GALEN, selections:

 Galen the Physician 19th c. Engraving

On the passions and errors of the soul tr.Paul W. Harkins  1963 Ohio State University Press Galeni de propriorum animi cuiuslibet affectuum dignotione et curatione Teubner Leipzig 1937 pp. 3-37 ser Corpus medicorum Graecorum, vol. ed. de Boer.

Galen on


Examines a Patient

5.1 1. [...] AS you know, [...] Chrysippus and many other philosophers have written books on curing the passions of the soul; Aristotle and his followers also discussed (this question), as did Plato before them. It would have been better for you to learn these matters from those men, even as I did. But since you bid me so, in this first discourse I shall discuss briefly all the main points and in the order in which you heard them when you inquired about the book written by Antonius.

[...] ὡ οἶθα͵ διώρια͵ [...] γέγραπται μὲν οὖν καὶ Χρυίππῳ καὶ ἄλλοι πολλοῖ τῶν φιλοόφων θεραπευτικὰ γράμματα τῶν τῆ ψυχῆ παθῶν͵ εἴρηται δὲ καὶ πρὸ Ἀριτοτέλου περὶ τούτων καὶ τῶν ἑταίρων αὐτοῦ καὶ πρὸ τούτων ὑπὸ Πλάτωνο· καὶ ἦν μὲν βέλτιον ἐξ ἐκείνων μανθάνειν αὐτά͵ ὥπερ κἀγώ. τὰ δ΄ οὖν κεφάλαια διὰ τοῦ πρώ του λόγου τοῦδε διὰ υντόμου͵ ἐπειδὴ κελεύει͵ διήξω οι πάντα͵ καθ΄ ἣν ἤδη τάξιν ἤκουα͵ ὅτ΄ ἐπύθου περὶ τοῦ γεγραμμένου τῷ Ἀντωνίῳ βιβλίου.



2. IT is likely that we do err even if we ourselves should think that we do not, and we can infer this from what follows. We see that all men suppose that they themselves are altogether without fault or that their errors are few and mild and at great intervals. This happens especially in the case of those who, in the eyes of other men, err the most. [...]

  Ὅτι μὲν εἰκό ἐτιν ἁμαρτάνειν͵ εἰ καὶ μὴ δοκοίημεν αὐτοὶ φάλλεθαί τι͵ πάρετιν ἐκ τῶνδε λογίαθαι· πάντα ἀνθρώπου ὁρῶμεν ἑαυτοὺ ὑπολαμβάνοντα ἤτοι γε ἀναμαρτήτου εἶναι παντά 5.4 παιν ἢ ὀλίγα καὶ μικρὰ καὶ διὰ πολλοῦ φάλλεθαι͵ καὶ τοῦτο  μάλιτα πεπονθότα͵ οὓ ἄλλοι πλεῖτα νομίζουιν ἁμαρτάνειν. [...]

Therefore, whoever wishes to be good and noble must consider that he cannot but fail to recognize many of his own errors. I can tell him how he might discover them all, just as I have discovered them. [...]

ὅτι οὖν βούλεται καλὸ κἀγαθὸ γενέθαι͵ τοῦτο ἐννοηάτω͵ ὡ ἀναγκαῖόν ἐτιν αὐτὸν ἀγνοεῖν πολλὰ τῶν ἰδίων ἁμαρτημάτων· ὅπω δ΄ ἂν ἐξεύροι πάντα͵ δυνάμενο ἐγὼ λέγειν͵ [...]

As Aesop says, we have two sacks suspended from our necks; the one in front is filled with the faults of others; the one behind is filled with our own. This is the reason why we see the faults of others but remain blind to those which concern ourselves. [N.B this story in the Gr.Alph.Apopht.Patr. Pior 3] All men admit the truth of this and, furthermore, Plato gives the reason for it. (Laws, 731e) He says that the lover is blind in the case of the object of his love. If, therefore, each of us loves himself most of all, he must be blind in his own case. How, then, will he see his own evils? And how will he know when he is in error? Both Aesop’s fable and Plato’s maxim seem to demonstrate to us that the discovery of one’s own errors is far beyond our hopes. For unless a man can separate himself from self-love, the lover must be blind in the case of the thing he loves.

δύο γάρ͵ ὡ Αἴωπο ἔλεγε͵ πήρα ἐξήμμεθα τοῦ τραχήλου͵ τῶν μὲν ἀλλοτρίων τὴν πρόω͵ τῶν ἰδίων δὲ τὴν ὀπίω͵ καὶ διὰ τοῦτο τὰ μὲν ἀλλότρια βλέπομεν ἀεί͵ τῶν δ΄ οἰκείων ἀθέατοι καθε τήκαμεν. καὶ τοῦτόν γε τὸν λόγον ὡ ἀληθῆ προίενται πάντε. ὁ δὲ Πλάτων καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν ἀποδίδωι τοῦ γιγνομένου· τυφλώττειν γάρ φηι τὸ φιλοῦν περὶ τὸ φιλούμενον. εἴπερ οὖν ἕκατο ἡμῶν ἑαυτὸν ἁπάντων μάλιτα φιλεῖ͵ τυφλώττειν ἀναγκαῖόν ἐτιν αὐτὸν ἐφ΄ ἑαυτοῦ. πῶ οὖν ὄψεται τὰ ἴδια κακά; καὶ πῶ ἁμαρτάνων γνώεται; πολλῷ γὰρ ἔοικεν ὅ τε τοῦ Αἰώπου μῦθο καὶ ὁ τοῦ Πλάτωνο λόγο ἀνελπιτοτέραν ἡμῖν τὴν τῶν ἰδίων ἁμαρτημάτων εὕρειν ἀπο φαίνειν· εἰ γὰρ μὴ τοῦ φιλεῖν τι ἑαυτὸν ἀποτῆαι δύναται͵ τυφλώτ τειν ἀναγκαῖόν ἐτι τὸ φιλοῦν περὶ τὸ φιλούμενον.

Aesop 527. JUPITER AND THE TWO SACKS Perry 266 (Phaedrus 4.10)
Jupiter has given us two sacks to carry. One sack, which is filled with our own faults, is slung across our back, while the other sack, heavy with the faults of others, is tied around our necks. This is the reason why we are blind to our own bad habits but still quick to criticize others for their mistakes.
Note: There is a similar saying in Seneca, On Anger 2.28: 'other people's faults are directly in front of our eyes, while our own faults are behind our backs.' In the Greek versions of this fable (e.g., Chambry 303), it is Prometheus, not Zeus, who fashions the sacks.


Even if a man should make, by himself, as extensive an examination into his own errors as he could, he would find it difficult to discover them. Hence, I would not expect him who reads this book to consider, by himself, how to discover his own errors. Moreover, I am declaring my opinion with two purposes in mind: if someone by his own efforts should find some other way, by taking my method in addition to his own, he will be helped all the more because he has found not one but two ways to save himself; if he does not have a way of his own, he will be helped by the continuous use of mine until he finds another and a better way. With this preface, it is time for me to state what my way is.

οὐ μὴν οὐδ΄ ἐγὼ τὸν ἀναγινώκοντα τόδε τὸ βιβλίον ἠξίουν ἂν 5.7 ἐπικέψαθαι καθ΄ αὑτὸν  περὶ τῆ τῶν ἰδίων ἁμαρτημάτων εὑρέ εω͵ εἰ μὴ χαλεπὸν ἦν τὸ πρᾶγμα͵ κἄν τι ὡ ἐπὶ πλεῖτον ἐκεμ μένο ᾖ καθ΄ αὑτόν. καὶ τοίνυν ἐγὼ τὴν ἐμὴν ἀποφαίνομαι γνώμην͵ ἵν΄͵ εἰ μέν τινα καὶ αὐτὸ ἕκατο ἑτέραν ὁδὸν εὕροι͵ προλαβὼν καὶ τὴν ἐμὴν ὠφεληθῇ πλέον ἅτε διπλῆν ἀνθ΄ ἁπλῆ εὑρὼν ὁδὸν ωτη ρία· εἰ δὲ μή͵ ἀλλ΄ αὐτῇ γε τῇ ἡμετέρᾳ διατελῇ χρώμενο͵ ἄχρι περ ἂν ἑτέραν εὕρῃ βελτίονα· τί οὖν ἡ ἐμή͵ λέγειν ἂν ἤδη καιρό͵ ἀρχὴν τῷ λόγῳ τήνδε ποιηάμενον.



 To see ourselves truly we need a trusted “other”.


3. SINCE errors come from false opinion while the passions arise by an irrational impulse, I thought the first step was for a man to free himself from his passions; for these passions are probably the reason why we fall into false opinions. And there are passions of the soul which everybody knows: anger, wrath, fear, grief, envy, and violent lust. In my opinion, excessive vehemence in loving or hating anything is also a passion; I think the saying “moderation is best” is correct, since no immoderate action is good.

Ἐπειδὴ τὰ μὲν ἁμαρτήματα διὰ [τὴν] ψευδῆ δόξαν γίγνονται͵ τὰ δὲ πάθη διά τιν΄ ἄλογον ὁρμήν͵ ἔδοξέ μοι πρότερον ἑαυτὸν ἐλευ θερῶαι τῶν παθῶν· εἰκὸ γάρ πω καὶ διὰ ταῦτα ψευδῶ ἡμᾶ δο ξάζειν. ἔτι δὲ πάθη ψυχῆ͵ ἅπερ ἅπαντε γινώκουι͵ θυμὸ καὶ ὀργὴ καὶ φόβο καὶ λύπη καὶ φθόνο καὶ ἐπιθυμία φοδρά. κατὰ δὲ τὴν ἐμὴν γνώμην καὶ τὸ φθάαι πάνυ φόδρα φιλεῖν ἢ μιεῖν ὁτιοῦν πρᾶγμα πάθο ἐτίν. ὀρθῶ γὰρ ἔοικεν εἰρῆθαι τὸ μέτρον ἄριτον͵ 5.8 ὡ οὐδενὸ  ἀμέτρου καλῶ γιγνομένου.

How, then, could a man cut out these passions if he did not first know that he had them? But as we said, it is impossible to know them, since we love ourselves to excess. Even if this saying will not permit you to judge yourself, it does allow that you can judge others whom you neither love nor hate. Whenever you hear anyone in town being praised by many because he flatters no man, associate with that man and judge from your own experience whether he is the sort of man they say he is.  [...]

