerfully some playful allusion to himself, he will create a pleasanter impression than the man who gets drunk and gormandizes for company. Of the men of earlier times he15 mentioned Alexander,16 who, after a prolonged debauch, was ashamed to say no to the challenges of Medius, and abandoned himself to a fresh round of hard drinking, which cost him his life; and of the men of our time he mentioned Regulus the prize-fighter. For when Titus Caesar called him to the bath at daybreak, p229he came and bathed with him, Dtook but one drink, they say, and died immediately from a stroke of apoplexy.

These are the teachings which Glaucus in derision quoted aggressively to us as pedantic. The rest he was not eager to hear, nor we to tell him. But I beg that you will examine each of the several statements.

6 1 First there is Socrates,17 who, in urging us to be on our guard against such things to eat as persuade us to eat when we are not hungry, and such things to drink as persuade us to drink when we are not thirsty, did not absolutely forbid the use of these things; Ebut he was instructing us to use them only if we needed them, and to make the pleasure in them serve our necessity, just as our statesmen do who turn to military uses their funds for amusements.18 For that which is pleasant, in so far as it is a nutritive element, is congenial to our nature, and it is by remaining still hungry that we ought to get enjoyment from the necessary or the pleasant foods; but we should not stir up in ourselves a second and separate set of appetites after we have appeased the usual ones. And here is another consideration. Just as Socrates19 found dancing a not unpleasant exercise, so the man for whom pastry and sweets serve as a meal and as food suffers less injury. But when a man has satisfied the moderate demands of his nature, and has had his fill, he ought to exercise the very greatest vigilance against helping himself to such things. FAnd in such matters, while we should be on guard against love of pleasure and gluttony, yet we should be no less on guard against vulgarity and love of notoriety. For these latter often help to persuade people to eat p231something when they are not hungry, and to drink when they are not thirsty,20 by suggesting utterly sordid and cheap conceits — that it is absurd not to take advantage of the presence of some rare and expensive thing, as, for example, sow's udder,21 Italian mushrooms, Samian cake, or snow in Egypt. For things of this sort do indeed often induce people to use what is renowned and rare, since they are led on by empty repute as by an attractive savour, 125and compel their body to do its share, although it feels no need, so that they may have a tale to tell to others, and may be envied for their enjoyment of things so hard to obtain and so uncommon. Quite similar is their behaviour toward notorious women. There are times when they repose in quiet with their own wives who are both lovely and loving, but when they have paid money to a Phryne or a Laïs, although their body is in sorry state and is inclined to shirk its task, they rouse it forthwith to action, and call in licentiousness to minister to pleasure, all because of empty repute. In fact, Phryne herself, in her advancing years, said that Bshe got a better price for her remnants because of her repute.

7 1 It is a great marvel if we get off unscathed, when we concede to the body only as much of pleasures as Nature in her need finds a place for, but still more so when we battle with it vigorously to thwart its appetites, and keep putting them off, and finally consent to some negotiation with such as will not be denied, or, as Plato22 says, "yield when the body bites and strains." But when the case is reversed, p233and the desires descend from the mind to the body and force it to be subservient to the mind's emotions, and to join in their excitements, Cthere is no way to prevent their leaving as a residue the most violent and serious injuries as the aftermath of feeble and evanescent pleasures. Least of all ought the body to be stirred to pleasures by the mind's desire, since such an origin is unnatural. Just as tickling the arm-pits so affects the mind as to produce laughter which is not natural, or even mild or happy, but convulsive and harsh, so whatsoever pleasures the body achieves through being prodded and disturbed by the mind are deranging and disturbing and foreign to Nature. DWhenever, then, someone of those rare and notorious means of enjoyment is afforded us, we ought to take more pride in abstinence not in enjoyment, remembering that just as Simonides23 used to say that he had never been sorry having kept silent, but many a time for having spoken, so we have never been sorry either for having put a dainty to one side, or for having drunk water instead of Falernian wine, but the opposite; not only ought Nature not to be forced, but if anything of this sort is offered her even when she has need of it, the appetite ought to be often diverted from it towards the plain and familiar food for the sake of habituation and training.

If one must needs do wrong,

Eare the words of the Theban,24 who is not correct in saying,

far best it were

To do it for a kingdom's sake.

p235 But we can improve on this by saying that if we must needs seek repute in such matters as food and drink, "far best it were" by continence for the sake of health. Nevertheless stinginess and greediness constrain some persons, who repress and reduce their desires in their own homes, to stuff themselves and enjoy themselves with expensive things at others' houses as though they were engaged in ruthless foraging in an enemy's country; then they go away much indisposed, and for the next day they have an attack of indigestion to pay for their insatiable appetite. FSo Crates,25 thinking that luxury and extravagance were as much to blame as anything for the growth of civil discords and the rule of despots in states, humorously advised:

Do not, by always making our fare more ample than lentils,

Throw us all into discord.

And let everybody exhort himself "not to make his fare always more ample than lentils," and by all means not to proceed beyond cress and olives to croquettes and fish, and by overeating throw "his body into discord," that is to say, into derangements and diarrhoeas. For the inexpensive things keep the appetite to its natural limits of moderation, 126but the arts of the chefs and their trained helpers, and, in the words of the comic poet,26

These knavish dainties and these complex foods,

are constantly advancing and enlarging the bounds of enjoyment, and altering our ideas of what is good for us. I do not know how it is that, while we loathe and detest women who contrive philters and magic to use upon their husbands, we entrust p237our food and provisions to hirelings and slaves to be all but bewitched and drugged. If the saying of Arcesilaus27 addressed to the adulterous and licentious appears too bitter, to the effect that 'it makes no difference whether a man practises lewdness in the front parlour or in the back hall,' yet it is not without its application to our subject. BFor in very truth, what difference does it make whether a man employ aphrodisiacs to stir and excite licentiousness for the purposes of pleasure, or whether he stimulate his taste by odours and sauces to require, like the itch, continual scratchings and ticklings?

