Sunday, August 16, 2020
Go to the Ant, Thou Sluggard, Consider Her Ways
Aelian, On Animals
4.43 (A. F. Scholfield):
Here are more facts that I have learned touching ants. So indefatigable, so ready to work are they, without making excuses, without any base plea for release, without alleging reasons that are a cloak for indolence, that not even at night when the moon is full do they remain idle and take holiday, but stick to their occupation.
Look at you men—devising endless pretexts and excuses for idling! What need is there to detail and pour out the full number of these occasions? Proclaimed as holidays are the Dionysia, the Lenaea, the Festival of Pots, Causeway Day: go to Sparta, and there are others: others again at Thebes: and an endless number in every city, some in a foreign, others in a Greek city.
πέπυσμαι δὲ ὑπὲρ τῶν μυρμήκων καὶ ταῦτα. οὕτως ἄρα αὐτοῖς τὸ ἐθελουργὸν καὶ τὸ ἐθελόπονον πάρεστιν ἀπροφασίστως καὶ ἄνευ τινὸς ὑποτιμήσεως ἐθελοκακούσης καὶ σκήψεως, ἐς ἣν ὑποικουρεῖ τὸ ῥᾴθυμον, ὡς κἀν3 ταῖς πανσελήνοις μηδὲ νύκτωρ βλακεύειν μηδὲ ἐλινύειν, ἀλλ᾿ ἔχεσθαι τῆς σπουδῆς.
ὦ ἄνθρωποι, μυρίας προφάσεις τε καὶ σκήψεις ἐς τὸ ῥᾳστωνεύειν ἐπινοοῦντες. καὶ τί δεῖ καταλέγειν τε καὶ ἐπαντλεῖν τὸν τοσοῦτον ὄχλον; κεκήρυκται γὰρ Διονύσια καὶ Λήναια καὶ Χύτροι καὶ Γεφυρισμοί, καὶ μετελθόντων ἐς τὴν Σπάρτην ἄλλα καὶ ἐς Θήβας ἄλλα καὶ κατὰ πόλιν μυρία ἑκάστην τὰ μὲν βάρβαρον τὰ δὲ Ἑλλάδα.