Monday, May 24, 2021


Lack of Judgement

Polybius 2.7.1-3 (tr. Ian Scott-Kilvert):
Now, human nature is always fallible, and to meet with some unpredictable mishap is not the fault of the victim, but rather of ill-fortune, or of those who have inflicted it on him. But when we err with our eyes open and involve ourselves in great tribulations through sheer lack of judgement, then everyone agrees that we have nobody to blame but ourselves. It follows therefore that if a people's failures are due to ill-fortune, they will be granted pity, pardon and assistance, but if to their own folly, then all men of sense will blame and reproach them.

τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἀνθρώπους ὄντας παραλόγως περιπεσεῖν τινι τῶν δεινῶν οὐ τῶν παθόντων, τῆς τύχης δὲ καὶ τῶν πραξάντων ἐστὶν ἔγκλημα, τὸ δ᾿ ἀκρίτως καὶ προφανῶς περιβαλεῖν αὑτοὺς ταῖς μεγίσταις συμφοραῖς ὁμολογούμενόν ἐστι τῶν πασχόντων ἁμάρτημα. διὸ καὶ τοῖς μὲν ἐκ τύχης πταίουσιν ἔλεος ἕπεται μετὰ συγγνώμης κἀπικουρία, τοῖς δὲ διὰ τὴν αὑτῶν ἀβουλίαν ὄνειδος κἀπιτίμησις συνεξακολουθεῖ παρὰ τοῖς εὖ φρονοῦσιν.

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