πῶ οὖν ἄν τι ἐκκόψειε ταῦτα μὴ γνοὺ πρότερον ἔχων αὐτά; γνῶναι δ΄͵ ὡ ἐλέγομεν͵ ἀδύνατον͵ ἐπειδὴ φόδρα φιλοῦμεν ἡμᾶ. ἀλλὰ κἂν μὴ αυτὸν ὁ λόγο οὗτο ἐπιτρέπῃ οι κρίνειν͵ ἄλλον γε υγχωρεῖ δύναθαι κρῖναι τὸν μήτε φιλούμενον ὑπὸ οῦ μήτε μιού μενον. ὅταν οὖν ἀκούῃ τινὰ τῶν κατὰ τὴν πόλιν [ὃν μήτε φιλήειν οἶδε μήτε μιήειν] ἐπαινούμενον ὑπὸ πολλῶν ἐπὶ τῷ μηδένα κολα κεύειν͵ ἐκείνῳ προφοιτήα τῇ αυτοῦ πείρᾳ κρῖνον͵ εἰ τοιοῦτό ἐτιν͵ οἷο εἶναι λέγεται͵ [...]

When a man does not greet the powerful and wealthy by name, when he does not visit them, when he does not dine with them, when he lives a disciplined life, expect that man to speak the truth; try, too, to come to a deeper knowledge of what kind of man he is (and this comes about through long association) .

τὸν δὲ μὴ προ αγορεύοντα μήτε παραπέμποντα μήτε υνδειπνοῦντα τοῖ πολὺ δυναμένοι ἢ πλουτοῦι καὶ κεκολαμένῃ τῇ διαίτῃ χρώμενον ἐλπία ἀλη θεύειν εἰ βαθυτέραν ἀφικέθαι πειρῶ γνῶιν͵ ὁποῖό τί ἐτιν (ἐν υνουίαι δ΄ αὕτη πολυχρονιωτέραι γίγνεται)͵

If you find such a man, summon him and talk with him one day in private; ask him to reveal straightway whatever of the above-mentioned passions he may see in you. Tell him you will be most grateful for this service and that you will look on him as your deliverer more than if he had saved you from an illness of the body. Have him promise to reveal it whenever he sees you affected by any of the passions I mentioned. κἂν εὕρῃ τοιοῦτον͵ ἰδίᾳ ποτὲ μόνῳ διαλέχθητι παρακαλέα͵ ὅ τι ἂν ἐν οὶ βλέπῃ τῶν εἰρημένων παθῶν͵ εὐθέω δηλοῦν͵ ὡ χάριν ἕξοντι τούτου μεγίτην ἡγηομένῳ τε ωτῆρα μᾶλλον ἢ εἰ νοοῦντα τὸ ῶμα διέωε. κἂν ὑπόχηται δηλώειν͵ ὅταν ἴδῃ τι τῶν εἰρημένων πάχοντά ε͵ κἄπειτα πλειόνων ἡμερῶν μεταξὺ γιγνομένων μηδὲν εἴπῃ υνδιατρίβων δηλονότι͵ μέμψαι τὸν ἄνθρωπον͵ αὖθί τε παρακάλεον ἔτι λιπαρέτερον ἢ ὡ πρόθεν͵ ὅ τι ἂν ὑπὸ οῦ βλέπῃ κατὰ πάθο πραττόμενον͵ εὐθέω μηνύειν.

If, after several days, although he has obviously been spending time with you, he tells you nothing, reproach him and again urge him, still more earnestly than before, to reveal immediately whatever he sees you doing as the result of passion. If he tells you that he has said nothing because he has seen you commit no passionate act during this time, do not immediately believe him, nor think that you have suddenly become free from fault, but consider that the truth is one or the other of the following. First, the friend whom you have summoned has either been negligent and has not paid attention to you, or he remains silent because he is afraid to reproach you, or because he does not wish to be hated, knowing as he does that it is usual, as I might say, with all men to hate those who speak the truth. Second, if he has not remained silent for these reasons, perhaps he is unwilling to help you and says nothing for this or some other reason which we cannot find it in ourselves to praise.

ἐὰν δ΄ εἴπῃ οι͵ διὰ τὸ μηδὲν ἑωρακέναι περὶ ὲ τοιοῦτον ἐν τῷ μεταξύ͵ διὰ τοῦτο μηδ΄ αὐτὸ εἰρηκέναι͵ μὴ πειθῇ 5.10 εὐθέω μηδ΄ οἰηθῇ ἀναμάρτητο  ἐξαίφνη γεγονέναι͵ ἀλλὰ δυοῖν θά τερον͵ ἢ διὰ ῥᾳθυμίαν οὐ προεχηκέναι οι τὸν παρακληθέντα φίλον ἢ ἐλέγχειν αἰδούμενον ιωπᾶν ἢ καὶ μιηθῆναι μὴ βουλόμενον διὰ τὸ γινώκειν ἅπαιν ὡ ἔπο εἰπεῖν ἀνθρώποι ἔθο εἶναι μιεῖν τοὺ τἀληθῆ λέγοντα͵ ἢ εἰ μὴ διὰ ταῦτα͵ ἴω μὴ βουλόμενον αὐτὸν ὠφελεῖν ε διὰ τοῦτο ιωπᾶν͵ ἢ καὶ δι΄ ἄλλην τινὰ [ἴω] αἰτίαν͵ ἣν οὐκ ἐπαινοῦμεν ἡμεῖ. ἀδύνατον γὰρ εἶναι τὸ μηδὲν ἡμαρτῆθαί οι͵ πιτεύα ἐμοὶ τοῦτο νῦν ἐπαινέει μ΄ ὕτερον͵ θεώμενο ἅπαν τα ἀνθρώπου καθ΄ ἑκάτην ἡμέραν μυρία μὲν ἁμαρτάνοντα καὶ κατὰ πάθο πράττοντα͵ οὐ μὴν αὐτού γε παρακολουθοῦντα.

If you will now believe me that it is impossible for you to have committed no fault, you will praise (me) hereafter when you see that every day all men fall into countless errors and do countless things in passion because they do not understand themselves. Do not, therefore, consider that you are something else and not a human being. But you do judge that you are something other than a human being if you mislead yourself into believing that you have done nothing but good actions for a whole day, much less for a whole month.

ὥτε μηδὲ ὺ νόμιζε αυτὸν ἄλλο τι καὶ μὴ ἄνθρωπον εἶναι. νομίζει δ΄ ἄλλο τι μᾶλλον ἢ ἄνθρωπο ὑπάρχειν͵ ἐὰν ἀναπείῃ αυτὸν ἅπαντα καλῶ οι πεπρᾶχθαι μὴ ὅτι μηνὸ ἑνό͵ ἀλλὰ μιᾶ ἡμέρα. ἴω οὖν ἐρεῖ͵ ἢν ἀντιλογικὸ ᾖ͵ ἤτοι κατὰ προαίρειν ἢ ἐκ 5.11 μοχθηροῦ τινο ἔθου γεγονὼ τοιοῦτο ἢ καὶ φύει φιλόνεικο ὤν͵ ὅον ἐπὶ τῷ νῦν ὑπ΄ ἐμοῦ προκεχειριμένῳ λόγῳ͵ τοὺ οφοὺ ἄνδρα ἄλλο τι μᾶλλον ἢ ἀνθρώπου εἶναι.

If your own choice or some evil disposition has made you disputatious, or if you are naturally disposed to quarrel, perhaps you will rebut the argument I proposed before by contending that wise men are something more than human beings. But compare your argument with mine, which was twofold: first, that only the wise man is entirely free from fault; second, in addition to the foregoing, if the wise man is free from fault, neither is he a human being in this respect. This is why you hear the philosophers of old saying that to be wise is to become like God. (cf. Plato, Theaetetus, 176b.) But, surely, you would never suddenly come to resemble God. When those who have spent their entire lives training themselves to be free from emotion do not believe that they have perfectly acquired this goal, you should be all the more convinced that you are not free from emotion since you have never devoted yourself to this training. [...]

τούτῳ δή ου τῷ λόγῳ τὸν ἡμέτερον ἀντίθε διττὸν ὄντα͵ τὸν μὲν ἕτερον͵ ὅτι μόνο ὁ οφὸ ἀναμάρτητό ἐτι τὸ πάμπαν͵ ἕτερον δ΄ ἐπ΄ αὐτῷ τῷ προϊεμένω͵ εἴπερ ἀναμάρτητό ἐτιν ὁ οφό͵ οὐδ΄ ἄνθρωπον ὑπάρχειν αὐτὸν ὅον ἐπὶ τῷδε. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο τῶν παλαιοτάτων φιλοόφων ἀκούῃ λε γόντων ὁμοίωιν εἶναι θεῷ τὴν οφίαν. ἀλλὰ ύ γε θεῷ παραπλήιο ἐξαίφνη οὐκ ἄν ποτε γένοιο. ὅπου γὰρ οἱ δι΄ ὅλου τοῦ βίου τὴν ἀπά θειαν ἀκήαντε οὐ πιτεύονται τελέω αὐτὴν ἐχηκέναι͵ πολὺ δήπου μᾶλλον ὁ μηδέποτ΄ ἀκήα ύ· μὴ τοίνυν πιτεύῃ τῷ λέγοντι μηδὲν ἑωρακέναι κατὰ πάθο ὑπὸ οῦ πραττόμενον͵  [...]

So at any rate Zeno, too, deemed that we should act carefully in all things—just as if we were going to answer for it to our teachers shortly thereafter. For, according to Zeno, most men are ready to censure their neighbors, even if no one urges them to speak.

οὕτω γοῦν καὶ Ζήνων ἠξίου πάντα πράττειν ἡμᾶ ἀφαλῶ͵ ὡ ἀπολογηαμένου ὄλιγον ὕτερον τοῖ παιδαγωγοῖ. ὠνόμαζε γὰρ οὕτω ἐκεῖνο ὁ ἀνὴρ τοὺ πολλοὺ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἑτοίμου ὄντα τοῖ πέλα ἐπιτιμᾶν͵ κἂν μηδεὶ αὐτοὺ παρακαλῇ.

However, the man who asks for counsel must neither be wealthy nor possess civil dignity: fear will keep anyone from telling the truth to one in civil office, just as fear of losing their profit will keep flatterers from telling the truth to the rich. Even if there be someone who seems to be telling the truth, these flatterers stand aloof from him. If, therefore, anyone who is either powerful or also rich wishes to become good and noble, he will first have to put aside his power and riches, especially in these times when he will not find a Diogenes who will tell the truth even to a rich man or a monarch.

