Et genus humanum multo fuit illud in arvis
durius, ut decuit, tellus quod dura creasset,
et maioribus et solidis magis ossibus intus
fundatum, validis aptum per viscera nervis,
nec facile ex aestu nec frigore quod caperetur
nec novitate cibi nec labi corporis ulla.
multaque per caelum solis volventia lustra
volgivago vitam tractabant more ferarum.
nec robustus erat curvi moderator aratri
quisquam, nec scibat ferro molirier arva
nec nova defodere in terram virgulta neque altis
arboribus veteres decidere falcibus ramos.
quod sol atque imbres dederant, quod terra crearat
sponte sua, satis id placabat pectora donum.
glandiferas inter curabant corpora quercus
plerumque; et quae nunc hiberno tempore cernis
arbita puniceo fieri matura colore,
plurima tum tellus etiam maiora ferebat.
multaque praeterea novitas tum florida mundi
pabula dura tulit, miseris mortalibus ampla.
at sedare sitim fluvii fontesque vocabant,
ut nunc montibus e magnis decursus aquai
claricitat late sitientia saecla ferarum.
denique nota vagis silvestria templa tenebant
nympharum, quibus e scibant umore fluenta
lubrica proluvie larga lavere umida saxa,
umida saxa, super viridi stillantia musco,
et partim plano scatere atque erumpere campo.
(Lucretius, De Rerum Natura 5.925-952)

Man lived in the open then, a harsher breed
by far, of course, for a harsh earth gave him birth.
The bones of his frame were heavier far, and longer;
the muscles, fast to his inner parts, were strong.
He didn’t succumb with ease to heat or cold
or to strange foods or physical weaknesses.
Through many a cycle the sun made through the heavens,
he lived like a wild beast, wandering far and wide.
There was no sturdy guider of the plow,
and no one knew to soften the soil with steel,
or to plant young saplings in the earth, or cut
dead branches from the trees with pruning hooks.
What sun and rain produced, what earth created
naturally, man took, to his heart’s content.
With oak and acorn he cared for creature needs,
mostly; the arbutes that in wintertime
we now see ripen and turn bright scarlet red,
the earth then bore abundantly, and larger.
Besides, the world, then fresh and green, produced
much coarse foodstuffs, ample for sorry souls.
But springs and rivers bade men slake their thirst,
as now bright waters, racing down the mountains,
call clear and far to the thirsting animal-kinds.
And men in their ramblings found the sylvan haunts
of nymphs, from which they learned that streams of water
flowed smooth and abundant, with cool, wet stones awash
(cool, wet stones, green-curtained with dripping moss)
learned, too, where they bubbled and burst from open fields.
(tr. Frank O. Copley)


body beautiful 002

ὁ δὲ Κριτόβουλος, “οὐκοῦν αὖ ἐγὼ λέξω, ἔφη, ἐξ ὧν ἐπὶ τῷ κάλλει μέγα φρονῶ;”“λέγε”, ἔφασαν. “εἰ μὲν τοίνυν μὴ καλός εἰμι, ὡς οἴομαι, ὑμεῖς ἂν δικαίως ἀπάτης δίκην ὑπέχοιτε· οὐδενὸς γὰρ ὁρκίζοντος ἀεὶ ὀμνύοντες καλόν μέ φατε εἶναι. κἀγὼ μέντοι πιστεύω. καλοὺς γὰρ καὶ ἀγαθοὺς ὑμᾶς ἄνδρας νομίζω. εἰ δ’ εἰμί τε τῷ ὄντι καλὸς καὶ ὑμεῖς τὰ αὐτὰ πρὸς ἐμὲ πάσχετε οἷάπερ ἐγὼ πρὸς τὸν ἐμοὶ δοκοῦντα καλὸν εἶναι, ὄμνυμι πάντας θεοὺς μὴ ἑλέσθαι ἂν τὴν βασιλέως ἀρχὴν ἀντὶ τοῦ καλὸς εἶναι. νῦν γὰρ ἐγὼ Κλεινίαν ἥδιον μὲν θεῶμαι ἢ τἆλλα πάντα τὰ ἐν ἀνθρώποις καλά· τυφλὸς δὲ τῶν ἄλλων ἁπάντων μᾶλλον δεξαίμην ἂν εἶναι ἢ Κλεινίου ἑνὸς ὄντος· ἄχθομαι δὲ καὶ νυκτὶ καὶ ὕπνῳ ὅτι ἐκεῖνον οὐχ ὁρῶ, ἡμέρᾳ δὲ καὶ ἡλίῳ τὴν μεγίστην χάριν οἶδα ὅτι μοι Κλεινίαν ἀναφαίνουσιν. ἄξιόν γε μὴν ἡμῖν τοῖς καλοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖσδε μέγα φρονεῖν, ὅτι τὸν μὲν ἰσχυρὸν πονοῦντα δεῖ κτᾶσθαι τἀγαθὰ καὶ τὸν ἀνδρεῖον κινδυνεύοντα, τὸν δέ γε σοφὸν λέγοντα· ὁ δὲ καλὸς καὶ ἡσυχίαν ἔχων πάντ’ ἂν διαπράξαιτο.”
(Xenophon, Symp. 4.10-13)

