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This webpage reproduces the essay
Praecepta gerendae reipublicae

by
Plutarch

as published in Vol. X
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1936

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. X) Plutarch, Moralia

p155 Precepts of Statecraft

Copyright

The work appears in pp155‑299 of Vol. X of the Loeb Classical Library's edition of the Moralia, first published in 1936. It is now in the public domain pursuant to the 1978 revision of the U. S. Copyright Code, since the copyright expired in 1964 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.)

p156 Loeb Edition Introduction

This essay is addressed to Menemachus, a young man who has asked Plutarch for advice concerning public life. Nothing further is known of the young man, except that Pardalas of Sardis is mentioned as his fellow-citizen (813F; 825D); but some of those to whom Plutarch's various essays are addressed are known to be real persons, and it is, therefore, probable that Menemachus also actually existed. Plutarch held at different times various public offices, and moreover he was highly regarded by his fellow-citizens and many others as a guide, philosopher, and friend; it is, therefore, not unnatural that a young man who was thinking of entering upon a political career should appeal to him for advice and counsel, though it is also possible that Plutarch wrote the essay without being asked to do so and addressed it to Menemachus merely as a matter of form.

There is nothing profoundly philosophical and very little purely theoretical to be found here. Greece, like most of the known world, was a part of the Roman Empire, and the exercise of statecraft on a large scale was virtually limited to Romans. The ancient Greek city-states retained, however, their local self-government, subject to the supervision of the proconsul; they could enter into agreements with each other, and could send envoys to Rome if occasion arose. A man could, therefore, find useful and honourable occupation in public life, as Plutarch himself did. Although he frequently uses the great men of the great days of Greece as examples, Plutarch gives the sort of advice which would be useful to one engaged in such political activity as was open to a Greek in his time. Some of his advice is applicable only to his own times and its conditions, but the politician or statesman of any age may recognize many of his precepts as common sense, the application of which is limited to no time or place. The essay is, then, of interest, not only because it throws a sidelight upon the conditions in Greece in Plutarch's time, but also on account of its own inherent value.

The reference to troubles which took place "recently under Domitian" (815D, Chapter 19) may indicate that the essay was written not long after A.D. 96, the date of Domitian's death.

p159 798 1 1 If, Menemachus, it is suitable to apply to anything at all the saying

No one of all the Achaeans finds fault with the words thou hast uttered,

Nor will oppose them in speech; and yet thou hast reached no conclusion,1

Bit may be applied to those philosophers who urge people to take lessons from them, but give no real instruction or advice; for they are like those who trim the lamps, but fail to pour in oil. Therefore, seeing that the desire has been aroused in you a

Speaker of speeches to be, and also a doer of actions2

in your native State, as befits your noble birth, since you have not time to gain an understanding of a philosopher's life in the open among affairs of State and public conflicts or to be a spectator of examples worked out in deed, not merely in word, Cand since you ask for some precepts of statecraft, I think it is not at all fitting that I should refuse, and I pray that the result may be worthy of your zeal and of my goodwill; and, as you requested, I have made use of a rather large variety of examples.

2 1 First, then, at the base of political activity there p161must be, as a firm and strong foundation, a choice of policy arising from judgement and reason, not from mere impulse due to empty opinion or contentiousness or lack of other activities. For just as those who have no useful occupation at home spend most of their time in the market-place, even if there is nothing they need there, Djust so some men, because they have no business of their own that is worth serious attention, throw themselves into public affairs, treating political activity as a pastime, and many who have become engaged in public affairs by chance and have had enough of them are no longer able to retire from them without difficulty; they are in the same predicament as persons who have gone aboard a vessel to be rocked a bita and then have been driven out into the open sea; they turn their gaze outside, seasick and much disturbed, but obliged to stay where they are and endure their present plight.

Over the bright calm sea

The fair-faced loves went past them to the mad

Outrage of the ship's oars that plough the deep.3

These men cast the greatest discredit upon public life by regretting their course and being unhappy Ewhen, after hoping for glory, they have fallen into disgrace or, after expecting to be feared by others on account of their power, they are drawn into affairs which involve dangers and popular disorders. But the man who has entered upon public life from conviction and reasoning, as the activity most befitting him and most honourable, is not frightened by any of these things, nor is his conviction changed. For neither is it right to enter upon public life as a gainful trade, as p163Stratocles and Dromocleides and their set used to invite each other Fto come to the golden harvest (for so they called the orators' platform in jest); nor ought we to enter upon it as if we were suddenly seized by an onset of strong emotion, as Gaius Gracchus did, who, when his brother's misfortunes were still fresh, withdrew so far as possible from public affairs and then, inflamed by anger because certain persons insulted and reviled him, rushed into public life. And although he was quickly satiated with public affairs and fame, yet when he tried to stop and wished for a change and a quiet life, 799 he found that his power was too great to be laid down but before he could lay it down he perished. And those who make themselves up for political competition or the race for glory, as actors do for the stage, must necessarily regret their action, since they must either serve those whom they think they should rule or offend those whom they wish to please. On the contrary, I believe that those who, like men who fall into a well, stumble into public life by mere chance and unexpectedly must be cast into confusion and regret their course, whereas those who enter into it quietly, as the result of preparation and reflection, will be moderate in their conduct of affairs and will not be discomposed by anything, inasmuch as they have honour itself and nothing else as the purpose of their actions.

3 1 BSo, after thus determining their choice in their own minds and making it invariable and unchangeable, statesmen must apply themselves to the understanding of the character of the citizens, which shows itself as in the highest degree a compound of all their individual characters and is powerful. For any attempt p165on the part of the statesman to produce by himself at the very outset a change of character and nature in the people will not easily succeed, nor is it safe, but it is a matter that requires a long space of time and great power. But just a wine is at first controlled by the character of the drinker but gradually, as it warms his whole body and becomes mingled therewith, Citself forms the drinker's character and changes him, just so the statesman, until he has by his reputation and by public confidence in him built up his leadership, must accommodate himself to the people's character as he finds it and make that the object of his efforts, knowing by what things the people is naturally pleased and led. For example, the Athenian populace is easily moved to anger, easily turned to pity, more willing to suspect quickly than to be informed at leisure; as they are readier to help humble persons of no reputation, so they welcome and especially esteem facetious and amusing speeches; while they take most delight in those who praise them, they are least inclined to be angry with those who make fun of them; they are terrible even to their chief magistrates, Dthen kindly even to their enemies. Quite different is the character of the Carthaginian people; it is bitter, sullen, subservient to their magistrates, harsh to their subjects, most abject when afraid, most savage when enraged, stubborn in adhering to its decisions, disagreeable and hard in its attitude towards playfulness and urbanity. Never would these people, if a Cleon had asked them to postpone the meeting of the assembly on the ground that he had made sacrifice and had guests to entertain,4 have adjourned the meeting amid laughter and the clapping of hands; nor would they, when a quail escaped from Alcibiades' p167cloak while he was speaking, have joined eagerly in hunting it down and then have given it back to him;5 Eno, they would have put them both to death for their insolence and their flippancy, seeing that they banished Hanno on the charge of aspiring to be tyrant, because he used a lion on his campaigns to carry his luggage! And I do not believe that the Thebans either, if they had obtained control of their enemies' letters, would have refrained from reading them, as the Athenians, when they captured Philip's mail-carriers with a letter addressed to Olympias, refrained from breaking the seal and making known an affectionate private message of an absent husband to his wife. Nor, on the other hand, do I believe that the Athenians would have borne with good temper the contemptuous pride of Epameinondas, when he refused to reply to the accusation against him Fbut rose from his seat and went out from the theatre through the assembly to the gymnasium. And I think, too, that the Spartans would have been far from enduring the insolence and buffoonery of Stratocles, who persuaded the Athenians to make sacrifices on the ground that they had won a victory, and then, after a true report of their defeat had been received, when they were angry with him, 800 asked the people what wrong he had done them seeing that, thanks to him, they had been happy for three days.6 Now court flatterers, like bird-catchers, by imitating the voices of kings and assimilating themselves to them, insinuate themselves deeply into their good graces and decoy them by deceit; but for the statesman it is fitting, not to imitate the character of his people, but to understand it and to employ for each type those means by p169 which it can be brought under his control. For ignorance of their characters leads to no less serious mistakes and failures in free States than in the friendships of kings.

4 1 So, then, the statesman who already has attained to power and has won the people's confidence should try to train the character of the citizens, leading them gently towards that which is better Band treating them with mildness; for it is a difficult task to change the multitude. But do you yourself, since you are henceforth to live as on an open stage, educate your character and put it in order; and if it is not easy wholly to banish evil from the soul, at any rate remove and repress those faults which are most flourishing and conspicuous. For you know the story that Themistocles, when he was thinking of entering upon public life, withdrew from drinking-parties and carousals; he was wakeful at night, was sober and deeply thoughtful, explaining to his friends that Miltiades' trophy7 would not let him sleep. CAnd Pericles also changed his personal habits of life, so that he walked slowly, spoke gently, always showed a composed countenance, kept his hand under his cloak, and trod only one path — that which led to the assembly and the senate. For a populace is not a simple and easy thing for any chance person to subject to that control which is salutary; but one must be satisfied if the multitude accept authority without shying, like a suspicious and capricious beast, at face or voice. Since, then, the statesman must not treat even these matters carelessly, Dought he to neglect the things which affect his life and character, p171that they may be clear of blame and ill report of every kind? For not only are men in public life held responsible for their public words and actions, but people busy themselves with all their concerns: dinner, love affair, marriage, amusement, and every serious interest. What need is there, for instance, to speak of Alcibiades, who, though he was most active of all the citizens in public affairs and was undefeated as general, was ruined by his audacious and dissolute habits in private life, and, because of his extravagance and lack of restraint, deprived the State of the benefit of his other good qualities? Why, the Athenians blamed Cimon for wine-drinking, Eand the Romans, having nothing else to say, blamed Scipio8 for sleeping; and the enemies of Pompey the Great, observing that he scratched his head with one finger, reviled him for it.9 For, just as a mole or a wart on the face is more unpleasant than brand-marks, mutilations, or scars on other parts of the body, so small faults appear great when observed in the lives of leaders and statesmen on account of the opinion which the majority has of governing and public office, regarding it as a great thing which ought to be clean of all eccentricities and errors. FWith good reason, therefore, did Livius Drusus the tribune gain in reputation because, when many parts of his house were exposed to the view of his neighbours and an artisan promised to turn them the other way and change their position for only five talents, Drusus replied, "Take ten and make the whole house open to view, that all the citizens may see how I live." For he was a man of temper and p173well-ordered life. And perhaps he had no need of that exposure to the public view; for the people see through 801 the characters, counsels, acts, and lives of public men, even those that seem to be very thickly cloaked; they love and admire one man and dislike and despise another quite as much for his private as for his public practices.

"But," you say, "do not States put in office men who live licentiously and wantonly?" They do, and pregnant women often long for stones, and seasick persons for salt pickles and the like, which then a little later they spew out and detest. So the people of democracies, because of the luxury of their own lives or through sheer perversity, or for lack of better leaders, Bmake use of those who happen to turn up, though they loathe and despise them, then take pleasure in hearing such things said about them as the comic poet Plato puts into the mouth of the People itself:

Take, take my hand as quickly as you can;

I'm going to choose Agyrrhius general;10

and again, when he makes the People ask for a basin and a feather in order to vomit and then say,

Beside my platform Mantias takes his stand,11a

and

It feeds foul Cephalus, most hateful pest.11b

And the Roman people, when Carbo promised something and confirmed his promise with an oath and a curse, unanimously took a counter-oath that it did not trust him. And at Lacedaemon, Cwhen a p175dissolute man named Demosthenes made a desirable motion, the people rejected it, but the ephors chose by lot one of the elders and told him to make that same motion, in order that it might be made acceptable to the people, thus pouring, as it were, from a dirty vessel into a clean one. So great is the importance, in a free State, of confidence or lack of confidence in a man's character.