χρὴ δὲ τὸν ἀκούοντα μήτε πλούιον εἶναι μήτε αἰδοῦ ἔχειν πολιτικῆ͵ ὡ͵ ἄν γε ταύτην ἔχῃ͵ διὰ φόβον οὐδεὶ αὐτῷ τἀληθῆ λέ ξει͵ καθάπερ οὐδὲ τοῖ πλουτοῦι διὰ κέρδο οἱ κόλακε· ἀλλὰ κἂν εἴ τι ἀληθεύων παραφανῇ͵ διανίταται πρὸ αὐτῶν. ἐὰν οὖν τι ἤτοι πολλὰ δυνάμενο ἢ καὶ πλούιο ἐθελήῃ γενέθαι καλὸ κἀγαθό͵ ἀποθέθαι πρότερον αὐτὸν δεήει ταῦτα͵ καὶ μάλιτα νῦν͵ ὅπου γ΄ οὐχ εὑρήει Διογένη δυνάμενον εἰπεῖν τούτῳ τἀληθῆ͵ κἂν πλουιώτατο ᾖ͵ κἂν μόναρχο. ἐκεῖνοι μὲν οὖν ὑπὲρ ἑαυτῶν βουλεύονται·

The rich and powerful, then, will be their own counsellors. But you are not one of the city’s wealthy or powerful men. So let all tell you what fault they find with you; be not angry with anyone; consider all, as Zeno said, as your teachers. Nor should you pay the same heed to all the things they say to you. Heed most the older men who have lived excellent lives. Who these men of excellent life are, I have pointed out above. As time goes on, you will understand without their help and realize how great were your former errors; then especially will it be clear that I am telling you the truth when I say that no one is free from passions and errors, not even if he be of the best natural disposition and reared with the best habits, but that everybody slips and does so all the more when he is young.

ὺ δ΄ ὁ μὴ πλούιο μηδὲ δυνατὸ ἐν πόλει πᾶι μὲν ἐπίτρεπε λέγειν͵ ἃ καταγινώκουί ου͵ πρὸ μηδένα δ΄ αὐτὸ ἀγανάκτει͵ καὶ οὕτω ἔχε πάντα͵ ὡ  5.14 Ζήνων ἔλεγε͵ παιδαγωγού. οὐ μὴν ὁμοίω ε πᾶι περὶ ὧν ἂν εἴπωιν ἀξιῶ προέχειν͵ ἀλλὰ τοῖ ἄριτα βεβιωκόι πρεβύται. ὁποῖοι δ΄ εἰὶν οἱ ἄριτα βιοῦντε͵ ὀλίγον ἔμπροθεν εἶπον. ἐν δὲ τῷ χρόνῳ προϊόντι καὶ χωρὶ ἐκείνων αὐτὸ παρακολουθήει καὶ γνώῃ͵ πηλίκα πρόθεν [ἦν͵ ἄν] ἥμαρτε͵ ἡνίκα μάλιτα ἐγώ οι φανοῦμαι λέγων τἀληθῆ͵ μηδένα φάκων ἔξω παθῶν ἢ ἁμαρτημάτων εἶναι͵ μηδ΄ ἂν εὐφυέτατο ᾖ͵ μηδ΄ ἂν ἐν ἔθει καλλίτοι τεθραμμένο͵ ἀλλὰ πάν τω τινὰ φάλλεθαι καὶ μᾶλλον͵ ὅταν ἔτι νέο ᾖ.



4. FOR each of us needs almost a lifetime of training to become a perfect man. Indeed, a man must not give up trying to make himself better even if, at the age of fifty, he should see that his soul has suffered damage which is not incurable but which has been left uncorrected. Even if a man of this age should find his body in poor condition, he would not give it over entirely to its poor health, but he would make every effort to make himself more vigorous, even if he could not have the bodily strength of a Hercules. Therefore, let us continue striving to make our souls more perfect, even if we cannot have the soul of a wise man. If from our youth we take thought for our soul, let us have the highest hope that we will one day have even this, namely, the soul of a wise man. If the fact is that we have failed in this, let us see to it that, at least, our soul does not become thoroughly evil—as was the body of Thersites. [...]

Δεῖται γὰρ ἀκήεω ἕκατο ἡμῶν χεδὸν δι΄ ὅλου τοῦ βίου πρὸ τὸ γενέθαι τέλειο ἀνήρ. οὐ μὴν ἀφίταθαι χρὴ τοῦ βελτίω ποιεῖν ἑαυτόν͵ εἰ καὶ πεντηκοντούτη τι ὢν αἴθοιτο τὴν ψυχὴν λε λωβημένο οὐκ ἀνίατον οὐδ΄ ἀνεπανόρθωτον λώβην. οὐδὲ γὰρ εἰ τὸ ῶμα κακῶ διέκειτο πεντηκοντούτη ὤν͵ ἔκδοτον ἂν ἔδωκε τῇ κα 5.15 χεξίᾳ͵ πάντω δ΄ ἂν ἐπειράθη βέλτιον αὐτὸ κατακευάαι͵ καίτοι τὴν Ἡράκλειον εὐεξίαν οὐ δυνάμενο χεῖν. μὴ τοίνυν μηδ΄ ἡμεῖ ἀφι τώμεθα τοῦ βελτίω τὴν ψυχὴν ἐργάζεθαι͵ κἂν τὴν τοῦ οφοῦ μὴ δυνώμεθα χεῖν͵ ἀλλὰ μάλιτα μὲν ἐλπίζωμεν ἕξειν κἀκείνην͵ ἂν ἐκ μειρακίου προνοώμεθα τῆ ψυχῆ ἡμῶν͵ εἰ δὲ μή͵ ἀλλὰ τοῦ γε μὴ πάναιχρον αὐτὴν γενέθαι͵ καθάπερ ὁ Θερίτη τὸ ῶμα͵ φροντίζωμεν. [...]

Even if you should not become much better, be satisfied if in the first year you have advanced and shown some small measure of improvement. If you continue to withstand your passion and to soften your anger, you will show more remarkable improvement during the second year; then, if you still continue to take thought for yourself, you will notice a great increase in the dignity of your life in the third year, and after that, in the fourth year, the fifth, and so on. A man does everything, for many years in succession, that he may become a good physician, or public speaker, or grammarian, or geometer. Is it a disgrace for you to toil for a long time that you may one day be a good man?

 ὺ δ΄ εἰ καὶ μὴ πολὺ γένοιο βελτίων͵ ἀρκεθήῃ γε καὶ μικρῷ τινι κατὰ τὸν πρῶτον ἐνιαυτὸν ἐπιδοῦναι πρὸ τὸ κρεῖττον. ἐὰν γὰρ ἐπιμείνῃ τῷ πάθει τ΄ ἀντέχων καὶ πραΰνων τὸν θυμόν͵ ἀξιολογώτερον ἐπιδώει κατὰ τὸ δεύτερον ἔτο. εἶτ΄ ἐὰν ἔτι διαμείνῃ ἑαυτοῦ προνοούμενο καὶ μᾶλλον ἐν τῷ τρίτῳ καὶ μετ΄ αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ 5.21 τετάρτῳ  καὶ πέμπτῳ καὶ τοῖ ἑξῆ͵ αἰθήῃ μεγάλη αὐξήεω εἰ βίου εμνότητα. αἰχρὸν γάρ͵ ἵνα μέν τι ἰατρὸ ἀγαθὸ ἢ ῥήτωρ ἢ γραμματικὸ ἢ γεωμέτρη γένηται͵ πολλοῖ ἔτειν ἐφεξῆ πάντα κι νεῖν͵ ὲ δ΄ ἄνθρωπον ἀγαθόν ποτε γενέθαι τῷ μήκει τοῦ χρόνου κάμνειν.



5. HOW, then, does one begin this training? Let us take it up again, for there is no harm in saying the same things twice or three times in matters which are most necessary. The beginning is never to use one’s own hand in punishing a servant who has done wrong. I once heard that Plato had forgiven one of his servants who had done some wrong; because I thought his action noble, I acted in the same way throughout my life. [...]

Τί οὖν ἐτιν ἡ τῆ ἀκήεω ἀρχή; πάλιν ἀναλάβωμεν (ὑπὲρ γὰρ τῶν ἀναγκαιοτάτων οὐδὲν χεῖρόν ἐτι καὶ δὶ καὶ τρὶ λέγειν τὰ αὐτά) τὸ μηδέποτε μηδένα τῶν οἰκετῶν ἁμαρτάνοντα διὰ τῶν ἑαυτοῦ χειρῶν νουθετεῖν· ἀλλ΄ ὥπερ ἐγώ ποτε πυθόμενο αἰδεῖθαι Πλάτωνα πρό τινα τῶν ὑπηρετῶν ἁμαρτόντα διὰ παντὸ οὕτω ἔπραξα͵ καλὸν ἡγηάμενο εἶναι τὸ ἔργον͵ [...]

Therefore, do not consider him a wise man who only stands acquitted of this very thing, namely, kicking, biting, and stabbing those nearby. Such a man, it is true, is no longer a wild beast, but he is indeed not yet a wise man; he is somewhere between the two. Are you, therefore, content if you no longer are a wild beast? Are you not concerned with becoming a good and noble man? Or, since you are no longer a wild beast, is it not better that you cease to be mad and irrational? If you will never be a slave to anger, if you will always reason things out and do everything you think best after dispassionate consideration, you will be a good and noble man.

μὴ τοίνυν νόμιζε φρόνιμον ἄνθρωπον ὑπάρχειν͵ ὃ ἂν αὐτὸ τοῦτο μόνον ἐκφύγῃ τὸ λακτίζειν καὶ δάκνειν καὶ κεντεῖν τοὺ πέλα ὁ γὰρ τοιοῦτο οὐκέτι μέν ἐτι θηρίον͵ οὐ μὴν ἤδη γε φρόνιμο ἄνθρωπο ἀλλ΄ ἐν τῷ μεταξὺ τούτων καὶ τῶν θηρίων. ἆρ΄ οὖν ἀρκεῖ οι μηκέτ΄ εἶναι θηρίῳ͵ τοῦ δ΄ ἄνθρωπο γενέθαι καλὸ κἀγαθὸ οὐ πεφρόν τικα; ἢ βέλτιον͵ ὥπερ οὐκέτι θηρίον͵ οὕτω μηδ΄ ἄφρονά ε μηδ΄ ἀλόγιτον ἔτι διαμένειν; ἔῃ δὲ τοιοῦτο͵ ἐὰν μηδέποτε θυμῷ δου λεύων͵ ἀλλ΄ ἀεὶ [δια]λογιζόμενο ἅπαντα πράττῃ ἅ [παντα] οι χωρὶ τοῦ πάθου κεπτομένῳ φαίνεται κράτιτα.

How will this come to pass? It will come to pass after you have conferred upon yourself the greatest conceivable honor. If you are the one man who is not prone to anger, does this not prove that you are better than all men? But perhaps you wish to be considered better, although you are not willing really to be better—like someone who, in reality, is physically sick but is eager to be thought healthy. Do you not think that anger is a sickness of the soul? Or do you think that men of old were wrong when they spoke of grief, wrath, anger, lust, fear, and all the passions as diseases of the soul?

