Saturday, December 12, 2015
The View from Above
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
7.48 (tr. C.R. Haines):
Moreover he who discourses of men should, as if from some vantage-point above, take a bird's-eye view of the things of earth, in its gatherings, armies, husbandry, its marriages and separations, its births and deaths, the din of the law-court and the silence of the desert, barbarous races manifold, its feasts and mournings and markets, the medley of it all and its orderly conjunction of contraries.
καὶ δὴ περὶ ἀνθρώπων τοὺς λόγους ποιούμενον ἐπισκοπεῖν δεῖ καὶ τὰ ἐπίγεια, ὥσπερ ποθὲν ἄνωθεν, κατὰ ἀγέλας, στρατεύματα, γεώργια, γάμους, διαλύσεις, γενέσεις, θανάτους, δικαστηρίων θόρυβον, ἐρήμους χώρας, βαρβάρων ἔθνη ποικίλα, ἑορτάς, θρήνους, ἀγοράς, τὸ παμμιγὲς καὶ τὸ ἐκ τῶν ἐναντίων συγκοσμούμενον.
Take a bird's-eye view of the world, its endless gatherings and endless ceremonials, voyagings manifold in storm and calm, and the vicissitudes of things coming into being, participating in being, ceasing to be.
ἄνωθεν ἐπιθεωρεῖν ἀγέλας μυρίας καὶ τελετὰς μυρίας καὶ πλοῦν παντοῖον ἐν χειμῶσι καὶ γαλήναις καὶ διαφορὰς γινομένων, συγγινομένων, ἀπογινομένων.