Tuesday, July 25, 2017

 

Talking to Oneself

John Jackson (1881-1952), Marginalia Scaenica (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955), p. 110:
Anne Boleyn is said to have been perplexed by the fact that she understood French perfectly when speaking it to herself, but not otherwise. The same thing — mutatis mutandis — may be true of emenders...

 

A Quick Study

Joseph Fontenrose (1903-1986), Classics at Berkeley: The First Century 1869-1970 (Berkeley: Department of Classics, History Fund, 1982), p. 59:
My study of Greek began in August, 1925, after I had taken my A.B. in Political Science at Berkeley. In October I decided upon a classical career and that fall I went through Smith's Latin Lessons by myself (under Roger Jones's supervision) and then began German in January and Hebrew the following August (under William Popper, a great teacher). Later I learned French and Italian without attending classes (before 1925 I had studied only Spanish). In May, 1928, I received the M.A. degree in Greek, just two years and nine months after learning the Greek alphabet.

Monday, July 24, 2017

 

Anonymity

F.W. Farrar (1831-1903), Ephphatha or The Amelioration of the World: Sermons (London: Macmillan and Co., 1880), pp. 55-56:
Or look at Hatred, its rarer active forms of murder, assault, violence, cruelty; its more universal, and in their aggregate hardly less injurious forms of envy, spite, scandal, uncharitableness, innuendo, depreciation, slander, malice, whispering, backbiting—multiform developments of one base passion, multiform names for one base thing. Thousands of men, for instance, get their living by writing anonymously. The anonymous is to them an invisible ring whereby they can, with impunity, often even unsuspected, speak of others all words that may do hurt. It is as an impregnable shield, from behind whose shelter they can shower arrow-flights of falsehoods, sneers, misrepresentations, disparagements at their defenceless victims. They can tarnish the merits of an opponent. They can obliterate the services of a rival. They can gild the follies of a partisan. They can secretly blight the hopes of a nominal friend. They can give a false aspect to fair reasonings, a foolish appearance to just opinions. They can sneer away honest reputations, and push empty pretensions into prominence. They can abuse the good, and belaud the bad. They can be as false, as hollow, as malignant as many such writers daily show themselves to be.

 

Learning

Xunxi: The Complete Text, tr. Eric L. Hutton (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014), p. 5:
Where does learning begin? Where does learning end? I say: Its order begins with reciting the classics, and ends with studying ritual. Its purpose begins with becoming a well-bred man, and ends with becoming a sage. If you truly accumulate effort for a long time, then you will advance. Learning proceeds until death and only then does it stop. And so, the order of learning has a stopping point, but its purpose cannot be given up for even a moment. To pursue it is to be human, to give it up is to be a beast.
The same, from Xunxi: Basic Writings, tr. Burton Watson (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), pp. 19-20:
Where does learning begin and where does it end? I say that as to program, learning begins with the recitation of the Classics and ends with the reading of the ritual texts; and as to objective, it begins with learning to be a man of breeding, and ends with learning to be a sage. If you truly pile up effort over a long period of time, you will enter into the highest realm. Learning continues until death and only then does it cease. Therefore we may speak of an end to the program of learning, but the objective of learning must never for an instant be given up. To pursue it is to be a man, to give it up is to become a beast.

 

Sufficit Una Domus

Juvenal 13.157-161 (tr. Susanna Morton Braund, with her note):
This is only a tiny proportion of the crimes that Gallicus,27 guardian of Rome, hears continuously from the morning star until the sun sets! If you want to understand the behaviour of humankind, a single courthouse is enough. Spend a few days there and then dare to call yourself unlucky, after you've come away.

