Saturday, April 05, 2008



Baltasar Gracián, Oráculo manual y arte de prudencia 137 (tr. Joseph Jacobs):
The sage should be self-sufficient. He that was all in all to himself carried all with him when he carried himself. If a universal friend can represent to us Rome and the rest of the world, let a man be his own universal friend, and then he is in a position to live alone. Whom could such a man want if there is no clearer intellect or finer taste than his own? He would then depend on himself alone, which is the highest happiness and like the Supreme Being. He that can live alone resembles the brute beast in nothing, the sage in much and like a god in everything.

Bástese a sí mismo el sabio. Él se era todas sus cosas, y llevándose a sí lo llebava todo. Si un amigo universal basta hazer Roma y todo lo restante del Universo, séase uno esse amigo de sí proprio, y podrá vivirse a solas. ¿Quién le podrá hazer falta si no ai ni mayor concepto ni mayor gusto que el suyo? Dependerá de sí solo, que es felicidad suma semejar a la entidad suma. El que puede passar assí a solas, nada tendrá de bruto, sino mucho de sabio y todo de Dios.
"He that was all in all to himself" is either Bias or Stilpon, to both of whom the saying "I carry all my possessions with me" (omnia mea mecum porto) is attributed. In the last sentence Gracián seems to disagree with Aristotle, Politics 1.1253a29 (tr. H. Rackham):
A man who is incapable of entering into partnership, or who is so self-sufficing that he has no need to do so, is no part of a state, so that he must be either a lower animal or a god.

ὁ δὲ μὴ δυνάμενος κοινωνεῖν ἢ μηδὲν δεόμενος δι' αὐτάρκειαν οὐθὲν μέρος πόλεως, ὥστε ἢ θηρίον ἢ θεός.
What Rackham translates as "a lower animal" is really "a wild beast" (θηρίον). See also Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols (Maxims and Arrows 3, tr. Walter Kaufmann):
To live alone one must be a beast or a god, says Aristotle. Leaving out the third case: one must be both - a philosopher.

Um allein zu leben, muss man ein Thier oder ein Gott sein - sagt Aristoteles. Fehlt der dritte Fall: man muss Beides sein - Philosoph ...
Related post: Omnia Mea Mecum Porto.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?