Politicians speaking about Education: Xenophon, Memorabilia 4.4.2


“Men of Athens, I have never learned anything from anyone nor when hearing that some men are competent at both speaking and acting did I seek to meet them. I never cared about having one of the men who know things as a teacher. Instead, I have successfully avoided not just learning from anyone but even seeming to learn anything at all. Nevertheless, I will advise you with whatever comes freely to my mind.”



‘Παρ’ οὐδενὸς μὲν πώποτε, ὦ ἄνδρες ᾿Αθηναῖοι, οὐδὲν ἔμαθον, οὐδ’ ἀκούων τινὰς εἶναι λέγειν τε καὶ πράττειν ἱκανοὺς ἐζήτησα τούτοις ἐντυχεῖν, οὐδ’ ἐπεμελήθην τοῦ διδάσκαλόν τινά μοι γενέσθαι τῶν ἐπισταμένων, ἀλλὰ καὶ τἀναντία· διατετέλεκα γὰρ φεύγων οὐ μόνον τὸ μανθάνειν τι παρά τινος, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ δόξαι. ὅμως δὲ ὅ τι ἂν ἀπὸ ταὐτομάτου ἐπίῃ μοι συμβουλεύσω ὑμῖν.’


So Xenophon’s Socrates says of Euthydemos–but he’s not too far off from some proud politicians today…

Leave a Reply