27 Gaius Rutilius Gallicus, City Prefect under Domitian.

haec quota pars scelerum, quae custos Gallicus Vrbis
usque a lucifero donec lux occidat audit?
humani generis mores tibi nosse volenti
sufficit una domus; paucos consume dies et        160
dicere te miserum, postquam illinc veneris, aude.
Cambridge University Examination Papers. Michaelmas Term, 1871 to Easter Term, 1872 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1873), p. 9:
Una domus: what place is here meant?
Ludwig Friedlaender, ed., D. Junii Juvenalis Saturarum Libri V. Mit erklärenden Anmerkungen (Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1895), Vol. II, p. 537:
jedes beliebige einzelne Haus.
Lowell Edmunds, "Juvenal's Thirteenth Satire," Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 115.1 (1972) 59-73 (at 69):
...any one house...
F.W. Farrar, Ephphatha or The Amelioration of the World: Sermons (London: Macmillan and Co., 1880), p. 19:
Look, for instance, at the world of disease and pain. You need not go far to look. One house will suffice you to see the wretchedness of the human race.2

"Humani generis mores tibi nosse volenti,
Sufficit una domus; paucos consume dies et
Dicere te miserum, postquam illinc veneris aude."
                                              —Juv. Sat. xiii.159.
George Santayana, "My Father," Selected Critical Writings, Vol. I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968), pp. 279-286 (at 282):
He had a great respect for authority in science or letters, and would quote Quintilian in support of his own preference for limited views: Ad cognoscendum genus humanum sufficit una domus:* 'For exploring human nature one household is large enough.'

* Probably a confused memory, mine or my father's, of Juvenal, Satire XIII, 159-160...
J.D. Duff, ed., Fourteen Satires of Juvenal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1900), p. 408:
either the office or private house, used as an office, of Gallicus: not (as Friedl.), any private house taken at random.
Thomas J. B. Brady, "Notulae," Hermathena 2 (1876) 193-197 (at 196-197):
Surely, here 'domus' is not, as it is usually explained, the private house of Ponticus [sic]; it is the police court where he sits from morning till night...
Edward Courtney, A Commentary on the Satires of Juvenal (1980; rpt. Berkeley: Department of Classics, University of California, 2013), pp. 488-489:
Not his [Gallicus'] house, but his office, by the temple of Tellus (RE 22.2519, Lanciani Bull. del Commissione Archeol. di Roma 20, 1892, 19); cf. Demosth. 21.85 τὸ τῶν ἀρχόντων οἴκημα.
The reference is to Rodolfo Lanciani, "Gli edificii della prefettura urbana fra la Tellure e le terme di Tito e di Traiano," Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma 20 (1892) 19-37.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

 

Competitive Eating

Pausanias 5.5.4 (tr. W.H.S. Jones):
There was also a story that Lepreüs contended with Heracles that he was as good a trencherman. Each killed an ox at the same time and prepared it for the table. It turned out, even as Lepreüs maintained, that he was as powerful a trencherman as Heracles.

ἐλέγετο δὲ καὶ ὡς πρὸς Ἡρακλέα ἐρίσειεν ὁ Λεπρέος μὴ ἀποδεῖν τοῦ Ἡρακλέους ἐσθίων· ἐπεὶ δὲ ἑκάτερος βοῦν αὐτῶν ἐν ἴσῳ τῷ καιρῷ κατέσφαξε καὶ εὐτρέπισεν ἐς τὸ δεῖπνον, καὶ ἦν ὥσπερ καὶ ὑφίστατο ὁ Λεπρέος φαγεῖν οὐκ ἀδυνατώτερος τοῦ Ἡρακλέους.
Natale Conti, Mythologies 7.1 (tr. Glenn W. Most; I changed Hercules' force to Heracles' force):
According to legend, when Heracles set out for Triphylia, a district of Elis, he had a competition in gluttony with Lepreus, the son of Pyrgeus, as Hesiod [fragment 265 Merkelbach-West] says in The Wedding of Ceyx; and after each one had killed an ox for his meal, Lepreus turned out to be not at all slower or less ready to eat. But after dinner they came to blows because of each one’s resentment at his rival's virtue, and Lepreus fell victim to Heracles' force.

fama est Herculem in Triphyliam regionem Eleorum profectum habuisse controversiam de voracitate cum Lepreo Pyrgei filio, ut inquit Hesiodus in Ceycis nuptiis; atque cum uterque bovem in epulas occidisset, Lepreus nihilo fuit tardior aut imparatior edendo inventus. sed cum post epulas ventum esset ad pugnam ob indignationem aemulae virtutis, Lepreus cecidit ob vim Herculeam.
But according to Athenaeus and Aelian, Heracles won the contest.

