Thursday, January 08, 2015


114th United States Congress

Dio Chrysostom, Discourses 34.29 (tr. J.W. Cohoon and H. Lamar Crosby):
For sometimes men without any ability to perceive what is needful, men who have never given heed to their own welfare in the past, incompetent to manage even a village as it should be managed, but recommended only by wealth or family, undertake the task of government; still others undertake that task in the belief that they are displaying diligence if they merely heap up phrases and string them together in any way at all with greater speed than most men can, although in all else they are in no way superior to anybody else. And what is most serious is that these men, not for the sake of what is truly best and in the interest of their country itself, but for the sake of reputation and honours and the possession of greater power than their neighbours, in the pursuit of crowns and precedence and purple robes, fixing their gaze upon these things and staking all upon their attainment, do and say such things as will enhance their own reputations.

Οἱ μὲν γὰρ οὐδὲν δυνάμενοι τῶν δεόντων ἰδεῖν οὐδ᾿ ἐπιμεληθέντες αὑτῶν πρότερον, μηδὲ κώμην ὄντες ἱκανοὶ διοικῆσαι κατὰ τρόπον, ἄλλως δὲ ὑπὸ χρημάτων ἢ γένους συνιστάμενοι προσέρχονται τῷ πολιτεύεσθαι· τινὲς δὲ ταύτην ἐπιμέλειαν εἶναι νομίζοντες, ἂν ῥήματα συμφορῶσι καὶ ταῦτα τῶν πολλῶν ὁπωσδὴ θᾶττον συνείρωσι, μηδενὸς τἄλλα ἀμείνους ὄντες. τὸ δὲ μέγιστον, διὰ μὲν τὸ βέλτιστον καὶ τῆς πατρίδος αὐτῆς ἕνεκεν οὔ, λοιπὸν δὲ διὰ δόξας καὶ τιμὰς καὶ τὸ δύνασθαι πλέον ἑτέρου καὶ στεφάνους καὶ προεδρίας καὶ πορφύρας διώκοντες, πρὸς ταῦτα ἀποβλέποντες καὶ τούτων ἐξηρτημένοι τοιαῦτα πράττουσι καὶ λέγουσιν, ἐξ ὧν αὐτοί τινες εἶναι δόξουσιν.

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