πῶ οὖν ἔται τοῦτο; τιμήαντό ου τιμῆ εαυτὸν μεγίτη͵ ἧ οὐδ΄ ἐπινοῆαι δυνατόν ἐτι μείζονα. τὸ γὰρ ἁπάντων ἀνθρώπων ὀργιζομένων αὐτὸν ἀόργητον εἶναι͵ τί ἄλλο ἐτὶν ἢ ἑαυτὸν ἐπιδεῖξαι πάντων ἀνθρώπων βελτίονα; 5.24 ὺ δ΄ ἴω [τί ἄλλο ἐτὶν ἑαυτὸν ἀποδεῖξαι] νομίζεθαι μὲν εἶναι βελτίων ἐθέλει͵ εἶναι δὲ ὄντω βελτίων οὐ βούλει͵ καθάπερ εἴ τι ἐπεθύμηε νομίζεθαι μὲν ὑγιαίνειν τὸ ῶμα͵ νοεῖν δὲ κατ΄ ἀλήθειαν. ἢ οὐχ ἡγεῖ νόημα ψυχῆ εἶναι τὸν θυμόν; ἢ μάτην ὑπὸ τῶν πα λαιῶν ὀνομάζεθαι νομίζει πάθη ψυχῆ πάντα ταῦτα͵ λύπην ὀργὴν θυμὸν ἐπιθυμίαν φόβον;

As I see it, this is by far the better course to follow: [1] ἀλλ΄ ἔμοιγε δοκεῖ βέλτιον εἶναι [δοκεῖ]

[1] first, if a man wishes to keep as free as he can from the passions I mentioned, as soon as he gets up from bed, let him consider for each of his daily tasks whether it is better to live as a slave to his passions or to apply reason to each of them;

 μακρῷ τὸν βουλόμενον ὡ ἐπὶ πολὺ ἔχειν ἄνευ τῶν εἰρημένων παθῶν πρῶτον μὲν ἐξανα τάντα τῆ κοίτη ἐπικοπεῖθαι πρὸ πάντων τῶν καθ΄ ἡμέραν ἔργων͵ ἆρα βέλτιόν ἐτι πάθει δουλεύοντα ζῆν ἢ λογιμῷ χρῆθαι πρὸ ἅπαντα·

[2] second, if he wishes to become good and noble, let him seek out someone who will help him by disclosing his every action which is wrong;

δεύτερον δ΄͵ ὅτι τῷ βουλομένῳ γίγνεθαι καλῷ κἀγαθῷ παρα κλητέον [δ΄] ἐτὶ τὸν δηλώοντα τῶν ὑφ΄ ἑαυτοῦ πραττομένων οὐκ ὀρθῶ ἕκατον·

[3] next, (he must) keep this thought before his mind each day and hour: it is better for him to esteem himself as one of the good and noble, but none of us can succeed in this unless he has someone to point out his every error; moreover, we must consider the one who shows us our every fault as our deliverer and greatest friend.

εἶθ΄ ὅτι χρὴ καθ΄ ἑκάτην ἡμέραν τε καὶ ὥραν ἔχειν ἐν προχείρῳ τὴν δόξαν ταύτην͵ ὡ ἄμεινον μέν ἐτιν ἑαυτὸν τιμῆαι τῶν καλῶν κἀγαθῶν͵ τοῦτο δ΄ ἄνευ τοῦ χεῖν τὸν δηλώαντα τῶν ἁμαρτανομένων ἕκατον ἀδύνατόν ἐτιν ἡμῖν περιγενέθαι͵

Furthermore, even if you sometimes think that the charges such a friend lays at your door are false, you should restrain your anger. Why? First, it is possible that he sees better than you do the errors into which you fall, just as it is possible that you see it better than he when he does something wrong. Second, even if at times he is wrong in upbraiding you, you must on that account rouse yourself to a more accurate examination of your actions. But the most important thing is that, after you have decided to esteem yourself as a good and noble man, you see to it that you keep before your mind the ugliness of soul of those who are angry and the beauty of soul of those who are not prone to anger.

καὶ 5.25 μέντοι καὶ [τὸν] ωτῆρα ἐκεῖνον  καὶ φίλον μέγιτον ἡγεῖθαι τὸν μηνύαντα τῶν πλημμελουμένων ἕκατα· εἶθ΄ ὅτι͵ κἂν ψευδῶ οι φαίνηταί ποτ΄ ἐγκαλέα͵ ἀόργητον προήκει φαίνεθαι͵ πρῶτον μὲν ὅτι δύνατόν ἐτιν ἐκεῖνον οῦ βέλτιον ὁρᾶν ἕκατον ὧν ἁμαρτάνων τυγχάνει͵ ὥπερ καί ε τῶν ἐκείνου τι͵ δεύτερον ὅτι κἂν ἐπηρεάῃ ποτὲ ψευδῶ͵ ἀλλ΄ οὖν ἐπήγειρέ ε πρὸ ἀκριβετέραν ἐπίκεψιν͵ ὧν πράττει. ὃ δ΄ ἐτὶ μέγιτον ἐν τούτῳ͵ ἀεὶ φύλαττε͵ προῃρημένο γε τιμᾶν εαυτόν. ἔτι δὲ τοῦτο διὰ μνήμη ἔχειν πρόχειρα τό τε τῶν ὀργιζομένων τῆ ψυχῆ αἶχο τό τε τῶν ἀοργήτων κάλλο.

A man who has for a long time habitually fallen into error finds it difficult to remove the defilement of the passions from his soul; hence, he must for a long time practice each of the principles that are calculated to make the man who complies with them a good and noble person. For the soul is already full of passions, and, hence, we fail to notice one which is driven from the soul without great effort on our part. Therefore, each of us who wishes to be saved has to understand that (he must) 

ὃ γὰρ ἁμαρτάνειν ἐθιθεὶ χρόνῳ πολλῷ δυέκνιπτον ἔχε τὴν κηλῖδα τῶν παθῶν͵ τούτῳ καὶ τῶν δογμάτων͵ οἷ πειθόμενο ἀνὴρ γενήῃ καλὸ κἀγαθό͵ ἐν πολλῷ χρόνῳ προήκει μελετᾶν ἕκατον. ἐπιλανθανόμεθα γὰρ αὐτοῦ ῥᾳδίω ἐκπίπτοντο τῆ ψυχῆ ἡμῶν διὰ τὸ φθάαι πεπλη ρῶθαι τοῖ πάθειν αὐτήν. τοιγαροῦν παρακολουθητέον ἐτὶν ἑκάτῳ τῶν ωθῆναι βουλομένων͵

not relax his vigilance for a single hour;

ὡ δεῖ μηδεμίαν ὥραν ἀπορρᾳθυμεῖν͵

we must permit all men to accuse us;

ἐπι 5.26 τρεπτέον τε πᾶι κατηγορεῖν ἡμῶν͵

we must listen to them in a gentle spirit;

παρακουτέον  τε πράω αὐτῶν

(we must show) gratitude, not to those who flatter us, but to those who rebuke us.

καὶ χάριν ἰτέον οὐ τοῖ κολακεύουιν͵ ἀλλὰ τοῖ ἐπιπλήττουιν.

If you have prepared yourself so well that you are confident that no one who comes to visit you will find you caught in the strong grip of any of the major errors, let the door to your house always stand open and grant your close friends the right to enter at any time. Cutting out any error is difficult for one who is unwilling to try. But if a man determines to do so, it is very easy to get rid of the major errors. With your door ever standing open, as I said, give your close friends the authority to enter at any time. All men who have entered public life try to be moderate in all their actions; you must do the same in your own home. When those men [in public life] have done some wrong and are caught, they are not ashamed of themselves but that others have found them out. But you must be ashamed of yourself and pay special heed to him who says:

ἀνεῴχθω ου ἡ θύρα διὰ παντὸ τῆ οἰκήεω καὶ ἐξέτω τοῖ υνήθειν εἰιέναι πάντα καιρόν͵ ἢν οὕτω ᾖ παρεκευαμένο͵ ὡ θαρρεῖν ὑπὸ τῶν εἰιόντων εὑρίκεθαι μηδενὶ τῶν μεγάλων ἁμαρτη μάτων ἰχυρῶ κατειλημμένον. ἔτι δ΄ ὥπερ τῷ ἄκοντι πᾶν ἐκκόψαι δύκολον͵ οὕτω τὰ μεγάλα τῷ βουληθέντι ῥᾷτον. τῆ θύρα οὖν ἀνεῳγμένη ου διὰ παντό͵ ὡ εἶπον͵ ἐξουία τοῖ υνήθειν ἔτω κατὰ πάντα καιρὸν εἰιέναι. ὡ δ΄ οἱ ἄλλοι πάντε ἄνθρωποι προ ελθόντε εἰ τὸ δημόιον ἅπαντα πειρῶνται πράττειν κομίω͵ οὕτω ὺ κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν οἰκίαν πρᾶττε. ἀλλ΄ ἐκεῖνοι μὲν αἰδούμενοι τοὺ ἄλλου ἁμαρτόντε τι φωραθῆναι μόνου ἑαυτοὺ οὐκ αἰδοῦνται͵ ὺ δὲ αυτὸν αἰδοῦ μάλιτα πειθόμενο τῷ φάντι·

“Of all things,
be most ashamed of yourself”

(Carmen aureum)

πάντων δὲ μάλιτ΄
    αἰχύνεο αυτόν.

If you do this, some day you will be able to tame and calm that power of passion within you which is as irrational as some wild beast. Untamed horses are useless, but horsemen can in a short time make them submissive and manageable. Can you not take and tame this thing which is not some beast from outside yourself but an irrational power within your soul, a dwelling it shares at every moment with your power of reason? Even if you cannot tame it quickly, can you not do so over a longer period of time? It would be a terrible thing if you could not.

οὕτω γὰρ πράττων δυνήῃ ποτὲ τὴν τοῦ θυμοειδοῦ ἐν οὶ δύναμιν 5.27 ἄλογον ὥπερ τι θηρίον ἡμερῶαί τε καὶ πραῧναι· ἢ δεινὸν ἂν εἴη τοὺ μὲν ἱππικοὺ ἄνδρα ἀχρείου τοὺ ἵππου παραλαβόντα ἐν ὀλίγῳ χρόνῳ χειροήθει ἐργάζεθαι͵ ὲ δ΄ οὐκ ἔξωθέν τι λαβόντα ζῷον͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐν τῇ αυτοῦ ψυχῇ δύναμιν ἄλογον͵ ᾗ διὰ παντὸ ὁ λογιμό ου υνοικεῖ͵ μὴ δυνηθῆναι πραῧναι ταύτην͵ εἰ καὶ μὴ ταχέω͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐν μακροτέρῳ χρόνῳ.