Athenaeus 10.412a (tr. S. Douglas Olson):
Heracles is also represented as having an eating-contest with Lepreus, after Lepreus challenged him, and as winning.

εἰσάγεται δὲ ὁ Ἡρακλῆς καὶ Λεπρεῖ περὶ πολυφαγίας ἐρίζων ἐκείνου προκαλεσαμένου, καὶ νενίκηκεν.
Aelian, Historical Miscellany 1.24 (tr. N.G. Wilson):
At Astydamia's request Heracles gave up his dislike of Lepreus. But they were overcome by a youthful spirit of quarrelsomeness, and competed with each other in throwing the discus, in bailing out water, in seeing who could first consume a bull for dinner. In all these matters Lepreus was defeated.

δεηθείσης δὲ τῆς Ἀστυδαμείας διαλύεται τὴν πρὸς τὸν Λεπρέα ὁ Ἡρακλῆς ἔχθραν. φιλονεικία δ᾿ οὖν αὐτοῖς ἐμπίπτει νεανικὴ καὶ ἐρίζουσιν ἀλλήλοις περὶ δίσκου καὶ ὕδατος ἀντλήσεως καὶ τίς καταδειπνήσει ταῦρον πρότερος· καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τούτοις ἡττᾶται Λεπρεύς.
See Reinhold Merkelbach and Martin West, "The Wedding of Ceyx," Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 108.4 (1965) 300-317 (at 306-307).

Friday, July 21, 2017

 

Learning to Read

Inscription preserved by Plutarch, Education of Children 20 (= Moralia 14 B-C), tr. N.G.L. Hammond, The Genius of Alexander the Great (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), p. 3:
Eurydice, daughter of Sirras, dedicated this (statue probably of Hermes) to her city's Muses, because she had in her soul a longing for knowledge. The happy mother of sons growing up, she laboured to learn letters, the recorders of the spoken word.
The Greek, from Plutarchi Moralia, Vol. I, ed. W.R. Paton and I. Wegehaupt, rev. Hans Gärtner (Stuttgart: B.G. Teubner, 1993), p. 27, with my apparatus:
Εὐρυδίκη Ἵρρα πολιῆτισι τόνδ' ἀνέθηκε
    Μούσαις εὐκταῖον ψυχῇ ἑλοῦσα πόθον.
γράμματα γὰρ μνημεῖα λόγων μήτηρ γεγαυῖα
    παίδων ἡβώντων ἐξεπόνησε μαθεῖν.


1 Ἵρρα πολιῆτισι Wilamowitz, "Lesefrüchte, CLXIX," Hermes 54.1 (Jan., 1919) 71-72; Σίρρα πολιῆτισι Adolf Wilhelm, "Ein Weihgedicht der Grossmutter Alexanders des Grossen," Mélanges Henri Grégoire (Brussels, 1949 = Annuaire de l'Institut de Philologie et d'Histoire Orientales et Slaves, 9), Vol. 2, pp. 625–633, rpt. Kleine Schriften, II.iv (Vienna, 2002), pp. 627–635: πολιῆτις Ω, ἱεραπολιῆτις Μ2Π
2 Μούσαις εὐκταῖον Wilamowitz; ἐμ Μούσαις εὐκτὸν Wilhelm: Μούσαις εὔιστον codd.
Hammond translated Wilhelm's conjecture in the first line, but the manuscripts' εὔιστον (hapax according to Liddell-Scott-Jones) in the second line. I haven't seen Wilhelm's article. See also Jeanne and Louis Robert, "Bulletin épigraphique," Revue des Études Grecques 97 (1984) 419-522 (at 450-451).

