Sunday, January 24, 2021


Nature versus Nurture

Pindar, Nemean Odes 1.25-26 (tr. Richmond Lattimore):
Skills vary with the man. We must tread a straight path and strive by that which is born in us.

τέχναι δ᾽ ἑτέρων ἕτεραι·
χρὴ δ᾽ ἐν εὐθείαις ὁδοῖς στείχοντα μάρνασθαι φυᾷ.
Pindar, Nemean Odes 3.40-42 (tr. G.S. Conway):
                                       By worth        
         Of inborn talent a man
Wins rich repute. Whose art is but instructed,
An obscure feather-brain he, now here aspiring
Now there, and steps with no sure foot, essaying
A thousand valorous deeds to no avail.

συγγενεῖ δέ τις εὐδοξίᾳ μέγα βρίθει·
ὃς δὲ διδάκτ᾽ ἔχει, ψεφηνὸς ἀνὴρ
ἄλλοτ᾽ ἄλλα πνέων οὔ ποτ᾽ ἀτρεκεῖ
κατέβα ποδί, μυριᾶν δ᾽ ἀρετᾶν ἀτελεῖ νόῳ γεύεται.

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