 Healing the Irascible and Concupiscible Powers


6. MY treatise On Moral Character [NB. lost]  told at length how a man might make his soul a very good one; it pointed out that there is no need for him to destroy his soul’s strength any more than we would destroy the strength of the horses and dogs which we put to our use. But just as we exercise our horses and dogs in the practice of obedience, we must also cultivate obedience in our soul. That same treatise also made it quite clear to you how you might use the irascible power itself to help you fight against the other power, which the philosophers of old called the concupiscible, (Plato, Republic, 440a) by which we are carried, without thinking, to the pleasures of the body.

Λέλεκται δ΄ ἐπὶ πλέον ἐν τοῖ Περὶ ἠθῶν ὑπομνήμαιν͵ ὅπω ἂν ἀρίτην τι αὐτὴν ἐργάαιτο καὶ ὡ τὴν μὲν ἰχὺν οὐ χρὴ καταβαλεῖν αὐτῆ͵ ὥπερ οὐδὲ τῶν ἵππων τε καὶ κυνῶν͵ οἷ χρώ μεθα͵ τὴν δ΄ εὐπείθειαν ὡ ἐκείνων οὕτω καὶ ταύτη ἀκεῖν. ἐπι δέδεικται δέ οι [καὶ] δι΄ ἐκείνων τῶν ὑπομνημάτων οὐχ ἥκιτα καὶ ὅπω αὐτῇ πάλιν τῇ τοῦ θυμοειδοῦ δυνάμει υμμάχῳ χρήῃ κατὰ τῆ ἑτέρα͵ ἣν ἐπιθυμητικὴν ἐκάλουν οἱ παλαιοὶ φιλόοφοι͵ φε ρομένη ἀλογίτω ἐπὶ τὰ διὰ τοῦ ώματο ἡδονά.

When a man’s anger makes his behavior unseemly, it is a disgraceful thing to see. It is just as disgraceful when his unseemly behavior is due to erotic desire and gluttony and to drunkenness and luxuriousness in eating, which are actions and passions belonging to the concupiscible power of his soul. Unlike the irascible power, I represented this power as not suited to horses and dogs but befitting the wild boar and goat and any of the wild beasts which cannot be domesticated. And so there is no training for the concupiscible power corresponding to the training afforded by obedience to the irascible part of the soul, but there is a kind of analogy between this obedience and what the ancients called chastisement.

ὥπερ οὖν αἰχρὸν θέαμα διὰ θυμὸν ἄνθρωπο ἀχημονῶν͵ οὕτω καὶ δι΄ ἔρωτα καὶ 5.28 γατριμαργίαν͵ οἰνοφλυγίαν τε καὶ λιχνείαν͵ ἃ τῆ ἐπιθυμητικῆ ἐτι δυνάμεω ἔργα τε καὶ πάθη͵ προεοικυία οὐχ ἵππῳ καὶ κυνί͵ καθάπερ εἴκαα τὴν πρώτην͵ ἀλλ΄ ὑβριτῇ κάπρῳ καὶ τράγῳ καί τινι τῶν ἀγρίων ἡμερωθῆναι μὴ δυναμένων. διὸ ταύτη μὲν οὐδεμία παίδευι τοιαύτη ἐτὶν οἵα τῆ ἑτέρα ἡ εὐπείθεια͵ ὃ δ΄ ἐκάλουν οἱ παλαιοὶ κολάζειν ἀναλογίαν τινὰ ἔχει πρὸ τήνδε.

The chastisement of the concupiscible power consists in not furnishing it with the enjoyment of the things it desires. If it does attain to this enjoyment, it becomes great and strong; if it is disciplined and corrected, it becomes small and weak. The result is that the concupiscible power does not follow reason because it is obedient but because it is weak. Surely the same is true with human beings themselves: we see that the worse follow the better either because the inferior men are forced against their wills, as is the case with children and slaves, or because they obey willingly, as do men who are good by nature. And moreover, the ancients had a name in common use for those who have not been chastised and disciplined in this very respect: that man, whoever he be, in whom it is clear that the power of reason has failed to discipline the concupiscible power is called an intractable or undisciplined man.

γίγνεται δ΄ ἡ κόλαι τῆ δυνάμεω ταύτη ἐν τῷ μὴ παρέχειν αὐτῇ τὴν τῶν ἐπιθυμουμένων ἀπόλαυιν· ἰχυρὰ μὲν γὰρ οὕτω καὶ μεγάλη γίγνεται͵ κολαθεῖα δὲ μικρά τε καὶ ἀθενή͵ ὡ ἔπεθαι τῷ λογιμῷ δι΄ ἀθένειαν͵ οὐ δι΄ εὐπείθειαν. οὕτω γοῦν καὶ αὐτῶν τῶν ἀνθρώπων ὁρῶμεν ἑπομένου τοῖ βελ τίοι τοὺ χείρου͵ ἢ ἄκοντα βιαζομένου ὥπερ τὰ παιδία καὶ τοὺ οἰκέτα ἢ πειθέντα ἑκόντα ὥπερ τοὺ ἀγαθοὺ φύει. καὶ τοίνυν καὶ πρόρημα τῶν μὴ κολαθέντων αὐτὸ δὴ τοῦτο τοῖ παλαιοῖ ύνηθέ ἐτιν͵ ὡ ἀκόλατο ὅδε τι ἄνθρωπό ἐτιν͵ ἐφ΄ οὗ δηλονότι τὴν ἐπιθυμητικὴν δύναμιν οὐκ ἐκόλαεν ἡ λογιτική.

We have in our souls two irrational powers. The one [the irascible,] has for its task to become angry and wrathful on the spot with those who seem to have treated us ill in some way. It is also a function of this same power to cherish its wrath for a longer period since the passion of anger is greater in proportion to the length of time it endures. The other irrational power in us [the concupiscible] is the one by which we are carried forward to what appears to be pleasant before we have considered whether it is helpful and good or harmful and bad.

5.29 δύο γὰρ ἔχομεν ἐν ταῖ ψυχαῖ δυνάμει ἀλόγου͵ μίαν μέν͵ ἧ  τὸ θυμοῦθαί τε παραχρῆμα καὶ ὀργίζεθαι τοῖ δόξαί τι πλημμελεῖν εἰ ἡμᾶ ἔργον ἐτί. τῆ δ΄ αὐτῆ ταύτη καὶ τὸ μηνιᾶν ἄχρι πλείονο͵ ὃ τοούτῳ πλεῖόν ἐτι θυμοῦ πάθο͵ ὅῳ καὶ χρονιώτερον. ἄλλη δ΄ ἐτὶν ἐν ἡμῖν δύναμι ἄλογο ἐπὶ τὸ φαινόμενον ἡδὺ προπετῶ φερο μένη͵ πρὶν διακέψαθαι͵ πότερον ὠφέλιμόν ἐτι καὶ καλόν͵ ἢ βλαβερόν τε καὶ κακόν.

Strive to hold the impetuosity of this power in check before it grows and acquires an unconquerable strength. For then, even if you will to do so, you will not be able to hold it in check; then you will say what I heard a certain lover say—that you wish to stop but that you cannot—then you will call on us for help but in vain, just as that man begged for someone to help him and to cut out his passion. For there are also diseases of the body so intense that they are beyond cure.

ταύτη οὖν ἐπέχειν πειρῶ τὴν φοδρότητα͵ πρὶν αὐξη θεῖαν ἰχὺν δυνίκητον κτήαθαι. τηνικαῦτα γὰρ οὐδ΄ ἂν θελήῃ ἔτι καταχεῖν αὐτὴν δυνήῃ͵ κἄπειτα φήει͵ ὅπερ ἤκουά τινο ἐρῶντο͵ ἐθέλειν μὲν παύαθαι͵ μὴ δύναθαι δέ͵ παρακαλέει τε μάτην ἡμᾶ ὡαύτω ἐκείνῳ τῷ δεομένῳ βοηθῆαί τε καὶ τὸ πάθο ἐκκόψαι. καὶ γὰρ τῶν τοῦ ώματο παθῶν ἔνια διὰ μέγεθό ἐτιν ἀνίατα. ὺ δ΄ ἴω οὐδ΄ ἐνενόηά ποτε τοῦτο.

Perhaps you have never thought about this. It would be better, then, for you to think now and consider whether I am telling the truth when I say that the concupiscible power often waxes so strong that it hurls us into a love beyond all cure, a love not only for beautiful bodies and sexual pleasures but also for voluptuous eating, gluttony in food and drink, and for lewd, unnatural conduct, or if I am mistaken about these and many of the matters I spoke of before.

βέλτιον οὖν οι κἂν νῦν ἐννοῆαί γε καὶ διακέψαθαι͵ πότερον ἀληθεύω λέγων αὐξανομένην τὴν ἐπιθυμητικὴν δύναμιν εἰ ἀνίατον ἔρωτα πολλάκι ἐμβαλεῖν͵ οὐ ωμάτων μόνον ὡραίων οὐδ΄ ἀφροδιίων͵ ἀλλὰ καὶ λιχνεία  5.30 καὶ γατριμαργία οἰνοφλυγία τε καὶ τῆ παρὰ φύιν αἰχρουργία͵ ἢ ψεύδομαι καὶ ταῦτα καὶ ἄλλα πολλὰ τῶν ἔμπροθεν εἰρημένων. ἃ γὰρ περὶ τοῦ θυμοῦ λέλεκται μέχρι τοῦ δεῦρο͵

Consider that what I said before about anger has also been said about the other diseases of the soul.

ταῦτα καὶ περὶ τῶν ἄλλων παθῶν ἡγοῦ λελέχθαι·

[1] First, we must not leave the diagnosis of these passions to ourselves but we must entrust it to others;

πρῶτον μέν͵ ὡ ἑτέροι ἐτὶ τὴν διάγνωιν αὐτῶν ἐπιτρεπτέον͵ οὐχ ἡμῖν αὐτοῖ·

[2] second, we must not leave this task to anyone at all but to older men who are commonly considered to be good and noble — men to whom we ourselves have given full approval because, on many occasions, we have found them free from these passions.

