Tuesday, April 30, 2019



Plutarch, Life of Pericles 1.1 (tr. Ian Scott-Kilvert):
The emperor Augustus once caught sight of some wealthy foreigners in Rome, who were carrying about young monkeys and puppies in their arms and caressing them with a great show of affection. We are told that he then asked whether the women in those countries did not bear children, thus rebuking in truly imperial fashion those who squander upon animals that capacity for love and affection which in the natural order of things should be reserved for our fellow men.

Ξένους τινὰς ἐν Ῥώμῃ πλουσίους κυνῶν τέκνα καὶ πιθήκων ἐν τοῖς κόλποις περιφέροντας καὶ ἀγαπῶντας ἰδὼν ὁ Καῖσαρ, ὡς ἔοικεν, ἠρώτησεν εἰ παιδία παρ᾿ αὐτοῖς οὐ τίκτουσιν αἱ γυναῖκες, ἡγεμονικῶς σφόδρα νουθετήσας τοὺς τὸ φύσει φιλητικὸν ἐν ἡμῖν καὶ φιλόστοργον εἰς θηρία καταναλίσκοντας ἀνθρώποις ὀφειλόμενον.
Philip Stadter in his commentary ad loc. compares Athenaeus 12.518F-519A (on the Sybarites), here in S. Douglas Olson's translation:
According to Ptolemy in Book VIII of the Commentaries (FGrH 234 F 8), Massanassa, the king of Mauretania, offered a response that was appropriate for these people and others like them, when they tried to buy monkeys: "Hey—don't the women in your country produce children?" For Massanassa enjoyed children and had those that belonged to his sons—of whom he had a large number—as well as his daughters brought up in his house. He raised them all himself until they were three years old, after which he sent them back to their parents, since others had arrived. The comic author Eubulus made the same observation in Graces (fr. 114), as follows:
Because how much better is it, please, for one human being
to take care of another, if he's got the wherewithall,
instead of keeping a splashing, honking goose,
or a sparrow, or a monkey—that's a mischievous pest!
πρὸς οὓς καὶ τοὺς ὁμοίους τούτοις Μασσανάσσης ὁ τῶν Μαυρουσίων βασιλεὺς ἀπεκρίνατο, ὥς φησι Πτολεμαῖος ἐν ὀγδόῳ Ὑπομνημάτων, ζητοῦσιν συνωνεῖσθαι πιθήκους· "παρ᾿ ὑμῖν, ὦ οὗτοι, αἱ γυναῖκες οὐ τίκτουσιν παιδία;" παιδίοις γὰρ ἔχαιρεν ὁ Μασσανάσσης καὶ εἶχεν παρ᾿ αὑτῷ τρεφόμενα τῶν υἱῶν (πολλοὶ δὲ ἦσαν) τὰ τέκνα καὶ τῶν θυγατέρων ὁμοίως. καὶ πάντα ταῦτα αὐτὸς ἔτρεφεν μέχρι τριῶν ἐτῶν· μεθ᾿ ἃ ἀπέπεμπε πρὸς τοὺς γεγεννηκότας, παραγινομένων ἄλλων. τὰ δ᾿ αὐτὰ ἔφη καὶ Εὔβουλος ὁ κωμικὸς ἐν Χάρισιν οὕτως·
καὶ γὰρ πόσῳ κάλλιον, ἱκετεύω, τρέφειν
ἄνθρωπόν ἐστ᾿ ἄνθρωπον, ἂν ἔχῃ βίον,
ἢ χῆνα πλατυγίζοντα καὶ κεχηνότα,
ἢ στρουθόν, ἢ πίθηκον, ἐπίβουλον κακόν.

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