Tuesday, November 19, 2019


The Hairs of My Chinny Chin Chin

Arrian, Discourses of Epictetus 1.16.9-14 (tr. W.A. Oldfather):
Come, let us leave the chief works of nature, and consider merely what she does in passing. Can anything be more useless than the hairs on a chin? Well, what then? Has not nature used even these in the most suitable way possible? Has she not by these means distinguished between the male and the female? Does not the nature of each one among us cry aloud forthwith from afar, "I am a man; on this understanding approach me, on this understanding talk with me; ask for nothing further; behold the signs?" Again, in the case of women, just as nature has mingled in their voice a certain softer note, so likewise she has taken the hair from their chins. Not so, you say; on the contrary the human animal ought to have been left without distinguishing features, and each of us ought to proclaim by word of mouth, "I am a man." Nay, but how fair and becoming and dignified the sign is! How much more fair than the cock's comb, how much more magnificent than the lion's mane! Wherefore, we ought to preserve the signs which God has given; we ought not to throw them away; we ought not, so far as in us lies, to confuse the sexes which have been distinguished in this fashion.

Ἄγε ἀφῶμεν τὰ ἔργα τῆς φύσεως, τὰ πάρεργα αὐτῆς θεασώμεθα. μή τι ἀχρηστότερον τριχῶν τῶν ἐπὶ γενείου; τί οὖν; οὐ συνεχρήσατο καὶ ταύταις ὡς μάλιστα πρεπόντως ἐδύνατο; οὐ διέκρινεν δι᾿ αὐτῶν τὸ ἄρρεν καὶ τὸ θῆλυ; οὐκ εὐθὺς μακρόθεν κέκραγεν ἡμῶν ἑκάστου ἡ φύσις "ἀνήρ εἰμι· οὕτω μοι προσέρχου, οὕτω μοι λάλει, ἄλλο μηδὲν ζήτει· ἰδοὺ τὰ σύμβολα"; πάλιν ἐπὶ τῶν γυναικῶν ὥσπερ ἐν φωνῇ τι ἐγκατέμιξεν ἁπαλώτερον, οὕτως καὶ τὰς τρίχας ἀφεῖλεν. οὔ· ἀλλ᾿ ἀδιάκριτον ἔδει τὸ ζῷον ἀπολειφθῆναι καὶ κηρύσσειν ἕκαστον ἡμῶν ὅτι "ἀνήρ εἰμι." πῶς δὲ καλὸν τὸ σύμβολον καὶ εὐπρεπὲς καὶ σεμνόν, πόσῳ κάλλιον τοῦ τῶν ἀλεκτρυόνων λόφου, πόσῳ μεγαλοπρεπέστερον τῆς χαίτης τῶν λεόντων. διὰ τοῦτο ἔδει σῴζειν τὰ σύμβολα τοῦ θεοῦ, ἔδει αὐτὰ μὴ καταπροίεσθαι, μὴ συγχεῖν ὅσον ἐφ᾿ ἑαυτοῖς τὰ γένη τὰ διῃρημένα.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?