εἶθ΄ ὅτι μὴ τοὺ τυχόντα τούτοι ἐπιτατέον͵ ἀλλὰ πρεβύτα ὁμολογουμένου μὲν εἶναι καλοὺ κἀγαθού͵ ἐξηταμένου δὲ καὶ πρὸ ἡμῶν αὐτῶν ἐπὶ πλέον ἐν ἐκείνοι τοῖ καιροῖ ἕνεκα τοῦ ἔξω παθῶν εἶναι·

[3] We must further show that we are grateful to these men and not annoyed with them when they mention any of our faults;

εἶθ΄ ὅτι φαίνεθαι χρὴ τοῖ τοιούτοι͵ ὅταν εἴπωί τι τῶν ἡμετέρων ἁμαρτη μάτων͵ οὐκ ἀγανακτοῦντα͵

[4] then, too, a man must remind himself of these things [at least three times] each day—if he does so frequently it will be all the better, but if not frequently, at least let him do so

ἀλλὰ χάριν εἰδότα͵ εἶτα ταῦτα καθ΄ ἑκάτην ἡμέραν αὑτὸν ἀναμιμνήκειν͵ ἄμεινον μὲν εἰ πολλάκι͵ εἰ δὲ μή͵ ἀλλὰ πάντω γε

[a] at dawn,

κατὰ τὴν ἕω͵

[b] before he begins his daily tasks,

πρὶν ἄρχεθαι τῶν πράξεων͵

[c] and toward evening before he is about to rest.

εἰ ἑπέραν δέ͵ πρὶν ἀναπαύεθαι μέλλειν.

You may be sure that I have grown accustomed to ponder twice a day the exhortations attributed to Pythagoras—first I read them over, then I recite them aloud.

ἐγὼ δήπου καὶ ταύτα δὴ τὰ φερομένα ὡ Πυθαγόρου παραινέει εἴθιμαι δὶ τῆ ἡμέρα ἀνα γινώκειν μὲν τὰ πρῶτα͵ λέγειν δ΄ ἀπὸ τόματο ὕτερον.

[...] As time goes on, I would no longer ask you to look at your companions at the table, for it is no great task to eat and drink more temperately than they do; if, however, you have really learned how to judge yourself, consider whether you have lived a life of greater self-discipline yesterday or today. For if you will do this, you will perceive day by day that you are more content to keep away from the things of which I spoke; you will see that you will greatly gladden your soul, if indeed you will be a true lover of temperance. For any man is glad to make progress in that which he loves. [...]

[...] τοῦ χρόνου δὲ προϊόντο οὐκέτ΄ οὐδὲ πρὸ τοὺ υνδειπνοῦντα 5.32 ἀποβλέπειν ἀξιώαιμ΄ ἄν ε· μέγα γὰρ οὐδὲν  ἐκείνων ἐθίειν τε καὶ πίνειν ἐγκρατέτερον. εἰ δέ περ ὄντω αὑτὸν ἔγνωκα τιμᾶν͵ ἐπι κέπτου͵ πότερον μᾶλλον [ποτε] ἐγκρατῶ διῄτηαι χθὲ ἢ τήμερον· ἐὰν γὰρ τοῦτο ποιῇ͵ αἰθήῃ καθ΄ ἑκάτην ἡμέραν εὐκολώτερον͵ ὧν εἶπον͵ ἀπεχόμενο͵ αἰθήῃ τε μεγάλα εὐφρανθηόμενο τὴν ψυχήν͵ ἐάν γε ωφρούνη ὄντω ἐρατὴ ὑπάρχῃ. ὅτου γὰρ ἄν τι ἐραθῇ͵ χαίρει προκόπτων ἐν αὐτῷ. [...]

Just as those men practice and pursue the height of the objects of their zeal, so must we zealously pursue the peak of temperance. If we shall do this, we will not compare ourselves to the undisciplined and intemperate, nor will it be enough to have more self-discipline and temperance than they.

ὡ οὖν ἐκεῖνοι τὴν ἀκρότητα τῶν πουδαζομένων ἀκοῦί τε καὶ μεταδιώκουιν͵ οὕτω καὶ ἡμᾶ χρὴ ωφρούνη ἀκρότητα που δάζειν. ἢν δὲ τοῦτο πράξωμεν͵ οὐ τοῖ ἀκολάτοι ἡμᾶ παραβαλοῦμεν οὐδ΄ ἀρκέει πλέον ἐκείνων ἔχειν ἐγκρατεία τε καὶ ωφρούνη͵

First, we will strive to surpass those who earnestly pursue this same virtue of temperance, for such rivalry is very noble; after them, let us strive to surpass ourselves, so that from long-continued custom we may enjoy using the foods which are both the most healthful and the easiest to provide as well as the most nourishing. Let us remind ourselves that this is one of the proverbs which is well said: “Choose the life which is best; living with it will make it pleasant.” ἀλλὰ 5.33 πρῶτον μὲν τοὺ πουδάζοντα τὰ αὐτὰ φιλονεικήομεν  ὑπερβαλέθαι (καλλίτη γὰρ ἡ τοιαύτη φιλονεικία)͵ μετ΄ ἐκείνου αὖθι δ΄ ἡμᾶ αὐτοὺ  ὡ ἐξ ἔθου πολυχρονίου τούτοι ὑγιεινοτάτοι τε [ἅμα] καὶ προθεῖναι ῥᾴτοι ἡδέω ἅμα τροφῇ χρῆθαι͵ μεμνημένου ὡ τῶν καλῶ εἰρημένων ἓν καὶ τοῦτ΄ ἐτίν· ἑλοῦ τὸν βίον ἄριτον͵ ἡδὺν δ΄ αὐτὸν ἡ υνήθεια ποιήει.

When I asked you to exercise yourself against your anger, you were able to see as a token of the benefit gained that you no longer were becoming angry. In the same way, let the fact that you no longer yearn for the things which are most pleasant be a token for you in the matter of temperance. The road to temperance is through self-discipline. It is in this very way that the temperate man holds an advantage over the man who has no command over himself: the temperate man no longer yearns for delicacies of the table, either because of long-standing habit or because of his self-control—as the very name shows, since it is derived from controlling and conquering one’s desires.

ὥπερ οὖν͵ ὁπότε πρὸ τὸν θυμὸν ἀκεῖν ἠξίουν ε͵ γνώριμα τῆ ὠφελεία εἶχε ὁρᾶν αυτὸν οὐκέτι θυμούμενον͵ ὡαύτω ἐπὶ τῆ ωφρούνη ἔτω οι γνώριμα μηδ΄ ἐπιθυμεῖν ἔτι τῶν ἡδίτων. ὁδὸ δ΄ ἐπ΄ αὐτήν ἐτι διὰ τῆ ἐγκρατεία. τούτῳ γὰρ αὐτῷ πλεονεκτεῖ ώφρων ἀκρατοῦ͵ τῷ μηδ΄ ἐπιθυμεῖν ἔτι λίχνων ἐδεμάτων ἢ διὰ πολυχρόνιον ἔθο ἢ δι΄ ἐγκράτειαν͵ καθάπερ καὶ αὐτὸ τοὔνομα αὐτῆ ἐνδείκνυται͵ ὅπερ ἐτὶν ἐκ τοῦ κρατεῖν καὶ νικᾶν τὰ ἐπιθυμία γεγονό.

To practice it is toilsome and difficult, at least at the beginning, but this is the case with every practice of a noble pursuit.

ἐπίπονο δ΄ ἐτὶ καὶ τραχεῖα τό γε κατ΄ ἀρχά͵ ὥπερ καὶ αἱ ἄλλαι πᾶαι τῶν καλῶν ἐπιτηδευμάτων ἀκήει.

If, therefore, you wish to have either virtue instead of wickedness or peace of soul instead of titillation of the body, you must exercise yourself in the aforementioned manner as you make your way to temperance through self-control. But if you decide either to dishonor virtue or to feel titillation through your whole body, then you must lay this discourse aside. It does not exhort to virtue; but for those who have been won over, it explains the way in which a man might acquire virtue.

εἰ μὲν οὖν ἤτοι τὴν ἀρετὴν ἀντὶ τῆ κακία ἔχειν ἐθέλει ἢ τὴν γαλήνην τῆ ψυχῆ ἀντὶ  5.34 τῶν τοῦ ώματο γαργαλιμῶν͵ ἀκητέον ἐτί οι τὸν εἰρημένον τρό πον ἐπὶ ωφρούνην βαδίζοντι δι΄ ἐγκρατεία· εἰ δ΄ ἤτοι τὴν ἀρετὴν ἀτιμάζειν ἢ γαργαλίζεθαι βούλει δι΄ ὅλου τοῦ ώματο͵ ἤδη κατα λειπτέον τὸν λόγον τοῦτον. οὐ γάρ ἐτι προτρεπτικὸ ἐπ΄ ἀρετήν͵





7. AND  so, in response to your wish, I set down the sum total of all I have said and all I am going to say. Although there may be some other way by which a man becomes good and noble, I do not know how to discover it. Hence, I personally followed this way throughout my whole life, and I did not begrudge explaining it to others; in fact, I urged them to change places with me and to instruct me if they knew of some other way to become noble and good. But until we come across some other way, let us busy ourselves with this method which is the usual one for recognizing and curing all diseases of the soul. For obstinacy, love of glory, lust for power are diseases of the soul. Greediness is less harmful than these, but it, too, is, nevertheless, a disease. And what must I say of envy? It is the worst of evils. I call it envy whenever someone is grieved over the success of others. All grief is a disease, and envy is the worst grief, whether we call it a passion or a kind of pain which borders on grief.

5.35 Ἐγὼ μὲν οὖν ἅπαντα τά τ΄ εἰρημένα καὶ τὰ μέλλοντα λεχθή εθαι τοῖ βουληθεῖιν ὑποτίθεμαι. τάχα μὲν οὖν οὔη καὶ ἄλλη τινὸ ὁδοῦ πρὸ τὸ καλὸν κἀγαθὸν γενέθαι͵ μὴ γιγνώκων δ΄ εὑρεῖν αὐτὸ ἐχρηάμην τε δι΄ ὅλου τοῦ βίου ταύτῃ καὶ τοῖ ἄλλοι ἀφθό νω ἐδήλουν παρακαλῶν ἀντιδιδόναι τε καὶ ἀντονινάναι τι καὶ ἀντι διδάκειν͵ εἴ τιν΄ ἑτέραν [ἄλλην] αὐτοὶ γιγνώκουι καλοκἀγαθία ὁδόν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἄχρι περ ἂν ἐπιτύχωμεν ἄλλη͵ ἐν τῇδε διατρίβωμεν͵ ἣ κοινὴ πάντων διαγνώεώ τε καὶ θεραπεία. καὶ γὰρ ἡ φιλονεικία καὶ ἡ φιλοδοξία καὶ ἡ φιλαρχία πάθη τῆ ψυχῆ εἰι. τούτων δ΄ ἔλαττον μὲν ἡ ἀπλητία͵ ἀλλ΄ ὅμω καὶ αὐτὴ πάθο. περὶ δὲ τοῦ φθόνου τί δεῖ καὶ λέγειν; ἔχατον τῶν κακῶν ἐτιν· ὀνομάζω δὲ φθόνον͵ ὅταν τι ἐπ΄ ἀλλοτρίοι ἀγαθοῖ λυπῆται. πάθο μέν ἐτι καὶ λύπη πᾶα͵ χειρίτη δὲ ὁ φθόνο ἐτίν͵ εἴτε ἓν τῶν παθῶν εἴτε λύπη ἐτὶν εἶδο πληιάζον δέ πω αὐτῇ·

But the method of cure which I have mentioned is in all cases the common one. κοινὴ δ΄ ἐφ΄ ἁπάντων ὁδὸ τῆ ἰάεω 5.36 ἡ προειρημένη.

