Friday, November 30, 2018
He was in his sixty first year, but how much younger he seemed and was. Joking and swearing at the doctors as long as he had breath. He lay in the bed with sweet pea all over his face, making great oaths that when he got better he would never do a stroke of work. He would drive to the top of Howth and lie in the bracken and fart. His last words were "Fight fight fight" and "What a morning."
Labels: noctes scatologicae
Annals of Arboricide: Edward Drax Free
In March 1811 the College [St John's, Oxford] wrote to the Bishop of Lincoln enquiring whether he or his officials had given the Rector permission to cut down trees at Sutton. The Bishop replied that not only had no such application been received, but if it had been he would have appointed a person to ascertain whether there were any trees in a fit state to be cut down for 'useful and necessary repairs or improvement of the premises'. He emphasised that incumbents did not have the right to cut down and sell timber, using the purchase money to repair buildings. The timber itself had actually to be used on the premises. If Dr Free had been exceeding his powers, then the patrons must proceed against him as having committed 'waste', and he advised the College to take legal counsel on this.Hat tip: Eric Thomson, who writes:
No immediate action appears to have been taken by the College, until in June 1812 they received a request from a solicitor employed by Free, asking for the remaining £150 to be paid to him. Their reply was that the remainder would be handed over when the College surveyor had certified that the repairs and alterations were finished 'according to the Plan'.
In October 1812 Mr Hudson made his way to Sutton where 'Dr Free ... refused him admission into the House', so that the surveyor could not ascertain what repairs or improvements had been under-taken. He made enquiries in nearby Biggleswade, however, where he learnt that very little work had been done in the Rectory and that only a few fences around the glebe had been repaired. When Hudson was previously in Sutton, moreover, there had been a copse near the Rectory full of fine young timber. By 1812 most of this had been chopped down and taken away. The man who bought this timber from Dr Free admitted to the surveyor that 'they were the finest thriving Trees he had ever seen, and that it was a shame to cut them'. Hudson believed that there had been between two and three hundred oaks, elms, ashes and alders, worth about £20, and now only about a dozen of the smallest were left. In addition to this, Hudson thought that from twelve to fifteen large ash and fir trees, worth about £6o, had disappeared from the churchyard. Fifteen ash trees, taken from other parts of the glebe, were lying by the roadside waiting to be carted away.
He was killed by a cart as he was coming out of a tavern. So the words used of fifteen felled ash trees – 'by the roadside waiting to be carted away' – come full circle.
If we take OED free in senses III 18 a and b, I think we'd have to say it's an aptronym.
a. Acting without restriction or limitation; showing a lack of moderation in doing something.
b. free with (also †of): using without reserve or restraint.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Finally, there is a subtler, more intangible, but vital kind of moral consensus that I would call comity. Comity exists in a society to the degree that those enlisted in its contending interests have a basic minimal regard for each other: one party or interest seeks the defeat of an opposing interest on matters of policy, but at the same time seeks to avoid crushing the opposition, denying the legitimacy of its existence or its values, or inflicting upon it extreme and gratuitous humiliations beyond the substance of the gains that are being sought. The basic humanity of the opposition is not forgotten; civility is not abandoned; the sense that a community life must be carried on after the acerbic issues of the moment have been fought over and won is seldom very far out of mind; an awareness that the opposition will someday be the government is always present.
A translator, being obliged by the nature of his task to attend to every single successive phrase of his author, however plain the meaning may seem, and to consider the intelligibility of what he renders to the uninitiated, sometimes discovers points of real difficulty which have escaped even the most thorough commentators, or arrives at fresh solutions of old problems.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Some Greek Words Written on a Skull
Richard W. Wallace, "Salvator Rosa's Democritus and L'Umana Fragilità," Art Bulletin 50.1 (March, 1968) 21-32 (at 21-22, footnotes omitted):
The Self-Portrait has the skull, books, pen, and paper so often seen in paintings of St. Jerome as a solitary, scholarly penitent, and the inscription on the piece of paper declares that it was painted "nell'Eremo," in the retreat or hermitage, for Rosa's friend Giovanni Battista Ricciardi. The way in which the skull is held and contemplated is also reminiscent of Domenico Fetti's painting and Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione's etching of Melancholy, the latter of which was known to Rosa at the time the Self-Portrait was executed, and it is especially relevant to this discussion that both of these artists made their figures look like penitent Magdalenes (Figs. 4, 5). In addition, it seems likely that Rosa was here influenced by the well-established tradition of the portrait with a skull. Although examples of this portrait type are found in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, they tend to be rather rare compared to their great popularity in Northern sixteenth and seventeenth century art, and it therefore seems quite possible that Northern models may have helped to shape Rosa's concetto.Here is a detailed view of part of the painting, showing more clearly the Greek words on the skull:
If the inscription he writes on the skull, ἠνί ποῖ ποτέ—"Behold, Whither, When"—has the ambiguity usually associated with such declarations, the memento mori significance of the skull itself is perfectly clear, and is reinforced by the crown of funerary cypress that garlands his head. It would also seem that Rosa originally intended to refer to his own Stoicism, showing himself contemplating the death's head with Stoic calm and resignation, since the book upon which the skull rests has "Seneca" written on its spine, the letters now only faintly visible.
First, let's look at the accents. Normally we would place a grave accent on the final syllable of the first word (i.e. ἠνὶ rather than ἠνί) because the following word (ποῖ) is accented. Also, it appears that the artist is portrayed as placing an acute accent on the final syllable of the last word, i.e. ποτέ. Wallace seems, however, to have translated the interrogative πότε, a paroxytone. Greek also has the enclitic ποτε (at some time, once, some day), with no accent.
The first word (ἠνί) is problematic. You won't find it in Liddell-Scott-Jones (9th ed.) — the nearest you'll come to it is in the entry for ἤν (B):
Interject. see there! ἤν, οὐχ ἡδύ; Ar.Eq.26; "ἤν, μεθίεμεν" Id.Pl.75; "ἀλλ᾽ ἢν χιτών σοι" Men.148; ἤν, τότε βακχίαζε . . χθών Philod. Scarph.14; also ἢν ἰδού Pratin.Lyr.1.15, Ar.Ra.1390, Herod.1.4, Luc.DMort.10.10, Anach.1, Alciphr.Fr.6.6, cf. Theoc.8.26; folld. by καὶ δή, E.HF867, Ar.Pax327:—also ἠνίδε (i.e. ἢν ἴδε) Pl.Epigr. 20, Theoc.2.38, Call.Del.132; with τοι, Theoc.1.149, 3.10.
Update from Joel Eidsath:
It was in my Little Liddell, so I checked the 7th ed. Great Scott. f.l. = falsa lectio.
You will, however, find a discussion of ἠνί in Henri Estienne, Thesaurus Graecae Linguae, Vol. III (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1835), col. 212 (s.v. εἴδω):
If ἠνί is a real Greek word (and I'm not convinced it is), I wonder if the suffix -ί could be explained as iota demonstrativum (cf. νῦν and νυνί etc.).
Norbert Schneider, Atelierbilder: Visuelle Reflexionen zum Status der Malerei vom Spätmittelalter bis zum Beginn der Modern (Münster: LIT, 2018 = Karlsruher Schriften zur Kunstgeschichte, 14), p. 87, misquotes and mistranslates the Greek:
Bei Rosa, der das wohl alles kannte, war es speziell eine Orientierung an Seneca, also am Stoizismus, wie auf dem New Yorker Selbstbildnis die diesen antiken Philosophen nennende Inschrift des Buches erkennen lässt, auf dem der Totenkopf liegt, den denn einem finsteren Raum, der Kammer des antizipierten Todes, befindliche Künstler, der einen Zypressenkranz auf dem Kopf trägt und dem eine Träne aus dem Augenwinkel quillt, mit einem Stift bekritzelt, indem er einen fragmentierten griechischen Satz einträgt (ἠμί ποῖ ποτέ, „sage ich, ... wie lange ... wann“).See also Wendy Wassyng Roworth, "The Consolations of Friendship: Salvator Rosa's Self-Portrait for Giovanni Battista Ricciardi," Metropolitan Museum Journal 23 (1988) 103-124.
Hat tip: Tim Ognisty.
Labels: typographical and other errors
Never give villains advancement in the city.See Maurizio Sonnino, Euripidis Erechthei quae exstant. Introduzione. Testo Critico. Commento. Traduzione (diss. Rome, 2009), pp. 234-235.
καὶ τοὺς πονηροὺς μήποτ' αὔξαν' ἐν πόλει.
An Incursion of Strangers
The city would have good reason to keep off
an incursion of strangers.
Enough have been admitted by our old ruler,
στεγομένα γὰρ ἂν πόλις ἔχοι σκῆψιν
ἅλις ἔασεν ὁ πάρος ἀρχαγὸς ὢν
721 στεγομένα Grégoire: στενομένα L: στενομέναν Scheidweiler
722 ἐσβολάν L: εἰσβολᾶν Herwerden
post 722 lac. indic. Badham
723 ἅλις ἔασεν Willink: ἁλίσας L: ἅλις ἅλις Heath: ἅλις δ᾿ ἅλις Jerram: ἀλεύσας Diggle
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Your Daily Duty
A strong case could be made out for excretion as a more classical literary subject than sex; the very paucity of defecatory plots should commend it. 'Incomplete elimination,' as the advertisements remind us, 'is the most powerful and universal poison of modern civilisation — (what does your mirror tell you?)'; and, they might add, successful elimination is, with sound sleep, one of the only two unassailably innocent recreations left to man in this increasingly God-awful world. . . . Tell me (in whispers, if necessary), did you ever hear of an ascetic who deliberately cultivated constipation?'
Any society formed for the freedom of the bowels and for freedom of speech about freedom of the bowels can count on my whole-hearted support. I remember a most impressive lecture once delivered to me in the gymnasium at Charterhouse by the boxing-instructor. He said, poking me in the plexus with a rigid fore-finger, and fixing me with a little hard eye like a snake's, 'Now listen, Mr. Graves, to what I'm telling you, and don't you go away and forget it neither. Let nothing never stand between you and your daily duty! Remember, "England Expects." And what's more, sir, if you 'ad witnessed one 'alf the 'orrible sights I 'ave witnessed at Army post-mortems in this country and in Ireland, in a man's interiors, you wouldn't 'esitate, not if the mood came on you, to stop and loosen your braces, walking down Piccadilly, no, that you wouldn't! They tells me you write poitry. Well, Mr. Graves, now there's a subjeck for you.' This harangue provoked me to the following couplet:
O cut on my grave let the epitaph be:
'His bowels and manners were equally free.'
Labels: noctes scatologicae
A Merciless Felling of Trees
It must be seven years since I first came here [County Derry], to P's home. Yet here time seems to have stood still; save for a merciless felling of trees that makes one sad and furious. How many of us produce in our whole lifetime as much beauty as the tree we destroy in an hour and cannot replace in a generation?Hat tip: Ian Jackson (†).
Blessings of Children
For this brings to man a settled source of all-surpassing bliss, even to such as see in their ancestral halls a splendid race of strong young parents blest with offspring, to inherit from their sires their wealth in due succession after other children; yea, for they are a defence in time of trouble, and add a charm to weal, affording to their fatherland a saving help in battle. Give me before the pomp of wealth or royal marriages the careful nurture of noble children. The childless life I do abhor, and him who thinks it good I blame; to a happy life amongst my children, blest with moderate wealth, may I hold fast.But cf. id. 507-508 (an exception to the rule):
ὑπερβαλλούσας γὰρ ἔχει
τέκνων οἷς ἂν καρποφόροι 475
λάμπωσιν ἐν θαλάμοις
πατρίοισι νεάνιδες ἧβαι,
διαδέκτορα πλοῦτον ὡς
ἕξοντες ἐκ πατέρων
ἑτέροις ἐπὶ τέκνοις. 480
ἄλκαρ τε γὰρ ἐν κακοῖς
σύν τ' εὐτυχίαις φίλον
δορί τε γᾷ πατρίᾳ φέρει
ἐμοὶ μὲν πλούτου τε πάρος 485
βασιλικῶν τ' εἶεν θαλάμων
τροφαὶ κήδειοι τέκνων κεδνῶν.
τὸν ἄπαιδα δ' ἀποστυγῶ
βίον, ᾧ τε δοκεῖ ψέγω·
μετὰ δὲ κτεάνων μετρίων βιοτᾶς 490
475 καρποφόροι Diggle: καρποτρόφοι L: καρποφόροις sive κουροτρόφοις Dobree: κουροτρόφοι Musgrave: καρποφόρων Gunther Martin
481 ἄλκαρ Dawe et Willink: ἀλκά L: αἴγλα F.W. Schmidt
484 ἀλκάν L: αἴγλαν Herwerden: αἰχμάν Wilamowitz: αὐγάν Grégoire: ἀκμάν Verrall
487 τεκέων κεδνῶν post Fritzsche (τεκέων) Willink: κεδνῶν γε τέκνων L
Never have I seen it told in woven tale or legend that children born to gods by daughters of earth have any share in bliss.See Georges Raepsaet, "Les motivations de la natalité à Athènes aux Ve et IVe siècles avant notre ère," Antiquité Classique 40 (1971) 80–110, who discusses motivations for having children under the following headings:
οὔτ᾿ ἐπὶ κερκίσιν οὔτε †λόγοις† φάτιν
ἄιον εὐτυχίας μετέχειν θεόθεν τέκνα θνατοῖς.
507 λόγοις L: χοροῖς Reiske
- L'enfant, garant de bonheur et de prospérité
- L'enfant, appui pour les parents
- L'enfant: instrument de transmission des biens
- Motivations religieuses
- όνομα - δόμος - οίκος - γένος
- Motivations patriotiques
- Causes philosophiques
Monday, November 26, 2018
Fall to Your Cheesecakes
Fall to your cheese-cakes, curdles, clawted creame,Foole = "A dish composed of fruit stewed, crushed, and mixed with milk, cream, or custard" (Oxford English Dictionary); flaune = flan, custard; sillabub = "A drink or dish made of milk (frequently as drawn from the cow) or cream, curdled by the admixture of wine, cider, or other acid, and often sweetened and flavoured" (OED).
Your fooles, your flaunes; and of ale a streame
To wash it from your livers: straine ewes milke
Into your cider sillabubs...
Why Do I Call Upon the Gods?
Hear me, you gods! But why do I call upon the gods?
They did not listen before when we called upon them.
ἰὼ θεοί. καὶ τί τοὺς θεοὺς καλῶ;
καὶ πρὶν γὰρ οὐκ ἤκουσαν ἀνακαλούμενοι.
Bungled Quotation of an Inscription
The desire 'to be sung', 'to be on the lips of all', is the motivational drive of hero and writer and family man alike. From epic to history, from gravestone to the huge letters M. AGRIPPA L.P. COS. TERTIUM FECIT on the Pantheon in Rome, making a name solid, permanent, an inheritance to pass on, is the express aim of social ambition.
Id., p. 65:
That Lucian immortalizes his name thus in a third-rate epigram by a fictionalized and untrustworthy poet on a monument in an unseeable afterlife, recorded in a work which boasts of its own falsehood, neatly summarizes Lucian's oblique and funny stance towards proclaiming and preserving the glory of his name. M. AGRIPPA L.P. COS. TERTIUM FECIT this isn't.
Both quotations of the inscription (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum VI.896) are faulty. For L.P. read L.F.
With abbreviations expanded:
M(arcus) Agrippa L(uci) f(ilius) co(n)s(ul) tertium fecit.
Labels: typographical and other errors
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Description from T.B.L. Webster, Monuments Illustrating New Comedy, 3rd ed., vol. 2 (London: Institute of Classical Studies, 1995), p. 284 (4EG 1.b):
Pair of matching half-plaques, with remains of setting. Peaked white hair striated back from forehead, wisps of side-hair, short beard from slave-like mouth, wrinkled cheeks.See also Richard Green and Eric Handley, Images of the Greek Theatre (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995), pp. 97-98.
What a Woman Wants in a Man
In you, beloved Hector, I possessed a husband that sufficed me,
great in intelligence, in birth, in wealth, and in courage.
σὲ δ᾿, ὦ φίλ᾿ Ἕκτορ, εἶχον ἄνδρ᾿ ἀρκοῦντά μοι,
ξυνέσει γένει πλούτῳ τε κἀνδρείᾳ μέγαν.
'There are plenty of disadvantages I grant you, but you are liked and respected. Ring people up any hour of the day or night, butt into their houses uninvited, make them answer a string of damn fool questions when they want to do something else — they like it. Always a smile and the best of everything for the gentlemen of the Press. But I don't feel it here. I damn well feel the exact opposite. I ask myself are we known, loved and trusted and the answer comes back, "No, Corker, you are not."'Evelyn Waugh, Men at Arms, Book I, Chapter 1:
'Why don't you send them some news?'
'I don't know any.'
'Well for heaven's sake invent some.'
'We don't get much time to read the papers.'
'No, I suppose you don't. I envy you. There's nothing in them but lies,' he added sadly. 'You can't believe a word they say.'
Saturday, November 24, 2018
The Part of Gentlemen
Do you think it either very wise or very witty to cast my politics in my teeth? I thought, where folk differed, it was the part of gentlemen to differ civilly...
Poor wretch, he little dreams of what he must go through,F.A. Paley on line 438 (vol. I, p. 502):
when he will think Troy's pain and mine were golden grace
beside his own luck. Ten years he spent here, and ten
more years will follow before he at last comes home, forlorn
after the terror of the rock and the thin strait, 435
Charybdis; and the mountain-striding Cyclops, who eats
men's flesh; the Ligyan witch who changes men to swine,
Circe; the wreck of all his ships on the salt sea,
the lotus passion, the sacred oxen of the sun
slaughtered, their dead flesh moaning into speech, to make 440
Odysseus listening shiver. Cut the story short:
he will go down to the water of death, and return alive
to reach his home and thousand sorrows waiting there.
