Happy Men, Famous Cities, Ugly Mothers

PLUTARCH, DEMOSTHENES 1

“My dear Sosius, the man who wrote the encomium to Alcibiades on his Olympian victory (whether that be Euripides, as the common account holds, or some other writer) says that it is necessary for a happy man that he be born in a “famous city.” I however think that for a man to enjoy true happiness, which is chiefly a matter of character and disposition, it makes no more difference if he was born in a poor obscure city than if he was born to a small and ugly mother.”

῾Ο μὲν γράψας τὸ ἐπὶ τῇ νίκῃ τῆς ᾿Ολυμπίασιν ἱππο-

δρομίας εἰς ᾿Αλκιβιάδην ἐγκώμιον, εἴτ’ Εὐριπίδης (PLG

II p. 266 B4) ὡς ὁ πολὺς κρατεῖ λόγος, εἴθ’ ἕτερός τις ἦν,

ὦ Σόσσιε Σενεκίων, φησὶ χρῆναι τῷ εὐδαίμονι πρῶτον

ὑπάρξαι „τὰν πόλιν εὐδόκιμον·” ἐγὼ δὲ τῷ μὲν εὐδαιμο-

νήσειν μέλλοντι τὴν ἀληθινὴν εὐδαιμονίαν, ἧς ἐν ἤθει καὶ

διαθέσει τὸ πλεῖστόν ἐστιν, οὐδὲν ἡγοῦμαι διαφέρειν ἀδό-

ξου καὶ ταπεινῆς πατρίδος ἢ μητρὸς ἀμόρφου καὶ μικρᾶς

γενέσθαι.

3 thoughts on “Happy Men, Famous Cities, Ugly Mothers

  1. “it makes no more difference
    if he was born in a poor obscure city
    than if he was born to a small
    and ugly
    father”.

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