[1] [Look at others as examples]  We must observe what is shameful and to be shunned in the instances of those who are caught in the violent grip of these diseases, for in such men the disgrace is clearly seen.

χρὴ γάρ͵ ὅτι  μὲν αἰχρὸν καὶ φευκτόν͵ κατανοεῖν ἐπὶ τῶν ἐνεχομένων αὐτοῖ φοδρῶ· ἐναργὲ γὰρ ἐπ΄ ἐκείνων φαίνεται τὸ αἶχο·

[2] [Retain humility in regard to the self]  But we must not think that we do not have our share of disgrace because we do not see it in ourselves. The lover is blind with respect to what he loves; (Plato, Laws, 731e) the insignificant vices which we overlook in ourselves because of our blindness cannot be overlooked in others because they are so large.

 ὅτι δ΄ οὐ βλέπομεν ἐφ΄ ἡμῶν αὐτῶν͵ μηδ΄ εἶναι νομίζειν οὐ προήκει· τυφλώττει τε γὰρ τὸ φιλοῦν [εἴτε] περὶ τὸ φιλούμενον͵ ἔνιά τε λανθάνει διὰ μικρότητα καὶ παρορᾶται͵ μὴ δυνάμενα παρο φθῆναι διὰ τὸ μέγεθο ἐν ἄλλοι.

[3]  [Find an honest spiritual guide] Hence, we must find some mature person who can see these vices and urge him to reveal with frankness all our errors.

πρεβύτην οὖν τινα βλέπειν αὐτὰ δυνάμενον εὑρίκειν προήκει παρακαλοῦντα ἅπαντα μετὰ παρρηία δηλοῦν͵

[4]  [Be grateful for his honesty] Next, when he tells us of some fault, let us, first, be immediately grateful to him;

εἶτ΄ εἰπόντο τι͵ πρῶτον αὐτῷ χάριν μὲν γνῶναι παραυτίκα͵

[5] [Discipline the self] then, let us go aside and consider the matter by ourselves;let us censure ourselves and try to cut away the disease, not only to the point where it is not apparent to others, but so completely as to remove its roots from our soul. For if it is not removed, it will be watered by the wickedness of the other diseases dwelling in the soul and sprout up again.

χωριθέντα δὲ διακέπτεθαι κατὰ μόνα ἑαυτοῖ ἐπιτιμῶντα ἐκκό πτειν τε πειρωμένου τὸ πάθο͵ οὐκ ἄχρι τοῦ μὴ φαίνεθαι τοῖ ἄλλοι μόνον͵ ἀλλ΄ ὥτε μηδὲ ῥίζαν ἐγκαταλιπεῖν αὐτοῦ τῇ ψυχῇ·

[6] [Maintain vigilance within the self] Therefore, we ourselves must pay attention to each of the diseases which we notice in our neighbors to see if any of these ills are in our own soul. For this disease must be cut out while it is still sprouting and before it has become so large as to be incurable. [...]

 ἔτι γὰρ ἀναφύεται τῇ τῶν υζώντων ἀρδόμενον πονηρίᾳ. διὰ τοῦτο προεκτέον ἡμῖν αὐτοῖ ἐτιν ἐφ΄ ἑκάτῳ τῶν παθῶν͵ ὅα περὶ τοὺ πέλα ἐπι κοποῦμεν͵ εἴ τι κατὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν ἐτὶ ψυχὴν τοιοῦτον. ἐκκοπτέον 5.37 γὰρ αὐτὸ φυόμενον ἔτι͵ πρὶν αὐξηθὲν ἀνίατον  γενέθαι.

And so Eupolis, the comic poet, represented Aristides the Just as being asked this question:

πρὶν ἀδικηθῆναί τι μέγα. ταῦτ΄ ἄρα καὶ ὁ Εὔπολι ἐρωτώμενον Ἀριτείδην τὸν Δίκαιον ὑπὸ τοῦ  ἠτον

Through what influence did you become so outstandingly just?

τί παθὼν ἐγένου δίκαιο οὕτω διαπρεπῶ;

and then showed him replying:

ἀποκρινόμενον ἐποίηεν·

Nature was the strongest factor, but then I lent nature a ready hand.[...]

ἡ μὲν φύι τὸ μέγιτον ἦν· ἔπειτα δὲ κἀγὼ προθύμω τῇ φύει υνελάμβανον.[...]



8. [...] FOR my sake, my father made a close investigation of the lives and doctrines of all these men and went along with me to hear them. But my father’s training lay chiefly in the sciences of geometry, arithmetic, architecture, and astronomy. Therefore, since he liked to talk after the fashion of geometrical demonstrations, (he believed that) one who taught (other disciplines should) use (a similar method of presentation). For this reason, he said that there was no need for my teachers in the liberal disciplines to disagree with one another, just as there was no disagreement among the teachers of old in the aforementioned sciences, of which geometry and arithmetic are the foremost.

[...] ὧν ἁπάντων ὁ πατὴρ δι΄ ἐμὲ τοῦ τε βίου καὶ τῶν δογμάτων ἐξέταιν ἐποιεῖτο ὺν ἐμοὶ πρὸ αὐτοὺ ἀφικνούμενο. ἐγεγύμνατο δ΄ ἐπὶ πλεῖτον ἐν γεωμετρίᾳ καὶ ἀριθμητικῇ καὶ ἀρχιτεκτονίᾳ καὶ ἀτρονομίᾳ. βουλόμενο οὖν ὅμοια ταῖ γραμμικαῖ ἀποδείξει λέγειν χρῆθαι ... τὸν διδάξαντα. διὰ ταύτην δ΄ ἐχρῆν τὴν αἰτίαν μηδὲ διαφωνίαν τινὰ γεγονέναι πρὸ ἀλλήλου τοῖ ἀπὸ τῶν οῦ δῆλον ὅτι μαθημάτων καλῶν͵ καθάπερ οἱ ἀρχαῖοι κατὰ τὰ προειρημένα τέχνα͵ ὧν αἱ πρῶται γεωμετρία τε καὶ ἀριθμητική͵ υμφωνοῦιν ἀλλήλοι.

He went on to say καθάπερ οὖν͵ ἔφη͵

[1] that I must not be hasty in proclaiming myself a member of one sect, but that I must inquire, learn, and form my judgment about these sects over a considerable period of time.

δεῖ μὴ προπετῶ ἀπὸ μιᾶ αἱρέεω ἀναγορεύειν εαυτόν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐν χρόνῳ παμπόλλῳ μανθάνειν τε καὶ κρίνειν αὐτά͵ οὕτω ἃ πρὸ ἁπάντων μὲν ἀνθρώπων ἐπαινεῖται͵

[2] He also maintained that I must strive, now and throughout my life, to pursue those practices which all men praised and which the philosophers agreed must be emulated. He asked me to learn and wax strong while seeking after justice, temperance, fortitude, and prudence. All men praise these virtues and, even if they themselves are aware that they do not possess any one of them, they strive, at least, to appear in the eyes of other men as brave, temperate, prudent, and just; however, when it comes to grief, they try to be truly free from it, whether they appear so to their neighbors or not.

 υνομολογεῖται δὲ καὶ τοῖ φιλο όφοι εἶναι ζηλωτέα͵ ταῦτα καὶ νῦν ἤδη καὶ διὰ παντὸ τοῦ βίου ζηλωτέον ἀκεῖν͵ καὶ μανθάνειν καὶ αὐξάνειν ἀξιῶ ε δικαιούνη ἀντιποιούμενον καὶ ωφρούνη ἀνδρεία τε καὶ φρονήεω. ἐπαι 5.43 νοῦι γὰρ ἅπαντε  τὰ ἀρετὰ ταύτα͵ κἂν αὐτοὶ υνειδῶιν ἑαυ τοῖ οὐδεμίαν αὐτῶν ἔχουι͵ καὶ φαίνεθαί γε πειρῶνται τοῖ ἄλλοι ἀνδρεῖοι καὶ ώφρονε καὶ φρόνιμοι καὶ δίκαιοι͵ ἄλυποι μέντοι κατ΄ ἀλήθειαν εἶναι͵ κἂν μὴ φαίνωνται τοῖ πέλα·

[3] Hence, he told me that I must, above all things, practice this serenity which all men pursue more eagerly than they pursue virtue.

 ὥτε τοῦτο μέν οι πρῶτον ἁπάντων ἀκητέον ἐτὶ τὸ πουδαζόμενον ἅπαιν ἀνθρώποι μᾶλλον τῶν ἀρετῶν.

These, I said, were the injunctions I received from my father, and I have observed them up to the present day. I did not proclaim myself a member of any of those sects of which, with all earnestness, I made a careful examination, but I continued undaunted in the face of day by day occurrences throughout my life, just as I had seen my father do. No loss was enough to cause me grief. I do not know if I would grieve if I should lose all my possessions, for I have never yet experienced such a large loss. My father also accustomed me to look with scorn on glory and honor and to hold only the truth in esteem. But I see many men grieving when they think that someone has dishonored them or because of the loss of money. In a matter of this sort, you would never see me grieving, unless I incurred a loss of money so great that I was no longer able with what was left to take care of my bodily health, or unless I incurred some dishonor such as I see in the case of those who have been deprived of the honor of their seats in the Council. If I should hear that some men find fault with me, I oppose to them those who praise me, and I consider that the desire to have all men praise me is like the desire to possess all things.

