Thursday, August 26, 2010


A Garbled Footnote

Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, edd. W.J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss, Vol. III (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969), p. 315, n. 1:
Greek Anthology, VII.128. Thewho quotes it in "Heraclitus," Lives,
authorship is uncertain, SJ attributesIX.1.16.
the epigram to Diogenes Laertius,
This is the editors' note on the motto for essay 208 (Saturday, March 14, 1752). Perhaps it was corrected in later printings, but so it stands in the copy I borrowed from the library. It should read:
Greek Anthology, VII.128. The authorship is uncertain. SJ attributes the epigram to Diogenes Laertius, who quotes it in "Heraclitus," Lives IX.1.16.
Here is Johnson's translation of the epigram, followed by the Greek:
Begone, ye blockheads, Heraclitus cries,
And leave my labours to the learn'd and wise;
By wit, by knowledge, studious to be read,
I scorn the multitude, alive and dead.

Ἡράκλειτος ἐγώ· τί μ' ἄνω κάτω ἕλκετ' ἄμουσοι;
  οὐχ ὑμῖν ἐπόνουν, τοῖς δ' ἔμ' ἐπισταμένοις.
εἷς ἐμοὶ ἄνθρωπος τρισμύριοι, οἱ δ' ἀνάριθμοι
  οὐδείς. ταῦτ' αὐδῶ καὶ παρὰ Φερσεφόνῃ.
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