 

Criticism

J.S. Phillimore (1873-1926), The Revival of Criticism. A Paper Read at the Meeting of the Classical Association at Oxford on May 17th, 1919 (Oxford: B.H. Blackwell, 1919), p. 8:
The civilized mind is naturally critical: bred by the interaction of various studies, criticism is the peculiar mark of high civilization. But criticism is itself a composite thing: restlessness of intellect is a part of it, but so is a wariness against delusion: curiosity and suspicion are both necessary elements.

 

Cleopatra's Polyglottism

Plutarch, Life of Antony 27.3-4 (tr. Bernadotte Perrin):
There was sweetness also in the tones of her voice; and her tongue, like an instrument of many strings, she could readily turn to whatever language she pleased, so that in her interviews with Barbarians she very seldom had need of an interpreter, but made her replies to most of them herself and unassisted, whether they were Ethiopians, Troglodytes, Hebrews, Arabians, Syrians, Medes or Parthians. Nay, it is said that she knew the speech of many other peoples also, although the kings of Egypt before her had not even made an effort to learn the native language, and some actually gave up their Macedonian dialect.

ἡδονὴ δὲ καὶ φθεγγομένης ἐπῆν τῷ ἤχῳ· καὶ τὴν γλῶτταν, ὥσπερ ὄργανόν τι πολύχορδον, εὐπετῶς τρέπουσα καθ᾿ ἣν βούλοιτο διάλεκτον ὀλίγοις παντάπασι δι᾿ ἑρμηνέως ἐνετύγχανε βαρβάροις, τοῖς δὲ πλείστοις αὐτὴ δι᾿ αὑτῆς ἀπεδίδου τὰς ἀποκρίσεις, οἷον Αἰθίοψι, Τρωγλοδύταις, Ἑβραίοις, Ἄραψι, Σύροις, Μήδοις, Παρθυαίοις. πολλῶν δὲ λέγεται καὶ ἄλλων ἐκμαθεῖν γλώττας, τῶν πρὸ αὐτῆς βασιλέων οὐδὲ τὴν Αἰγυπτίαν ἀνασχομένων παραλαβεῖν διάλεκτον, ἐνίων δὲ καὶ τὸ μακεδονίζειν ἐκλιπόντων.
Related posts:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

 

Wisdom of Montaigne

Montaigne, Essais 3.5 (tr. Donald M. Frame):
Even the slightest occasions of pleasure that I can come upon, I seize.

Jusques aux moindres occasions de plaisir que je puis rencontrer, je les empoigne.
Empoigner, from poing (fist).

 

A Tree Amid the Wood

Ezra Pound (1882-1973), "The Tree," Selected Poems (New York: New Directions, 1957), pp. 6-7 (line numbers added):
I stood still and was a tree amid the wood,
Knowing the truth of things unseen before;
Of Daphne and the laurel bough
And that god-feasting couple old
That grew elm-oak amid the wold.        5
'Twas not until the gods had been
Kindly entreated, and been brought within
Unto the hearth of their heart's home
That they might do this wonder thing;
Nathless I have been a tree amid the wood        10
And many a new thing understood
That was rank folly to my head before.
3 Daphne and the laurel bough: Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.452-567
4 that god-feasting couple: Baucis and Philemon, see Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.620-724


Bernini, Apollo and Daphne (Galleria Borghese, Rome, inv. CV)

 

Entrance Examination

Joseph Fontenrose (1903-1986), Classics at Berkeley: The First Century 1869-1970 (Berkeley: Department of Classics, History Fund, 1982), pp. 1-2:
In 1869 all candidates for admission to the Fourth Class (first year) of the College of Letters had to pass a satisfactory examination in Latin Grammar, four books of Caesar, Aeneid I–VI, six orations of Cicero, Greek Grammar, and three books of Xenophon's Anabasis (besides examinations in algebra, geometry, English Grammar, geography, and United States history). These represented high-school studies; the University did not offer primary courses in Caesar, Cicero, Virgil, and Xenophon.