ταύτα͵ ἔφην͵ ἐγὼ παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸ λαβὼν τὰ ἐντολὰ ἄχρι δεῦρο διαφυλάττω͵ μήτ΄ ἀφ΄ αἱρέεώ τινο ἐμαυτὸν ἀναγορεύα͵ ὧν πουδῇ πάῃ ἀκριβῆ τὴν ἐξέταιν ἔχω͵ ἀνέκπληκτό τε πρὸ τὰ κατὰ τὸν βίον ὁημέραι υμπίπτοντα διαμένων͵ ὥπερ ἑώρων τὸν πατέρα. οὔτ΄ οὖν ἀπώλειά τινο ἱκανὴ λυπῆαί με͵ πλὴν εἰ παντελῶ ἀπο λέαιμι τὰ κτήματα (τοῦτο γὰρ οὐδέπω πεπείραμαι)͵ δόξη τε καὶ τι μῆ ὁ πατὴρ εἴθιέ με καταφρονεῖν ἀλήθειαν μόνην τιμῶντα. λυπου μένου δ΄ ὁρῶ τοὺ πολλού͵ ὅταν ἠτιμάθαι δοκῶιν ὑπό τινο͵ ἢ χρημάτων ἀπωλείᾳ. κατὰ τοῦτ΄ οὖν͵ ἔφην͵ οὐδὲ λυπούμενον εἶδέ μέ ποτε͵ εἴ γε μήτε χρημάτων ἀπώλεια υνέπεέ μοι μέχρι δεῦρο 5.44 τηλικαύτη τὸ μέγεθο͵ ὡ μηκέτ΄ ἔχειν  ἐκ τῶν ὑπολοίπων ἐπιμελεῖ θαι τοῦ ώματο ὑγιεινῶ͵ μήτ΄ ἀτιμία τι͵ ὡ ὁρῶ τοὺ τοῦ υνεδρίου τῆ τιμῆ [βουλῆ] ἀφαιρεθέντα. εἰ δέ τινα ἀκούαιμι ψέγειν με͵ τού μ΄ ἐπαινοῦντα αὐτοῖ ἀντιτίθημι καὶ νομίζω τὸ πάν τα ἀνθρώπου ἐπαινοῦντα ἐπιθυμεῖν ἔχειν ἐοικέναι τῷ τὰ πάντα ἔχειν ἐθέλειν κτήματα.

[...] This is what he laid down as the basic standard for possessions, namely, not to be hungry, not to be cold, not to be thirsty. If you should have more than is necessary for these, you must, he said, use that surplus for good works. Up to now, the goods I have possessed have been sufficient for these good works. But I know, I said, that you have twice as much as I and that you are in possession of your rights and franchises in our city, so that I do not see what could be a cause of grief for you except insatiate desire and greed. Therefore, practice what I have said in my discourse; keep it in mind, study it, and consider whether I am telling the truth until you are just as convinced of this as you are that two times two are four.

τοῦτον γὰρ ἐτίθετο πρῶτον ὅρον ἐκεῖνο κτημάτων͵ ὡ μὴ πεινῆν͵ μὴ ῥιγοῦν͵ μὴ διψῆν. εἰ δὲ πλείω τῆ εἰ ταῦτα χρεία εἴη͵ καὶ πρὸ τὰ καλὰ πράξει͵ ἔφη͵ χρητέον αὐτοῖ. ἐμοὶ τοίνυν ἄχρι δεῦρο τοαύτη χρημάτων κτῆί ἐτιν͵ ὡ 5.45 καὶ πρὸ τὰ τοιαύτα  πράξει ἐξαρκεῖν. οἶδα δέ͵ ἔφην͵ καὶ ὲ δι πλάιά τ΄ ἐμοῦ κεκτημένον͵ ἐπίτιμόν τε κατὰ τὴν πόλιν ἡμῶν ὄνθ΄͵ ὡ͵ τί ἂν εἴη οι λύπη αἰτία πλὴν ἀπλητία͵ οὐχ ὁρῶ. πρὸ ταύ την οὖν ἄκηον τὸν λόγον͵ ὃν εἶπον ἐγώ͵ διὰ μνήμη ἔχων καὶ μελετῶν ἀεὶ καὶ κοπούμενο͵ εἰ ἀληθεύω͵ μέχρι περ ἂν τούτῳ πει θῇ ὡ τῷ τὰ δὶ δύο τέτταρα εἶναι.



Galen,  De placitis Hippocratis et Platonis , ed.  P. De Lacy, Galen. On the doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato, ser. Corpus medicorum Graecorum, vol., pts. 1-2 (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag,v. 1:1978; v. 2:1980 pp 1:65-358; 2:360-608)  pp.329-331. 




[Music Therapy]

Roman Mosaic



15 THE benefits we shall derive from the discovery of the cause of the affections are not small or chance [...] Indeed, the discovery of the cause of the affections helped us to understand precisely what sort of thing it is to ‘live in concord with nature’. For the person who 16 lives by the affections does not live in concord with nature, and the person who does not live by the affections lives in concord with nature. 

5.6.15 περὶ τῆς ἐκ πάθους ὁρμῆς ἐξέφηνεν. οὐ σμικρά γε οὐδὲ τὰ τυχόντα φησὶν ἡμᾶς ἀπολαύσειν ἀγαθὰ τῆς αἰτίας τῶν παθῶν εὑρεθείσης. εἰς γὰρ τὸ μαθεῖν ἀκριβῶς οἷόν τι τὸ ὁμολογουμένως τῇ φύσει ζῆν ἐστιν͵ ἐκ τῆς τῶν παθῶν 5.6.16 αἰτίας εὑρεθείσης ὠφελήθημεν. ὁ μὲν γὰρ κατὰ πάθος οὐχ ὁμολογουμένως ζῇ τῇ φύσει͵ ὁ δὲ μὴ κατὰ πάθος ὁμολογου μένως ζῇ τῇ φύσει.

The one follows the irrational and unstable part of the soul, the other [p.331] the rational and divine. “And the discovery of the cause of the affections 17 taught (us) the sources of distortion in what is to be sought and avoided.” ἕπεται γὰρ ὁ μὲν τῷ ἀλόγῳ καὶ ἐμ 5.6.17 πλήκτῳ τῆς ψυχῆς͵ ὁ δὲ τῷ λογικῷ τε καὶ τῷ θείῳ. καὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς δὲ τῆς ἐν τοῖς αἱρετοῖς τε καὶ φευκτοῖς διαστρο φῆς ἐδίδαξεν ἡ αἰτία τῶν παθῶν εὑρεθεῖσα.

Some persons mistakenly suppose that what is suitable to 18 the irrational powers of the soul is suitable without qualification; they do not know that to experience pleasure and to rule over one’s neighbors are objects sought by the animal-like part of the soul, but wisdom and all that is good and noble are objects sought by that (part) which is rational and divine. “And”, he says, “when the cause of the affections 19 was recognized it distinguished the methods of training.”

5.6.18 τὰ γὰρ οἰκεῖα ταῖς ἀλόγοις δυνάμεσι τῆς ψυχῆς ἐξαπατώμενοί τινες ὡς ἁπλῶς οἰκεῖα δοξάζουσιν οὐκ εἰδότες ὡς τὸ μὲν ἥδεσθαί τε καὶ τὸ κρατεῖν τῶν πέλας τοῦ ζῳώδους τῆς ψυχῆς ἐστιν ὀρεκτά͵ σοφία δὲ καὶ πᾶν ὅσον ἀγαθόν τε καὶ καλὸν ἅμα 5.6.19 τοῦ λογικοῦ τε καὶ θείου. καὶ τοὺς τρόπους δέ φησι τῆς ἀσκήσεως ἡ τῶν παθῶν αἰτία γνωρισθεῖσα διωρίσατο.

We 20 shall prescribe for some persons a regimen of rhythms and scales and exercises of one kind, and for others another sort, as Plato taught us. We shall rear the dull and heavy and spiritless in high pitched rhythms and in scales that move the soul forcibly and in exercises of the same kind; and we shall rear those who are too high-spirited and who rush about too madly in the opposite kind.

5.6.20 τοὺς μὲν γὰρ ἐν τοιοῖσδε ῥυθμοῖς ἅμα καὶ ἁρμονίαις καὶ ἐπιτη δεύμασι͵ τοὺς δὲ ἐν τοιοῖσδε διαιτᾶσθαι κελεύσομεν͵ ὥσπερ ὁ Πλάτων ἡμᾶς ἐδίδαξε͵ τοὺς μὲν ἀμβλεῖς καὶ νωθροὺς καὶ ἀθύμους ἔν τε τοῖς ὀρθίοις ῥυθμοῖς καὶ ταῖς κινούσαις ἰσχυρῶς τὴν ψυχὴν ἁρμονίαις καὶ τοῖς τοιούτοις ἐπιτηδεύμασι τρέφοντες͵ τοὺς δὲ θυμικωτέρους καὶ μανικώτερον ᾄττοντας ἐν ταῖς ἐναντίαις.

why was 21 it, in heaven’s name -I shall address this question also to Chrysippus’ followers - that when Damon the musician came upon a flute girl playing in the Phrygian mode to some young men who were overcome with wine and acting madly, he told her to play in the Dorian mode, and the youths immediately dropped their wild behavior?

5.6.21 ἐπεὶ διὰ τί πρὸς θεῶν͵ ἐρωτήσω γὰρ ἔτι τοῦτο τοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ Χρυσίππου͵ Δάμων ὁ μουσικὸς αὐλη τρίδι παραγενόμενος αὐλούσῃ τὸ Φρύγιον νεανίσκοις τισὶν οἰνωμένοις καὶ μανικὰ ἄττα διαπραττομένοις ἐκέλευσεν αὐλῆ σαι τὸ Δώριον͵ οἱ δ΄ εὐθὺς ἐπαύσαντο τῆς ἐμπλήκτου φορᾶς;

Obviously they are not taught anything by the music of the flute that 22 changes the opinions of their rational faculty; but since the affective part of the soul is irrational, they are aroused or calmed by means of irrational motions. For the irrational is helped and harmed by irrational things, the rational by knowledge and ignorance.

5.6.22 οὐ γὰρ δήπου τὰς δόξας τοῦ λογιστικοῦ μεταδιδάσκονται πρὸς τῶν αὐλημάτων͵ ἀλλὰ τὸ παθητικὸν τῆς ψυχῆς ἄλογον ὑπάρχον ἐπεγείρονταί τε καὶ πραΰνονται διὰ κινήσεων ἀλό γων. τῷ μὲν γὰρ ἀλόγῳ διὰ τῶν ἀλόγων ἥ τε ὠφέλεια καὶ ἡ βλάβη͵ τῷ λογικῷ δὲ δι΄ ἐπιστήμης τε καὶ ἀμαθίας.


Galen effectively proposes Spiritual Self-Direction, but with the necessary assistance of [an] other[s] who can point out what we are blind to in our moral defects abd limitations.
Note citation of Plato as a revered sage.


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