δύστηνος, οὐκ οἶδ' οἷά νιν μένει παθεῖν·
ὡς χρυσὸς αὐτῷ τἀμὰ καὶ Φρυγῶν κακὰ
δόξει ποτ' εἶναι. δέκα γὰρ ἐκπλήσας ἔτη
πρὸς τοῖσιν ἐνθάδ' ἵξεται μόνος πάτραν
†οὗ δὴ στενὸν δίαυλον ᾤκισται πέτρας† 435
δεινὴ Χάρυβδις ὠμοβρώς τ' ὀρειβάτης
Κύκλωψ Λιγυστίς θ' ἡ συῶν μορφώτρια
Κίρκη θαλάσσης θ' ἁλμυρᾶς ναυάγια
λωτοῦ τ' ἔρωτες ῾Ηλίου θ' ἁγναὶ βόες,
αἳ σαρξὶ φοινίαισιν ἥσουσίν ποτε 440
πικρὰν ᾿Οδυσσεῖ γῆρυν. ὡς δὲ συντέμω,
ζῶν εἶσ' ἐς ῞Αιδου κἀκφυγὼν λίμνης ὕδωρ
κάκ' ἐν δόμοισι μυρί' εὑρήσει μολών.
post 433 lac. indic. Heath
435 στενὸς δίαυλος ὤρισται πέτραις Diggle
435-443 secl. Tyrrell
440 σαρξὶ φοινίαισιν Bothe: σάρκα φωνήεσσαν codd.
But this passage of Euripides is very interesting as giving us the earliest summary or epitome of the adventures of Ulysses as we know them in the Odyssey.
Friday, November 23, 2018
He has built at Eleusis a mansion huge enough to overshadow his neighbours...
οἰκίαν ᾠκοδόμηκεν Ἐλευσῖνι τοσαύτην ὥστε πᾶσιν ἐπισκοτεῖν τοῖς ἐν τῷ τόπῳ...
Most convincing — by which of course I don't mean that it will ever convince anyone of anything.
Birth, Life, Death
How dismal the necessity of birth! how miserable the necessity of living! how hard the necessity of death!
O necessitas abiecta nascendi, vivendi misera, dura moriendi!
A Sedative to His Restless Mind
Mr. Pappenhacker of the Twopence was playing with a toy train — a relic of College at Winchester, with which he invariably travelled. In his youth he had delighted to address it in Latin Alcaics and to derive Greek names for each part of the mechanism. Now it acted as a sedative to his restless mind.John Simpson, We Chose to Speak of War and Strife: The World of the Foreign Correspondent (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016), page number unknown:
There was no doubt which newspaper Waugh meant: only The Times cost twopence, and the name Waugh gave its correspondent in his version of Abyssinia was dipped in poison too. 'Mr Pappenhacker' was based on George Lowther Steer, an English-speaking South African who had indeed been educated at Winchester and had gone on to Christ Church, Oxford. Both the school and the college were regarded at the time as being greatly superior to Waugh's school, Lancing, and his Oxford college, Hertford. These were things Waugh was inclined to take to heart.
Thursday, November 22, 2018
While Abbot William was yet in this corruptible body, weighed down with old age, two teeth were torn from his head, which he committed to Brother Saxo saying: "Keep these two teeth in thy charge, and see that thou lose them not." He did as the Abbot had required him, pondering in his own mind wherefore this command had been laid upon him. When however the Lord had taken him away from before our face, then his surviving disciples, in memory of so holy a Father, besought that somewhat might be given to them of his possessions or of his garments; among whom one Brice, the Sacrist, complained that naught had fallen to his share saving a fur cap which the Saint had been wont to wear on his head. To which complaints this Brother made answer to whom these teeth had been entrusted: "I will give thee no small gift—nay, a mighty one, a pearl of price, no less than a tooth of our Father who in his lifetime loved thee not only with a special love, but thee above all others." With these words he delivered to him the tooth; and the Sacrist, rendering manifold thanks for this grace conferred upon him, took the tooth and held it in that dear veneration which it deserved. Oh what gifts did God afterwards confer upon mortal men through that tooth!—gifts which, if they were written down, man's weak intellect would never be content to believe!In Latin, from Acta Sanctorum, April 6 (April 1-10, vol. I, pp. 633-634)
Cum adhuc esset Abbas Wilhelmus in corpore corruptibili, laborans senio, duo dentes ex capite ejus avulsi sunt: quos committens Fratri Saxoni, dixit: Habe custodiam horum dentium penes te, et noli illos amittere. Fecit ille quod rogatus fuerat, haesitans intra se cur hoc ei mandatum dedisset. Postquam autem tulit eum Dominus de medio, discipuli ejus qui superstites erant, in memoriam tanti Patris, aliquid de rebus vel vestimentis ejus sibi impertiri optabant: inter quos adfuit Sacrista, Brixius nomine, conquerens se nihil de rebus ipsius accepisse, praeter mitram pelliceam, quam solitus erat gestare in capite. Cui sic conquerenti, Frater cui dentes commissi fuerant, respondit: Dabo tibi donum non parvum, immo magnum, margaritam pretiosam, scilicet dentem Patris nostri, qui te in vita sua dilexit, non singulariter solum, sed specialiter unum. Et dicens, tradidit dentem. Ille pro collato sibi munere gratias agens multimodas, susceptum dentem, prout decuit, in magna habuit veneratione. O quanta Deus mortalibus per hunc dentem postmodum contulit! quae si scriberentur, mens infirma credere nequaquam aequiesceret.Related post: Holy Shoes.
Menu for Thanksgiving dinner chez Laudator Junior today:
Quebec-style yellow pea soupProbably, as for past Thanksgivings, guests will bring pies.
Green bean salad
Roasted kabocha squash
Josephine, the eight-year-old Stitch prodigy, sat on the foot of the bed construing her day's passage of Virgil.Vergil, Eclogues 2.58-59 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough):
"Floribus Austrum," Josephine chanted, "perditus et liquidis immisi fontibus apros; having been lost with flowers in the South and sent into the liquid fountains; apros is wild boars but I couldn't quite make sense of that bit."
Alas, alas! what hope, poor fool, has been mine? Madman, I have let in the south wind to my flowers, and boars to my crystal springs!Related posts:
heu heu, quid volui misero mihi? floribus Austrum
perditus et liquidis immisi fontibus apros.
- Comical Construes
- The Mystery of the Spicy Virgin and Spicy Virgin Revisited
- Medio Tutissimus Ibis
- The Sorrowful Wolf
- The Screaming Fathers
- Dr. Syntax and Mr. Pound
- Delicious Blunders
- Alcinous the Meat-Tray
- A Humorous Construe
- A Howler
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Others dip again into the dishes their half-gnawed crusts and bitten morsels; thus, in their haste to make a sop for themselves, plunging that which their teeth have spared into the dish.My table manners wouldn't withstand close scrutiny by Miss Manners, but double-dipping (e.g. of half-eaten chips into the common dip) is so disgusting to me that I'm careful to avoid it even when I'm eating by myself.
Sunt qui semicorrosas crustas et praemorsas colliridas cibariis iterando infingunt, et reliquias dentium suorum offas facturi in poculis demergunt.
From very early South Lynn days, I had followed a rigorous index system with my numerous references and extracts. These latter amount by now to some 250 small volumes, the contents of which are indexed in one general ledger under very numerous rubrics, and in two exclusively monastic ledgers in greater detail. Thus I have been able, nearly always, to lay my hand after a brief search upon every piece of evidence which has ever struck me as of real importance. A few ghosts flit about in my memory, of striking passages which I neglected to fix and pin down at once, and which I dare not quote now from recollection only; but, on the whole, I owe immensely to this system, which seems to me better than the ordinary card index. For in some cases I possess page after page, consecutively, transcribed by myself or my wife or one of my copyists, always at hand within a few minutes of the immediate need.Arthur Stanley Pease, quoted in J.P. Elder et al., "Arthur Stanley Pease 1881-1964," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 69 (1965) ix:
I will confess that I am by nature a collector, that I began with marbles and horse-chestnuts, advanced to postage stamps, continued with botany and books, and at all times have gathered facts and occasionally ideas.
These two latter items, in lack of sufficient cranial space for dead storage, I enter methodically on 3 x 5 slips of paper. When enough of a kind are amassed, they are outspread, classified, digested, written down, dehydrated, and lo! an article, or more rarely a book, to be perused by some lone watcher in Czechoslovakia or beside the Bay of Biscay.
The Purpose-Undriven Life
He came to a passage where the sutra spoke of the importance of living without purpose, and, true to his accent, commented: "In Buddhism pahposeressness is fundamentar'. No pahpose anywhere in rife itser'f. When you drop fart you do not say, 'At nine o'crock I drop fart.' It just happen."
