Wednesday, October 20, 2010



Seneca, Letters to Lucilius 123.6 (tr. Richard M. Gummere):
How many things are superfluous we fail to realize until they begin to be wanting; we merely used them not because we needed them but because we had them. And how much do we acquire simply because our neighbours have acquired such things, or because most men possess them! Many of our troubles may be explained from the fact that we live according to a pattern, and, instead of arranging our lives according to reason, are led astray by convention.

Multa quam supervacua essent non intelleximus nisi deesse coeperunt; utebamur enim illis non quia debebamus sed quia habebamus. Quam multa autem paramus quia alii paraverunt, quia apud plerosque sunt! Inter causas malorum nostrorum est quod vivimus ad exempla, nec ratione componimur sed consuetudine abducimur.
Diogenes Laertius 2.25 (Life of Socrates, tr. R.D. Hicks):
Often when he looked at the multitude of wares exposed for sale, he would say to himself, "How many things I can do without!"

πολλάκις δ᾽ ἀφορῶν εἰς τὰ πλήθη τῶν πιπρασκομένων ἔλεγε πρὸς αὑτόν, "πόσων ἐγὼ χρείαν οὐκ ἔχω."

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