5 1 However, we should not on this account neglect the charm and power of eloquence and ascribe everything to virtue, but, considering oratory to be, not the creator of persuasion but certainly its co‑worker, we should correct Menander's line,

The speaker's nature, not his speech, persuades,12

for both his nature and his speech do so; unless, indeed, one is to affirm that just as the helmsman, not the tiller, steers the ship, Dand the rider, not the rein, turns the horse, so political virtue, employing, not speech, but the speaker's character as tiller or rein, sways a State, laying hold of it and directing it, as it were, from the stern, which is, in fact, as Plato says,13 the easiest way of turning an animal about. For those great and, as Homer calls them, "Zeus-descended" kings pad themselves out with purple robes and sceptres and guards and divine oracles, and although they enslaved the multitude by their grandeur, as if they were superior beings, they p177wished nevertheless to be "speakers of words" and they did not neglect the charm of speech,

Nor the assemblies in which men make themselves greatly distinguished,14

Eand they worshipped not only Zeus of the Council, Ares Enyalius, and Athena of War, but they invoked also Calliopê,

who accompanies revered monarchs,15

softening by persuasion and overcoming by charms the fierce and violent spirit of the people. How, then, is it possible that a private person of ordinary costume and mien who wishes to lead a State may gain power and rule the multitude unless he possesses persuasion and attractive speech? FNow the pilots of ships employ others to give orders to the rowers, but the statesman needs to have in himself the mind that steers and also in himself the speech that gives orders, that he may not require some other man's voice and be obliged to say, as Iphicrates did when defeated through the eloquence of Aristophon's orators, "My opponents' actor is better, but superior my play," and may not often need these lines of Euripides,

Oh that the seed of wretched men were mute,16

802 and

Ah, would that deeds of men possessed a voice,

That clever speakers might become as naught;17

p179 for these sayings ought perhaps to be granted as a refuge to Alcamenes, Nesiotes, Ictinus,18 and all artisans and craftsmen if they take an oath that they are not speakers; as once at Athens, when two architects were being questioned with a view to a public work, one of them, a wheedling and elegant speaker, moved the people by declaiming a prepared speech about the construction of it, but the other, who was a better architect but lacked the power of speech, Bcame forward and said: "Men of Athens, what he has said, I will do." For, as Sophocles says,19 only those are servants of the goddess of artistry who "on the anvil with a heavy hammer" and with blows work the yielding and innate material of their art. But the spokesman for Athena of the City and Themis of Counsel,

She who dismisses assemblies of men and who also convenes them,20

employing speech as his only instrument, moulding and adapting some things and softening and smoothing off those which are hindrances to his work, such as would be knots in wood or flaws in iron,21 is an ornament to the city. CFor this reason the government in Pericles' time was "in name" as Thucydides says,22 "a democracy, but in fact the rule of the foremost man," because of his power of speech. For Cimon also was a good man, as were Ephialtes and Thucydides, but when the last named was asked by Archidamus King of the Spartans whether he p181 or Pericles was the better wrestler, he replied, "Nobody can tell; for whenever I throw him in wrestling, he says he was not thrown and wins by persuading the onlookers." And this brought not only reputation to Pericles but safety to the State; for while it was swayed by him it preserved its existing prosperity and refrained from foreign entanglements. DBut Nicias, whose policy was the same, but who lacked such power of persuasion and tried to rein in the people with speech as easy as a snaffle, could not restrain or master it, but against his will went off to Sicily on its back and together with it came a cropper. The wolf, they say, cannot be held by the ears; but one must lead a people or a State chiefly by the ears, not, as some do who have no practice in speaking and seek uncultured and inartistic holds upon the people, pulling them by the belly by means of banquets or gifts of money or arranging ballet-dances or gladiatorial shows, by which they lead the common people or rather curry favour with them. EFor leadership of a people is leadership of those who are persuaded by speech; but enticing the mob by such means as have just been mentioned is exactly like catching and herding irrational beasts.

6 1 The speech of the statesman, however, must not be juvenile and theatrical, as if he were making a speech for show and weaving a garland of delicate and flowery words; on the other hand it must not, as Pytheas said of the speech of Demosthenes, smell of the lamp and elaborate literary labour, with sharp arguments Fand with periods precisely measured by rule and compass. No, just as musicians demand that the touch upon the strings exhibit feeling, p183not mere technique, so the speech of the statesman, counsellor, and ruler must not exhibit shrewdness or subtlety, and it must not be to his credit to speak fluently or artistically or distributively,23 but his speech must be full of unaffected character, true high-mindedness, a father's frankness, foresight, and thoughtful concern for others. His speech must also have, in a good cause, a charm that pleases and a winning persuasiveness; 803 in addition to nobility of purpose it must possess grace arising from stately diction and appropriate and persuasive thoughts. And political oratory, much more than that used in a court of law, admits maxims, historical and mythical tales, and metaphors, by means of which those who employ them sparingly and at the proper moment move their audiences exceedingly; as did he who said "Do not make Hellas one-eyed,"24 and Demades when he said he was "governing the wreck of the State,"25 and Archilochus saying

Nor let the stone of Tantalus

Hang o'er the head of this our isle,26

and Pericles when he bade the Athenians to remove "the eyesore of the Peiraeus,"27 and Phocion when he said with reference to the victory of Leosthenes that the furlong race of the war was good, Bbut he was fearful about the long-distance race.28 And in general, loftiness and grandeur of style are more fitting for political speech; examples are the Philippics and among the speeches in Thucydides that of the ephor Sthenelaïdas, that of King Archidamus p185 at Plataea, and that of Pericles after the pestilence.29 But as for the rhetorical efforts and grand periods of Ephorus, Theopompus, and Anaximenes, which they deliver after they have armed and drawn up the armies, it can be said of them,

None talks so foolishly when near the steel.30

7 1 It is true, however, that derision and ridicule are sometimes proper parts of the statesman's speech if employed, not as insults or buffoonery, Cbut for needful reproof and disparagement. That sort of thing is most laudable in rejoinders and replies; for when employed of set purpose and without provocation, it makes the speaker appear to be a clown and carries with it a suspicion of malice, such as was attached to the ridicule in the speeches of Cicero, Cato the Elder, and Aristotle's pupil Euxitheüs, all of whom frequently employed ridicule without previous provocation. But for one who employs it in self-defence the occasion makes it pardonable and at the same time pleasing, as when Demosthenes, in reply to a man who was suspected of being a thief Dand who mocked him for writing at night, said, "I am aware that I offend you by keeping a light burning," and to Demades who shouted, "Demosthenes would correct me — 'the sow correcting Athena,' " he replied, "Yes, your Athena was caught in adultery last year!"31 Witty too was Xenaenetus's rejoinder to the citizens who reviled him for running away when he was general, "Yes, p187to keep you company, my dears." But in jesting one must guard against going too far and against offending one's hearers by jesting at the wrong moment or making the speaker appear ignoble and mean-spirited, as Democrates did; for he went up into the assembly and said that he, like the State, had little strength but much bluster, and at the time of the disaster at Chaeroneia he came forward among the people and said, E"I wish the State had not met with so great a misfortune as to make you listen even to me as adviser," for this remark showed him to be mean-spirited, the other to be crazy, and neither is becoming to a statesman. But in Phocion conciseness of speech was admired. At any rate Polyeuctus declared that Demosthenes was the greatest orator, but Phocion the cleverest in speaking, because his speech contained the most meaning in the fewest words. And Demosthenes though he despised the other orators, used to say when Phocion rose to speak, "The cleaver of my speeches is getting up."

8 1 FMost of all, then, try to employ in addressing the people well-considered, not empty, speech, and to use precaution, knowing that even the great Pericles used to pray before making a public speech that no single utterance foreign to the matter in hand might occur to him. But nevertheless the orator must always keep his speech nimble and in good practice for making apt rejoinders; 804 for occasions arise quickly and often bring with them in public affairs sudden developments. That is why Demosthenes was inferior to many, as they say, because he drew back and hesitated when the occasion called for the opposite course. And Theophrastus tells us that Alcibiades,32 because he planned, not only to say p189the right thing, but to say it in the right way, often while actually speaking would search for words and arrange them into sentences, thereby causing hesitation and failure. But the man who is so moved by the events which take place and the opportunities which offer themselves that he springs to his feet is the one who most thrills the crowd, attracts it, and carries it with him. So it was, for example, with Leo33 of Byzantium; he once came to address the Athenians when they were in political discord, and when they laughed at him because he was a little man, he said, B"What if you should see my wife, who hardly comes up to my knee?" Then when they laughed louder, "And yet," he said, "little as we are, when we quarrel with each other, the city of Byzantium is not big enough to hold us." So also when Pytheas the orator was speaking in opposition to the granting of honours to Alexander and someone said to him, "Do you, at your age, dare to speak on such important matters?" he replied: "And yet Alexander is younger than I, and you are voting to make him a god."

9 1 And the statesman must bring to the struggle of statecraft — a struggle which is not unimportant, but calls for all one's fighting power — speech which is severely trained in firmness of voice and strength of lungs, Cthat he may not be frequently so weary and burnt out as to be defeated by some

Rapacious brawler with a torrent's voice.34

Cato, when he had no hope of winning his cause by persuasion because the popular assembly or the senate was gained over beforehand by favours and interests, used to get up and speak the whole day, p191thus destroying his opponents' opportunity. On the subject, then, of the preparation of one's speech and the way to use it these remarks are enough for one who has the ability to go on and discover the conclusions to be drawn from them.

10 1 There are two entrances to public life and two paths leading to it: one the quick and brilliant road to reputation, by no means without risk, Dthe other more prosaic and slower, but safer. For some men launch out at once into political life with some conspicuous, great, and daring action, like men who launch a vessel from a promontory that juts out into the sea; they think Pindar is right in saying

To a work's beginning we needs must set

A front that shines afar,35

for the masses are more ready to accept the beginner because they are so palled and surfeited with those to whom they are accustomed, just as spectators at a show are glad to accept a new performer; and authority and power that has a brilliant and rapid growth takes envy's breath away. EFor, as Ariston says, fire does not cause smoke, nor reputation envy, if it blazes up quickly at the start, but those who grow great gradually and slowly are attacked one from one side, another from another; hence many men before coming to full bloom as public speakers have withered away. But if, as is said of Ladas,

The noise o' the barrier's fall was in his ears36

p193 even when he has been crowned for his brilliant success on an embassy, for a notable triumph, or for achievement as a general, in such instances neither those who envy a man nor those who despise him have so much power as before. In this way Aratus arrived at fame, Fbeginning his public life with the destruction of the tyrant Nicocles; so Alcibiades, by making the Mantinean alliance against the Lacedaemonians. Pompey demanded a triumph although he had not yet been admitted to the senate, and when Sulla voted against it, he said, "More worship the rising than the setting sun"; and Sulla, when he heard this, withdrew his opposition. And take the case of Cornelius Scipio; it was not because of any chance beginning that the Roman people suddenly and contrary to law appointed him consul when he was a candidate for the aedileship, 805 but rather because they admired his victorious single combat in Iberia when he was a mere youth, and his deeds a little later at Carthage as military tribune, about which Cato the Elder exclaimed

He and he only has sense, the rest are mere flickering shadows.37

Nowadays, then, when the affairs of the cities no longer include leadership in wars, nor the overthrowing of tyrannies, nor acts of alliances, what opening for a conspicuous and brilliant public career could a young man find? There remain the public lawsuits and embassies to the emperor, which demand a man of ardent temperament Band one who possesses both courage and intellect. But there are many excellent lines of endeavour that are neglected p195in our cities which a man may take up, and also many practices resulting from evil custom, that have insinuated themselves to the shame or injury of the city, which a man may remove, and thus turn them to account for himself. Indeed in past times a just verdict gained in a great suit, or good faith in acting as advocate for a weak client against a powerful opponent, or boldness of speech in behalf of the right against a wicked ruler, has opened to some men a glorious entrance into public life. And not a few also have grown great through the enemies they have made by attacking men whose position made them enviable or caused them to be feared; for when such a man is overthrown his power passes at once, Cand with better reputation, to the man who overcame him. For attacking, through motives of envy, a good man who, on account of his virtue, is leader of the state, as Pericles was attacked by Simmias, Themistocles by Alcmeon, Pompey by Clodius, and Epameinondas by Menecleides the orator, is neither conducive to a good reputation nor advantageous in any other way; for when the people have committed a wrong against a good man and then (which happens quickly) repent of their anger, they think the easiest way to excuse themselves for this offence is the most just, namely, to destroy the man who was the author of it and persuaded them to commit it. On the other hand, to revolt against a bad man who by shameless audacity and cunning has made the city subject to himself, Dsuch as Cleon and Cleophon were at Athens, and to pull him down and humble him provides a glorious entrance upon the stage of public life. And I am not ignorant of the fact that some men by curtailing the power of an oppressive and p197oligarchical senate, as Ephialtes did at Athens and Phormio at Elis, have gained at the same time both power and glory; but to one who is just entering upon public life there is a great risk in this. Therefore Solon made a better beginning, when the State was divided into three factions called Ethe Diacrians ("hill-folk"), the Pedieans ("plainsfolk"), and the Paralians ("coastfolk"); for he entangled himself with none of them, but acted for all in common and said and did everything to bring about concord among them, so that he was chosen lawgiver to reconcile their differences and in this way established his rule.38 So many, then, and of such kinds are the more conspicuous ways of entering upon a public career.