Then Critobulus said, “Shall I take my turn now and tell you my reasons for taking pride in my handsomeness?”
“Do,” they said.
“Well then, if I am not handsome, as I think I am, you could fairly be sued for misrepresentation; for though no one puts you under oath, you’re always swearing that I’m handsome. And I believe you, for I consider you to be real gentlemen. But if I really am handsome and you feel about me what I feel about I consider handsome , I swear by all the gods that I wouldn’t trade being handsome for the King’s empire. For as it is, I would rather gaze at Cleinias* than at everything else the world considers handsome. I would rather be blind to everything else than to Cleinias alone. I’m annoyed by both night and sleep because then I can’t see him; I feel the deepest gratitude to day and the sun because they reveal Cleinias to me. We handsome people have a right to be proud of this fact too: that whereas the strong man must get the good things he wants by toiling, and the brave man by running risks, and the sage man by speaking, the handsome man can have it all without doing anything.”

* Probably the young cousin of Alcibiades; cf. Mem. 1.3.8.

(tr. Otis Johnson Todd with his note; revised by Jeffrey Henderson)


Alexandre Cabanel, Echo

Ἀχὼ φίλα, μοὶ συγκαταίνεσόν τι. — τί;
ἐρῶ κορίσκας: ἁ δὲ μ’ οὐ φιλεῖ. — φιλεῖ.
πρᾶξαι δ’ ὁ καιρὸς καιρὸν οὐ φέρει. — φέρει.
τὺ τοίνυν αὐτᾷ λέξον ὡς ἐρῶ. — ἐρῶ.
καὶ πίστιν αὐτᾷ κερμάτων τὺ δός. — τὺ δός.
ἀχώ, τί λοιπόν, ἢ πόθου τυχεῖν; — τυχεῖν.
(Gauradas, Anth. Gr. 16.152)

Wilt grant a favour if I name it? – Name it.
I love, but doubt if she’s not shy. – Not shy.
Then I’ve the right if I could claim it. – Claim it.
Then tell her for her love sigh I. – Ay, ay.
I have a little gift to make her. – Make her.
Then all that’s left to do’s to take her. – Take her.
(tr. John Maxwell Edmonds)



Prodigia quoque multa dehinc apparuerunt. Nam vasa per domos diversorum, signis nescio quibus charaxata sunt, quae res nullo umquam modo aut eradi potuit aut deleri. inceptum est autem hoc prodigium ab urbis Carnotenae territorio, et veniens per Aurelianensem, usque Burdegalensem terminum peraccessit, non praetermittens ullam urbem quae fuit in medio. in vineis vero mense octavo, transacta vindimia, palmites novos cum uvis deformatis aspeximus. in aliis arboribus frondes novae, et nova visa sunt poma. radii a parte Aquilonis apparuerunt. asserebant nonnulli vidisse se serpentes ex nube delapsos. alii affirmabant villam cum casis et hominibus subitanea internecione evanuisse; et multa alia signa apparuerunt, quae aut regis obitum annuntiare solent, aut regionis excidium. vindemia eo anno tenuis, aquae validae, pluviae immensae, flumina quoque granditer adaucta fuerunt.
(Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc. 9.5)

Many portents appeared at this time. In the homes of a number of people vessels were discovered inscribed with the unknown characters which could not be erased or scraped off however hard they tried. This phenomenon began in the neighborhood of Chartres, spread to Orleans and then reached the Bordeaux area, leaving out no township on the way. In the month of October new shoots were seen on the vines after the wine-harvest was over, and there were misshapen grapes. On other trees new fruits were seen, together with new leaves. Flashes of light appeared in the northern sky. Some said that they had seen snakes drop from the clouds. Others maintained that an entire village had been destroyed and had vanished into thin air, taking the houses and the men who lived in them. Many other signs appeared of the kind which usually announce a king’s death or the destruction of a whole region. That year the wine-harvest was poor, water lay about everywhere, there was torrential rain, and the rivers were greatly swollen. (tr. Lewis Thorpe)