8 1 At some other time, then, it may be that we shall have to speak against pleasures, and show what an intrinsic beauty and dignity belongs to continence; but the present discourse is on the side of many pleasures and great. For diseases do not take from us and spoil for us so many of our enterprises or hopes or travels or pastimes as they do of our pleasures. CHence contempt for health is least profitable for those who make pleasure their chief aim. For infirmities allow many persons to be philosophers, or actually even generals or kings, but the pleasures and enjoyments of the body in some cases do not come to life at all in time of disease, and those that come to life yield but a brief part of what they properly should, and even that is not pure, but contaminated with much that is foreign, and marked, as it were, by the beatings of surge and storm. For it is not true that

In well-gorged bodies Love resides,28

but rather in serenity and calmness of the flesh does p239love find its end in pleasure, as also do eating and drinking; Dand health affords to pleasures, as calm weather to the halcyons,29 a safe and lovely nesting and hatching of their young. Prodicus seems to have put the matter very neatly in saying that fire is the best of sauces;30 but one might more truly speak of health as being the most divine and agreeable sauce. For boiled, baked, or fried foods afford no proper pleasure or even gratification to those who are suffering from disease, debauch, or nausea, while a clean and unspoiled appetite makes everything, to a sound body, pleasant and "eagerly craved," as Homer has said,31 — that is, agreeable.

9 1 As Demades used to say that the Athenians, who were for making war in season and out of season, Enever voted for peace save when wearing black, so we never give a thought to a plain and restrained way of living except when using enemas and poultices. But when we find ourselves in this plight we try hard to stifle the thought of our wrongdoings, setting ourselves against their remembrance, and, as is the way of most people who object to this or that air or this or that locality as insalubrious when they say that they dread travelling, we exclude our intemperance and self-indulgence from the cause of our illness. Nay, we should recall how Lysimachus32 among the Getae was constrained by thirst to surrender himself and the army with him as prisoners of war, and afterwards as he drank cold water exclaimed, F"My God, for what a brief pleasure have I thrown p241away great prosperity!" And in the same way we ought in our attacks of illness to remember that for a cold drink, an ill-timed bath, or a social party, we have spoiled many of our pleasures and have ruined many an honourable enterprise and delightful recreation. For the sting caused by such reflections keeps the memory raw, so that, like a scar that remains when the body is in health, it makes us more circumspect about our way of living. 127For the healthy body will not, to any immoderate extent, breed desires that are vehement, intractable, unwonted, and hard to dispossess; nay, we can boldly and confidently oppose the appetites which would fain go beyond all bounds and assault our enjoyments, knowing that their whining and whimpering is a trivial and childish manifestation, and that later, when the table is removed, they will cease repining and make no complaint nor feel themselves aggrieved, but, on the contrary, untainted and cheerful rather than dulled and nauseated by over-indulgence, await the morrow. The remark which Timotheus33 made, the day after he had dined Bwith Plato at the Academy on the simple fare of the scholar, is in point here: "Those who dine with Plato," he said, "get on pleasantly the next day also." And it is reported that Alexander said34 when he discharged the chefs of Ada that he had better ones always to take with him — his night marches for breakfast, and for dinner his frugal breakfast.

10 1 I am not unaware that men contract fevers p243because of fatigue and extremes of heat and cold; but just as the scents of flowers are weak by themselves, whereas, when they are mixed with oil, they acquire strength and intensity, so a great mass of food to start with provides substance and body, as it were, for the causes and sources of disease Cthat come from the outside. Without such material none of these things would cause any trouble, but they would readily fade away and be dissipated, if clear blood and an unpolluted spirit are at hand to meet the disturbance; but in a mass of superfluous food a sort of turbulent sediment, as it were, is stirred up, which makes everything foul and hard to manage and hard to get rid of. Therefore we must not act like those much admired (!) ship-masters who for greed take on a big cargo, and thenceforth are continually engaged in baling out the sea-water. So we must not stuff and overload our body, and afterwards employ purgatives and injections, Dbut rather keep it all the time trim, so that, if ever it suffer depression, it shall, owing to its buoyancy, bob up again like a cork.

11 1 We ought to take special precautions in the case of premonitory symptoms and sensations. For what Hesiod has said35 of the illnesses that go hither and thither assailing mankind is not true of all, that

Silent they go, since the wisdom of Zeus has deprived them of voices,

but most of them have as their harbingers, forerunners, and heralds, attacks of indigestion and lassitude. "Feelings of heaviness or of fatigue," says Hippocrates,36 "when due to no external cause, p245indicate disease," since, presumably, the spirit about the nerves is subjected to tension and pressure owing to fullness within the body. ENevertheless, some men, although their body itself all but resists and would fain drag them to their beds and their rest, are led by gluttony and self-indulgence to rush off to the baths and eagerly to join in the drinking-bouts, as if they were laying in provisions for a siege and were fearful lest fever seize them before they have had luncheon. Others, less gross than these, are not indeed caught in this folly, but very stupidly, just because they are ashamed to admit having a headache or indigestion, and to keep their clothes on all day, when a crowd on their way to the gymnasium invite them to come along, they get up and go, strip with the others, and go through the same exercises as do those who are in sound health. FBut as for the majority, Hope, backed by a proverb which well accords with incontinence and weakness of purpose, persuades and induces them to get up and go recklessly to their accustomed haunts, thinking to expel and dispel wine with wine, and headache with headache.37 Against this hope should be set Cato's caution which that grand old man phrased in this way:38 128"Make the great small, and abolish the small altogether"; also the thought that it is better to submit patiently to fasting and resting with nothing to show for it, rather than to take any chances by rushing pell-mell to a bath or dinner. For if there p247is anything the matter with us, failure to take proper precaution and to put a check on ourselves will do us harm; and if nothing is the matter, it will do no harm for the body to be subjected to some restrictions and cleared of some of its encumbrances. But that childish person who is afraid to let his friends and servants discover that he is in a state of discomfort from excessive eating or drinking, will, if he is ashamed to admit having indigestion to‑day, to‑morrow admit having diarrhoea or fever or gripes.