11 1 But the safe and leisurely way has been chosen by many famous men — Aristeides, Phocion, Pammenes the Theban, Lucullus at Rome, Cato, the Lacedaemonian Agesilaüs. For just as ivy rises by twining itself about a strong tree, Fso each of these men, by attaching himself while still young to an older man and while still obscure to a man of reputation, being gradually raised up under the shelter of his power and growing great with him, fixed himself firmly and rooted himself in the affairs of State. For Aristeides was made great by Cleisthenes, Phocion by Chabrias, Lucullus by Sulla, Cato by Maximus, Epameinondas aided Pammenes, and Lysander Agesilaüs. But Agesilaüs through untimely ambition and jealousy of Lysander's reputation insulted and quickly cast aside the guide of his actions; but the others in noble and statesmanlike fashion cherished their teachers until p199 the end and joined in honouring them, 806enhancing in turn with their own radiance, and illuminating, like the heavenly bodies that face the sun, that which caused themselves to shine. Certainly Scipio's detractors said that he was the actor, but his friend Laelius the real author of his deeds; Laelius, however, was not puffed up by any of those sayings but continued always eagerly to exalt Scipio's virtue and renown. And Pompey's friend Afranius, even though he was of humble station, nevertheless expected to be elected consul, Bbut when Pompey favoured other candidates, he relinquished his ambition, saying that gaining the consulship would be to him not so much glorious as painful and troublesome, if it were against Pompey's will and without his co‑operation; and so after waiting only one year he both gained the office and retained the friendship.39 Those who are thus led to renown by the hand of others gain favour with many, and at the same time, if anything unpleasant happens, are less disliked; and that is why Philip advised Alexander to gain friends as long as he could while another man was king by having pleasant intercourse with others and maintaining friendly relations with them.

12 1 But anyone who is entering upon a public career should choose as his leader a man Cwho is not merely of established reputation and powerful, but one who is all this on account of real worth. For just as not every tree will accept and support the grape-vine which entwines about it, but some trees stifle and ruin its growth, so in States, the men who are not lovers of what is noble, but merely lovers of honours and of office, do not afford young men opportunities for public activities, but through p201envy repress them and, to speak figuratively, wither them up by depriving them of glory, their natural nourishment. So Marius, after having achieved many successes in Libya and again in Gaul with the help of Sulla, ceased to employ him and cast him off, being angered by his growth in power, Dbut using the incident of the seal as a pretext. For Sulla, when Marius was general and he was quaestor40 in Libya, was sent by Marius to Bocchus and took Jugurtha prisoner; being a young man who had just had his first taste of glory, he did not bear his good fortune with moderation, but had a seal engraved with a representation of his deed — Jugurtha surrendering to him — and wore it.41 Marius threw this up against him and cast him off. And Sulla, transferring his allegiance to Catulus and Metellus, worthy men and opposed to Marius, quickly drove Marius out and broke his power in the civil war after he had almost overthrown Rome. ESulla, however, exalted Pompey from the time of his youth, rising up and uncovering his head when he came near; and also by giving the other young men opportunities for acts of leadership and even by urging some on against their will, he filled his armies with ambition and eagerness; and he gained power over them all by wishing to be, not the only great man, but first and greatest among many great ones. Such, then, are the men to whom young statesmen should attach themselves and cling closely, not snatching glory away from them, like Aesop's wren Fwho was carried up on the eagle's shoulders, then suddenly flew out and got ahead of him, but p203receiving it from them in goodwill and friendship, knowing that no one can ever command well who has not first learned rightly to obey, as Plato says.42

13 1 Next after this comes the decision to be made concerning friends, and here we approve neither the idea of Themistocles nor that of Cleon. For Cleon, when he first decided to take up political life, brought his friends together and renounced his friendship with them as something which often weakens and perverts the right and just choice of policy in political life. But he would have done better if he had cast out from his soul avarice and love of strife 807 and had cleansed himself of envy and malice; for the State needs, not men who have no friends or comrades, but good and self-controlled men. As it was, he drove away his friends,

But a hundred heads of cursed flatterers circling fawned43

about him, as the comic poets say; and being rough and harsh to the better classes he in turn subjected himself to the multitude in order to win its favour,

Its old age tending, dosing it with pay,44

and making the basest and most unsound element of the people his associates against the best. But Themistocles on the other hand, when someone said that he would govern well if he showed himself equally impartial to all, replied: B"May I never p205 take my seat on such a throne that my friends shall not have more from me than those who are not my friends!" He also was wrong; for he put the government under pledge to his friendship, subordinating the affairs of the community and the public to private favours and interests. And yet when Simonides asked for something that was not just, he said to him: "Neither is he a good poet who sings contrary to metre, nor is he an equitable ruler who grants favours contrary to law."b For truly it is an outrageous and abominable thing if a pilot selects sailors and a ship-captain selects a pilot

CWell knowing how at the stern to hold steady the tiller and also

How to stretch taut the yard ropes when rises the onrushing tempest,45

and an architect chooses subordinates and handicraftsmen who will not spoil his work but will co‑operate to perfect it, whereas the statesman, who is, as Pindar says,46 the best of craftsmen and the maker of lawfulness and justice, does not immediately choose friends whose convictions are like his own, who will aid him and share his enthusiasm for what is noble, but rather those who are always wrongfully and by violent means trying to divert him to various other uses. DSuch a statesman will be found to be no better than a builder or a carpenter who through ignorance and error makes use of such squares and rulers and levels as are sure to make his work crooked. For friends are the living and thinking tools of the statesman, and he ought not to slip with them when they go wrong, but he must be on the watch that p207they do not err even through ignorance. In fact, it was this that disgraced Solon and brought him into disrepute among the citizens; for when he made up his mind to lighten debts and to introduce the Seisachtheia47 E(that was the nickname for the cancellation of debts), he told his friends about it, and they did a very wrong thing; they secretly borrowed a great deal of money before the law was punished, and a little later, after its publication, they were found to have bought splendid houses and much land with the money they had borrowed, and Solon, who was wronged, was accused of sharing in their wrongdoing. Agesilaüs, too, showed himself very weak and poor-spirited in dealing with his friends' solicitations and, like Pegasus in Euripides' drama,

Crouched down and yielded more if more he wished,48

and by too great eagerness in aiding them when in misfortunes he made himself seem like them in wrongdoing; Ffor example, when Phoebidas was on trial for seizing the Cadmeia without orders, he got him off by saying that such things were bound to happen of their own accord; and when Sphodrias was being tried for an illegal and frightful act (for he had invaded Attica when the Athenians were friends and allies), he brought about his acquittal, being softened by the amorous pleadings of his son. And a note of his to a certain ruler is quoted as follows: 808"If Nicias is innocent, let him go; if he is guilty, let him go for my sake; anyway, let him go."49 But Phocion did p209not even appear in support of his son-in‑law Charicles when he was accused in connexion with the Harpalus affair; he merely said: "I made you my son-in‑law for nothing but what is right" and went away. And Timoleon of Corinth,50 when he was unable either by instruction or by entreaty to make his brother give up his tyranny, joined with those who destroyed him. For a statesman ought, by stopping short of being a party to perjury, not to be a "friend as far as the altar,"51 as Pericles once said, Bbut only so far as conforms to any law, equity, or advantage the neglect of which leads to great public injury, as did the failure to punish Sphodrias and Phoebidas, for they did a great deal to make Sparta enter into the Leuctrian war. For the principles that govern a statesman's conduct do not force him to act with severity against the moderate errors of his friends; on the contrary, they make it possible for him, after he has once made the chief public interests safe, out of his abundant resources to assist his friends, take his stand beside them, and help them out of their troubles. And there are also favours which arouse no ill-will, such as aiding a friend to gain an office, Cputting into his hands some honourable administrative function or some friendly foreign mission, for example one which includes honours to a ruler or negotiations with a State concerning friendship and concord; and if some public activity be laborious, but conspicuous and important, the statesman can first appoint himself to the post and then choose his friend as assistant, just as Diomedes did:

p211 So if you tell me myself to choose another as comrade,

How in that case could I e'er be forgetful of godlike Odysseus?52

And Odysseus again fittingly returns the compliment:

Now these horses, old sir, these new ones, of which thou inquirest,

Thracian they are, but their master was slain by the brave Diomedes.

Slain and beside him his comrades, twelve comrades and all of the noblest.53

For such concession to one's friends adorns those who give praise no less than those who receive it; Dbut self-conceit, says Plato,54 dwells with loneliness. Then, besides, a man ought to ascribe to his friends a share in his own good and kindly acts of favour; he should tell those who have been benefited to praise and show them affection as the originators and advisers of the favours. But base and absurd requests he should reject, not harshly but gently, informing the askers by way of consolation that the requests are not in accord with their own excellence and reputation. EEpameinondas exemplifies this most admirably: after refusing to let the pedlar out of prison at Pelopidas's request and then letting him out a little later when his mistress asked it, he said, "Favours of that sort, Pelopidas, are fit for courtesans to receive, but not for generals." But Cato acted harshly and arbitrarily when he was quaestor, and Catulus the censor, one of his most intimate friends, asked for the acquittal of a man who was being tried, by saying: "It is a disgrace that you, whose duty it is to train us young men to honourable conduct, have to be thrown out by our servants."c For he might, while refusing the p213favour in fact, Fhave avoided harshness and bitterness of speech, by producing the impression that the offensive quality of his action was not due to his own will, but was forced upon him by law and justice. There are also in public life ways which are not dishonourable of helping friends who need money to acquire it; as, for example, when after the battle Themistocles saw a corpse wearing a golden bracelet and necklace, he himself passed it by, but turned to his friend and said, "Take these things, for you are not, as I am, Themistocles." 809 For the administration of affairs frequently gives the man in public life this sort of chance to help his friends; for not every man is a Menemachus.55 Hand over to one friend a case at law which will bring in a good fee as advocate in a just cause, to another introduce a rich man who needs legal oversight and protection, and help another to get some profitable contract or lease. Epameinondas even told a friend to go to a certain rich man and ask for a talent, saying that it was he who bade him give it; and when the man who had been asked for it came and asked him the reason, he replied: "Because this man is a good man and poor, but you are rich since you have appropriated much of the State's wealth." BAnd Xenophon56 says that Agesilaüs delighted in enriching his friends, he being himself above money.

14 1 But since, to quote Simonides,57 "all larks must grow a crest," and every public career bears its crop of enmities and disagreements, the public man must give especial consideration to these matters. So most people commend Themistocles and Aristeides who, whenever they went on an embassy or in command p215 of an army, laid down their private enmity at the frontier, then took it up again later. And some people are also immensely pleased by the conduct of Cretinas of Magnesia. CHe was a political opponent of Hermeias, a man who was not powerful but was of ambitious spirit and brilliant mind, and when the Mithridatic war broke out, seeing that the State was in danger, he told Hermeias to take over the command and manage affairs, while he himself withdrew; or, if Hermeias wished him to be general, then Hermeias should remove himself, that they might not by ambitious strife with one another destroy the State. The challenge pleased Hermeias, and saying that Cretinas was more versed in war than himself, he went away with his wife and children. And as he was departing Cretinas escorted him, first giving him out of his own means such things as were more useful to exiles Dthan to people besieged in a city, after which by his excellent military leadership he saved the State unexpectedly when it was on the brink of destruction. For if it is a noble thing and the mark of an exalted spirit to exclaim

I love my children, but I love my country more,58

would it not have been easier for each of them to say, "I hate so-and‑so and wish to do him harm, but I love my country more"? For to be unwilling to make peace with a personal enemy for the sake of those things for which we ought even to give up a friend is shockingly uncivilized and as low as the beasts. Certainly Phocion and Cato and their like acted much better, for they would allow no personal enmity to have any bearing whatsoever upon political p217 differences, Ebut were stern and inexorable only in public contests against sacrificing what was for the common good; yet in private matters they treated kindly and without anger their political opponents. For the statesman should not regard any fellow-citizen as an enemy, unless some man, such as Aristion, Nabis, or Catiline, should appear who is a pest and a running sore to the State. Those who are in other ways out of harmony he should, like a skilful musician, bring into unison by gently tightening or relaxing the strings of his control, not attacking angrily and insultingly those who err, but making an appeal designed rather to make a moral impression, as Homer does:

FTruly, my friend, I did think you surpassed other men in your wisdom;59

and

Knowledge thou hast to devise other speech that is better than this was.60

But if they say or do anything good, he should not be vexed by their honours, nor should he be sparing of complimentary words for their good actions; for if we act in this way our blame, where it is needed, will be thought justified, and we shall make them dislike evil by exalting virtue and showing through comparison that good actions are more worthy and fitting than the other kind. 810 And I think also that the statesman should give testimony in just causes even for his opponents, should aid them in court against the malicious prosecutors, and should discredit calumnies about them if such accusations are alien to the principles they profess; just as the infamous Nero, a little before he put Thrasea to death, whom he hated and feared intensely, nevertheless when someone p219 accused him of a bad and unjust decision in court, said: "I wish Thrasea were as good a friend to me as he is a most excellent judge."