 

The Greatest Danger to Mankind

Cicero, On Duties 2.5.16 (tr. Walter Miller):
There is no curse so terrible but it is brought down by man upon man. There is a book by Dicaearchus on "The Destruction of Human Life." He was a famous and eloquent Peripatetic, and he gathered together [fragment 24 Wehrli] all the other causes of destruction—floods, epidemics, famines, and sudden incursions of wild animals in myriads, by whose assaults, he informs us, whole tribes of men have been wiped out. And then he proceeds to show by way of comparison how many more men have been destroyed by the assaults of men—that is, by wars or revolutions—than by any and all other sorts of calamity.

nulla tam detestabilis pestis est, quae non homini ab homine nascatur. est Dicaearchi liber de interitu hominum, Peripatetici magni et copiosi, qui collectis ceteris causis eluvionis, pestilentiae, vastitatis, beluarum etiam repentinae multitudinis, quarum impetu docet quaedam hominum genera esse consumpta, deinde comparat, quanto plures deleti sint homines hominum impetu, id est bellis aut seditionibus, quam omni reliqua calamitate.
Andrew R. Dyck in his commentary (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996), pp. 383-384:
Dicaearchus evidently collected material to confirm such statements as Arist. Pol. 1253a31: ὥσπερ γὰρ καὶ τελεωθὲν βέλτιστον τῶν ζῴων ἄνθρωπός ἐστιν, οὕτω καὶ χωρισθὲν νόμου καὶ δίκης χείριστον πάντων. χαλεπωτάτη γὰρ ἀδικία ἔχουσα ὅπλα; and MM 1203a22: ἐπεὶ πότερος ἂν πλείω κακὰ ποιήσειεν λέων ἢ Διονύσιος ἢ Φάλαρις ἢ Κλέαρχος ἤ τις τούτων τῶν μοχθηρῶν; ἢ δῆλον ὅτι οὗτοι; ἡ γὰρ ἀρχὴ ἐνοῦσα φαύλη μεγάλα συμβάλλεται, ἐν δὲ θηρίῳ ὅλως οὐκ ἔστιν ἀρχή; cf. Sen. Ep. 103.1: rari sunt casus, etiamsi graves, naufragium facere, vehiculo everti: ab homine homini cotidianum periculum; Plin. Nat. 7.5; Wehrli ad Dicaearch. fr. 24; Martini, RE 5.1 (1903), 557.40 ff.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

 

More Misprints

Peter Levi (1931-2000), Horace: A Life (New York: Routledge, 1998), p. 62:
The most memorable and haunting of the episodes is surely Altera iam teritus bellis civilibus aetas — Another age is crushed with civil wars, with its beautiful, despairing solution and its vision of the fall of Rome.
For episodes read Epodes, and for teritus read teritur.

Labels:


 

No Rest From Toil

Euripides, Hippolytus 189-197 (tr. David Kovacs):
But the life of mortals is wholly trouble, and there is no rest from toil. Anything we might love more than life is hid in a surrounding cloud of darkness, and we show ourselves unhappy lovers of whatever light there is that shines on earth because we are ignorant of another life, and the world below is not revealed to us. We are aimlessly borne along by mere tales.

πᾶς δ' ὀδυνηρὸς βίος ἀνθρώπων
κοὐκ ἔστι πόνων ἀνάπαυσις.        190
ἀλλ' ὅ τι τοῦ ζῆν φίλτερον ἄλλο
σκότος ἀμπίσχων κρύπτει νεφέλαις.
δυσέρωτες δὴ φαινόμεθ᾿ ὄντες
τοῦδ' ὅ τι τοῦτο στίλβει κατὰ γῆν
δι' ἀπειροσύνην ἄλλου βιότου        195
κοὐκ ἀπόδειξιν τῶν ὑπὸ γαίας,
μύθοις δ' ἄλλως φερόμεσθα.


