Xenophon, Cyropaedea 1.4.3: Cyrus’ Loquaciousness Came from a Good Place

“Cyrus was then, perhaps, rather talkative, both because of his education—since he was compelled by his teacher both to give an account of whatever he was doing and to ask for one from others, whenever he made judgments—and also because he loved learning so much and was always asking from anyone he met explanations for all sorts of things and, because of his own intelligence, he was always questioned too, with the result that his talkativeness naturally developed. But in the same way as the body, when the young first take on their size, still shows some sign of youth which will divulge someone’s true age, so too it wasn’t arrogance that shined through Cyrus’ talkativeness, but his directness and good-heartedness—these made anyone more excited to hear him more, rather than be around him silent.”


Καὶ ἦν μὲν ἴσως πολυλογώτερος, ἅμα μὲν διὰ τὴν παιδείαν,ὅτι ἠναγκάζετο ὑπὸ τοῦ διδασκάλου καὶ διδόναι λόγον ὧνἐποίει καὶ λαμβάνειν παρ’ ἄλλων, ὁπότε δικάζοι, ἔτι δὲ καὶδιὰ τὸ φιλομαθὴς εἶναι πολλὰ μὲν αὐτὸς ἀεὶ τοὺς παρόνταςἀνηρώτα πῶς ἔχοντα τυγχάνοι, καὶ ὅσα αὐτὸς ὑπ’ ἄλλων ἐρωτῷτο, διὰ τὸ ἀγχίνους εἶναι ταχὺ ἀπεκρίνετο, ὥστ’ ἐκ πάντων τούτων ἡ πολυλογία συνελέγετο αὐτῷ· ἀλλ’ ὥσπερ
γὰρ ἐν σώματι, ὅσοι νέοι ὄντες μέγεθος ἔλαβον, ὅμως ἐμφαίνεται τὸ νεαρὸν αὐτοῖς ὃ κατηγορεῖ τὴν ὀλιγοετίαν, οὕτω καὶ Κύρου ἐκ τῆς πολυλογίας οὐ θράσος διεφαίνετο, ἀλλ’ ἁπλότης καὶ φιλοστοργία, ὥστ’ ἐπεθύμει ἄν τις ἔτι πλείω αὐτοῦ ἀκούειν ἢ σιωπῶντι παρεῖναι.

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