And it is not a bad method for confounding persons of a different kind, men who are naturally vicious and prone to evil conduct, to mention to them some enemy of theirs who is of finer character and to say: "He would not have said that or done that." BAnd some men, too, when they do wrong, should be reminded of their excellent fathers, as Homer says:

Truly not much like his sire is the son who was gotten by Tydeus;61

And Appius, when competing with Scipio Africanus62 in the elections, said: "O Paulus, how you would groan in the lower world if you saw that when your son was standing for the censorship Philonicus the publican acted as his bodyguard!" Such sayings serve at once to rebuke wrongdoers and to add lustre to those who administer the rebuke. And the Nestor of Sophocles, too, made a statesmanlike reply when reviled by Ajax:

CI blame thee not; for good thy acts, though ill thy speech.63

And Cato, although he had opposed Pompey in the violent measures which he and Caesar applied to the State, when war broke out between them advised handing over the leadership to Pompey, saying: "The men who can bring about great evils can also end them." For blame which is mingled with praise and contains nothing insulting but merely frankness p221of speech, and arouses not anger but a pricking of the conscience and repentance, appears both kindly and healing; but abusive speech is not at all fitting for statesmen. Observe the things that were said by Demosthenes against Aeschines and by Aeschines against him and again those which Hypereides wrote against Demades, and ask yourself if a Solon Dor a Pericles or Lycurgus the Lacedaemonian or Pittacus the Lesbian would have said them. And yet even Demosthenes employs abuse only in his speeches before a court of law; the Philippics are free from all jeering and scurrility. For such things bring disgrace upon the speakers rather than upon those spoken of, and moreover they bring confusion into the conduct of affairs and they disturb councils and assemblies. Therefore Phocion did well when he stopped speaking and yielded the floor to a man who was reviling him, and then, when the fellow had at last become silent, came forward again saying: "Well, then, about the cavalry and the heavy infantry you have heard already; it remains for me to discuss the light infantry and the targeteers." EBut since many men find it hard to endure that sort of thing quietly, and abusive speakers are often, and not without general benefit, made to shut their mouths by the retorts they evoke, let the reply be brief in wording, showing no temper and no extreme rancour, but urbanity mingled with playfulness and grace which somehow or other has a sting in it. Retorts which turn his own words back upon the speaker are especially good in this way. For just as things which are thrown and return to the thrower seem to do this because they are driven back by some force and firmness of that against p223which they are thrown, Fso that which is spoken seems through the force and intellect of him who has been abused to turn back upon those who uttered the abuse. For example, the retort of Epameinondas to Callistratus, who reproached the Thebans and the Argives because Oedipus killed his father and Orestes killed his mother: "When we had driven out the doers of those deeds, you took them in," and that of Antalcidas the Spartan to the Athenian who said "We have often chased you away from the Cephissus," "Yes, but we have never had to chase you from the Eurotas." 811And Phocion also made a witty retort, when, after Demades had screamed "The Athenians will put you to death," he replied, "Yes, if they are crazy; but you are the one whom they will execute, if they are sane." And Crassus the orator, when Domitius said to him, "It was you, was it not, who wept when a lamprey died that you kept in a tank?" retorted with the question, "It was you, was it not, who buried three wives without shedding a tear?" Apt replies of this sort, however, are of some use also in life in general.

15 1 There are men who enter upon every kind of public service, as Cato did, claiming that the good citizen ought, so far as in him lies, Bto omit no trouble or diligence; and they commend Epameinondas because, when through envy and as an insult he had been appointed telmarch64 by the Thebans, he did not neglect his duties, but saying that not only does the office distinguish the man, but also the man the p225 office, he advanced the telmarchy to a position of great consideration and dignity, though previously it had been nothing but a sort of supervision of the alleys for the removal of dung and the draining off of water in the streets. And no doubt I myself seem ridiculous to visitors in our town when I am seen in public, as I often am, engaged in such matters. But I am helped by the remark of Antisthenes which has been handed down to memory; for when someone expressed surprise, Cthat he himself carried a dried fish through the market-place, he said, "Yes, but it's for myself"; but I, on the other hand, say to those who criticize me for standing and watching tiles being measured or concrete or stones being delivered, that I attend to these things, not for myself, but for my native place. Yes, for there are many other things in regard to which a man would be petty and sordid who managed them for himself and attended to them for his own sake, but if he does it for the public and for the State's sake, he is not ignoble, on the contrary his attention to duty and his zeal are all the greater when applied to little things. But there are others who think the conduct of Pericles was more dignified and splendid, one of whom is Critolaüs the Peripatetic, who claims that Djust as the Salaminia and the Paralus, ships at Athens, were not sent out to sea for every service, but only for necessary and important missions, so the statesman should employ himself for the most momentous and important matters, as does the King of the Universe,

For God great things doth take in hand,

But small things passing by he leaves to chance,65

according to Euripides.

p227 Neither do we commend the ambition and contentiousness of Theagenes who, after being victorious, not only in the circuit of festivals,66 but in many other contests besides, not only in the pancratium, but also in boxing and long-distance running,67 at last, when at certain commemorative funeral ceremonies he was partaking of the feast to honour the deceased as a hero, and all present had, as was the custom, their several portions set out before them, Esprang up and performed a whole pancratium, as if it were wrong for anyone else to be a victor when he was present; for he had collected by such means twelve hundred head-bands, most of which might be regarded as rubbish. Now there is no difference between him and those who strip for every political activity; they soon cause themselves to be criticized by the multitude; they become unpopular and arouse envy when they are successful, but joy when they meet with failure; and that which was admired in them when they began to hold office results at last in mockery and ridicule. Such are the lines:

FMetiochus, you see, is general, Metiochus inspects the roads,

Metiochus inspects the bread, and Metiochus inspects the flour,

Metiochus takes care of all things, Metiochus will come to grief.68

He was one of Pericles' followers and seems to have used the power gained through him in such a way as to arouse odium and disgust. For the statesman ought, as they say, to find the people fond of him when he comes to them and to leave a longing for p229 him when he is not there; which Scipio Africanus accomplished 812 by spending much of his time in the country, thereby at one and the same time removing the weight of envy and giving a breathing-space to those who thought they were oppressed by his glory. But Timesias of Clazomenae was in other respects a good man in his service to the State, but by doing everything himself he had aroused rancour and hatred; but of this he was unaware until the following incident took place:— Some boys were knocking a knuckle-bone out of a hole when he was passing by; and some of them said it was sit in the hole, but the boy who had struck at it said: "I'd like to knock the brains out of Timesias as truly as this has been knocked out of the hole." Timesias, hearing this and understanding that dislike of him had permeated all the people, Breturned home and told his wife what had happened; and directing her to pack up and follow him, he went immediately away from his house and out from the city. And it appears that Themistocles, when he meet with some treatment from the Athenians, said, "Why, my dear people, are you tired of receiving repeated benefits?"d

Now of such sayings some are well said, others are not. For so far as goodwill and solicitude for the common weal are concerned, a statesman should not hold aloof from any part of public affairs, but should pay attention to them all and inform himself about all details; nor should he, as the ship's gear called sacred69 is stowed apart, hold himself aloof, Cwaiting for the extreme necessities and fortunes of the State; but perform other duties by means of different instruments operated by different agents, thus giving p231a turn or a twist to the instruments while they sit apart, and they make use of sailors, look-out men, and boatswains, some of whom they often call to the stern and entrust with the tiller, just so it is fitting that the statesman should yield office to others and should invite them to the orators' platform in a gracious and kindly manner, and he should not try to administer all the affairs of the State by his own speeches, decrees, and actions, but should have good, trustworthy men and employ each of them for each particular service according to his fitness. DSo Pericles made use of Menippus for the position of general, humbled the Council of the Areopagus by means of Ephialtes, passed the decree against the Megarians70 by means of Charinus, and sent Lampon out as founder of Thurii. For, when power seems to be distributed among many, not only does the weight of hatreds and enmities become less troublesome, but there is also greater efficiency in the conduct of affairs. For just as the division of the hand into fingers does not make it weak, but renders it a more skillful instrument for use, so the statesman who gives to others a share in the government Emakes action more effective by co‑operation. But he who through insatiable greed of fame or power puts the whole burden of the State upon himself and sets himself even to tasks for which he is not fitted by nature or by training (as Cleon set himself to leading armies, Philopoemen to commanding ships, and Hannibal to haranguing the people) — such a man has no excuse when he makes mistakes, but will have to hear Euripides quoted to boot,

A joiner thou, yet didst a task essay

That was no carpentry.71

p233 So, being no persuasive speaker, you went on an embassy, or being easy-going you undertook administration, being ignorant of accounting you were treasurer, or when old and feeble you took command of an army. FBut Pericles divided the power with Cimon so that he should himself be ruler in the city and Cimon should man the ships and wage war against the barbarians; for one of them was more gifted for civic government, the other for war. And Eubulus the Anaphlystian also is commended because, although few men enjoyed so much confidence and power as he, yet he administered none of the Hellenic affairs72 and did not take the post of general, but applied himself to the finances, increased the revenues, and did the State much good thereby. But Iphicrates was jeered at when he did exercises in speaking at his home in the presence of many hearers; 813for even if he had been a good speaker, and not, as he was, a poor one, he ought to have been contented with glory in arms and to have left the school to the sophists.

16 1 But since there is in every democracy a spirit of malice and fault-finding directed against men in public life, and they suspect that many desirable measures, if there is no party opposition and no expression of dissent, are done by conspiracy, and this subjects a man's associations and friends to calumny, statesmen ought not to let any real enmity or disagreement against themselves subsist, as Onomademuse the popular leader of the Chians did when, after his victory in the factional strife, he refused to have all his opponents banished from the city, B"that we may not," he said, "begin to quarrel with our friends when we have altogether got rid of our enemies." Now that was silly; but when the populace p235 are suspicious about some important and salutary measure, the statesmen when they come to the assembly ought not all to express the same opinion, as if by previous agreement, but two or three of the friends should dissent and quietly speak on the other side, then change in their position as if they had been convinced; for in this way they draw the people along with them, since they appear to be influenced only by the public advantage. In small matters, however, which do not amount to much, Cit is not a bad thing to let one's friends really disagree, each following his own reasoning, that in matters of the highest importance their agreement upon the best policy may not seem to be prearranged.

17 1 Now the statesman is always by nature ruler of the State, like the leader73 bee in the hive, and bearing this in mind he ought to keep public matters in his own hands; but offices which are called "authoritative" and are elective he ought not to seek too eagerly or often, for love of office is neither dignified nor popular; nor should he refuse them, if the people offer them and call him to them in accordance with the law, but even if they be too small for a man of his reputation, he should accept them and exercise them with zeal; Dfor it is right that men who are adorned with the highest offices should in turn adorn the lesser, and that statesmen should show moderation, giving up and yielding some part of the weightier offices, such as the generalship at Athens, the prytany at Rhodes, and the Boeotarchy here, and should add to the minor offices dignity and grandeur, that we may not be despised in connexion with the latter, nor envied on account of the former. And when entering upon any office whatsoever, you p237must not only call to mind those considerations of which Pericles reminded himself when he assumed the cloak of a general: E"Take care, Pericles; you are ruling free men, you are ruling Greeks, Athenian citizens," but you must also say to yourself: "You who rule are a subject, ruling a State controlled by proconsuls, the agents of peace; 'these are not the spearmen of the plain,'74 nor is this ancient Sardis, nor the famed Lydian power." You should arrange your cloak more carefully and from the office of the generals keep your eyes upon the orators' platform, and not have great pride or confidence in your crown, since you see the boots of Roman soldiers just above your head. FNo, you should imitate the actors, who, while putting into the performance their own passion, character, and reputation, yet listen to the prompter and do not go beyond the degree of liberty in rhythms and metres permitted by those in authority over them.75 For to fail in one's part in public life brings not mere hissing or catcalls or stamping of feet, but many have experienced

The dread chastiser, axe that cleaves the neck,76

as did your countryman Pardalas and his followers when they forgot their proper limitations. And many another, banished to an island, has become, as Solon says,77

Pholegandrian or Sicinete,

814No more Athenian, having changed his home.

p239 Furthermore when we see little children trying playfully to bind their fathers' shoes on their feet or fit their crowns upon their heads, we only laugh, but the officials in the cities, when they foolishly urge the people to imitate the deeds, ideals, and actions of their ancestors, however unsuitable they may be to the present times and conditions, stir up the common folk and, though what they do is laughable, what is done to them is no laughing matter, unless they are merely treated with utter contempt. Indeed there are many acts of the Greeks of former times Bby recounting which the statesman can mould and correct the characters of our contemporaries, for example, at Athens by calling to mind, not deeds in war, but such things as the decree of amnesty after the downfall of the Thirty Tyrants, the fining of Phrynichus for presenting in a tragedy the capture of Miletus, their decking their heads with garlands when Cassander refounded Thebes; how, when they heard of the clubbing at Argos, in which the Argives killed fifteen hundred of their own citizens, they decreed that an expiatory sacrifice be carried about in the assembly; and how, when they were searching the houses at the time of Harpalus's frauds,78 they passed by only one, that of a newly married man. By emulating acts like these Cit is even now possible to resemble our ancestors, but Marathon, the Eurymedon, Plataea, and all the other examples which make the common folk vainly to swell with p241pride and kick up their heels, should be left to the schools of the sophists.