Labels: noctes scatologicae
West of Ten Thousand League Bridge, a single thatched cottage,
the waters of Hundred Flowers Pool are my Canglang.1
Wind in the azure dwarf bamboo, winsomely pure,
rain soaks the river lotus, more fragrant with passing time.
From old friends with fat salaries letters have ceased coming,
my children, constantly hungry, have forlorn complexions.
Knowing I'll be tossed in some ditch when I die, I grow only more careless and free,
and laugh at myself as a crazy man who gets crazier in old age.
1 Canglang the proverbial place of reclusion, where one could either emerge to serve or stay withdrawn, according to the situation of the times.
Oligarchy is the enduring fact of all Roman history, whether Republican or imperial, and constant in most things, save in its composition. The recruitment of that oligarchy, its titles to rank, its behaviour and its vicissitudes, such is the constant preoccupation of the historian Tacitus.Id., p. 594:
In political contests the protagonists are not always the real adversaries, still less the eventual victors. When the strife of aristocratic factions at Rome developed and changed, involving Italy and the whole world, forces were unloosed that made an end of the Republican system of government and brought forth the monarchy. And the monarchy, while it imposed concord and preserved the nobilitas for a season, none the less wrought its ruin steadily in the years of peace. Caesar needed agents and ministers; and novi homines saw every avenue open at last for talent and ambition, and all barriers down.
The clients of the Caesars took over the inheritance of the nobilitas. They seized control of patronage, and the ruler of the world was caught up in their meshes; they managed the imperial dominions of Rome, they excelled in all arts, they even set the tone of society. On the face of things merit prevailed. Reflection might engender misgivings. Would the new classes prove equal to their task?
Rulers change, not the system. New ministers perhaps, but behaving like their predecessors — 'magis alii homines quam alii mores'.4
4 Hist. II.95.3 (Mucianus and Eprius).
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
No one could deny that, ever since his own day, Horace has stood along with the ten or the dozen greatest poets on the slopes of Olympus.Id., p. 210:
It is because he fulfills the need of one side of the human heart. We must have — or we die — some figure forever prosperous, forever sunny, forever frugally generous, and we must have, above all, the views of life and the poetry of such a figure to take about with us. The fortunate, however, seldom find the need to express themselves; so it is only by the rarest and most blessed of coincidences that the poet and the happy man are found to inhabit the same skin. It was not merely that Horace, like Browning, held that we fall to rise, are beaten to fight better. It was that Horace established the claim for humanity to live in unruffled felicity or at least in a felicity no more shadowed than by the casting away of one's little shield at one Battle of Philippi or another. This, Horace appeared to be able to claim as of right; and, if Horace, why not we or some millions or some tens of millions of our compatriots and fellow citizens? Still more, he seems to present us with a picture of a Utopia such as we might find just around the corner if human good will did not lack.
And of this, one may be certain: It is not merely that if there had been no Horace we should have had to invent him; it is that without him we should have been thirty, forty, fifty — I don't care if you say a hundred per cent more savage brutes than we have made ourselves today. For the essence of civilization consists in its domination by a mood of frugal happiness: we are the best citizens who most have been tamed by the Horatian note.
Horace (via his spokesman Eric Thomson) replies:
"Frugally generous"? I'll grant you that oxymoron, Mr. Ford, but no, not "forever sunny" please. Who could ever put up with a poet that was forever sunny? There were doldrums after the Odes and I could also be fickle and thrawn.
If he [Celsus Albinovinus] asks me how I am, tell him that in spite of good resolutions
my life is neither right nor pleasant; not because hail
has beaten down my vines, or heat has blighted my olives,
nor because herds of mine are sick on a distant pasture,
but because, while I'm physically fit, I'm spiritually ill.
And yet I don't want to hear or know about possible treatment
I'm rude to the doctors who wish me well, and can't think why
My friends are fussing to rid me of this accursed depression. Epistles 1, 8 3-10 (trans. Niall Rudd)
Si quaeret quid agam, dic multa et pulchra minantem
vivere nec recte nec suaviter; haud quia grando
contuderit vitis oleamque momorderit aestus,
nec quia longinquis armentum aegrotet in agris;
sed quia mente minus validus quam corpore toto
nil audire velim, nil discere, quod levet aegrum;
fidis offendar medicis, irascar amicis,
cur me funesto properent arcere veterno.
If I've had a haircut from a rather uneven barber, you laugh
when you meet me; if a grubby vest is visible under my smart
tunic, or say my toga is askew and sloppily folded,
you laugh. Yet what if my mind is at odds with itself,
rejects what it asks for, returns to what it has just put down,
ebbs and flows, and disrupts the entire pattern of my life,
demolishing then rebuilding, changing round to square? Epistles 1, 1 97-100
Si curatus inaequali tonsore capillos
occurri, rides; si forte subucula pexae
trita subest tunicae vel si toga dissidet impar,
rides: quid, mea cum pugnat sententia secum,
quod petiit spernit, repetit quod nuper omisit,
aestuat et vitae disconvenit ordine toto,
diruit, aedificat, mutat quadrata rotundis?
Compulsory Military Service
[T]here was practically no dispute in Switzerland concerning either the necessity of compulsory service in the Citizen Militia, or the general efficiency of that body. There was no serious complaint that this compulsion 'militarized' the nation. The only nucleus of any party which would welcome its abolition was among the thorough-going pacifists, resting upon the immorality of war in any form. These were, at most, not more than 1 per cent of the whole population. The Labour Party thoroughly accepted universal compulsion as the only logical principle for true democracy. Employers, on the other hand, welcomed it as rendering workmen more intelligent and efficient in team work. The physical benefit was so great that, if for any conceivable reason the Militia should be abolished, it would be necessary to invent some substitute in the interests of national health. The great majority of parents had no anxieties about the few weeks of barrack life, beyond those inseparable from the recruit's age and his first entry into the world. It engendered a healthy camaraderie and mingling of classes. Monsieur Ami Simond, who had been French Master at King's College School and St Paul's School in London, put this to me most plainly. He said, 'Here at Yverdon there is a railway porter whom I always look out for at the station, and he for me. We shared a tent together in our recruit course. This system does, for our whole population, what your Public Schools do for only a small fraction of yours.' The short period of disciplinary co-operation, so far from weakening independence of character, tends in Switzerland rather to make the individual more resourceful and self-reliant. So far from wearying the citizen, this Militia commands a general popularity which few other national institutions can boast.
Now it seemed natural to me to be exuberant about religion, just as it also seemed natural and contradictory to be religious and at the same time to be exuberant about life, to go about our loving and eating and drinking with the innocent splendor of the flowers doing likewise. If one is going to have church and ritual of any kind, why not live it up? If I put on vestments of brocade, light candles, burn incense, and intone mysterious chants, I do not do it to fool people or to flatter God. I do it out of simple delight and fascination for the color, the stately dance, and the sense of mystery—not of the kind of mystery which can be revealed or explained, but the kind of mystery which God must be to himself. Mystery, mystic—the Greek rueiv—the finger on the lips; mum’s the word; do not spoil it with an explanation. I was not really interested in what rites and ceremonies symbolized, and still less in future results they might be supposed to achieve.Image of the paragraph from Google Books:
There is no such Greek word as rueiv—this is of course a misprint for μυεῖν (in transcription muein). I think that the misprint also appears in the original edition (New York: Pantheon Books, 1972).
Labels: typographical and other errors
Ascertaining the Meaning of a Word
We have now seen that Dr. Verrall's method of ascertaining the meaning of a word is first to assume the meaning he desires; to ignore all instances of the word that will not admit that meaning, and to refer to such few as he can force to admit it; and upon such evidence to assert that no other meaning is admitted bv the word.
Monday, November 19, 2018
That Glory Which Is Loveliest
The Trojans have that glory which is loveliest:In line 387, spear is the subject, not the object, i.e. "whom the spear took..."
they died for their own country. So the bodies of all
who took the spears were carried home in loving hands,
brought, in the land of their fathers, to the embrace of earth
and buried becomingly as the rite fell due.
Τρῶες δὲ πρῶτον μέν, τὸ κάλλιστον κλέος,
ὑπὲρ πάτρας ἔθνῃσκον· οὓς δ᾿ ἕλοι δόρυ,
νεκροί γ᾿ ἐς οἴκους φερόμενοι φίλων ὕπο
ἐν γῇ πατρῴᾳ περιβολὰς εἶχον χθονός,
χερσὶν περισταλέντες ὧν ἐχρῆν ὕπο.
Though surely the wise man will forever shrink from war,
yet if war come, the hero's death will lay a wreath
not lusterless on the city.
