Thursday, January 19, 2017


The Greatest Goods

Isocrates, Panathenaicus 7-8 (tr. George Norlin):
For I have had my share of the greatest goods of life—the things which all men would pray the gods to have as their portion: first of all, I have enjoyed health both of body and of soul, not in common degree, but in equal measure with those who have been most blessed in these respects; secondly, I have been in comfortable circumstances, so that I have not lacked for any of the moderate satisfactions nor for those that a sensible man would desire; and, lastly, I have been ranked, not among those who are despised or ignored, but among those whom the most cultivated of the Hellenes will recall and talk about as men of consequence and worth.

ἐγὼ γὰρ μετεσχηκὼς τῶν μεγίστων ἀγαθῶν, ὧν ἅπαντες ἂν εὔξαιντο μεταλαβεῖν, πρῶτον μὲν τῆς περὶ τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὴν ψυχὴν ὑγιείας οὐχ ὡς ἔτυχον, ἀλλ᾿ ἐναμίλλως τοῖς μάλιστα περὶ ἑκάτερον τούτων εὐτυχηκόσιν, ἔπειτα τῆς περὶ τὸν βίον εὐπορίας, ὥστε μηδενὸς πώποτ᾿ ἀπορῆσαι τῶν μετρίων μηδ᾿ ὧν ἄνθρωπος ἂν νοῦν ἔχων ἐπιθυμήσειεν, ἔτι τοῦ μὴ τῶν καταβεβλημένων εἷς εἶναι μηδὲ τῶν κατημελημένων, ἀλλ᾿ ἐκείνων περὶ ὧν οἱ χαριέστατοι τῶν Ἑλλήνων καὶ μνησθεῖεν ἂν καὶ διαλεχθεῖεν ὡς σπουδαίων ὄντων.

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