18 1 And not only should the statesman show himself and his native State blameless towards our rulers,79 but he should also have always a friend among the men of high station who have the greatest power as a firm bulwark, so to speak, of his administration; for the Romans themselves are most eager to promote the political interests of their friends; and it is a fine thing also, when we gain advantage from the friendship of great men, to turn it to the welfare of our community, as Polybius and Panaetius, through Scipio's goodwill towards them, Dconferred great benefits upon their native States.80 And Caesar,81 when he took Alexandria, drove into the city holding Areius by the hand and conversing with him only of all his friends, then said to the Alexandrians, who were expecting the most extreme measures and were begging for mercy, that he pardoned them on account of the greatness of their city and for the sake of its founder Alexander, "and thirdly," said he, "as a favour to my friend here." Is there any comparison between such a favour and the procuratorships and governorships of provinces from which many talents may be gained and in pursuit of which most public men grow old haunting the doors of other men's houses82 and leaving their own affairs uncared for? p243EOr should we correct Euripides83 when he chants the sentiment that if a man must spend sleepless nights and haunt another man's court and subject himself to an intimacy with a great man, it is best to do so for the sake of his native land, but otherwise it is best to welcome and hold fast friendships based on equality and justice?

19 1 However, the statesman, while making his native State readily obedient to its sovereigns, must not further humble it; Fnor, when the leg has been fettered, go on and subject the neck to the yoke, as some who do, by referring everything, great or small, to the sovereigns, bring the reproach of slavery upon their country, or rather wholly destroy its constitutional government, making it dazed, timid, and powerless in everything. For just as those who have become accustomed neither to dine nor to bathe except by the physician's orders do not even enjoy that degree of health which nature grants them, so those who invite the sovereign's decision on every decree, meeting of a council, granting of a privilege,84 or administrative measure, 815 force their sovereign to be their master more than he desires. And the cause of this is chiefly the greed and contentiousness of the foremost citizens; for either, in cases in which they are injuring their inferior, they force them into exile from the State, or, in matters concerning which they differ among themselves, since they are unwilling p245 to occupy an inferior position among their fellow-citizens, they call in those who are mightier; and as a result senate, popular assembly, courts, and the entire local government lose their authority. But the statesman should soothe the ordinary citizens by granting them equality and the powerful by concessions in return, thus keeping them within the bounds of the local government and solving their difficulties Bas if they were diseases, making for them, as it were, a sort of secret political medicine; he will prefer to be himself defeated among his fellow-citizens rather than to be successful by outraging and destroying the principles of justice in his own city and he will beg everyone else to do likewise, and will teach them how great an evil is contentiousness. But as it is, not only do they not make honourable and gracious compromises with their fellow-citizens and tribesmen85 at home and with their neighbours and colleagues in office, but they carry their dissensions outside to the doors of professional orators and put them in the hands of lawyers, to their own great injury and disgrace. For when physicians cannot entirely eradicate diseases, they turn them outwards to the surface of the body; but the statesman, if he cannot keep the State entirely free from troubles, will at any rate try to cure and control whatever disturbs it and causes sedition, keeping it meanwhile hidden within the State, so that it may have as little need as possible of physicians and medicine drawn from outside. For the policy of the statesman should be that which holds fast to security Cand avoids the tumultuous and mad impulse of empty opinion, as has been said. In his disposition, however, high spirit and

p247 courage must be, full of daring,

Dauntless, and such as inspires all men who for weal of their country

'Gainst men of hostile intent86

and against difficult conditions and times stand firm in resistance and struggle to the end. For he must not create storms himself, and yet he must not desert the State when storms fall upon it; he must not stir up the State and make it reel perilously, Dbut when it is reeling and in danger, he must come to its assistance and employ his frankness of speech as a sacred anchor87 heaved over in the greatest perils. Such were the troubles which overtook the Pergamenes under Nero and the Rhodians recently under Domitian and the Thessalians earlier under Augustus, when they burned Petraeus alive.

Then slumb'ring thou never wouldst see him,88

nor cowering in fear, the man who is really a statesman, nor would you see how throwing blame upon others and putting himself out of danger, but you will see him serving on embassies, sailing the seas and saying first not only

Here we have come, the slayers; avert thou the plague, O Apollo,89

but, even though he had no part in the wrongdoing of the people, taking dangers upon himself in their behalf. EFor this is noble; and besides being noble, one man's excellence and wisdom by arousing admiration has often mitigated anger which has been p249 aroused against the whole people and has dissipated the threatened terror and bitterness. Something of that sort seems to have happened to the Persian king in the case of Boulis and Sperchis90 the Spartans, and happened to Pompey in the case of Sthenno,91 when, as he was going to punish the Mamertines for revolting, FSthenno told him that he would be doing wrong if he should destroy many innocent men for the fault of one; for, he said, it was he himself who had caused the city to revolt by persuading his friends and compelling his enemies. This so affected Pompey that he let the city go unpunished and also treated Sthenno kindly. But Sulla's guest-friend, practising virtue of the same sort but not having to do with the same sort of man, met with a noble end. 816For when Sulla, after the capture of Praeneste,º was going to slaughter all the rest of the citizens but was letting that one man go on account of his guest-friendship, he declared that he would not be indebted for his life to the slayer of his fatherland, and then mingled with his fellow-citizens and was cut down with them. However, we must pray to be spared such crises and must hope for better things.

20 1 And deeming every public office to be something great and sacred, we must also pay the highest honour to one who holds an office; but the honour of an office resides in concord and friendship with one's colleagues much more than in crowns and a purple-bordered robe. BBut those who consider that serving together in a campaign or in the school for young citizens92 is the beginning p251of friendship, but regard joint service in the generalship or other office as the cause of enmity, have failed to avoid one of the three evils; for either they regard their colleagues as their equals and are themselves factious, or they envy them as their superiors, or despise them as their inferiors. But a man ought to conciliate his superior, add prestige to his inferior, honour his equal, and be affable and friendly to all, considering that they have been made

Friends, not of festive board,

nor of tankard,

nor of fireside's cheer,93

but all alike by vote of the people, and that they bear goodwill toward one another as a heritage, so to speak, from their fatherland. CAt any rate Scipio was criticized in Rome because, when he entertained his friends at the dedication of the temple of Hercules, he did not include his colleague Mummius; for even if in general the two men did not consider themselves friends, on such occasions they usually thought it proper to show honour and friendliness to each other on account of their office. Inasmuch, therefore, as the omission of so slight an act of courtesy brought a reputation for haughtiness to Scipio, a man in other respects admirable, how can anyone be considered honourable and fair-minded who detracts from the dignity of a colleague in office, or maliciously flouts him by actions which reveal ambitious rivalry, Dor is so self-willed that he arrogates and annexes to himself everything, in short, at the expense of his colleague? I recollect that when I was still a young man I was sent with another as envoy to p253the proconsul; the other man was somehow left behind. I alone met the proconsul and accomplished the business. Now when I came back and was to make the report of our mission, my father left his seat and told me in private not to say "I went," but "we went," not "I said," but "we said," and in all other ways to associate my colleague in a joint report. EFor that sort of thing is not only honourable and kind, but it also takes the sting out of any envy of our reputation. And therefore great men ascribe to God and to Fortune a share in their successes, as Timoleon, who put down the tyrannies in Sicily, founded a sanctuary of Automatia (Chance);f and Python, when he was admired and honoured by the Athenians for slaying Cotys, said "God did this, borrowing from me the hand that did the deed."g And Theopompus, King of the Lacedaemonians, replied to the man who said that Sparta was preserved because the kings were fitted to rule, "No, it is rather because the people are fitted to obey."h

21 1 FNow both of these arise from each other. Most people say and believe that it is the business of political teaching to cause men to be good subjects; for, they say, the subject class is in every State larger than the ruling class; and each official rules but a short time, whereas he is ruled all the time, if he is a citizen of a democracy; so that it is a most excellent and useful thing to learn to obey those in authority, even if they happen to be deficient in power and reputation. For it is absurd that in a tragedy the chief actor, even though he is p255a Theodorus or a Polus,94 often makes his entrance after a hireling who takes third-class parts and addresses in humble fashion, just because the latter wears the diadem and sceptre, 817 but that in real affairs and in government the rich and famous man belittles and despises the official who is plebeian and poor, thereby using his own high standing to insult and destroy that of the State, instead of enhancing it rather and adding to the office the esteem and power derived from himself. So at Sparta the kings gave precedence to the ephors, and if any other Spartan was summoned, he did not walk slowly in obeying the summons, but by running eagerly at full speed through the market-place they exhibited to their fellow-citizens their spirit of obedience, rejoicing in paying honour to their rulers. BThey did not behave like some uncultured and unmannerly persons who, as if swaggering in the excess of their own power, abuse the umpires at the games, revile the choregi at the Dionysiac festival, and jeer at generals and gymnasiarchs, not knowing and not understanding that it is often more glorious to pay honour than to receive it. For to a man who has great power in the State greater distinction accrues through serving in the bodyguard and the escort of an official than through being so served and escorted by him, or rather the latter brings him dislike and p257 envy, but the former brings true reputation, that which comes from goodwill; Cand by being seen sometimes at the official's door, by greeting him first, and by putting him in the middle place95 in walking a man adds lustre to the State without taking anything from himself.

22 1 And it is also a service to the people sometimes to endure the evil speech and anger of a man in office, repeating to oneself either the words of Diomedes:

For unto him will accrue mighty glory,96

or the saying of Demosthenes,97 that now he is not only Demosthenes, but also one of the thesmothetae,98 or a choregus, or the wearer of a crown.99 We should, therefore, put off our requital to the right time; for then either we shall attack him after his term of office is ended or in the delay our gain will be the cessation of anger.

23 1 DOne should, however, always vie with every official in zeal, forethought for the common good, and wisdom; if they are worthy men, by voluntarily suggesting and pointing out the things to be done and allowing them to make use of well-considered ideas and to be held in high esteem because they are benefactors of the community. But if there is in them any reluctance, delay, or ill-will as to putting such suggestions into effect, then a man ought to come forward of himself and address the people, and he should not neglect or slight the public interests on the ground that because someone else is in office p259 it is not proper for him to meddle and mix in the administration of affairs. EFor the law always gives the first rank in the government to him who does what is right and recognizes what is advantageous. "Now there was," says he,100 "in the army a man named Xenophon, neither a general nor a captain,"101 but by perceiving what was needed and daring to do it he put himself in command and saved the Greeks. And of Philopoemen's deeds the most brilliant is this, that when Nabis had taken Messenê, and the general of the Achaeans was so cowardly that he would not go to the assistance of the place, he himself with the most eager patriots set out and took the city without any decree of the council. Certainly it is well to make innovations, not for the sake of small or casual matters, Fbut in cases of necessity, as Philopoemen did, or for glorious causes, as Epameinondas did when contrary to the law he added four months to the Boeotarchy,102 in which time he invaded Laconia and carried out his measures at Messenê;103 so that if any accusation or blame be brought against us on this account we may have necessity as our defence against the charge, or the greatness and glory of the action as a consolation for the risk.

