Apōleia

Ταύτας, ἔφην, ἐγὼ παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς λαβὼν τὰς ἐντολὰς ἄχρι δεῦρο διαφυλάττω, μήτ’ ἀφ’ αἱρέσεώς τινος ἐμαυτὸν ἀναγορεύσας, ὧν σπουδῇ πάσῃ ἀκριβῆ τὴν ἐξέτασιν ἔχω, ἀνέκπληκτός τε πρὸς τὰ κατὰ τὸν βίον ὁσημέραι συμπίπτοντα διαμένων, ὥσπερ ἑώρων τὸν πατέρα. οὔτ’ οὖν ἀπώλειά τινος ἱκανὴ λυπῆσαί με, πλὴν εἰ παντελῶς ἀπολέσαιμι τὰ κτήματα (τοῦτο γὰρ οὐδέπω πεπείραμαι), δόξης τε καὶ τιμῆς ὁ πατὴρ εἴθισέ με καταφρονεῖν ἀλήθειαν μόνην τιμῶντα. λυπουμένους δ’ ὁρῶ τοὺς πολλούς, ὅταν ἠτιμάσθαι δοκῶσιν ὑπό τινος, ἢ χρημάτων ἀπωλείᾳ. κατὰ τοῦτ’ οὖν, ἔφην, οὐδὲ λυπούμενον εἰδές μέ ποτε, <εἴ γε> μήτε χρημάτων ἀπώλεια συνέπεσέ μοι μέχρι δεῦρο τηλικαύτη τὸ μέγεθος, ὡς μηκέτ’ ἔχειν ἐκ τῶν ὑπολοίπων ἐπιμελεῖσθαι τοῦ σώματος ὑγιεινῶς, μήτ’ ἀτιμία τις, <ὡς> ὁρῶ <τοὺς> τοῦ συνεδρίου τῆς τιμῆς ἀφαιρεθέντας. εἰ δέ τινας ἀκούσαιμι ψέγειν με, τούς μ’ ἐπαινοῦντας αὐτοῖς ἀντιτίθημι καὶ νομίζω τὸ πάντας ἀνθρώπους ἐπαινοῦντας ἐπιθυμεῖν ἔχειν ἐοικέναι τῷ τὰ πάντα ἔχειν ἐθέλειν κτήματα.
(Galen, De Propriorum Animi Cuiuslibet Affectuum Dignotione et Curatione 8.8-9)

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. (tr. Paul W. Harkins)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s