[ΣΩΚΡ.] Ἀλλὰ τί ἡμῖν, ὦ μακάριε Κρίτων, οὕτω τῆς τῶν πολλῶν δόξης μέλει; οἱ γὰρ ἐπιεικέστατοι, ὧν μᾶλλον ἄξιον φροντίζειν, ἡγήσονται αὐτὰ οὕτω πεπρᾶχθαι, ὥσπερ ἂν πραχθῇ.
[ΚΡΙΤ.] ἀλλ’ ὁρᾷς δή, ὅτι ἀνάγκη, ὦ Σώκρατες, καὶ τῆς τῶν πολλῶν δόξης μέλειν. αὐτὰ δὲ δῆλα τὰ παρόντα νυνί, ὅτι οἷοί τ’ εἰσὶν οἱ πολλοὶ οὐ τὰ σμικρότατα τῶν κακῶν ἐξεργάζεσθαι, ἀλλὰ τὰ μέγιστα σχεδόν, ἐάν τις ἐν αὐτοῖς διαβεβλημένος ᾖ.
[ΣΩΚΡ.] εἰ γὰρ ὤφελον, ὦ Κρίτων, οἷοί τ’ εἶναι οἱ πολλοὶ τὰ μέγιστα κακὰ ἐργάζεσθαι, ἵνα οἷοί τ’ ἦσαν καὶ τὰ μέγιστα ἀγαθά, καὶ καλῶς ἂν εἶχεν· νῦν δὲ οὐδέτερα οἷοί τε· οὔτε γὰρ φρόνιμον οὔτε ἄφρονα δυνατοὶ ποιῆσαι, ποιοῦσι δὲ τοῦτο ὅ τι ἂν τύχωσι.
(Plato, Crito 44c-d)

[SOCR.] But, my dear Crito, why do we care so much for what most people think? For the most reasonable men, whose opinion is more worth considering, will think that things were done as they really will be done.
[CRIT.] But you see it is necessary, Socrates, to care for the opinion of the public, for this very trouble we are in now shows that the public is able to accomplish not by any means the least, but almost the greatest of evils, if one has a bad reputation with it.
[SOCR.] I only wish, Crito, the people could accomplish the greatest evils, that they might be able to accomplish also the greatest good things. Then all would be well. But now they can do neither of the two; for they are not able to make a man wise or foolish, but they do whatever occurs to them.
(tr. Harold North Fowler)



Quod refero, mecum pagenses dicere norunt,
et non tam mirum quam valde est credere verum:
quidam suscepit sacro de fonte puellam,
cui dedit et tunicam rubicundo velle textam.
quinquagesima sancta fuit babtismatis huius;
sole sub exorto quinquennis facta puella
progreditur vagabunda sui immemor atque pericli,
quam lupus invadens silvestria lustra petivit
et catulis praedam tulit atque reliquit edendam.
qui simul aggressi, cum iam lacerare nequirent,
ceperunt mulcere caput feritate remota.
“hanc tunicam, mures, nolite”, infantula dixit,
“scindere, quam dedit excipiens de fonte patrinus!”
mitigat immites animos deus, auctor eorum.
(Egbert of Liège, Fecunda Ratis 2.472-485)

The story I tell, the country folk know how to tell with me, and it is not so much marvelous to believe as it is very true. A certain man raised a girl from the sacred font, and he gave her a tunic woven from red wool. Shrove Sunday was the holy day of this baptism. When the sun had risen, the girl now five years old set out wandering, heedless of herself and of danger. A wolf attacked her and headed for his woodland haunts; and he took her as prey to his cubs and left her to be eaten. They immediately approached her, then when they were unable to tear her to pieces, they began to caress her head, their fierceness having been allayed. The little infant said, “Oh mice, don’t rip this tunic which my godfather gave me, taking me from the font!” God, their creator, softens savage souls. (tr. Robert Gary Babcock)



