Monday, April 15, 2019


Brains, Not Brawn

Sophocles, Ajax 1250-1254 (tr. R.C. Trevelyan):
                                                 'Tis not the big
Broad-shouldered men on whom we most rely;
No, 'tis the wise who are masters everywhere.
An ox, however large of rib, may yet
Be kept straight on the road by a little whip.

                                  οὐ γὰρ οἱ πλατεῖς
οὐδ᾿ εὐρύνωτοι φῶτες ἀσφαλέστατοι,
ἀλλ᾿ οἱ φρονοῦντες εὖ κρατοῦσι πανταχοῦ.
μέγας δὲ πλευρὰ βοῦς ὑπὸ σμικρᾶς ὅμως
μάστιγος ὀρθὸς εἰς ὁδὸν πορεύεται.

1250 πλατεῖς codd.: παχεῖς Nauck
P.J. Finglass ad loc.
The rejection of πλάτος in favour of intelligence is paralleled by [Simon.] 898 FGE οὐ πλάτεϊ νικῶν σώματος ἀλλὰ τέχνᾳ; cf. also Cic. Sen. 17 non viribus aut velocitate aut celeritate corporum res magnae geruntur, sed consilio auctoritate sententia.

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