24 1 A saying of Jason, monarch of the Thessalians, is recorded, which he always used to repeat whenever he was taking violent and annoying measures against individuals: 818 "It is inevitable that those should act unjustly in small matters who wish to act justly in great matters."i That is recognized at once as the saying of a despot; but this is a more p261statesmanlike precept: "Win the favour of the people by giving way in small things in order that in greater matters you may oppose them stubbornly and thus prevent them from committing errors." For a man who is always very exact and strenuous about everything, not giving way or yielding at all, but always harsh and inexorable, gets the people into the habit of opposing him and being out of temper with him;

But he should let the sheet

Run out a bit before the waves' great force,104

Bsometimes by giving way and playing graciously with them himself, as at sacrifices, public games, and spectacles in the theatre, and sometimes by pretending not to see or hear their errors, just as we treat the errors of the young people in a family, in order that the force of his rebukes and outspoken criticism — like that of a medicine — may not become exhausted or stale, but may in matters of greater importance, retaining its full strength and credit, take a stronger hold upon the people and sting them into obedience. Alexander, for example, when he heard that his sister had had intercourse with a handsome young man, did not burst into a rage, Cbut merely remarked that she also ought to be allowed to get some enjoyment out of her royal station. In making such concessions he did not act rightly or in a manner worthy of himself; for the weakening of a throne and outrageous conduct should not be regarded as mere enjoyment. But to the people the statesman will, so far as is possible, permit no outrageous conduct towards the citizens, no confiscation of others' property, nor distribution p263 of public funds, but by persuasion, arguments, and threats he will oppose to the bitter end desires of that sort, by nourishing and increasing which Cleon and his partisans produced in the State, as Plato says,105 a swarm of drones with stings. But if the people, taking an ancestral festival or the worship of some god as a pretext, are bent upon some public spectacle or a slight distribution of funds, or a gift for the general good or some lavish shows prompted by private ambition, Dfor such purposes let them reap the benefit both of their generosity and of their prosperity. Why, among the public acts of Pericles and of Demetrius are many of that sort, and Cimon beautified the market-place by planting plane-trees and laying out walks. And Cato, seeing that the people was being greatly stirred up by Caesar in the affair of Catiline and was dangerously inclined towards a revolution, persuaded the senate to vote a dole to the poor, and the giving of this halted the disturbance and ended the uprising. For just as a physician, after drawing off a great deal of infected blood, Esupplies a little harmless nourishment, so the statesman, after doing away with something big which was discreditable or harmful, appeases the spirit of discontent and fault-finding by some slight and kindly act of favour.

25 1 It is also expedient to divert the people's interest to other useful things, as Demades did when he had the revenues of the State in his charge; for when the people were eager to send out triremes to aid those who were in revolt against Alexander,106 and were urging him to furnish funds, "You have," he said, "funds available, for I have made preparations p265 for the Pitcher Festival107 so that each of you is to receive a half-mina, but if you had rather apply the funds to this other purpose, use your own money for the festival." FAnd in this way, since they gave up the expedition in order not to lose the distribution of money, he removed any ground of complaint on Alexander's part against the people of Athens. For there are many unprofitable measures which the statesman cannot avert by direct means, but he must use some sort of roundabout and circuitous methods, 819 such as Phocion employed when ordered at an inopportune time to invade Boeotia. He immediately issued a proclamation108 calling all those from the age of military service up to sixty years to join the ranks, and when the older men made a violent protest, he said: "What is there terrible about it? For I, your general, who am eighty years old, shall be with you." So in this way we should prevent inopportune embassies by listing among the envoys many who are not qualified to go, and useless construction by calling for contributions, and improper lawsuits and missions abroad by ordering the parties to appear in court together and together to go abroad on the missions. And those who propose such measures and incite the people to adopt them Bshould be the first to be haled into court and made to take the responsibility for putting them into effect; for so they will either draw back and appear to be themselves nullifying the measure or they will stick to it and share its unpleasant features.

26 1 When, however, something important and useful but requiring much conflict and serious effort is to be accomplished, then try to select from among your friends those who are most powerful, or from p267 among the most powerful those who are easiest to get along; for they are least likely to act against you and most likely to work with you, since they possess wisdom without contentiousness. And, moreover, you should know your own nature and choose for any purpose for which you are naturally less fitted than others, men who are more able rather than men like yourself, Cas Diomedes chose to go with him on the scouting expedition the man of prudence and passed over the men of courage.109 For actions are thus more equally balanced, and contention does not arise among men whose ambitions proceed from different virtues and abilities. So, if you are not a good speaker, take an orator as your assistant in a lawsuit or your colleague in an embassy, as Pelopidas took Epameinondas; and if, like Callicratidas, you are too lofty of speech and not persuasive in addressing the masses, choose a man who is winning in his speech and conciliatory; and if you are physically weak and incapable of hard work, choose a man who is fond of labour and strong, as Nicias chose Lamachus. DFor on this principle Geryon would have been enviable for having many legs, arms, and eyes, if he had directed them all by one mind. But statesmen, by uniting for one purpose not only men's persons and funds, but also their fortunes, abilities, and virtues, if they are in agreement, can gain greater reputation in connexion with the same action than by other means, not behaving like the Argonauts, who left Heracles behind and then were forced to work through the women's quarters110 and use magic and drugs to save themselves and steal the golden fleece.

p269 EWhen entering some sanctuaries men leave their gold outside; but iron, one may say, they do not at all carry into any sanctuary. And since the orators' platform is a sanctuary common to Zeus the Counsellor and the Protector of Cities, to Themis and to Justice, do you strip off all love of wealth and of money, as you would iron full of rust111 and a disease of the soul, cast them straightway at the beginning into the market-place of hucksters and money-lenders,

and turning your back depart from them,112

believing that a man who makes money out of public funds is stealing from sanctuaries, from tombs, from his friends, through treason and by false testimony, that he is an untrustworthy adviser, a perjured judge, a venal magistrate, in brief not free from any kind of iniquity. And therefore there is no need of saying Fmuch about these evils.

27 1 But ambition, although it is a more pretentious word than "covetousness," is no less pernicious in the State; for there is more daring in it; since it is innate, not in slothful and abject spirits, but in the most vigorous and impetuous, and the surge which comes from the masses, raising it on the crest of the wave and sweeping it along by shouts of praise, 820 often makes it unrestrained and unmanageable. Therefore, just as Plato said113 that young people should be told from childhood that it is not proper for them to wear gold on their persons or to possess it, since they have a gold of their own mingled in their souls, — a figurative reference, I believe, to the virtue derived by descent, which permeates their natures, — so let us moderate our p271ambition, saying that we have in ourselves honour, a gold uncorrupted, undefiled, and unpolluted by envy and fault-finding, which increases along with reasoning and the contemplation of our acts and public measures. BTherefore we have no need of honours painted, modelled, or cast in bronze, in which even that which is admired is really the work of another; for the person who receives praise is not the man for whom the "trumpeter" or the "doryphorus,"114 for example, was made, but the man by whom it was made. Cato, Rome then beginning to be full of portrait statues, refused to let one be made of himself, saying, "I prefer to have people ask why there is not a statue of me rather than why there is one."j Such honours do indeed arouse envy, and the people think that they are themselves under obligations to men who have not received them, but that those who have received them are oppressors of the people, as men who demand payment for their services. CTherefore, just as a man who has sailed past the Syrtis and is then capsized at the channel has done nothing so very great or glorious, so the man who has watched over the treasury and the public revenue, but is then found wanting in the presidency or the prytany, is indeed dashed against a lofty promontory, but gets a ducking all the same. No, that man is the best who wants no such things and even avoids and refuses them when offered. But if it is not easy to reject some favour Dor some kindly sentiment of the people, when it is so inclined, for men engaged in a political struggle for which the prize is not money or gifts, but which is p273 a truly sacred contest worthy of a crown,115 a mere inscription suffices, a tablet, a decree, or a green branch such as Epimenides116 received from the Acropolis after purifying the city. And Anaxagoras, giving up the honours which had been granted him, requested that on the day of his death the children be allowed to play and be free from their lessons. And to the seven Persians who killed the magi the privilege was granted that they and their descendants should wear their headdress tilted forward over the forehead; Efor they made this, so it appears, their secret sign when they undertook their act. And there is something that indicates public spirit, too, about the honour received by Pittacus; for, when he was told to take as much as he wished of the land which he had gained for the citizens, he took only as much as he could throw a javelin over. And the Roman Cocles received as much as he — and he was lame — could plough around in one day. For the honour should not be payment for the action, but a symbol, that it may last for a long time, as those just mentioned have lasted. But of all the three hundred statues of Demetrius of Phalerum not one acquired rust or dirt; Fthey were all destroyed while he was still living; and those of Demades were melted down into chamber-pots. Things like that have happened to many honours, they having become offensive, not only because the recipient was worthless, but also because the gift bestowed was too great. And therefore the best and surest way to ensure the duration of honours is to reduce their p275 cost but those which are great and top-heavy and weighty are, like ill-proportioned statues, quickly overturned.

28 1 And I now give the name "honours" to those which the multitude, to quote Empedocles,117

Do not call as is right; and I, too, myself follow custom.118

For the statesman will not despise the true honour and favour founded upon the goodwill and disposition of those who remember his actions, 821 nor will he disdain reputation and avoid "pleasing his neighbours," as Democritus119 demanded. For not even the greeting of dogs nor the affection of horses is to be spurned by huntsmen and horse-trainers, but it is both advantageous and pleasant to instil into animals which are brought up with us and live with us such a disposition towards us as was exhibited by the dog of Lysimachus and as the poet tells us that Achilles' horses felt towards Patroclus.120 And I believe even bees would come off better if they would only welcome and placate their keepers and attendants Binstead of stinging them and making them angry. But as it is, people punish bees with smoke and lead unruly horses and runaway dogs by force of bits and dog-collars; but nothing makes a man willingly tractable and gentle to another man except trust in his goodwill and belief in his nobility and justice. And therefore Demosthenes is right121 in declaring that the greatest safeguard States possess against tyrants is distrust; for that part of the soul with which we trust is most easily taken captive. Therefore just as p277 Cassandra's prophetic power was useless to the citizens because she was held in no esteem, "For God," she says,

"has made me prophesy in vain,

CAnd those who suffer or have suffered woes

Have called me 'wise'; but ere they suffer, 'mad,' "122

so the trust which the citizens reposed in Archytas123 and their goodwill towards Battus124 was, on account of their reputation, of great advantage to those who made use of them. The first and most important advantage inherent in the reputation of statesmen is this: the trust in them which affords them an entrance into public affairs; and the second is that the goodwill of the multitude is a weapon of defence for the good against the slanderous and wicked,

as when a mother

Wards off a fly from her child when he lieth asleep in sweet slumber,125

keeping off envy and in the matter of power making the low-born equal to the nobles, the poor to the rich, and the private citizen to the office-holders; and in short, Dwhen truth and virtue are added to it, such goodwill is a steady fair wind wafting a man into political office. Now consider the contrary disposition and learn of it by examples. For the men of Italy violated the daughters and the wife of Dionysius,126 killed them, and then burned their bodies and scattered the ashes from a boat over the sea. But when p279 a certain man named Menander, who had been a good king of the Bactrians, died in camp, Ethe cities celebrated his funeral as usual in other respects, but in respect to his remains they put forth rival claims and only with difficulty came to terms, agreeing that they should divide the ashes equally and go away and should erect monuments to him in all their cities. But, on the other hand, the Agrigentines, when they had got rid of Phalaris, decreed that no one should wear a grey cloak; for the tyrant's servants had worn grey garments. But the Persians, because Cyrus was hook-nosed, Feven to this day love hook-nosed men and consider them the most handsome.

29 1 So of all kinds of love that which is engendered in states and peoples for an individual because of his virtue is at once the strongest and the most divine; but those falsely named and falsely attested honours which are derived from giving theatrical performances, making distributions of money, or offering gladiatorial shows, are like harlots' flatteries, since the masses always smile upon him who gives to them and does them favours, granting him an ephemeral and uncertain reputation. And so he who first said that the people with ruined by the first man who bought his favour was well aware that the multitude loses its strength when it succumbs to bribe-taking; 822 but those also who give such bribes should bear in mind that they are destroying themselves when they purchase reputation by great expenditures, thus making the multitude strong and bold in the thought that they have power to give and take away something important.

30 1 We ought not, however, on this account to be niggardly as to the customary public contributions, p281if we are in prosperous circumstances; since the masses are more hostile to a rich man who does not give them a share of his private possessions than to a poor man who steals from the public funds, for they think the former's conduct is due to arrogance and contempt of them, but the latter's to necessity. BFirst, then, let the gifts be made without bargaining for anything; for so they surprise and overcome the recipients more completely; and secondly they should be given on some occasion which offers a good and excellent pretext, one which is connected with the worship of a god and leads the people to piety; for at the same time there springs up in the minds of the masses a strong disposition to believe that the deity is great and majestic, when they see the men whom they themselves honour and regard as great so liberally and zealously vying with each other in honouring the divinity. Therefore, just as Plato127 Cwithheld the Lydian and the Ionian musical modes from the education of the young, because the one arouses that part of the soul which is inclined towards mourning and grief and the other strengthens that part which readily slips into pleasures and grows wanton, so you must, if possible, remove from the State all those free exhibitions which excite and nourish the murderous and brutal or the scurrilous and licentious spirit, or if you cannot do that, avoid them and oppose the multitude when they demand them. But always make the objects of your expenditures useful and moderate, having as their purpose either what is good or what is necessary, or at any rate what is pleasant and agreeable without anything harmful or outrageous in it.