Ὃς ἂν οὖν ἐλθὼν διδάξῃ ὑμᾶς ταῦτα πάντα τὰ προειρημένα, δέξασθε αὐτόν· ἐὰν δὲ αὐτὸς ὁ διδάσκων στραφεὶς διδάσκῃ ἄλλην διδαχὴν εἰς τὸ καταλῦσαι, μὴ αὐτοῦ ἀκούσητε· εἰς δὲ τὸ προσθεῖναι δικαιοσύνην καὶ γνῶσιν κυρίου, δέξασθε αὐτὸν ὡς κύριον. περὶ δὲ τὼν ἀποστόλων καὶ προφητῶν, κατὰ τὰ δόγμα τοῦ εὐαγγελίου οὕτω ποιήσατε. πᾶς δὲ ἀπόστολος ἐρχόμενος πρὸς ὑμᾶς δεχθήτω ὡς κύριος· οὐ μενεῖ δὲ εἰ μὴ ἡμέραν μίαν· ἐὰν δὲ ᾖ χρεία, καὶ τὴν ἄλλην· τρεῖς δὲ ἐὰν μείνῃ, ψευδοπροφήτης ἐστίν. ἐξερχόμενος δὲ ὁ ἀπόστολος μηδὲν λαμβανέτω εἰ μὴ ἄρτον, ἕως οὗ αὐλισθῇ· ἐὰν δὲ ἀργύριον αἰτῇ, ψευδοπροφήτης ἐστί. καὶ πάντα προφήτην λαλοῦντα ἐν πνεύματι οὐ πειράσετε οὐδὲ διακρινεῖτε· πᾶσα γὰρ ἁμαρτία ἀφεθήσεται, αὕτη δὲ ἡ ἁμαρτία οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται. οὐ πᾶς δὲ ὁ λαλῶν ἐν πνεύματι προφήτης ἐστίν, ἀλλ’ ἐὰν ἔχῃ τοὺς τρόπους κυρίου. ἀπὸ οὖν τῶν τρόπων γνωσθήσεται ὁ ψευδοπροφήτης καὶ ὁ προφήτης. καὶ πᾶς προφήτης ὁρίζων τράπεζαν ἐν πνεύματι οὐ φάγεται ἀπ’ αὐτῆς, εἰ δὲ μήγε ψευδοπροφήτης ἐστί. πᾶς δὲ προφήτης διδάσκων τὴν ἀλήθειαν, εἰ ἃ διδάσκει οὐ ποιεῖ, ψευδοπροφήτης ἐστί. πᾶς δὲ προφήτης δεδοκιμασμένος, ἀληθινός, ποιῶν εἰς μυστήριον κοσμικὸν ἐκκλησίας, μὴ διδάσκων δὲ ποιεῖν, ὅσα αὐτὸς ποιεῖ, οὐ κριθήσεται ἐφ’ ὑμῶν· μετὰ θεοῦ γὰρ ἔχει τὴν κρίσιν· ὡσαύτως γὰρ ἐποίησαν καὶ οἱ ἀρχαῖοι προφῆται. ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ ἐν πνεύματι· δός μοι ἀργύρια ἢ ἕτερά τινα, οὐκ ἀκούσεσθε αὐτοῦ· ἐὰν δὲ περὶ ἄλλων ὑστερούντων εἴπῃ δοῦναι, μηδεὶς αὐτὸν κρινέτω.
(Didache 12)

Whosoever, therefore, comes and teaches you all these things that have been said before, receive him. But if the teacher himself turn and teach another doctrine to the destruction of this, hear him not; but if he teach so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. But concerning the apostles and prophets, according to the decree of the Gospel, thus do. Let every apostle that comes to you be received as the Lord. But he shall not remain except one day; but if there be need, also the next; but if he remain three days, he is a false prophet. And when the apostle goes away, let him take nothing but bread until he lodges; but if he ask money, he is a false prophet. And every prophet that speaks in the Spirit you shall neither try nor judge; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven. But not every one that speaks in the Spirit is a prophet; but only if he hold the ways of the Lord. Therefore from their ways shall the false prophet and the prophet be known. And every prophet who orders a meal in the Spirit eats not from it, except indeed he be a false prophet; and every prophet who teaches the truth, if he do not what he teaches, is a false prophet. And every prophet, proved true, working unto the mystery of the Church in the world, yet not teaching others to do what he himself does, shall not be judged among you, for with God he has his judgment; for so did also the ancient prophets. But whoever says in the Spirit, Give me money, or something else, you shall not listen to him; but if he says to you to give for others’ sake who are in need, let no one judge him. (tr. Matthew Brown Riddle)