The shame of want makes want a shame to bear,39

Bbut much more is it a shame to bear indigestion, overloading, and overfullness in a body which is dragged to the bath like a rotten and leaky boat into the sea. For just exactly as some persons, when they are voyaging and a storm is raging, are ashamed to tarry on shore, and so they put out to sea, and then are in most shameful case, shrieking and sea-sick, so those who regard it as ignoble, amidst suspicious premonitory symptoms of their body, to spend one day in bed, and not to take their meals at table, keep to their bed most shamefully for many days, under purging and poulticing, servile and attentive to physicians, asking for wine or cold water, Cand suffering themselves to do and to utter many extravagant and ignoble things because of their distress and fear.

Moreover, it is well that those who because of pleasures fail in self-control, and give way to their desires or are carried away by them, should be instructed and reminded that pleasures derive most of their satisfaction from the body; 12 and as the Spartans give to the cook vinegar and salt only, p249bidding him seek whatever else he needs in the slaughtered animal itself,40 so in the body are the best of sauces for whatever is served, if so be that it is served to a body which is healthy and clean. For everything of this sort is "sweet" or "costly" irrespectively of the user and by itself, but Nature decrees that it becomes "pleasant" only in and in connexion with the person that is pleased and is in harmony with Nature; Dbut in those who are captious or suffering from a debauch, or are in a bad way, all things lose their intrinsic agreeableness and freshness. Therefore there is no need to look to see whether the fish be fresh, the bread white, the bath warm, or the girl shapely, but a man should look to himself to see whether he be not nauseated, feculent, stale, or in any way upset. Otherwise, just as drunken revellers who force their way into a house of mourning provide no cheerfulness or pleasure, but only cause weeping and wailing, so in a body that is in a bad condition and out of harmony with Nature, Ethe pleasures of love, elaborate food, baths and wine, when combined with such elements in the body as are unsettled and tainted, set up phlegm and bile and bring on an upset, besides being unduly exciting, while they yield no pleasure to speak of, nor any enjoyment like what we expected.

13 1 The very exact mode of living, "exact to a hair's breadth," to use the popular expression,41 puts the body in a timorous and precarious state, and abridges the self-respect of the soul itself, so that it comes to look askance at every activity, and to no less p251a degree at spending any time or participating at all in pleasures or labours, and goes at no undertaking with readiness and confidence. FA man ought to handle his body like the sail of a ship, and neither lower and reduce it much when no cloud is in sight, nor be slack and careless in managing it when he comes to suspect something is wrong, but he should rather ease the body off and lighten its load, as has already been said, and not wait for indigestions and diarrhoeas, nor heightened temperatures nor fits of drowsiness. And yet some people wait until a fever is already at their doors 129and then, being as excited as if a message or a summons to court had come, just manage to restrict themselves; whereas they ought, while these things are still afar off, to be cautious

Before the storm, as though along the strand

The North wind blew.42

14 1 For it is absurd to give careful heed to the croaking of ravens, the clucking of hens, and "swine in their wild excitement over bedding,"43 as Democritus44 put it, making signs of winds and rains out of these, and at the same time not to forestall nor take precaution against the stirrings, the ups and downs, and the premonitory symptoms in the body, and not to hold these to be signs of a storm that is going to take place in one's self, and is just about to break. Wherefore not merely in the matter of food and exercise do we need to keep watch of our body, to see whether, contrary to its habits, it takes to these reluctantly and without zest, Bor at another time is thirsty and hungry in an unnatural way, but also, in the matter of sleep, to beware of lack of p253continuity and of evenness, marked by irregularities and sharp interruptions, and to beware also of the abnormal in dreams, which, if so be that our visions are improper or unwonted, argues an over-abundance or concretion of humours, or a disturbance of spirit within us. And also the emotions of the soul have often given warning that the body is perilously near disease. For instance, irrational discouragements and fears take possession of people often times from no apparent cause, Cand suddenly extinguish their hopes; in temper they become irascible, sharp, and pained at trifles, and they are tearful and dismayed whenever bad vapours and bitter exhalations encounter and unite with the "rotations of the soul," as Plato45 has it. Therefore those to whom such things happen have need to consider and to remember that, if the cause is not one which concerns the spirit, it is one which concerns the body, and that it needs reducing or toning down.

15 1 It is very profitable when visiting sick friends to inquire of them Dthe causes of their illness, not by talking pedantically and officiously about stoppages, irruptions, and trite generalities, and incidentally displaying some acquaintance with medical terminology and literature, but by listening in no perfunctory way to these homely and common details of over-eating, exposure to the sun, fatigue, sleeplessness, and especially the manner of living which the man was following when he fell sick of the fever. Then, like Plato, who, on his way home, was accustomed to say on the subject of others' faults, "Am not I too possibly like them?"46 a man ought to correct in himself the faults he observes in his neighbours, and be watchful and mindful not to become involved in p255the same difficulties, Eand be himself compelled to take to his bed, and there give voice to his yearnings for precious health, but rather, when another is undergoing this experience, he will impress upon himself how valuable a thing is health, and that he ought to try to preserve this by giving heed to himself, and by being frugal. It is not a bad thing, either, to take a look at our own way of living; for if we have been engaged in a bout of drinking and eating, or in om hardships and other irregularities, and the body presents no suspicious or premonitory symptoms, nevertheless we ought to be watchful of ourselves and forestall any trouble by means of rest and quiet when fresh from the pleasures of love, or when fatigued; also by drinking water after the free use of wine and after social gaiety, Fand especially, after indulging in a heavy diet of meat or multifarious foods, to eat lightly, and leave no mass of superfluous residue in the body. For these very things are of themselves the causes of many diseases, and they add material and potency to the other causes.47 Wherefore it has been very well said, "Eating not unto satiety, labouring not unto weariness, and observance of chastity, are the most healthful things."48 130For incontinence, by undermining especially the powers by which the food is assimilated, causes further superfluity and overcrowding.