φεύγειν μὲν οὖν χρὴ πόλεμον ὅστις εὖ φρονεῖ·
εἰ δ᾿ ἐς τόδ᾿ ἔλθοι, στέφανος οὐκ αἰσχρὸς πόλει
Moreover, that same Epictetus, as we also heard from Favorinus, used to say that there were two faults which were by far the worst and most disgusting of all, lack of endurance and lack of self-restraint, when we cannot put up with or bear the wrongs which we ought to endure, or cannot restrain ourselves from actions or pleasures from which we ought to refrain. Therefore, said he, if anyone would take these two words to heart and use them for his own guidance and regulation, he will be almost without sin and will lead a very peaceful life. These two words, he said, are ἀνέχου (bear) and ἀπέχου (forbear).Wendy W. Roworth, "Salvator Rosa's Self-Portraits: Some Problems of Identity and Meaning," The Seventeenth Century 4.2 (Fall, 1989) 117-148 (at 117, with notes on 144).
Praeterea idem ille Epictetus, quod ex eodem Favorino audivimus, solitus dicere est duo esse vitia multo omnium gravissima ac taeterrima, intolerantiam et incontinentiam, cum aut iniurias quae sunt ferendae non toleramus neque ferimus, aut a quibus rebus voluptatibusque nos tenere debemus, non tenemus. Itaque, inquit, si quis haec duo verba cordi habeat eaque sibi imperando atque observando curet, is erit pleraque inpeccabilis vitamque vivet tranquillissimam. Verba haec duo dicebat: ἀνέχου et ἀπέχου.
Filippo Baldinucci, one of Rosa's biographers, noted the artist's 'filosofico umore' and that the artist was called 'famous painter of moral subjects' by his Florentine friend Jacopo Salviati.3 Salviati had been inspired by Rosa's allegorical painting on the theme Moral Philosophy, (Fig. 1) in which a scowling, elderly philosopher shows a seated female personification of Moral Philosophy the mirror of self-knowledge. This woman, who resembles in dress and pose Durer's Melencolia I, points to a skull inscribed with the words 'Sustine et Abstine' (Bear and Forbear), a phrase taken from the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, whose works were much admired by Rosa.4Unfortunately, Roworth's Fig. 1 is a horrible reproduction, at least in my copy of the article. Here is a slightly better reproduction, in which I can see the skull, but not the inscription:
3 F. Baldinucci, Notizie dei professmi del disegno da Cimabue in qua (Florence, 1773; Florence 1847), V, 78.
4 Salerno, L'opera completa, p.92, no. 97; R.W. Wallace, 'The Genius of Salvator Rosa', Art Bulletin, 47 (1965), 478; Roworth, 'Pictor Succensor', pp.247ff.
Rosa's painting is in Bolzano, at the Palazzo Enzenberg.
The motto also appears (in Latin) above the head of Bernard in Filippino Lippi's Apparition of the Virgin to St. Bernard:
Here is a detailed view of the relevant part of Lippi's painting:
Sunday, November 18, 2018
It is true that I am tired of practical politics, and happier while reading the history of antient, than of modern times....I turn from the contemplation with loathing, and take refuge in the histories of other times, where if they also furnished their Tarquins, their Catilines & Caligulas, their stories are handed to us under the brand of a Livy, a Sallust and a Tacitus, and we are comforted with the reflection that the condemnation of all succeeding generations has confirmed the censures of the historian, and consigned their memories to everlasting infamy, a solace we cannot have with the Georges & Napoleons, but by anticipation.
Mingling with Frogs
Belabored by life, I am ashamed before Yan and Zheng,2Owen has no note for "the Hualiu steed" (line 15), so here is his note on Du Fu's poem "A Song for Wei Yan's Mural of Horses" (line 3: Hualiu steeds):
I admire Zhang and Bing in placing things beyond them.3
This age also has contempt for the Hualiu steed,
so I am willing to mingle with frogs and bullfrogs. 16
Knowing when to go home, the common may be ignored,
nothing can match the choice of what suits one's nature.
Why wait to get office to withdraw from public life? —
getting older, I'm intensely drawn to comfortable quiet. 20
Better to be supplied with plenty of water-nuts and euryale,
I will perhaps make a thatched dwelling in this remote spot.
From this point on I will ready a tiny boat
and, to the fullness of my years, pursue the clear scene. 24
2 *Yan Junping; *Zheng Pu; that is, recluses.
3 Zhang Zhongwei and Bing Manrong, two Han recluses.
One of the Zhou King Mu's famous horses, used generally for fine steeds.Water-nuts (line 21) I assume are water chestnuts; the common name for euryale is prickly water lily, whose edible part is called fox nut.
Related post: Swamp Life.
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Daydreams of a Slave
As soon as I'm free, I'll organize a farm and a house and slaves, I'll do trade with big ships, I'll be considered a king among kings. Later I'll build myself a ship for my enjoyment and imitate Stratonicus;32 I'll sail around the cities. When my fame is well known, I'll set up a big city. This city I shall call Gripus, as a memorial to my fame and deeds. There I shall set up a great kingdom. I'm arranging to organize great things here in my mind.Friedrich Marx ad loc.:
32 Greek musician of the fourth century who traveled to present his art.
iam ubi liber ero, igitur demum instruam agrum atque aedis, mancupia, 930
navibus magnis mercaturam faciam, apud reges rex perhibebor.
post animi causa mi nauem faciam atque imitabor Stratonicum,
oppida circumuectabor. ubi nobilitas mea erit clara,
oppidum magnum communibo; ei ego urbi Gripo indam nomen,
monumentum meae famae et factis, ibi[que] regnum magnum instituam. 935
magnas res hic agito in mentem instruere.
935 ibi[que] Sonnenschein
930. Die Schilderung des Sklaven, der Luftschlösser baut, von großen Reichtümern und von Ehren träumt, in denen er es den städtegründenden Diadochenfürsten gleichtun will, von glanzvollem Auftreten, in dem er dem berühmten Musiker Stratonicus als Vorbild folgen will, ist Eigentum des Diphilus, ein treffliches Stück Kulturgeschichte der Zeit nach Alexander. Der Vers zeigt Hiat in der Mitte, es steht demnach nichts im Wege, die Tetrameter in Dimeter zu zerspalten. Im Eifer seiner sich überstürzenden Zukunftsträume vergißt er die Erwähnung des Ankaufs von ager, aedes, mancipia und erzählt mit Überspringung des Ankaufs sofort von der Einrichtung, dem instrumentum fundi, er prahlt mit dem instruere aedes (Cod. Theod. XIV 17, 13) und dem instruere mancipia (Dig. XIII 7, 25 si seruos pigneratos artificiis instruxit creditor), was nur soviel bedeuten kann, als die Sklaven zu allerlei Handfertigkeiten abrichten, d.h. sich tüchtige Helfer und Beamte schaffen. Unvermittelt stehen neben dieser Verheißung die Verheißung nauibus magnis mercaturam faciam und die folgende Verheißung apud reges rex perhibebor, die zeigt, daß der Grundsatz der ererbten Königswürde in der Zeit des Diphilus dem Märchenstil des niederen Volks nicht mehr ausschlaggebend erschien.See also William S. Anderson, "Gripus and Stratonicus: Plautus, Rudens 930-936," American Journal of Philology 107.4 (Winter, 1986) 560-563.
931. nauibus magnis, nicht ναυσὶν μακραῖς (Herod. VII 21), sondern mit riesengroßen Frachtschiffen, wie die Isis, die Lucian beschrieben hat. Das Sprichwort des Kaufmanns bei Petron. 76, 6 magna nauis magnam fortitudinem habet bezeichnet das Handelsschiff.