191-197 versus delendos suspicatur Barrett ("fort. recte" Diggle)
191 τοῦ ζῆν] τούτου Σ Ar. Ran. 1082
Gilbert Murray's translation:
Yet all man's life is but ailing and dim,
And rest upon earth comes never.
But if any far-off state there be,
Dearer than life to mortality;
The hand of the Dark hath hold thereof,
And mist is under and mist above.
And so we are sick for life, and cling
On earth to this nameless and shining thing.
For other life is a fountain sealed,
And the deeps below us are unrevealed,
And we drift on legends for ever!

 

Pitfalls of Linguistic Field Work

William W. Elmendorf, Twana Narratives: Native Historical Accounts of a Coast Salish Culture (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1993), p. 5 (quoting Henry Allen, member of the Skokomish Indian tribe):
Myron Eells was the missionary here. People didn't like him very well. He was collecting Klallam words from some Klallam Indians who were visiting here one time. I had to translate for him. So he would ask them for words like father, mother, house, dog, and so on. And those people didn't think much of Eells, so they would give him all sorts of dirty, nasty words, and he would write them down in a book. Then he would try to use some of these words, thinking he was talking Indian, and people would just about bust trying to keep from laughing.
Joseph Wood Krutch, The Forgotten Peninsula: A Naturalist in Baja California (New York: William Sloane Associates, 1961), p. 109:
Of the minor difficulties of Father Juan de Ugarte, a former professor of philosophy who was sent to take charge at San Javier, Clavijero writes: "At the beginning [the natives] were very restless at the time of the Catechism. Often bursting out into loud laughter. He noticed that the principal reason for the mockery was his mistakes in speaking the language, and that some of the Indians, when he consulted them about the words or pronunciation, intentionally answered him with absurdities in order to have something to laugh at in the Catechism and for that reason, from then on, he asked only children about the language, for they were more sincere."
Francis Parkman, Pioneers of France in the New World, part II (Champlain and His Associates), chap. VI (Jesuits in Acadia):
[Father Pierre] Biard's greatest difficulty was with the Micmac language. Young Biencourt was his best interpreter, and on common occasions served him well; but the moment that religion was in question he was, as it were, stricken dumb, the reason being that the language was totally without abstract terms. Biard resolutely set himself to the study of it, a hard and thorny path, on which he made small progress, and often went astray. Seated, pencil in hand, before some Indian squatting on the floor, whom with the bribe of a mouldy biscuit he had lured into the hut, he plied him with questions which he often neither would nor could answer. What was the Indian word for Faith, Hope, Charity, Sacrament, Baptism, Eucharist, Trinity, Incarnation? The perplexed savage, willing to amuse himself, and impelled, as Biard thinks, by the Devil, gave him scurrilous and unseemly phrases as the equivalent of things holy, which, studiously incorporated into the father's Indian catechism, produced on his pupils an effect the reverse of that intended.
Francis Parkman, The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century, chap. IV (Le Jeune and the Hunters):
At the outset, he had proffered his aid to Le Jeune in his study of the Algonquin; and, like the Indian practical jokers of Acadia in the case of Father Biard, palmed off upon him the foulest words in the language as the equivalent of things spiritual. Thus it happened, that, while the missionary sought to explain to the assembled wigwam some point of Christian doctrine, he was interrupted by peals of laughter from men, children, and squaws.
Hat tip (for the first quotation): tarnmoor.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

 

Ballast to the Mind

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), The Return of the Native, I.i:
To recline on a stump of thorn in the central valley of Egdon, between afternoon and night, as now, where the eye could reach nothing of the world outside the summits and shoulders of heathland which filled the whole circumference of its glance, and to know that everything around and underneath had been from prehistoric times as unaltered as the stars overhead, gave ballast to the mind adrift on change, and harassed by the irrepressible New.

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