16 1 Let us now take up each topic anew once more; and in the first place, on the subject of exercises suitable for scholars, we beg to remark that one might follow the example of the man who, by saying that he had nothing to write for people dwelling by the sea on the subject of ships, showed clearly that they were in use; and so in the same way one p257might say that he was not writing for scholars on the subject of exercise. For it is wonderful what an exercise is the daily use of the voice in speaking aloud, conducing, not only to health, but also to strength — Bnot the strength of the wrestler which lays on flesh and makes the exterior solid like the walls of a building, but a strength which engenders an all-pervasive vigour and a real energy in the most vital and dominant parts. That breathing gives strength the athletic trainers make clear in telling the athletes to brace themselves against the rubbing and stop their breath meantime, and keep tense the portions of the body that are being kneaded and massaged. Now the voice is a movement of the breath, and if it be given vigour, not in the throat, but, as it were, at its source in the lungs, it increases the warmth, tones down the blood, Cclears out every vein, opens every artery, and does not permit of any concretion or solidifying of superfluous fluid like a sediment to take place in the containing organs which take over and digest the food. For this reason we ought especially to make ourselves habituated and used to this exercise by continual speaking, or, if there be any suspicion that our body is not quite up to the mark or is somewhat fatigued, then by reading aloud or declaiming. For reading stands in the same relation to discussion as riding in a carriage to active exercise, and as though upon the vehicle of another's words it moves softly, and carries the voice gently this way and that. But discussion adds contention and vehemence, as the mind joins in the encounter along with the body. DWe must, however, be cautious about passionate and convulsive vociferations. For p259spasmodic expulsion and straining of the breath produces ruptures and sprains.

After reading or discussion, before going to walk, one should make use of rubbing with oil in a warm room to render the flesh supple, extending the massage so far as practicable to the inward parts, and gently equalizing the vital spirit and diffusing it into the extremities. Let the limits of the amount of this rubbing be what is agreeable to the senses and not discomforting. EFor the man who thus composes the inward disquiet and tension in his vital spirit manages the superfluous in his body without discomfort, and if unfavourable weather or some engagement prevent his going to walk, it does not matter, for Nature has received her proper due. Wherefore neither travelling nor stopping at an inn ought to be made an excuse for silence, nor even if everybody there deride one. For where it is not disgraceful to eat it is certainly not disgraceful to take exercise; nay, it is more disgraceful to feel timid and embarrassed before sailors, muleteers, and innkeepers, who do not deride the man who plays ball and goes through the movements of sparring alone, Fbut the man who speaks, even though in his exercises he instruct, question, learn, and use his memory. Socrates said49 that for a man's movements in dancing a room that would accommodate seven persons at dinner was large enough to take exercise in, but for a man who takes his exercise through singing or speaking every place affords him adequate room for this exercise both when standing up and when lying down. But we must observe this one caution — not to strain our voices too hard p261when we are conscious of a fullness, venery, or fatigue. 131This is the experience of many of the public speakers and sophists, some of whom are led on by repute and ambition, others on account of emoluments or political rivalries, to competition in excess of what is best for them. Our Niger, when he was giving public lectures in Galatia, happened to swallow a fish bone. But, as another sophist from abroad had made his appearance and was lecturing, Niger, dreading to give the impression that he had yielded to his rival, still lectured although the bone was sticking in his throat; unable to bear the distress from the great and stubborn inflammation that arose, he submitted to a deep incision from the outside, Band through the opening the bone was removed; but the place grew sore and purulent and caused his death. But comment on these matters may well be postponed to a later occasion.50

17 1 To take a cold bath after exercising is ostentatious and juvenile rather than healthful. For the power of resistance to external influences and the hardiness which it seems to create in the body really produces a more evil effect on the inward parts by stopping up the pores, causing the fluids to collect together, and condensing the exudations which are always wanting to be released and dispersed. Besides, those who insist upon taking cold baths Chave to make a further change into that exact and strictly ordered way of living which we are trying to avoid, and they have to be always taking heed not to transgress this, since every shortcoming is at once bitterly brought to book. On the other hand, warm baths have much to offer by way of excuse. For they do not detract so much from vigour and strength as p263they help towards health by rendering the food yielding and soft for the digestion, and by providing for the painless dispersion of whatever escapes digestion, at least if it do not remain altogether crude and high up, and soothing any latent feelings of fatigue. DHowever, when Nature affords us a sense of a moderate and comfortable condition in our body, the bath had better be left alone. A gentle rubbing with oil beside a fire is better, if the body require warming, for it can take for itself the requisite amount of such warmth; but the sun permits use of its warmth at neither higher nor lower temperature than is determined by the temperature of the air. So much will suffice in regard to exercise.

18 1 Coming now to the subject of food, if there be anything helpful in my earlier suggestions as to how we may beguile and pacify our appetites, we must give some further advice regarding what comes next; but if it be difficult to manage a belly that has been set free, as it were from bondage, Eand to wrangle with it when it has no ears to hear, as Cato51 used to say, we must contrive by means of the character of our food to make the quantity less burdensome; and of the solid and very nourishing foods, things, for example, like meat and cheese, dried figs and boiled eggs, one may partake if he helps himself cautiously (for it is hard work to decline all the time), but should stick to the thin and light things, such as most of the garden stuff, birds, and such fish as have not much fat. FFor it is possible by partaking of these things both to gratify the appetites and not oppress the body. Especially to be feared are indigestions p265arising from meats;52 for they are depressing at the outset, and a pernicious residue from them remains behind. It is best to accustom the body not to require meat in addition to other food. For the earth yields in abundance many things not only for nourishment but also for comfort and enjoyment, some of which it grants to our use just as they are with no trouble on our part, while others we may make savoury by all sorts of combination and preparation. 132But since custom has become a sort of unnatural second nature, our use of meat should not be for the satisfaction of appetite, as is the case with wolves or lions; but while we may put it in as a sort of prop and support of our diet, we should use other foods and relishes which for the body are more in accord with nature and less dulling to the reasoning faculty, which, as it were, is kindled from plain and light substances.

19 1 Of the liquids milk ought not to be used as a beverage but as a food possessing solid and nourishing power. BWith regard to wine we ought to talk as does Euripides53 with regard to Love:

Mayest thou be mine, but moderate be,

I pray, yet ne'er abandon me.

