previous next


[8arg] That the poet Afranius wisely and prettily called Wisdom the daughter of Experience and Memory.

THAT was a fine and true thought of the poet Afranius about the birth of Wisdom and the means of acquiring it, when he said that she was the daughter of Experience and Memory. For in that way he shows that one who wishes to be wise in human affairs does not need books alone or instruction in rhetoric and dialectics, but ought also to occupy and train himself in becoming intimately acquainted with and testing real life, and in firmly fixing in his memory all such acts and events; and accordingly he must learn wisdom and judgment from the teaching of actual experience, not from what books only, or masters, through vain words and fantasies, have foolishly represented as though in a farce or a dream. The verses of Afranius are in a Roman comedy called The Chair: 1
My sire Experience was, me Memory bore,
In Greece called Sophia, Wisdom in Rome.
There is also a line of Pacuvius to about the same purport, which the philosopher Macedo, a good man and my intimate friend, thought ought to be written over the doors of all temples: 2
I hate base men who preach philosophy.
For he said that nothing could be more shameful or insufferable than that idle, lazy folk, disguised with beard and cloak, should change the character and [p. 433] advantages of philosophy into tricks of the tongue and of words, and, themselves saturated with vices, should eloquently assail vice.

1 298, Ribbeck3.

2 348, Ribbeck3.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Introduction (John C. Rolfe, 1927)
load focus Latin (John C. Rolfe, 1927)
hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (3):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: