More Plutarch

Plutarch, bust from the museum of Delphi.

LacusCurtius‘ Bill Thayer continues to add texts documenting Greek intellectual life. To start with, there’s Plutarch‘s Consolation to Apollonius, “into which quotations from earlier authors have been emptied from the sack rather than scattered by hand”, as the author of the introduction to the Loeb edition remarks. His explanation for this odd phenomenon is that this text is the rough draft of a letter. If this is true, we can see how Plutarch really thought – jumping from one quote to another. This man’s thoughts were shaped by classical texts, literally.

The second text is Plutarch’s Dinner of the Seven Sages, which is essentially a fun text comparable to an imaginary meeting of Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Montaigne. What would the Seven Sages have said, had they been able to meet each other? The joke is, of course, that real quotes of the seven sages had to be used.

The third text is Theophrastus’ Weather Signs (Περὶ σημείων): a mixed collection of popular wisdom. I found it more interesting than I had expected. One would have expected something more profound from a pupil of Aristotle.

One Response to More Plutarch

  1. Bill Thayer says:

    The Loeb editor carelessly led his readers to think the “sack” was his own; when Plutarch used the tag, he was more careful (On the Glory of Athens, 348a): attributing it to Corinna, a poetess who mentored Pindar.

    Oh, and the Letter to Apollonius is weak enough that although the Loeb editor doesn’t call it ps‑Plutarch, I was glad to see at least one such citation of it in Smith’s Dictionary.

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