For wine is the most beneficial of beverages, the pleasantest of medicines, and the least cloying of appetizing things, provided that there is a happy combination of it with the occasion as well as with water. Water, not only the water that is mixed with p267the wine, but that which is drunk by itself in the interim between the draughts of the mixture, makes the mixture more innocent. One ought to accustom oneself, therefore, in the course of the daily routine to partake of two or three glasses of water, thus both making the potency of the wine milder, Cand making the drinking of water habitual with the body, so that, whenever it comes to be in need of water, it may not feel strange towards the drink, and refuse it. For the fact is that some people feel most impelled towards wine when the drink which they most need is water. For after being exposed to the sun, and again when chilled, and after speaking more earnestly and thinking more intently than usual, and, in general, after exertions and strivings, they think they ought to drink wine, feeling that Nature requires for the body some comfort and change after labours. DBut Nature does not require comfort, if comfort is only a name for self-indulgence, but she does require a change, a change which puts the body in a state midway between pleasure and pain. Therefore in such circumstances there should not only be some reduction in food, but wine should be either altogether eliminated or else partaken of between times very diluted and practically engulfed by the drinking of water. For wine, being truculent and keen, intensifies the disturbances of the body, and exacerbates and irritates the contused parts, which are in need of the comfort and alleviation that water best supplies. For if, in spite of the fact that we are not thirsty, we drink hot water Eafter undergoing exertion, strain, or heat, we are sensible of a relaxing and soothing effect within us; for the aqueous fluid is mild and does not quicken the pulse, p269whereas that of wine has great impetuosity and a potency that is not kindly or humanely disposed toward recent affections. As for the acerbities and bitterness which some say fasting engenders in the body, if anybody fears them, or if, childlike, he thinks it a dreadful thing not to have a meal served before the fever which he suspects is coming, the drinking of water is a very fitting middle course. In fact we frequently make to Dionysus himself offerings which include no wine, thus habituating ourselves quite properly not to be always looking for strong drink. FMinos, too, because of grief, abolished the flute and garland from the sacrifice.54 Yet we know that a grieving soul is not affected either by garlands or by flute. But no one's body is so strong that wine, thrust upon it when it is disturbed and feverish, does it no harm.

20 1 The Lydians, they say,55 in a time of famine, alternately spent one day in regaling themselves with food, and the next in jollity and games of chance. But in the case of a scholarly and cultivated man, on an occasion which requires a later dinner than usual, a mathematical problem on hand, 133or some pamphlet or musical instrument, will not permit him to be harried by his belly; on the contrary, he will steadily turn away and transfer his thoughts from the table to these other things, and scare away his appetites, like Harpies, by means of the Muses. Does not the Scythian,56 while he is drinking, ofttimes put his hand to his bow, and twang the string, thus summoning back his senses which are being unstrung by the liquor; and shall a Greek man be afraid of those who deride him when by letters and books he endeavours quietly to ease and relax an unfeeling p271and inexorable desire? BWhen the young men described by Menander57 were, as they were drinking, insidiously beset by the pimp, who introduced some handsome and high-priced concubines, each one of them (as he says),

Bent down his head and munched his own dessert,

being on his guard and afraid to look at them. But scholars have many fair and pleasant outlooks and diversions, if so be they can in no other way keep under control the canine and bestial element in their appetites when at table. The utterances of athletic trainers and the talk of teachers of gymnastics, who assert on every occasion that scholarly conversation at dinner spoils the food and makes the head heavy, Care to be feared only when we propose to solve the Indian problem or to discuss determinants58 during dinner. The leaf-bud at the top of the date-palm is sweet, but they say that it brings on a violent headache;59 and an exercise in logic is by no means a "sweet morsel"60 to top off a dinner, but, on the contrary, it is quite likely to bring on a headache, and is extremely fatiguing as well. But if they will not allow us to start any other inquiry or scholarly discussion,61 or to read while at dinner any of those things which, besides being beautiful and useful, contain also the element of pleasurable allurement and sweetness, we shall bid them not to bother us, Dbut to take themselves off, and in the training grounds and buildings to engage in such talk with the athletes, whom they have torn from their books, p273and by accustoming them to spend the whole day in jesting and scurrility, have, as the clever Ariston said, made them as glossy and blockish as the pillars in a gymnasium. But as for ourselves, we shall follow the advice of the physicians who recommend always to let some time intervene between dinner and sleep, and not, after jumbling our victuals into our body and oppressing our spirit, to hinder our digestion at once with the food that is still unassimilated and fermenting, but rather to provide for it some respite and relaxation; just as those who think it is the right thing to keep their bodies moving after dinner Edo not do this by means of foot-races and strenuous boxing and wrestling, but by gentle walking and decorous dancing, so we shall hold that we ought not to distract our minds after dinner either with business or cares or pseudo-learned disputations, which have as their goal an ostentatious or stirring rivalry. But many of the problems of natural science are light and enticing, and there are many stories which contain ethical considerations and the "soul's satisfaction," as Homer has phrased this, and nothing repellent. The spending of time over questions of history and poetry some persons, not unpleasingly, have called a second repast62 for men of scholarship and culture. There are also inoffensive stories and fables, Fand it is less onerous to exchange opinions about a flute and a lyre than to listen to the sound of the lyre and the p275flute itself. The length of time for this is such as the digestion needs to assert itself and gain the upper hand over the food as it is gradually absorbed and begins to agree with us.

21 1 Aristotle holds63 that walking about on the part of those who have just dined revives the bodily warmth, while sleep, if they go to sleep at once, smothers it; but others hold that quiet improves the digestive faculties, while movement disturbs the processes of assimilation; 134and this has persuaded some to walk about immediately after dinner, and others to remain quiet. In view of the two opinions a man might appear properly to attain both results who after dinner keeps his body warm and quiet, and does not let his mind sink at once into sleep and idleness, but, as has been previously suggested,64 lightly diverts and enlivens his spirits by talking himself and listening to another on one of the numerous topics which are agreeable and not acrimonious or depressing.

