previous next

The MSS. give τὸ φέρον ἐκ θεοῦ καλῶς φέρειν χρή. There has certainly been an interpolation, equivalent to uu-. (1) Some reject the words φέρειν χρή. Then τὸ φέρον ἐκ θεοῦ καλῶς must be taken with φλέγεσθον: “"As to the fortune sent by heaven for your good, be not too passionate in grief"” (pass.): or, if with Herm. the verb is made midd., “"do not inflame the trouble sent for your good"” (cp. the act. in Ai. 196ἄταν οὐρανίαν φλέγων”). So, if the MS. μηδ᾽ ἄγαν is kept, μηδ᾽ =“"do not on your part"” (Herm., “"etiam non debet vos tam vehementer urere"”). But μηδὲν ἄγαν or μηδ᾽ ἔτ᾽ ἄγαν (see cr. n.) gives in this case a clearer sense. (2) Wecklein, with whom I agree, rejects καλῶς and χρή, keeping φέρειν. Then τὸ φέρον ἐκ θεοῦ φέρειν=“"bear the fate from heaven,"” the inf. standing for imperat., a use fitting in such a precept (O. T. 1529). The origin of the interpolated words is thus clear: χρή explained the use of the inf., while καλῶς was meant to fix the sense of φέρειν, lest τὸ φέρον should obscure it.

τὸ φέρον ἐκ θεοῦ,=the fortune from the god.

τὸ φέρον in this sense admits of two explanations. (1) “"That which brings"” good or evil. This view seems confirmed by the analogy of fors, fortuna (ferre): Ter. Ph. 1. 2. 88quod fors feret, feremus”: Cic. Att. 7. 14ut fors tulerit”, etc. (2) “"That which carries"” or “"leads"” us forward, in a course which we cannot control (cp. “ ὁδὸς φέρει ἐκεῖσε”, and like phrases). This view might seem to be supported by the epigram of Palladas (c. 400 A.D.) in Anthol. P. 10. 73 “ τὸ φέρον σε φέρει, φέρε καὶ φέρου: εἰ δ᾽ ἀγανακτεῖς,
καὶ σαυτὸν λυπεῖς, καὶ τὸ φέρον σε φέρει

”: “"as Fortune bears thee on, bear, and be borne; but if thou chafest, thou vexest thine own soul, and (none the less) she bears thee on."” There, however, “σε φέρει” is said for the sake of a play on the word, and hardly warrants an inference as to the way in which τὸ φέρον was usually understood.—The conjecture τὸ παρὸν (cp. 1540) would be plausible only if there were reasons for thinking that τὸ φέρον in this sense was a phrase of postclassical date.

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.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
400 AD (1)
hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 7.14
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 196
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 1529
    • Terence, Phormio, 1.2
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: