Daily Words of Wisdom #5

Brought to you today by Epictetus.

Enchiridion, Chapter 13:

εἰ προκόψαι θέλεις, ὑπόμεινον ἕνεκα τῶν ἐκτὸς ἀνόητος δόξας καὶ ἠλίθιος, μηδὲν βούλου δοκεῖν ἐπίστασθαι: κἂν δόξῃς τις εἶναί τισιν, ἀπίστει σεαυτῷ.”

If you wish to improve, be content to seem unlearned and ignorant concerning external things, do not desire to seem to know: and if you seem to be someone to some people, distrust yourself.

Greek of the Week

One of my thrilling new discoveries recently is the ancient Greek novel, and a certain author within this genre named Achilles Tatius, who is this week’s most-honored Greek.

He worked during the Roman era, so during the Roman era. He wrote a long (and very popular) romance novel called Leucippe and Clitophon in the early 2nd century AD. This is a romance tale that involves star-crossed lovers, bandits, shipwrecks, torture, elopements, improbable rescues, etc. The plot is just about as sappy as any dime-store romance novel you could wish for.

And the author’s name was Achilles. Seriously, how much more awesome does it get?

I imagine that he looked something like this, and with a name like Achilles, he really wanted to think he was really intimidating:

Xenophon of Ephesus

In reality, he was probably a harmless, helpless, hopeless romantic who sat around in the evening working on his romance novel and envisioning scenarios in which star-crossed lovers prove their love for one another.

Yep, the ancients wrote terrible, trashy romance novels. And now your faith in the wisdom of the ancients has been shattered.

Daily Words of Wisdom #4

Today’s words of wisdom are brought to you by Marcus Aurelius:

Ὅμοιον εἶναι τῇ ἄκρᾳ,  διηνεκῶς τὰ κύματα προσρήσσεται:
 δὲ ἕστηκε καὶ περὶ αὐτὴνκοιμίζεται τὰ φλεγμήναντα τοῦ ὕδατος. (4.49)

“Be like the headland against which the waves break and break; it stands firm, until presently the watery tumult around it subsides once more to rest…” (4.49)