22 1 The use of emetics and cathartics, abominable "comforts for an overloaded stomach,"65 ought never, except under the stress of great necessity, to be inaugurated, Bas is the way of most people, who fill up their bodies for the sake of emptying them, and then empty them for the sake of filling them up again, thus transgressing against nature, and are vexed no less at their fullness than at their emptiness — or, better, they are utterly depressed over their fullness, as being a hindrance to enjoyment, but set about bringing on emptiness with the idea of making room always for pleasures. The harmfulness in all this is manifest; for both procedures give rise to disorders and convulsive movements in the p277body. What is peculiarly bad in the use of an emetic is that it increases and fosters an insatiate greediness. For the feelings of hunger become rough and turbulent, like rivers that are interrupted in their course, Cand they gulp the food down violently, always ravening and resembling not appetites that need victuals, but inflammations that need medicines and poultices. For this reason the pleasures that lay hold upon such persons are swift in their action and imperfect, and attended by much palpitation and agitation while being experienced, and these are succeeded by distensions and sharp pains in the passages, and retention of gases, which cannot wait for the natural movements, but stay in the upper part of the body as in water-logged ships which require the jettisoning of their cargo, not merely of their surplus. The violent disturbances lower down in the bowels resulting from medication, by decomposing and liquefying the existing contents, increase rather than relieve the overcrowding. DJust imagine that anybody, feeling much troubled at the crowd of Greeks living in his city, should fill up the city with Arab and Scythian immigrants! Yet it is just this radical mistake that some people make in connexion with the expulsion of the surplus of habitual and familiar foods, when they introduce into the body from the outside Cnidian berries, scammony, or other incongruous and drastic agents, which have more need of being purged away than power of purging our nature. It is best, therefore, by moderate and temperate living to make the body constantly self-sufficient and well adjusted as regards filling the stomach and emptying it.

If ever absolute necessity befall us, vomiting p279should be induced without medication and a great ado, Eand without causing any disturbance beyond merely avoiding indigestion by at once allowing the excess to be peacefully ejected. Just as linen cleansed with lye and washing powders wears out faster than that washed in plenty of water, so vomitings with drugs maltreat and ruin the body. If the bowels are getting sluggish, there is no medicine like some sorts of food that afford a mild stimulus to the inclinations and gently dissolve the cause of trouble. Experience with these is familiar to all, and their use is not attended by discomfort. FBut if it will not yield to these, the drinking of water for several days, or fasting, or an enema, should be tried next rather than disturbing and pernicious dosing to which most people hurriedly resort, after the manner of licentious women who employ drugs and instruments to produce abortion for the sake of the enjoyment of conceiving again.

23 1 But we need say no more about this class of persons. However, to speak once again of those too exact persons who interject set periods of fasting according to a fixed schedule, 135they are wrong in teaching their nature to feel a need of restraint when not in need of it, and in making necessary the unnecessary retrenchment at a time which makes demand for what is customarily required. It is better to apply such discipline to the body with a certain freedom, and, if there be no premonitory or suspicious symptoms, to keep, as has been already suggested,66 our general mode of life responsive to changes so as to meet whatever may befall it, and not to let it be enslaved or bound to one formula of life, which has trained itself to be guided by certain p281seasons, or numbers, or schedules. BFor it is not safe, nor easy, nor befitting a citizen or a man, but like the life of an oyster or the trunk of a tree — this immutability and forced compliance in the matter of food and abstinence, movement and rest; it is fitting only for men who have reduced and restricted themselves to a retired, idle, solitary, friendless, and inglorious life, far removed from the duties of citizenship. No," said he, "it fits not with my opinion."67 24 1 For health is not to be purchased by idleness and inactivity, which are the greatest evils attendant on sickness, and the man who thinks to conserve his health by uselessness and ease does not differ from him who guards his eyes by not seeing, Cand his voice by not speaking. For a man in good health could not devote himself to any better object than to numerous humane activities. Least of all is it to be assumed that laziness is healthful, if it destroys what health aims at; and it is not true either that inactive people are more healthy. For Xenocrates did not keep in better health than Phocion, nor Theophrastus than Demetrius, and the running away from every activity that smacked of ambition did not help Epicurus and his followers at all to attain their much-talked‑of condition of perfect bodily health. DBut we ought, by attention to other details, to preserve the natural constitution of our bodies, recognizing that every life has room for both disease and health.

However, our friend said that to men in public life should be given advice opposite to that which Plato68 p283used to give to the young men. For the philosopher, as he took his leave after the exercise, was in the habit of saying, "Be sure, my boys, that you store up the lesson of this hour of leisure for some good end." But we would advise those who take part in the government to employ their active labours for good and necessary ends, and not subject their bodies to stress on account of small and paltry matters, Eas is the way of most people, who make themselves miserable over incidental things, and wear themselves out with loss of sleep, going to this place and that place, and running about, all for no useful or decent purpose, but only from a spirit of insolence, envy, or rivalry against others, or in the pursuit of unprofitable and empty repute. It was in special reference to such people, as I think, that Democritus said,69 that, if the body were to enter suit against the soul for cruel and abusive treatment, the soul would not be acquitted. Perhaps, too, there is some truth in what Theophrastus said,70 in his metaphorical statement, that the soul pays a high rental to the body. At any rate, that body reaps the fruit of more evils from the soul than the soul from the body, inasmuch as the soul uses the body unreasonably, and the body does not get the care that it deserves. For whenever the soul is occupied with its own emotions, strivings, and concerns, it is prodigal of the body. FI do not know what possessed Jason71 to say: "We must do wrong in small ways for the sake of doing right in large ways." But we, with good reason, would advise the man in public life to be indifferent to small things, and to take his ease and give himself p285plenty of rest while attending to them, if, when he comes to honourable and important activities, he wishes to have his body not worn by drudging, nor dull, nor on the point of giving out, 136but refreshed by quiet, like a ship in the dock; so that when the soul again points the way to needful activities, it

May run like weanling colt beside its dam.72

25 1 Therefore, when circumstances afford us opportunity, we should give ourselves a chance to recuperate, and to this end we should not grudge to our body either sleep or luncheon or ease, which is the mean between indulgence and discomfort,73 nor observe the sort of limit that most people observe whereby they wear out the body, like steel that is being tempered, by the changes to which they subject it; whenever the body has been strained and oppressed by much hard work, it is once more softened and relaxed immoderately in pleasures, Band again, as the next step, while it is still flaccid and relaxed from venery and wine, it is coerced into going to the Forum or to Court or into some business requiring fervent and intense application. Heracleitus, suffering from dropsy, bade his physician to "bring on a drought to follow the wet spell";74 but most people are completely in error, inasmuch as, when they are in the midst of exertions, labours, and deprivations, they are most inclined to surrender their bodies to pleasures to be made languid and relaxed, and then, after their pleasures, bending them, as it were, into place, and stretching them tight again. p287For Nature does not require any such form of compensation in the case of the body. CBut, on the other hand, in the soul the licentious and unmannerly element, immediately after undergoing hardships, is carried away, as sailors are, by wantonness to pleasures and enjoyments, and, after the pleasures, it is again coerced to tasks and business; and the result is that it does not allow Nature to attain the composure and calm which she needs most, but deranges and disturbs her because of this irregularity. But people who have sense are least given to proffering pleasures to the body when it is busied with labours. For they have absolutely no need, nor even recollection, of such things, inasmuch as they are keeping their thoughts intent on the good to be accomplished by their activity; Dand by the joy or earnestness in their souls they completely dwarf their other desires. There is a jocose remark attributed to Epameinondas in regard to a good man who fell ill and died about the time of the battle of Leuctra: "Great Heavens! How did he find time to die when there was so much going on?" This may be repeated with truth in the case of a man who has in hand some public activity or philosophic meditation: "What time has this man now for indigestion or drunkenness or carnal desires?" But when such men find themselves again at leisure following upon their activities, they compose and rest their bodies, Eguarding against unnecessary pleasures, on the ground that they are inimical to Nature.

26 1 I have heard that the Tiberius Caesar once said that a man over sixty who holds out his hand to a physician is ridiculous.75 To me that seems a pretty p289strong statement, but this does seem to be true, that each person ought neither to be unacquainted with the peculiarities of his own pulse (for there are many individual diversities), nor ignorant of any idiosyncrasy which his body has in regard to temperature and dryness,76 and what things in actual practice have proved to be beneficial or detrimental to it. For the man has no perception regarding himself, and is but a blind and deaf tenant in his own body, Fwho gets his knowledge of these matters from another, and must inquire of his physician whether his health is better in summer or winter, whether he can more easily tolerate liquid or solid foods, and whether his pulse is naturally fast or slow. For it is useful and easy for us to know things of this sort, since we have daily experience and association with them.

In regard to food and drink it is expedient to note what kinds are wholesome rather than what are pleasant, and to be better acquainted with those that are good in the stomach rather than in the mouth, 137and those that do not disturb the digestion rather than those that greatly tickle the palate. For to inquire of a physician what is hard or easy for oneself to digest, and what is constipating or laxative, is no less disgraceful than to inquire what is sweet and what is bitter and what is sour. But nowadays people correct the chefs, being expert at detecting what dish has in it more sweetening or salt or sourness than is proper; but they do not themselves know what, when taken into their own bodies, will be light and painless and beneficial. Therefore, a mistake is not often made in seasoning a soup at their houses, Bbut by their vile and pernicious seasoning of themselves every day they provide a plentiful business p291for the physicians. Now such persons do not regard the sweetest soup as the best, but they mix in also bitter and pungent flavourings; on the other hand, they inject into the body numerous cloying pleasures, partly from ignorance, and partly because they do not remember that to whatever is healthful and beneficial nature adds a pleasure which causes neither pain nor repentance. But we must keep in mind both those things that are congenial and suitable to the body, and, conversely, as changes attendant on the season occur and different circumstances arise, we should, in full knowledge of the facts, suitably adjust our mode of living to each.

27 1 CNow as to various difficulties, due to observance of petty detail and to lack of freedom, which most men encounter — men who are engaged in the toilsome business of harvesting and caring for their crops and by sleepless nights and running hither and thither bring to light the latent infirmities of their bodies — there is no good reason to fear that such will be experienced by scholars and men in public life, with reference to whom our discussion has taken its present form; but these must guard against another and more subtle kind of pettiness that inheres in letters and learning, an influence which compels them to be unsparing and careless of their body, so that they oftentimes, when the body is ready to succumb, will not surrender, Dbut will force the mortal to be partner with the immortal, and the earth-born with the celestial, in rivalry and achievement. Then later, to quote the words of the ox to his fellow-servant the camel, who was unwilling to lighten his burden: "Well, before long you will be carrying me as well as all this load" (as actually p293resulted when the ox fell dead).77 And this is just what happens to the mind: if it is unwilling to relax a little and give up to the body in distress and need, a little later a fever or a vertigo attacks it, and it is compelled to give up its books and discussions and studies, and share with the body its sickness and weariness. EPlato78 was right, therefore, in advising that there should be no movement of the body without the mind or of the mind without the body, but that we should preserve, as it were, the even balance of a well-matched team; when the body shares most in the work and weariness of the mind we should repay it by giving it the most care and attention, and we should feel that of the good gifts which fair and lovely Health bestows the fairest is the unhampered opportunity to get and to use virtue both in words and in deeds.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Homer, Il. XI.514.

2 Proverbial; cf. Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Adespota, No. 560.

3 Homer, Od. IV.392.

4 Plutarch himself presumably.

5 Cf. Moralia, 635C.

6 Cf. Moralia, 661B.

7 A precept of Pythagoras according to Plutarch, Moralia, 466F, and other writers who quote it; cf. also Moralia, 602B.

8 Cf. Plato, Laws, p. 797E.

9 There are varying accounts regarding the manner of Titus's death, poisoning or drowning being also alleged.

10 The proverb may be found in Plato's Laws, p. 666A, and often repeated in other writers.

11 The story is repeated by Plutarch, Moralia, 178D, and referred to, Moralia, 707B.

12 The reference may be to Homer, Il. XXIV.45 (cf. Hesiod, Works and Days, 318).

13 Euripides, Medea, 290, quoted also in Moralia, 530C.

14 Cf. Moralia, 612F.

15 Presumably Plutarch again.

16 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. lxxv (p. 706C); Diodorus, XVII.117; Athenaeus, 434C; Arrian, Anabasis, VII.25.1; Quintus Curtius, X.4; Justin, XII.13.

