Humble Fare: Scholion to Lycophron, Alexandra 83

“Before the discovery of flour, ancient people just ate acorns and tree-fruits.”

οἱ γὰρ ἀρχαῖοι πρὸ τοῦ τὸν σῖτον εὑρεῖν βαλάνους ἤσθιον καὶ ὀπώρας

6 thoughts on “Humble Fare: Scholion to Lycophron, Alexandra 83

      1. palaiophron

        I don’t think that I did (especially not if it’s a newer one), but I see where you’re going. I would love to receive some pecuniary benefit from academic work, but I know that even a person within the profession itself is unlikely to profit – as the old saying goes, scholar does not rhyme with dollar.

        In any event, I remember that Schopenhauer made some interesting remarks on this subject, which I find comforting whenever I feel less like Bentley and more like Hadrian:

        “Dilettanti, dilettanti! This is the slighting way in which those who pursue any branch of art or learning for the love and enjoyment of the thing, — per il loro diletto, are spoken of by those who have taken it up for the sake of gain, attracted solely by the prospect of money. This contempt of theirs comes from the base belief that no man will seriously devote himself to a subject, unless he is spurred on to it by want, hunger, or else some form of greed. The public is of the same way of thinking; and hence its general respect for professionals and its distrust of dilettanti. But the truth is that the dilettante treats his subject as an end, whereas the professional, pure and simple, treats it merely as a means. He alone will be really in earnest about a matter, who has a direct interest therein, takes to it because he likes it, and pursues it con amore. It is these, and not hirelings, that have always done the greatest work.”
        Parerga and Paralipomena (tr. T. Bailey Saunders)

  1. platosparks

    This reminds me of Socrates’ first attempt at his republic when he specified a simple diet. But even Socrates allowed flour as part of this diet and acorns were a luxury. Glaucon wasn’t happy.

    “If you were setting up a city of pigs, Socrates”, said Glaucon, “what else would you feed them but this?”

    καὶ ὅς, εἰ δὲ ὑῶν πόλιν, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἔφη, κατεσκεύαζες, τί ἂν αὐτὰς ἄλλο ἢ ταῦτα ἐχόρταζες;

    Republic 3.372d

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