31 1 DBut if your property is moderate and in relation p283 to your needs strictly circumscribed "as by centre and radius," it is neither ignoble nor humiliating at all to confess your poverty and to withdraw from among those who have the means for public expenditures, instead of borrowing money and making yourself at once a pitiful and a ridiculous object in the matter of your public contributions; for men are plainly seen to lack resources when they keep annoying their friends or truckling to money-lenders; so that it is not reputation or power, but rather shame and contempt, which they acquire by such expenditures. EAnd therefore it is always desirable in connexion with such things to remember Lamachus128 and Phocion;129 for the latter, when the Athenians at a sacrifice called upon him to contribute and repeatedly raised a clamour, said, "I should be ashamed if I gave you a contribution and did not pay Callicles here what I owe him," pointing to his money-lender. And Lamachus always, when he was general, entered in his accounts money for shoes and a cloak for himself. And when Hermon tried to avoid office on the plea of poverty, the Thessalians voted to give him a flask130 of wine monthly and a measure131 of meal every four days. FSo it is not ignoble to confess poverty, and poor men, if by reason of their virtue they enjoy freedom of speech and public confidence, have no less influence in their cities than those who give public entertainments and exhibitions. The statesman must, then, do his best to control himself in such matters and not go down p285 into the plain on foot to fight with cavalry; if he is poor, he must not produce foot-races, theatrical shows, and banquets in competition with the rich for reputation and power, but he should vie with those who try always to lead the State on the strength of virtue and wisdom, combined with reason, 823 for in such are found not only nobility and dignity but also the power to win and attract the people, a thing "more desirable than gold coins of Croesus."132 For the good man is neither presumptuous nor offensive, and the prudent man is not over-blunt in his speech, nor does he

Walk with a mien his townsmen bitter find,133

but in the first place he is affable and generally accessible and approachable for all, keeping his house always unlocked as a harbour of refuge for those in need, and showing his solicitude and friendliness, not only by acts of service, but also by sharing the griefs of those who fail and the joys of those who succeed; Band he is in no way disagreeable or offensive by reason of the number of the servants who attend him at the bath or by appropriating seats at the theatre, nor is he conspicuous for invidious exhibitions of luxury and extravagance; but he is on an equal level with others in his clothing and daily life, in the bringing up of his children and as regards the servants who wait upon his wife, as one who wishes to live like the masses and be friendly with them. And, moreover, he shows himself a kindly counsellor, an advocate who accepts no fee, and a kind-hearted conciliator when husbands are at variance with their wives or friends with one another. He spends no p287 small part of the day engaged in the public business on the orators' platform of the senate nor the assembly, and thenceforth all the rest of his life he

CDraws to himself as north-east wind draws clouds134

services and commissions from every quarter. But since he is always devoting his thoughts to the public weal and regards public office as his life and his work, not, like most people, as an interruption to leisure and a compulsory expense, — by all these and similar qualities he turns and attracts the people towards himself, for they see that the flatteries and enticements of others are spurious and counterfeit when compared with his care and forethought. The flatterers of Demetrius would not address the other monarchs as kings, but called Seleucus "Ruler of Elephants" Dand Lysimachus "Guardian of the Treasure" and Ptolemy "Admiral of the Fleet" and Agathocles "Lord of the Isles"; but the multitude, even if at first they reject the good and wise man, afterwards, when they have become acquainted with his truthfulness and his character, consider him alone a statesmanlike, public-spirited man and a ruler, whereas they consider and call the others, one a provider of choruses, one a giver of banquets, and one a director of athletics. Then, just as at banquets, though Callias or Alcibiades pay the bill, it is Socrates to whom they listen, and Socrates on whom all eyes are turned, Eso in States in which the conditions are sound Ismenias makes contributions, Lichas gives dinners, and Niceratus provides choruses, but it is Epameinondas, Aristeides, and Lysander who are the rulers, public p289 men, and generals. So, observing these things, we must not be humiliated or overwhelmed by the reputation with the masses gained from theatres, kitchens, and assembly-halls, remembering that it lasts but a short time and ends the minute the gladiatorial and dramatic shows are over, since there is nothing honourable or dignified in it.

32 1 FNow those who are skilled in tending and keeping bees think that the hive which hums loudest and is most full of noise is thriving and in good condition; but he to whom God has given the care of the rational and political swarm will judge of its happiness chiefly by the quietness and tranquillity of the people; he will accept and imitate to the best of his ability the other precepts of Solon, but will wonder in great perplexity why that great man prescribed that in case of factional disorder whoever joined neither faction should be deprived of civic rights.k 824For in a body afflicted with disease the beginning of a change to health does not come from the diseased parts, but it comes when the condition in the healthy parts gains strength and drives out that which is character to nature; and in a people afflicted with faction, if it is not dangerous and destructive but is destined to cease sometime, there must be a strong, permanent, and permeating admixture of sanity and soundness; for to this element there flows from the men of understanding that which is akin to it, and then it permeates the part which is diseased; but States which have fallen into complete disorder are utterly ruined unless they meet with some external necessity and chastisement Band are thus forcibly compelled by their misfortunes to be reasonable. Yet certainly it is not fitting in time p291 of disorder to sit without feeling or grief, singing the praises of your own impassiveness and of the inactive and blessed life,135 and rejoicing in the follies of others; on the contrary, at such times you should by all means put on the buskin of Theramenes,136 conversing with both parties and joining neither; for you will appear to be, not an outsider by not joining in wrongdoing, but a common partisan of all by coming to their aid; and your not sharing in their misfortunes will not arouse envy, if it is plain that you sympathize with all alike. CBut the best thing is to see to it in advance that factional discord shall never arise among them and to regard this as the greatest and noblest function of what may be called the art of statesmanship. For observe that of the greatest blessings which States can enjoy, — peace, liberty, plenty, abundance of men, and concord, — so far as peace is concerned the peoples have no need of statesmanship at present; for all war, both Greek and foreign,137 has been banished from among us and has disappeared; and of liberty the peoples have as great a share as our rulers grant them, and perhaps more would not be better for them; but bounteous productiveness of the soil, kindly tempering of the seasons, that wives may bear D"children like to their sires,"138 and that the offspring may live in safety — these things the wise man will ask the gods in his prayers to grant his fellow-citizens.

p293 There remains, then, for the statesman, of those activities which fall within his province, only this — and it is the equal of any of the other blessings:— always to instil concord and friendship in those who dwell together with him and to remove strifes, discords, and all enmity. He will talk, as in the case of quarrels among friends, first with the persons who think they are the more aggrieved, and will appear to share their feeling of wrong and anger, then he will try in this way to mollify them and teach them that those who let wrongs go unheeded are superior to those who are quarrelsome and try to compel and overcome others, Enot only in reasonableness and character, but also in wisdom and greatness of spirit, and that by yielding in a small thing they gain their point in the best and most important matters. Then he will instruct his people both individually and collectively and will call attention to the weak condition of Greek affairs, in which it is best for wise men to accept one advantage — a life of harmony and quiet — since fortune has left us no prize open for competition. For what dominion, what glory is there for those who are victorious? What sort of power is it which a small edict of a proconsul may annul or transfer to another man Fand which, even if it last, has nothing in it seriously worth while? But just as a conflagration does not often begin in sacred or public spaces, but some lamp left neglected in a house or some burnt rubbish causes a great flame and works public destruction, 825 so disorder in a State is not always kindled by contentions about public matters, but frequently differences arising from private affairs and offences pass thence into public life and throw the whole State into confusion. p295Therefore it behoves the statesman above all things to remedy or prevent these, that some of them may not arise at all and some may be quickly ended and others may not grow great and extend to public interests, but may remain merely among the persons who are at odds with one another. He should do this by noticing himself and pointing out to others that private troubles become the causes of public ones and small troubles of great ones, if they are overlooked and do not Bin the beginning receive treatment or soothing counsel.

For example, at Delphi the greatest insurrection is said to have been caused by Crates, whose daughter was to be married to Orsilaüs, the son of Phalis; but then, when at the betrothal the mixing-bowl broke in the middle of its own accord, Orsilaüs regarded that as an omen, left his bride, and went away with his father. But Crates a little later, secretly putting a sacred object of gold into their possession while they were sacrificing, caused Orsilaüs and his brother to be hurled over the precipice without trial and later slew some of their friends and relatives when they were suppliants in the sanctuary of Athena-before-the‑Temple. But after many such things had taken place the Delphians put Crates and his fellow-partisans to death, Cand with their property, which had been declared accursed, they built the lower temples. And at Syracuse there were two young men, intimate friends, one of whom, being entrusted with his friend's beloved for safe-keeping, seduced him while the other was away; then the latter, as if to repay outrage with outrage, committed adultery with the offender's wife. Thereupon one of the elder men came forward in the senate and p297moved that both be banished before the State reap the result and be infected with enmity through them. His motion, however, was not carried, and from this beginning disorder arose Dwhich caused great distress and overthrew the most excellent government. And indeed you yourself also no doubt have excellent examples at home in the enmity of Pardalas and Tyrrhenus, which came near to destroying Sardis by involving the State in rebellion and war as the result of petty private matters.

Therefore the statesman should not despise such offences as may, like diseases in a person, spread quickly, but he should take hold of them, suppress them, and cure them. For by attention, as Cato says, the great is made small and the small is reduced to nothing. And for this there is no more persuasive device Ethan for the statesman to show himself in his private differences mild and conciliatory, persisting without anger in his original reasons for disagreement, and treating no one with contentiousness, anger, or any other passion which injects harshness and bitterness into unavoidable disputes. For we put soft gloves on the hands of those who compete in the boxing-school, that the contest may not have a fatal result, its blows being soft and not painful; and in law-suits against one's fellow-citizens it is better to treat the causes of disagreement pure and simple in one's pleading, and not, by sharpening and poisoning matters, Fas if they were darts or arrows, with bad words, malice, and threats, to make them incurable, great, and of public importance. p299For a man who proceeds in this way towards those with whom he himself has to do will find that others also yield to him; and rivalries affecting public interests, if private enmities are done away with, become of slight importance and do no serious or incurable harm.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Homer, Il. IX.55; cf. Moralia, 795B.

2 Homer, Il. IX.443; cf. Moralia, 795E.

3 Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. III p396, ascribed to Simonides.

4 The story of the adjournment of the assembly is told by Plutarch in the Life of Nicias, chap. vii p527.

5 See Life of Alcibiades, chap. x p195.

6 Cf. Life of Demetrius, chap. xi.

7 Miltiades was the victorious general at Marathon, 490 B.C.

Thayer's Note: See also Moralia, 92C.

8 Cf. Moralia, 972F.

9 Cf. Moralia, 89E, with note 30º in Babbitt's translation (L. C. L.), where the habit is spoken of as a mark of effeminacy and licentiousness.

10 Kock, Com. Att. Frag. I p652, no. 185; on Agyrrhius cf. Aristophanes, Plutus, 176.

11a 11b From the same play as the preceding.

12 Kock, Com. Att. Frag. III p135, no. 472.

13 Critias, 109C "only it was not our bodies that they [the gods] constrained by bodily force, like shepherds guiding their flocks by stroke of staff, but they directed from the stern, where the living creature is easiest to turn about (ᾖ μάλιστα εὔστροφον ζῷον), laying hold on the soul by persuasion, as by a rudder, according to their own disposition" (trans. R. G. Bury in L. C. L.).

14 Homer, Il. IX.441.

15 Hesiod, Theog. 80.

16 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p678, no. 987.

17 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p494, no. 439, from the first Hippolytus.

18 Alcamenes and Nesiotes were sculptors of the fifth century B.C. Ictinus was architect of the Parthenon.

19 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p309, no. 760, perhaps from the satyr drama Pandora.

20 Homer, Od. II.69.

21 Cf. Plato, Sophist, 267E.

22 Thucydides, II.65.8.

23 These seem to be somewhat technical words employed by the rhetoricians.

24 Cf. Aristotle, Rhetoric, III.1017, p1411A; said by the Athenian orator Leptines, in opposing the destruction of Sparta, one of the "eyes of Greece."

25 Cf. Life of Phocion, chap. i.

26 Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. II p396.

27 Cf. Life of Pericles, chap. viii. The reference is to Aegina, whose thriving commerce threatened the prosperity of the Peiraeus.

28 Cf. Life of Phocion, chap. xxiii.

29 Thucydides, I.86; II.72; II.60.

30 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p441, l. 22; from the Autolycus of Euripides.