17 Xenophon, Memorabilia, I.3.6; cf. Plutarch, Moralia, 513C, 521E, and 661F.

18 Perhaps a reference to Demosthenes, LIX.4, which says that in time of war all surplus funds are to be devoted to the army.

19 Xenophon, Symposium, II.17‑20; again referred to infra130E, and Moralia 711E.

20 Supra, 124D.

21 For the cruelties practised in the preparation of this highly esteemed delicacy see Plutarch, Moralia, 997A.

22 The quotation does not appear in Plato, but Plutarch is probably summing up from memory an account of a contest with the passions such as may be found, for example, in the Phaedrus, pp254 ff.

23 Repeated in more or less similar form, Moralia10F and 514F.

24 Eteocles in the Phoenissae of Euripides, I.524; quoted by Plutarch also in Moralia, 18D.

25 Cf. Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Gr. II p670, Crates, No. 10 or Diels, Poet. Phil. Frag. p219, Crates, No. 6.

26 Author unknown; cf. Kock, Com. Att. Frag. III p435.

27 Repeated by Plutarch, Moralia, 705E, in a slightly different form. Cf. Aulus Gellius, III.5.

28 The sentiment is probably taken from Euripides; cf. Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Euripides, No. 895, and Plutarch, Moralia, 917B.

29 Cf. Aristotle, Historia animalium, V.8; Plutarch, Moralia, 982F.

30 Attributed to Evenus in Moralia, 50A, 697D, and 1010C.

31 Od. VIII.164. Cf. also 101C supra.

32 292 B.C.; cf. also Moralia, 183E and 555D. Lysimachus was one of the successors of Alexander the Great.

33 That this story had acquired almost a fixed phraseology in the source from which Plutarch took it may be seen by comparing this passage and Plutarch, Moralia, 686A, Aelian, Varia Historia, II.18, Athenaeus, p. 419D, and Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, V.35 (100).

34 Cf. Plutarch, Moralia, 180A, 1099C, and Life of Alexander, chap. xxii (p. 677B).

35 Works and Days, 104, quoted more fully supra105E.

36 Aphorisms, II.5 (ed. Chartier, 38, 43, Kühn, III p712).

37 "Similia similibus curentur." The proverb has not been handed down in this form, but Plutarch may have in mind the proverb found in Pollux, IX.120 (see Kock, Com. Att. Frag. III p500, and his notes, especially the reference to Athenaeus, 44A): "Nail with nail and peg with peg" (a man drives out). Slightly different versions may be found in Leutsch and Schneidewin, Paroemiographi Graeci, II pp116 and 171.

38 Cf. Moralia, 825D.

39 From an unknown play of Menander; cf. Kock, Com. Att. Frag. III p220.

40 A humorous turn is given to this custom in the anecdote related by Plutarch, Moralia, 995B.

41 See the note on 86A in Vol. I.

42 Author unknown; cf. Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. III p721. Cf. also Moralia, 455A, and 503.

43 Theophrastus, De signis, 49, lists this phenomenon among the signs of a coming storm.

Thayer's Note: Not in the linked text, which is that found in the Loeb edition.

44 Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, II p88.

45 Timaeus, p. 47D.

46 Cf. Moralia, 40D, 88E, and 463E.

47 Cf. Moralia, 732E.

48 Probably based on Hippocrates; cf. Hippocrates, Epidemics, VI.4.20 (ed. Chartier, 9, 500, Kühn, III p605).

49 Xenophon, Symposium, 2.18.

50 Perhaps infra135D.

51 The same remark is found in Moralia198D, 996D, and Life of M. Cato, chap. viii (p. 340A).

52 It is worth while to compare Plutarch's essays on eating meat, Moralia, 993A‑999B.

53 From an unknown play: cf. Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Euripides, No. 967. The sentiment is a favourite one with Euripides; cf., for example, Iphigeneia at Aulis, 543‑557; Medea 627‑634; Helena, 1105.

54 Cf. Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, III.15.7.

55 Herodotus, I.94.

56 Cf. Plutarch, Life of Demetrius, chap. xix (p. 897C).

57 From an unknown play; cf. Kock, Com. Att. Frag. III p183, No. 607. Cf. also Plutarch, Moralia, 706B.

58 These are both thought to be logical fallacies of the type of Achilles and the tortoise, or the "Liar." Cf. also Moralia, 1070C.

59 Cf. Xenophon, Anabasis, II.3.15.

60 From Pindar, Frag. 124 (ed. Christ).

61 Cf. Moralia, 612F, where this topic is treated more fully.

62 Cf. Moralia, 672E.

63 Frag. 224 (33 in Rose's edition).

64 Supra, 130A‑E.

65 Plato, Critias, p. 115B.

66 Supra, 128E.

67 A paraphrase of Homer, Il. IX.108.

68 Not extant in Plato's writings, but a faint suggestion of the idea may be found in Laws, p. 643B.

69 Mullach, Frag. Philos. Graec. I p342; cf. also Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, II1 p91.

70 This and the preceding quotation are given in greatly amplified form in Fragment I.2 of De anima (vol. VII p2 of Bernardakis's edition of the Moralia).

71 Despot of Pherae; cf. the note supra on 89C. Cf. also for the sentiment Plutarch, Moralia, 817F, and Aristotle, RhetoricI.12; also The Epistle to the Romans, iii.8 and vi.1.

72 Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Gr. II p738, Simonides of Amorgus, No. 5; repeated in Moralia84D, 446E, 790F, and in a fragment quoted by Stobaeus, FlorilegiumCXV.18.

73 An adumbration of the Aristotelian doctrine that virtue is a mean.

74 Cf. Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, I pp67‑68.

75 Cf. Moralia, 794B; Tacitus, AnnalsVI.46.

76 Cf. Moralia, 735F.

77 Cf. Aesop's Fables, No. 125.

78 Timaeus, p. 88B.


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 1 Jul 13