932. animi causa, ebenso Trin. 334. Cic. pro Rosc. Am. 133, Caes. b. G. VII 77, 10, Varro rer. rust. III 5, 8; umschrieben Cas. 151 animi amorisque causa sui, Cic. a. a. O. 134 animi et aurium causa, Caes. b. G. V 12, 6 animi uoluptatisque causa (thes. l. Lat. s. u. animus p. 96, 80). Er will sich eine Lustjacht bauen, nach Art der Prachtschiffe Hierons II. und Ptolemaeus IV., so wie der im Saitenspiel reich gewordene Künstler sich ein eigenes Schiff für seine Kunstreisen erbaut hatte. Die Erwähnung des großen Künstlers im Munde des Sklaven ist von Diphilus in derselben Absicht geschehen, wie oben V. 86 die Erwähnung des Euripides im Mund des Sceparnio. Stratonicus war Athener (Athen. VIII p. 352 C), ein Künstler von Weltruf im Saitenspiel, richtig als ὁ κιθαριστής bezeichnet (Athen. VIII p. 347 F, Strab. XIII p. 610 XIV p. 651), der in die ψιλὴ κιθάρισις die πολυχορδία eingeführt (Athen. VIII p. 352 C), eine große Zahl von Schülern um sich versammelt, und ein eigenes Tonsystem durch die Schrift festgesetzt hat. Er ist der Zeitgenosse der großen attischen Schauspieler Athenodoros. Neoptolemos und Thettalos, die gleichfalls Weltruf erlangt hatten; die Zuhörer des Plautus wußten nichts mehr von Stratonicus. Die Schüler des Aristoteles, Phainias, Clearchus und Theophrast haben sich mit seinen berühmten Witzworten befaßt, von denen Theophrast in der Schrift περὶ γελοίου (Athen. VIII p. 348 A) wahrscheinlich bereits eine der umlaufenden Sammlungen benützen konnte. Da Theophrast von einem Witz des Stratonicus über den Schauspieler Simykkas berichtet, den Zeitgenossen des Demosthenes (de cor. 262), so muß er den Stratonicus für einen Zeitgenossen des Demosthenes und Alexander gehalten haben. Es war demnach zur Zeit, als Diphilus das Vorbild des Rudens schrieb, Stratonicus bereits verstorben, Ptolemaeus, der bei Athen. VIII p. 350 C mit Stratonicus zusammengebracht wird, war dann der erste der Dynastie: die Zeit des Nicocles von Cypern, der den Künstler mit Gift hinrichten ließ (Athen. VIII p. 352 D), steht nicht fest; den Tod des Nicocles setzt Head hist. numm. (1911) S. 741 in das Jahr 309. Bedeutsam ist, daß der Aristotelesschüler Aristoxenos zwar die πολυχορδία tadelt (Plut. de mus. 18 p. 1137 A), wie überhaupt die neue Musik, aber den Stratonicus nirgendwo nennt. Mit seinem beißenden Witz gibt sich der Künstler als echten Sohn des attischen Landes zu erkennen. Er bereiste das griechische Festland, die Inseln, Asien und Ägypten: erzählt wird von seinem Aufenthalt in Korinth, Sikyon, Ainos, Abdera, Maronea, Heraclea, Byzanz, Pella, Ephesos, Milet, Kaunos, Phaselis, Mylasa, Kardia, Rhodos, Kypros, Seriphos, Aegypten. Außer Diphilus erwähnte ihn der Komiker Philetaerus (II p. 234 K), der erstere schildert ihn, wie Athen. VIII p. 350 E, als den reichen Mann, der πᾶσαν Ἑλλάδα περινοστεῖ, ἀλλ᾿ οὐκ ἐν μιᾷ πόλει διαμένει.
933. Gripus glaubt, daß dein zwecklosen Umherfahren von Stadt zu Stadt eine weithinleuchtende Vornehmheit, clara nobilitas folgen werde; über nobilitas Capt. 299, Mil. 1324. Alle Gedanken sind sinnlos, ohne Folgerichtigkeit aneinandergereiht, so auch der Satz von der Städtegründung auf Grund der erzielten Vornehmheit. Da der V. 933 oppida — circumuectabor einen Paroemiacus darbietet und der cod. B nach clara abteilt, schien es vielen geraten mit Buecheler im folgenden Dimeter abzuteilen. Nichts verbietet aber 934 ff. mit der Überlieferung als Tetrameter abzuteilen.
934. oppidum magnum communibo, nicht 'ich werde eine große Stadt mit Mauern befestigen', sondern 'ich werde eine große mit Mauern bewehrte Stadt aufführen', wie Liu. XXIV 20, 8 'statiuaque ad Dardaneas communita'; II 49, 8 'is opportunus uisus locus communiendo praesidio', wie ἔρυμα τειχίσασθαι Thucyd. I 11, 1; communire nur hier in der vorklassischen Literatur. — ĕi mit kurzer erster Silbe, wie am Versschluß bei dem Dichter ad Her. IV 12, 18: Merc. 869 der Nom. Plur.; der Dativ in der Versmitte Pseud. 899, Bacchid. 45, Curc. 360. Welche Stadtgründung dem Diphilus vorschwebte, läßt sich nicht entscheiden; vielleicht die Gründung von Alexandria: Plut. Alex. 26 ἐβούλετο πόλιν μεγάλην ... συνοικίσας ἐπώνυμον ἑαυτοῦ καταλιπεῖν. Er benennt aber die Stadt nicht Gripea, sondern Gripus, wie Seleukos bei Apamea nach Stephanus s. u. einen Personennamen aufweist (nicht aber gripos d. h. Netz), und bestimmt die Stadt monimentum meae famae et factis, wie der Soldat Curc. 440 eine goldne Statue factis monimentum suis, als Denkmal seines Ruhmes und seiner Taten, schon bevor er dort sein Königreich eingerichtet hat. Auch der Fischer Theocr. 21, 60 hofft τῷ χρυσῷ βασιλεύσειν. Die Stelle des Curculio weist auf die Hand desselben Dichters: monimentum findet sich bei Plautus an diesen beiden Stellen und in der ähnlichen Wendung Mil. 704.
936. in mentem, volkstümlicher als in mente: Cic. de nat. deor. I 114 habet en im nihil aliud, quod agitet in mente; hierzu der Infinitiv wie Verg. Aen. IX 186, Nepos Ham. I 4 ut statim mente agitaret ... bellum renouare. Der Ausdruck magnas res instruere ist absichtlich übertrieben und prahlerisch: in der Soldatensprache Caes. b. G. II 30, 3 quod tanta machinatio ab tanto spatio instrueretur; VIII 41, 2 aggerem instruere.
This distasteful booklet contains Housman's marginalia, down to the last dash and squiggle, from his copy of Marx's Rudens. Amongst the more informative are 'shame, booby, stuff, false, pooh, knave, dirty dog, silly, ugh, no, you lie'. According to R. Smitskamp, in an impertinent preface, they 'deserve publication as a supplement to Housman's classical papers edited in 1972'. That edition, intended as a tool for scholarship, requires no such supplements. As to E.J. Brill, a publishing house should have better to do than scavenge for muck to be flung at a great scholar's memory.
But why send an American youth to Europe for education? What are the objects of an useful American education? Classical knowledge, modern languages, chiefly French, Spanish, and Italian; Mathematics, Natural philosophy, Natural history, Civil history, and Ethics. In Natural philosophy, I mean to include Chemistry and Agriculture, and in natural history, to include Botany, as well as the other branches of those departments.
Friday, November 16, 2018
Mark how he disapproves of questioning. For where faith exists, there is no need of question. Where there is no room for curiosity, questions are superfluous. Questioning is the subversion of faith. For he that seeks has not yet found. He who questions cannot believe. Therefore it is his advice that we should not be occupied with questions, since if we question, it is not faith; for faith sets reasoning at rest.Related post: Curiositas.
εἶδες πῶς διαβάλλει τὴν ζήτησιν; ἔνθα γὰρ πίστις, οὐ χρεία ζητήσεως· ἔνθα μηδὲν δεῖ περιεργάζεσθαι, τί δεῖ ζητήσεως; ἡ ζήτησις τῆς πίστεώς ἐστιν ἀναιρετική. ὁ γὰρ ζητῶν, οὐδέπω εὗρεν· ὁ ζητῶν, πιστεῦσαι οὐ δύναται. διὰ τοῦτό φησι, μὴ ἀσχολώμεθα περὶ τὰς ζητήσεις· ἐπεὶ εἰ ζητοῦμεν, οὐκ ἔστι τοῦτο πίστις· ἡ γὰρ πίστις ἀναπαύει τὸν λογισμόν.
What I Shall Always Understand by Education
I enjoy my time here very much. I read five pages of Greek anthology every day, looking out all the words I do not know; this is what I shall always understand by education, and it does me good, and gives me great pleasure.
Those who were in league with him then jumped up and gave their votes. It was dark, and they received from him two or three ballots apiece, and put them in the box. Here is a proof of this. Those who voted were not more than thirty in number, but the ballots, when counted, were more than sixty; so that we were all astounded.
οἱ δὲ τούτῳ συνεστῶτες ἀναπηδήσαντες ἐψηφίζοντο. καὶ ἦν μὲν σκότος, οἱ δὲ λαμβάνοντες δύο καὶ τρεῖς ψήφους ἕκαστος παρὰ τούτου ἐνέβαλλον εἰς τὸν καδίσκον. σημεῖον δέ· οἱ μὲν γὰρ ψηφισάμενοι οὐ πλείους ἢ τριάκοντ᾿ ἦσαν, αἱ δὲ ψῆφοι ἠριθμήθησαν πλείους ἢ ἑξήκοντα, ὥστε πάντας ἡμᾶς ἐκπλαγῆναι.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
On the face of it this must be one of the most incompetent hexameter poems ever written, in that of the twenty-seven lines (the poem proper seems to begin at l. 7, though the acrostich, which spells Porcius Iasucthan cent.leg. f.c. mac, begins at l. 6) not a single one scans. It is though manifestly intended, first as a poem, and secondly as a hexameter poem. Its claim to poetic status is obvious from the fact that it is an acrostich. Most of the lines have between fourteen and seventeen syllables, and that is virtually the standard variation possible in a hexameter line.Id. (at 129):
Of note is an inept hexameter epitaph set up at Rome by a certain Iul. Valens for his son (CIL VI.3608 = ILS 475)....As in Iasucthan's effort, so here scarcely a single line scans correctly as a hexameter (1 is an exception), though several come close and other lines have sequences of dactyls and spondees (e.g. 7, 8) without achieving the right number of feet or complete correctness.On Iasucthan's verses see also James Clackson and Geoffrey Horrocks, The Blackwell History of the Latin Language (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007), pp. 258-262.
No literate, inquisitive, and imaginative person needs to go to college unless in need of a union card, or degree, as a certified physician, lawyer, or teacher, or unless he requires access to certain heavy and expensive equipment for scientific research which he himself cannot afford, such as a cyclotron.Id., p. 109:
[Y]ou cannot maintain proper status in an American university without cultivated mediocrity. You must be academically "sound," which is to be preposterously and phenomenally dull. Once I had a professor who was teaching me the New Testament in Greek. When one of Jesus' more enigmatic sayings was about to come up I would figure out some five different interpretations and bet that he would choose the most uninteresting. It worked invariably.
Treatment of Illegal Aliens
In my opinion it is your duty to treat with severity those who are proved to be aliens, who without having either won your consent or asked for it, have by stealth and violence come to participate in your religious rites and your common privileges...
ἐγὼ γὰρ οἶμαι δεῖν ὑμᾶς τοῖς μὲν ἐξελεγχομένοις ξένοις οὖσιν χαλεπαίνειν, εἰ μήτε πείσαντες μήτε δεηθέντες ὑμῶν λάθρᾳ καὶ βίᾳ τῶν ὑμετέρων ἱερῶν καὶ κοινῶν μετεῖχον...
Cries for Help
Citizens of Cyrene! I implore your protection, you farmers and neighbors who are close to us here! Bring help to the helpless and bring this evil act to an evil end! Avenge wrongdoing so that the power of the wicked is not more powerful than that of the innocent, who don't want to become famous as victims of crime! Make an example of impudence, give decency its reward, make sure that one can live here by law rather than coerced by brute force! Rush here into the temple of Venus, I implore your protection again, you who are close by and can hear my shouting! Bring help to those who have entrusted their lives to Venus and the high priestess of Venus according to ancient custom! Wring the neck of injustice before it reaches you!Andreas Fountoulakis,"᾽Ω παρεόν[τεϛ in Herondas 8.61," Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 131 (2000) 27-28:
pro Cyrenenses populares! uostram ego imploro fidem, 615
agricolae, accolae propinqui qui estis his regionibus,
ferte opem inopiae atque exemplum pessumum pessum date.
uindicate, ne impiorum potior sit pollentia
quam innocentum, qui se scelere fieri nolunt nobilis.
statuite exemplum impudenti, date pudori praemium, 620
facite hic lege potius liceat quam ui uicto uiuere.
currite huc in Veneris fanum, uostram iterum imploro fidem,
qui prope hic adestis quique auditis clamorem meum,
ferte suppetias qui Veneri Veneriaeque antistitae
more antiquo in custodelam suom commiserunt caput, 625
praetorquete iniuriae prius collum quam ad uos peruenat.
626 peruen[i]at Guyet
Wilhelm Schulze in his seminal study "Beiträge zur Wort- und Sittengeschichte II" has demonstrated8 that in archaic, classical and post-classical times during a violent attack in a social context the injured party ought to cry for help9 so as to have immediate assistance as well as witnesses who could later testify on behalf of the victim if the case was brought to court.10 The need for witnesses is stressed by Eduard Fraenkel who notes that in descriptions of such incidents the verb usually employed is the verb μαρτύρεσθαι which reflects the consideration of those, who are present at a violent incident so as to help the victim, as witnesses.11Schulze's article can be found here (examples from Roman comedy on pp. 495-497). Eduard Fraenkel, "Wilhelm Schulze," Classical Review 49.6 (December, 1935) 217-219, said about the whole series of articles (at 218):
8 See W. Schulze, Beiträge zur Wort- und Sittengeschichte II, Sitzb. d. Preuss. Akad. d. Wiss. (1918), 481-511 = W. Schulze, Kleine Schriften, 2nd edn., Göttingen 1966, 160-189.
9 The cry could assume various forms and was usually described as βοή. See W. Schulze, op. cit., 181-187.
10 Cf. A. Lintott, Violence, Civil Strife and Revolution in the Classical City 750-330 BC, London and Canberra 1982, 18-21.
11 See e.g. Lysias 3.15 οὗτοι δὲ συνεισπεσόντες ἦγον αὐτὸν βίᾳ, βοῶντα καὶ κεκραγότα καὶ μαρτυρόμενον. συνδραμόντων δὲ ἀνθρώπων πολλῶν ...; Antiphon 1.29; Aristoph., Peace 1119; Ach. 926; Cl. 1297; Birds 1031; Men., Sam. 576; Lucian, Tim. 46; E. Fraenkel (ed.), Aeschylus: Agamemnon, vol. III, Oxford 1950, 614-615, ad Aesch., Ag. 1317.
One cannot help feeling sorry for the many classical scholars who are still unfamiliar with the 'Beiträge zur Wort- und Sittengeschichte', published first in 1918 (now reprinted, p. 148 ff.).In its Latin form, such a cry for help was known as quiritatio. See Amy Richlin, Slave Theater in the Roman Republic: Plautus and Popular Comedy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 181-183, who doesn't seem to mention Schulze (I don't have access to Richlin's entire book). Another example from Roman comedy is Terence, Adelphoe 155-156 (tr. John Barsby):
Fellow citizens, for goodness' sake come to the rescue of a poor innocent man. Help me! I’m defenceless!
obsecro, populares, ferte misero atque innocenti auxilium,
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
It is in the same clock-mad spirit that we are all supposed to "work" from nine to five on such preposterous projects as accounting for what we have done upon billions of square miles of paper derived from devastated forests, frittering away our time upon such dreary gambling games as playing the stock market or selling insurance in drab offices, turning out drillions of lines of chatter for people whose minds cannot be at peace unless perpetually agitated with information and misinformation, and manufacturing, selling, and advertising bizarre, noisome, and pestilential automotive contraptions for taking us all to and from these same projects at the same hours—thereby blocking the roads and jangling our nerves, presumably to give ourselves the message that we really exist and are really important.Colin Thubron, Journey into Cyprus (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1976), p. 242 (quoting a Turkish soldier):
"I was four years in England," he said, "in a canning factory at Newton Abbot, twisting a knob day after day — twist, twist, twist. In the end I got fed up and came back home. What sort of life is that for a man — twist, twist, twist?"William Morris (1836-1894), "Useful Work versus Useless Toil," Collected Works, Vol. XXII: Signs of Change. Lectures on Socialism (London: Longmans Green and Company, 1915), pp. 98-120 (at 118):
For a man to be the whole of his life hopelessly engaged in performing one repulsive and never-ending task, is an arrangement fit enough for the hell imagined by theologians, but scarcely fit for any other form of society.Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), "Life Without Principle," Writings, Vol. X: Miscellanies (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1893), pp. 253-287 (at 256):
Most men would be insulted, if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now.
He will tell you that there are many people in the city, sons of respectable persons, who in sport, after the manner of young men, have given themselves nicknames, such as Ithyphalli or Autolecythi,a and that some of them are infatuated with mistresses; that his own son [Ctesias] is one of these and has often given and received blows on account of some girl; and that things of this sort are natural for young men.Id. 39:
a These words are best left untranslated (Kennedy, following Auger, renders them "Priapi and Sileni"). The former suggests gross licentiousness, and the latter, for which various meanings have been proposed, has been plausibly interpreted by Sandys as indicating one who carried his own oil-flask (λήκυθος). He would thus dispense with the customary slave, and be freed from having even such an one as witness to his wanton doings.
καὶ ἐρεῖν ὡς εἰσὶν ἐν τῇ πόλει πολλοί, καλῶν κἀγαθῶν ἀνδρῶν υἱεῖς, οἳ παίζοντες οἷ᾿ ἄνθρωποι νέοι σφίσιν αὐτοῖς ἐπωνυμίας πεποίηνται, καὶ καλοῦσι τοὺς μὲν ἰθυφάλλους, τοὺς δ᾿ αὐτοληκύθους, ἐρῶσι δ᾿ ἐκ τούτων ἑταιρῶν τινές, καὶ δὴ καὶ τὸν υἱὸν τὸν ἑαυτοῦ εἶναι τούτων ἕνα, καὶ πολλάκις περὶ ἑταίρας καὶ εἰληφέναι καὶ δεδωκέναι πληγάς, καὶ ταῦτ᾿ εἶναι νέων ἀνθρώπων.