31 These two retorts are recorded by Plutarch, Life of Demosthenes, chap. xi p851. The second obviously refers to misconduct on the part of Demades. "The sow (teaches or contends with) Athena" was a proverbial expression; cf. Theocritus, Idyl. V.23. As sus (docet) Minervam the proverb was current in Latin; cf. Festus, p310 Müller, p408 Lindsay; Cicero, Ad Familiares, IX.18.3; Academica, I.4.8; De Oratore, II.57.233.

32 Cf.  Life of Alcibiades, chap. x.

33 The name Leo, "lion," made the little man seem ridiculous.

34 Aristophanes, Knights, 137. The reference is to Cleon.

35 Ol. VI.4. The translation is adapted from that of Sir John Sandys (L. C. L.).

36 Paton's translation (in L. C. L.) of the phrase in Anth. Pal. XI.86 on Pericles, quoted from the earlier epigram on Ladas, a famous runner of Sparta. The sudden cutting or loosening of the taut rope stretched across the starting-line was accompanied by an audible sound. See E. N. Gardiner, Jour. Hell. Studies XXIII p262.

37 Homer, Od. XI.495 (slightly changed).

Thayer's Note: Quoted again by Plutarch in Sayings of Romans, 200A.

38 Cf. Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, chap. v.

39 Cf. Life of Pompey, chap. xliv, where another story concerning the friendship of Pompey for Afranius is told.

40 Equivalent here to adjutant.

41 Cf. Life of Marius, chap. x, and Life of Sulla, chap. iii.

42 Laws, 762E.

43 Aristophanes, Peace, 756. The poet refers to Cleon.

44 Quoted by Plutarch, Life of Nicias, chap. ii p524. A parody by an unknown comic poet (unless it be by Aristophanes) of a line from the Peleus of Sophocles, Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. 447, p239. See Kock, Com. Att. Frag. III p400.

45 Cf. Callimachus, Frag. 382, p787, ed. Schneider.

46 Pindar, Frag. 57, p403 Schroeder.

47 The cancellation of debts was one of the chief features of Solon's reorganization of the government of Athens in the sixth century B.C. The popular term means "shaking off burdens." This incident is discussed by Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, chap. vi, where Solon's innocence of wrongdoing is maintained.

48 Euripides, Bellerophon, Frag. 309, p451 Nauck. Quoted in part, Moralia 529E.

49 Cf. Moralia, 209F.

50 Cf. Life of Timoleon, chaps. iv, v, pp237, 238.

51 A proverbial expression (Latin usque ad aras) equivalent to our to the bitter end"; cf. Moralia, 531D.

52 Homer, Il. X.242.

53 Homer, Il. X.558.

54 Plato, Letters, IV.321B.

55 The friend to whom this essay is addressed.

56 Xenophon, Ages. 4.

57 Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. III p418, no. 68.

Thayer's Note: Quoted again by Plutarch in the Life of Timoleon, chap. xxxvii (253E); also in Moralia, 91E — see the note there.

58 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p918, no. 411. Probably from the Erechtheus of Euripides and spoken by Praxithea, wife of Erechtheus.

59 Homer, Il. XVII.171.

60 Homer, Il. VII.358.

61 Homer, Il. V.800, referring to Diomedes.

62 Scipio Africanus the younger (185‑129 B.C.) was the son of Lucius Aemilius Paulus.

63 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p312, no. 711.

64 No such official as telearchos is mentioned elsewhere, and the word itself describes no function. On the other hand, telmarchos or telmatarchos, conjectured independently by Winckelmann and van Herwerden, although not found elsewhere, gives a meaning which accords with Plutarch's description, "official of stagnant pools," or a special kind of collector of refuse and other nuisances from the streets, very like the koprologoi of Athens.

65 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p675, no. 974. From an unknown play, quoted also Moralia, 464A.

66 Refers to the four great festivals: the Olympic, the Pythian, the Isthmian, and the Nemean games.

67 The length was twenty stadia, slightly more than two and a quarter miles.

68 From a poet of the Old Comedy, Kock, Com. Att. Frag. III p629, no. 1325.

69 Meaning the largest anchor, held in reserve and used only in a crisis; cf. below, 815D and Lucian, Iuppiter Tragoedus, chap. li and scholium.

70 Passed in 432 B.C. excluding Megara from commerce with Athens and her allies.

71 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p678, no. 988.

72 Negotiations with other Greek states.

73 The Greeks did not know that the most important bee in the hive was female — the queen bee.

74 Sophocles, Trachiniae, 1058.

75 In Greece of Plutarch's time "those in authority" in political matters were the Romans.

76 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p918, no. 412; from an unknown play.

77 Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. II p34.

78 The Thirty Tyrants at Athens were overthrown in 403 B.C.; Phrynichus presented the tragedy shortly after Miletus was captured by the Persians in 494 B.C.; Cassander refounded Thebes in 316‑315 B.C., ten years after its destruction by Alexander; the clubbing of aristocrats at Argos by the mob took place in 370 B.C.; Harpalus, Alexander's treasurer, brought to Athens in 329 B.C. funds stolen from Alexander and was supposed to have bribed many prominent Athenians, one of whom was Demosthenes.

79 i.e. the Romans.

80 Arcadia and Rhodes especially. Polybius was a statesman and historian, Panaetius a Stoic philosopher.

81 Augustus Caesar is meant. For a further account of his treatment of Areius see Life of Antony, chap. lxxx.

82 This refers to the Roman custom of greeting at the front door.

83 Euripides in Phoenissae 524 f. represents Eteocles as saying —

εἴπερ γὰρ ἀδικεῖν χρή, τυραννίδος πέρι

κάλλιστον ἀδικεῖν.

If wrong be ever right, for the throne's sake

Were wrong most right. (Way's translation.)

If Plutarch quotes this passage, correcting it to suit his purpose, he simply substitutes ἀγρυπνεῖν for ἀδικεῖν and πατρίδος for τυραννίδος. And the sentiment about equality, as the basis of true friendship, seems to be an echo of 535 f. of the same play. This method of dealing with passages from the poets is not infrequently employed by Plutarch.

84 This doubtless refers to honorary citizenship, crowns, statues, and the like.

85 The citizens of most ancient states were divided into tribes or clans.

86 Homer, Il. XVII.156 ff.

87 See note on 812B above.

88 Homer, Il. IV.223. Spoken of Agamemnon.

89 Callimachus, p787 ed. Schneider.

90 The story of these two is told in Moralia, 235F, 236.

91 See Moralia, 203D, where the name is Sthennius,º and Life of Pompey, chap. x.

Thayer's Note: Also Sayings of Romans, 203D.

92 Athenian youths from eighteen to twenty years of age were called ephebi. For one year they were trained chiefly in gymnastics and military drill, then for a year they served as guards on the frontier. Cf. Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, chap. xlii.

93 Apparently a quotation from a comedy. See Kock, Com. Att. Frag. III p495.

94 Theodorus and Polus were famous actors at Athens in the fourth century B.C. See J. B. O'Connor, Chapters in the History of Actors and Acting in Ancient Greece, pp100, 128. The terms τραγῳδός and κωμῳδός were used for actors who had been assigned to the highest rank and were privileged to bring out old plays at the festivals, and they stand in sharp contrast to the "hireling" actors, usually referred to after Demosthenes' time as "tritagonists," to whom were often given the "third-class" roles of kings; see ibid. chap. I.

95 Cf. Life of Cicero, chap. ii, "Cicero placed in their midst, as a mark of honour," Perrin's translation, L. C. L.

96 Homer, Il. IV.415.

97 Demosthenes, XXI (Against Meidias) 524. Meidias had insulted Demosthenes in public when Demosthenes was choregus, officially appointed to bear the expense of a chorus.

98 The thesmothetae were the six junior archons at Athens. Their chief duty was supervision of the courts of law.

99 The stephanephori were officials whose duties varied in different cities. At Athens they were concerned with public festivals.

100 The author of the Anabasis. But Plutarch may have written φησὶν αὐτός.

101 Xenophon, Anab. III.1.4.

102 The Boeotarchy was the chief office of the Boeotian confederacy. Its term was one year.

103 These measures included the freeing of Messenia from Spartan domination and the foundation of the city of Messenê.

104 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p918, no. 413.

105 Plato, Republic, 552CD.

106 In 330 B.C. King Agis of Sparta headed the revolt.

107 The second day of the Anthesteria, a three-day festival in worship of Dionysus, held in early spring at Athens.

108 Cf. Life of Phocion, chap. xxiv.

109 Cf. Homer, Il. X.243. He chose Odysseus.

110 This refers to Jason's seduction of Medea.

111 Cf. Plato, Republic, 609A.

112 Homer, Od. V.350.

113 Plato, Republic, 416E.

114 Two famous statues. The doryphorus (spear-bearer) was by Polycleitus.

115 The prizes at the Olympic, Pythian, Isthmian, and Nemean games were crowns of wild olive, laurel, pine, and parsley respectively.

116 Epimenides of Crete was called in by the Athenians, apparently not far from 500 B.C., to purify the city of a pestilence.

117 Mullach, Frag. Phil. Graec. I p3, 112.

118 Quoted with slightly different wording by Plutarch, Moralia, 1113B.

119 Mullach, Frag. Phil. Graec. I p355.

120 Homer, Il. XIX.404 ff.; Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.25.

121 Demosthenes, VI (second Philippic) 24.

122 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p919, no. 414. From an unknown play.

123 Archytas of Tarentum was a statesman, Pythagorean philosopher, and mathematician. He was seven times general and never defeated. He lived in the fourth century B.C. and was a friend of Plato.

124 Probably Battus III of Cyrene is meant, under whom the constitution of the city was reformed about the middle of the sixth century B.C.

125 Homer, Il. IV.130.

126 Dionysius II of Syracuse; cf. Life of Timoleon, chap. xiii, and Aelian, Var. Hist. VI.12.

127 Plato, Republic, 398E.

128 Lamachus was an Athenian general who was killed in the battle at the Anapus near Syracuse in 414 B.C.

129 Phocion was a famous Athenian general in the fourth century B.C. He was elected general forty-five times. He was virtual ruler of Athens when Antipater was in power, but in 318 B.C. was tried and executed by the Athenians. Soon after that a public burial and a statue were decreed for him. The story told here is found also in the Moralia, p533A.

130 About six pints.

131 About a bushel and a half.

132 Cf. Pollux, III.87, IX.84, but, as Bernardakis suggests, Plutarch may have added the word for "more desirable," in which case there is here no real quotation.

133 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p919, no. 415.

134 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p853, no. 75; Kock, Com. Att. Frag. III p612, no. 1229. Plutarch, Moralia, 88E, uses the same simile, and this line is quoted as a proverb by Aristotle, Meteor. 364 B13.

135 This refers to the doctrine held by the Epicurean and Sceptic Schools of philosophy that the perfect state is that of complete tranquillity.

136 Theramenes was prominent in the oligarchy at Athens in 411 B.C., but later turned against his former associates. In 404 B.C. he was elected one of the "Thirty Tyrants," but tried to restrain his colleagues and was put to death by them. He was nicknamed Cothurnus because the buskin could be worn on either foot, as he was a member of each party in turn (cf. "turncoat"). Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 28.5, praises him as a patriot.

137 For the phrase cf. Thucydides, II.36.4.º

138 Hesiod, Works and Days, 233.


Thayer's Notes:

a Rocking, preferably on a ship, was an often-prescribed medical treatment. For details, see Celsus, De medicina, II.15.

b Also in Life of Themistocles, chap. v.6 (114C); Mor. 185D; and On Not Letting Ourselves Be Bullied, 534E.

c Also in Life of Cato the Younger, chap. xvi.6‑8 (755D) and On Not Letting Ourselves Be Bullied, 534D.

d Also in Life of Themistocles, chap. xxii.2 (123A) and On Praising Oneself, 541D.

e The story is repeated in Moralia, 91F, where the man's name is better given as Demus. "Onomademus" is what the Loeb translator has here, corresponding to the facing Greek, Ὀνομάδημος. The Loeb edition at 91F prints the Greek as ὄνομα Δῆμος, "by the name of Demus". The readings differ by the accentuation and a space, neither of which is usually marked in manuscripts: the peculiar and unlikely "Onomademus" is an error by a post-Antique editor.

f Also in Life of Timoleon, chap. xxxvi.6 (253D) and On Praising Oneself, 542E.

g Also in On Praising Oneself, 542F.

h Also in Plutarch's collection of sound-bites by Theopompus (Sayings of Spartans, 221E).

i Also in De tuenda sanitate, 135F.

j Also in Sayings of Romans, 198F.

k For the contrary opinion, and the rationale of the law, see Gellius, II.12.


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