Wednesday, October 11, 2017


The Path to Contentment

Diogenes of Oenoanda, fragment 40, tr. C.W. Chilton in Diogenes of Oenoanda, The Fragments. A Translation and Commentary (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 18:
Nothing is so productive of contentment as not being too busy, not undertaking disagreeable tasks, and not pushing ourselves beyond our powers; for all these things cause worry and trouble to our nature.
Greek text, from Diogenis Oenoandensis Fragmenta, ed. C.W. Chilton (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1967), p. 71:
Οὐδὲν οὕτως εὐθυµίας ποιητικὸν ὡς τὸ µὴ πολλὰ πράσσειν µηδὲ δυσκόλοις ἐπιχειρεῖν πράγμασιν µηδὲ παρὰ δύναμίν [τ]ι βιάζεσθαι τὴν ἑαυτοῦ· πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα ταραχὰς ἐνποιεῖ τῆ φύσ[ει.]
I was surprised to see τῆ without an iota subscript, but it's also printed that way in Ernst Kalinka and Rudolf Heberdey, "L'inscription philosophique d'Oenoanda," Bulletin de correspondance hellénique 21 (1897) 345-443 (at 374; fragment 27), and in Diogenis Oenoandensis Fragmenta, ed. Iohannes William (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1907), p. 54 (fragment LVI). The iota subscript seems to be present in Epicuro, Opere. Introduzione, testo critico, traduzione e note di Graziano Arrighetti (Turin: Giulio Einaudi Editore, 1960), p. 508, unless my eyes are playing tricks on me.

Thanks very much to the friend who gave me a copy of Chilton's translation of Diogenes of Oenoanda. For me, books like this are "productive of contentment."

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