The contempt, however, which this fellow feels for all sacred things I must tell you about; for I have been forced to make inquiry. For I hear, then, men of the jury, that a certain Bacchius, who was condemned to death in your court, and Aristocrates, the man with the bad eyes, and certain others of the same stamp, and with them this man Conon, were intimates when they were youths, and bore the nickname Triballia; and that these men used to devour the food set out for Hecatêb and to gather up on each occasion for their dinner with one another the testicles of the pigs which are offered for purification when the assembly convenes,c and that they thought less of swearing and perjuring themselves than of anything else in the world.Lysias, fragment 53 Thalheim (tr. David A. Campbell):
aThe Triballi were a wild Thracian people. Many parallels for the use of the name to denote a club of lawless youths at Athens might be cited. Sandys refers to the Mohock club of eighteenth century London.
bThe witch-goddess worshipped at cross roads. Portions of victims which had served for purification were set out for her. To take and eat this food might connote extreme poverty, but suggested also an utter disregard for sacred things.
cYoung pigs were sacrificed in a ceremonial purification of the place of meeting before the people entered the ἐκκλησία (the popular assembly).
τὴν δὲ τούτου πρὸς τὰ τοιαῦτ᾿ ὀλιγωρίαν ἐγὼ πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐρῶ· πέπυσμαι γὰρ ἐξ ἀνάγκης. ἀκούω γάρ, ὦ ἄνδρες δικασταί, Βάκχιόν τέ τινα, ὃς παρ᾿ ὑμῖν ἀπέθανε, καὶ Ἀριστοκράτην τὸν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς διεφθαρμένον καὶ τοιούτους ἑτέρους καὶ Κόνωνα τουτονί, ἑταίρους εἶναι μειράκι᾿ ὄντας καὶ Τριβαλλοὺς ἐπωνυμίαν ἔχειν· τούτους τά θ᾿ Ἑκαταῖα κατεσθίειν, καὶ τοὺς ὄρχεις τοὺς ἐκ τῶν χοίρων, οἷς καθαίρουσ᾿ ὅταν εἰσιέναι μέλλωσι, συλλέγοντας ἑκάστοτε συνδειπνεῖν ἀλλήλοις, καὶ ῥᾷον ὀμνύναι κἀπιορκεῖν ἢ ὁτιοῦν.
Is this [Cinesias] not the man with whom Apollophanes and Mystalides and Lysitheus used to dine at one time, arranging their feast for one of the forbidden days and calling themselves not the New-mooners but the Fellowship of the Evil Spirit—a title that fitted their fortunes; not that they thought it up in the belief that they would bring this about: rather they were mocking the gods and your laws.See:
οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τοιαῦτα περὶ θεοὺς ἐξαμαρτάνων ἃ τοῖς μὲν ἄλλοις αἰσχρόν ἐστι καὶ λέγειν, τῶν κωμῳδοδιδασκάλων <δ᾿> ἀκούετε καθ᾿ ἕκαστον ἐνιαυτόν; οὐ μετὰ τούτου ποτὲ Ἀπολλοφάνης καὶ Μυσταλίδης καὶ Λυσίθεος συνειστιῶντο, μίαν ἡμέραν ταξάμενοι τῶν ἀποφράδων, ἀντὶ δὲ νουμηνιαστῶν κακοδαιμονιστὰς σφίσιν αὐτοῖς τοὔνομα θέμενοι, πρέπον μὲν ταῖς αὑτῶν τύχαις· οὐ μὴν ὡς τοῦτο διαπραξόμενοι τὴν διάνοιαν ἔσχον ἀλλ᾿ ὡς καταγελῶντες τῶν θεῶν καὶ τῶν νόμων τῶν ὑμετέρων.
- J.E. Sandys, ed., Demosthenes, Select Private Orations, 4th ed., Part II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910), Excursus C ("On the meaning of αὐτολήκυθος"), pp. 240-242, and Excursus D ("On the club called the Τριβαλλοί"), pp. 242-244
- George Miller Calhoun, Athenian Clubs in Politics and Litigation (diss. University of Chicago, 1913), pp. 31-33
- W.A. Goligher, "Athenian Clubs," Hermathena 17 (1913) 295-311 (review of Calhoun)
- Nicholas F. Jones, The Associations of Classical Athens: The Response to Democracy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 224-227
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Mark Antony Goes Native
 Who would not weep when he hears and sees Antony himself, the man twice consul, often imperator, to whom was committed in common with me the management of the public business, who was entrusted with so many cities, so many legions —  when he sees that this man has now abandoned all his ancestors' habits of life, has emulated all alien and barbaric customs, that he pays no honour to us or to the laws or to his fathers' gods, but pays homage to that wench [Cleopatra] as if she were some Isis or Selene, calling her children Helios and Selene,  and finally taking for himself the title of Osiris or Dionysus, and, after all this, making presents of whole islands and parts of the continents, as though he were master of the whole earth and the whole sea?Id. 50.28.3:
 τίς δ᾿ οὐκ ἂν θρηνήσειε καὶ ἀκούων καὶ ὁρῶν αὐτὸν τὸν Ἀντώνιον τὸν δὶς ὕπατον, τὸν πολλάκις αὐτοκράτορα, τὸν τὴν προστασίαν μετ᾿ ἐμοῦ τῶν κοινῶν ἐπιτραπέντα, τὸν τοσαύτας μὲν πόλεις τοσαῦτα δὲ στρατόπεδα ἐγχειρισθέντα,  νῦν πάντα μὲν τὰ πάτρια τοῦ βίου ἤθη ἐκλελοιπότα, πάντα δὲ τἀλλότρια καὶ βαρβαρικὰ ἐζηλωκότα, καὶ ἡμῶν μὲν ἢ τῶν νόμων ἢ τῶν θεῶν τῶν προγονικῶν μηδὲν προτιμῶντα, τὴν δ᾿ ἄνθρωπον ἐκείνην καθάπερ τινὰ Ἶσιν ἢ Σελήνην προσκυνοῦντα, καὶ τούς τε παῖδας 4αὐτῆς Ἥλιον καὶ Σελήνην ὀνομάζοντα,  καὶ τὸ τελευταῖον καὶ ἑαυτὸν Ὄσιριν καὶ Διόνυσον ἐπικεκληκότα, κἀκ τούτων, καθάπερ πάσης μὲν τῆς γῆς πάσης δὲ τῆς θαλάσσης κυριεύοντα, καὶ νήσους ὅλας καὶ τῶν ἠπείρων τινὰ κεχαρισμένον;
And yet I can tell you of no greater prize that is set before you than to maintain the renown of your forefathers, to preserve your own proud traditions, to take vengeance on those who are in revolt against us, to repel those who insult you, to conquer and rule all mankind, to allow no woman to make herself equal to a man.
καίτοι μεῖζον οὐδὲν ἂν ἄλλο φήσαιμι ὑμῖν προκεῖσθαι τοῦ τὸ ἀξίωμα τὸ τῶν προγόνων διασῶσαι, τοῦ τὸ φρόνημα τὸ οἰκεῖον φυλάξαι, τοῦ τοὺς ἀφεστηκότας ἀφ᾿ ἡμῶν τιμωρήσασθαι, τοῦ τοὺς ὑβρίζοντας ὑμᾶς ἀμύνασθαι, τοῦ πάντων ἀνθρώπων νικήσαντας ἄρχειν, τοῦ μηδεμίαν γυναῖκα περιορᾶν μηδενὶ ἀνδρὶ παρισουμένην.
Those Funny Squiggles
Eric Griffiths, like Dante, believed the fraudulent belong in a lower circle of Hell than thieves, adulterers, heretics and murderers, as his more conceited students soon found out. Cutting through their grandiloquent chatter, their bons mots and pretensions to have read more than they actually had, he would take to his feet and expose, one by one, every error in their reasoning. He impressed on them that their oversight of a particular nuance in a poem was not only an intellectual failure, but a moral one, akin to ignoring what someone has to say.Hat tip: Alan Crease.
Likewise he was banned from interviewing applicants to Trinity in 1998 after telling 17-year-old Tracy Playle not to bother with the ancient Greek in a line of TS Eliot because "being from Essex, you don't know what those funny squiggles are".
[W]hen his tutor at Balliol College, Oxford, suggested that he consider the career of a professor of English literature, he remarked in his extraordinarily lilting voice, "I have never felt that literature was something to be studied, but rather something to be enjoyed."
ANTIQUITY (AND EVERYTHING CONNECTED WITH IT) Dull and boring.Id.:
ANTIQUITÉ (ET TOUT CE QUI S'Y RAPPORTE) Poncif, embêtant.
ETYMOLOGY The easiest thing in the world with the help of Latin and a little ingenuity.Id.:
ÉTYMOLOGIE Rien de plus facile à trouver avec le latin et un peu de réflexion.
GRAMMARIANS All pedants.Id.:
GRAMMAIRIENS Tous pédants.
IDIOTS Those who think differently from you.Id.:
IMBÉCILES Ceux qui ne pensent pas comme vous.
LEARNING Despise it as the sign of a narrow mind.
ÉRUDITION La mépriser comme étant la marque d'un esprit étroit.