Saturday, August 14, 2021


It Is Well to Respect One Another

Greek version of Aśoka's Rock Edict XII, from Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan), 3rd century BC, in Filippo Canali De Rossi, Iscrizioni dello Estremo Oriente Greco (Bonn: Dr. Rudolf Habelt GMBH, 2004 = Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien, 65), pp. 187-189 (number 291), tr. Francesco Maniscalco, "A New Interpretation of the Edicts of Aśoka from Kandahar," Annali di Ca' Foscari. Serie orientale 54 (June 2018) 1-16 (at 11-12, slightly modified):
Respect and temperance in every dispute, but temperance is shown above all by those who have command over the tongue, for no reason flattering or humiliating their neighbour; such behaviour is vain, and indeed it is well to strive to give just praise to one’s neighbour, never offending him in any way. Respecting these precepts, they enhance themselves and attract their neighbour, while, violating them, they become somewhat ignoble and make themselves hateful. Those who extol themselves and blame their neighbour for the sake of greater glory, wishing to shine above the others, bring yet greater shame upon themselves: it is well to respect one another and learn from one another reciprocally; following these rules they will become wiser, exchanging what each of them knows, and there should be no hesitation in repeating these principles to those who cultivate them so that, being ever compassionate, they may improve.

[․ εὐ]σέβεια καὶ ἐγκράτεια κατὰ πάσας τὰς διατριβὰς· ἐγκρατὴς δὲ μάλιστα ἐστιν ὅς ἂν γλώσσης ἐγκρατὴς ἦι. καὶ μήτε ἑαυτοὺς ἐπα[ι]νῶσιν, μήτε τῶν πέλας ψέγωσιν περὶ μηδενός· κενὸγ γάρ ἐστιν· καὶ πειρᾶσθαι μᾶλλον τοὺς πέλας ἐπαινεῖν καὶ μὴ ψέγειν κατὰ πάντα τρόπον. ταῦτα δὲ ποιοῦντες ἑαυτοὺς αὔξουσι καὶ τοὺς πέλας ἀνακτῶνται· παραβαίνοντες δὲ ταῦτα, ἀκλεέστεροι τε γίνονται καὶ τοῖς πέλας ἀπέχθονται. οἳ δ' ἂν ἑαυτοὺς ἐπαινῶσιν, τοὺς δὲ πέλας ψέγωσιν φιλοτιμότερον διαπράτονται, βουλόμενοι παρὰ τοὺς λοιποὺς ἐγλάμψαι, πολὺ δὲ μᾶλλον βλάπτου[σι] ἑαυτοὺς. πρέπει δὲ ἀλλήλους θαυμάζειν καὶ τὰ ἀλλήλων διδάγματα παραδέχεσθα[ι]. ταῦτα δὲ ποιοῦντες πολυμαθέστεροι ἔσονται, παραδιδόντες ἀλλήλοις ὅσα ἕκαστος αὐτῶν ἐπίσταται. καὶ τοῖς ταῦτα ἐπ[α]σκοῦσι, ταῦτα μὴ ὀκνεῖν λέγειν, ἵνα δειαμείνωσιν διὰ παντὸς εὐσεβοῦντες.

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