Monday, March 26, 2018



Dear Mike,

Time for a new academic discipline, I think. Here is some early apanthropological field notes from Menander, Dyskolos 5-10 (tr. W.G. Arnott):
This farm here on the right's
Where Knemon lives, a hermit of a man,
Peevish to everybody, loathing crowds—
'Crowds' do I say? He's lived a good long time
And never spoken willingly to anyone
In his life, never been the first to greet a man...

τὸν ἀγρὸν δὲ τὸν [ἐ]πὶ δεξί᾿ οἰκεῖ τουτονὶ
Κνήμων, ἀπάνθρωπός τις ἄνθρωπος σφόδρα
καὶ δύσκολος πρὸς ἅπαντας, οὐ χαίρων τ᾿ ὄχλῳ—
"ὄχλῳ" λέγω; ζ[ῶ]ν οὗτος ἐπιεικῶς χρόνον
πολὺν λελάληκεν ἡδέως ἐν τῷ βίῳ
οὐδενί, προσηγόρευκε πρότερος δ᾿ οὐδένα
On ἀπάνθρωπός Franz Stoessl comments "verbindt de betekenissen van 'mensenschuw' en 'onbeschaafd'" (combines the meanings of "shy" and "uncivilised"). Also, below, pace Julius Pollux, ἀπανθρωπέομαι: "Inhumanus sum vel A consortio hominum abhorreo."

Stephanus, Thesaurus Graecae Linguae, s.v. ἀπανθρωπία:

I like the quotation from (pseudo-)Hippocrates' Letter to Philopoemen (xii, vol. 9, p. 330 Littré):
(sc. melancholics) σιγηροί τε γὰρ ἐνίοτε εἰσὶ καὶ μονήρεες, καὶ φιλέρημοι τυγχάνουσιν· ἀπανθρωπέονταί τε ξύμφυλον ὄψιν ἄλλοτρίην νομίζοντες· οὐκ ἀπεοικὸς δὲ καὶ τoῖσι περὶ παιδείην ἐσπoυδακόσι τὰς ἄλλας φροντίδας ὑπὸ μιῆς τῆς ἐν σοφίῃ διαθέσιος σεσοβῆσθαι.

They are sometimes taciturn and solitary; and they love deserted places; they avoid company, thinking that when they see people close to them they see strangers. In the same way people who are passionate about acquiring knowledge abandon all other preoccupations in order to obtain knowledge.
οὐ χαίρων τ' ὄχλῳ, I'm avoiding the Holy Week processions, which begin in earnest today.

Best wishes,
Eric [Thomson]

Thanks to Jim O'Donnell for sending the relevant entries from Liddell-Scott-Jones:

and The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek by Franco Montanari:

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