Wednesday, January 29, 2020


A Stimulus to Thought

Pliny, Letters 1.6.2-3 (to Tacitus; tr. Betty Radice):
Don't look down on mental activity of this kind, for it is remarkable how one's wits are sharpened by physical exercise; the mere fact of being alone in the depths of the woods in the silence necessary for hunting is a positive stimulus to thought. So next time you hunt yourself, follow my example and take your notebooks along with your lunch-basket and flask; you will find that Minerva walks the hills no less than Diana.

non est quod contemnas hoc studendi genus; mirum est ut animus agitatione motuque corporis excitetur; iam undique silvae et solitudo ipsumque illud silentium quod venationi datur, magna cogitationis incitamenta sunt. proinde cum venabere, licebit auctore me ut panarium et lagunculam sic etiam pugillares feras: experieris non Dianam magis montibus quam Minervam inerrare.
See Judith Hindermann, "Orte der Inspiration in Plinius' Epistulae," Museum Helveticum 66.4 (December, 2009) 223-231 (at 229).

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