previous next
If any one object, that these men hunted ambitiously after glory and honor, let him go to the philosophers and the schools and nurseries of wisdom at Athens, those in the Lyceum, the Academy, the Stoa, the Palladium, the Odeum. If he admires and prefers the Peripatetic philosophy before the rest, Aristotle was a native of Stagira, Theophrastus of Ephesus, Straton of Lampsacus, Glycon of Troas, Ariston of Ceus, Critolaus of Phaselis. If thou art for the Stoic philosophy, Zeno was of Citium, Cleanthes of Assus, Chrysippus of Soli, Diogenes of Babylon, Antipater of Tarsus, and Archedemus who was of Athens went over to the Parthians, and left a succession of Stoic philosophers in Babylon. And who, I pray, persecuted and chased these men out of their country? [p. 29] Nobody at all; but they pursued their own quiet, which men cannot easily enjoy at home that are in any reputation or have any power; other things they taught us by what they said, but this by what they (lid. For even now the most approved and excellent persons live abroad out of their own country, not being transported, but departing voluntarily, not being driven thence, but flying from business and from the disquiets and molestations which they are sure to meet with at home.

It seems to me that the Muses helped the ancient writers to finish their choicest and most approved compositions, by calling in, as it were, banishment to their assistance. Thucydides the Athenian wrote the Peloponnesian and Athenian War in Thrace, hard by the forest of Scapte; Xenophon wrote his history in Scillus belonging to Elis; Philistus in Epirus, Timaeus of Tauromenum at Athens, Androtion the Athenian in Megara, Bacchylides the poet in Peloponnesus. These and many more, after they had lost their country, did not lose all hope nor were dejected in their minds, but took occasion thereupon to express the vivacity of their spirit and the dexterity of their wit, receiving their banishment at the hands of Fortune as a viaticum that she had sent them; whereby they became renowned everywhere after death, whereas there is no remaining mention of those factious persons that expelled them.

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 Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1891)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: