Thursday, May 10, 2018


Be Best

Homer, Iliad 11.783-784 (tr. Richmond Lattimore):
And Peleus the aged was telling his own son, Achilleus,
to be always best in battle and pre-eminent beyond all others.

Πηλεὺς μὲν ᾧ παιδὶ γέρων ἐπέτελλ᾽ Ἀχιλῆϊ
αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν καὶ ὑπείροχον ἔμμεναι ἄλλων.
Iliad 6.208 (Hippolochus to Glaucus) = Iliad 11.784.

Jacob Burckhardt (1818-1897), The Greeks and Greek Civilization, tr. Sheila Stern (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998), p. 140, called this "the fundamental principle of Greek life."

Email from William Glennon (with subject line αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν):
Motto on seal of Boston College.

Usually translated 'Always eat breakfast' (ex ἀριστάω).

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