Philosophers Steal from Poets; And Poets have Crazy Ideas

Sextus Empiricus, Against the Professors, 1.272-273

“[Of those philosophers who dispute the utility of learning grammar], Pyrrho is recorded to have been constantly reading Homeric poetry, a thing he would not have done if he did not recognize that it was useful and that, for that reason, studying grammar is compulsory. And Epicurus has been caught red-handed snatching the best of his beliefs from the poets”.

ὧν ὁ μὲν Πύρρων ἱστορεῖται τὴν ῾Ομηρικὴν διὰ παντὸς ποίησιν ἀναγινώσκων, μὴ ἄν ποτε τοῦτο ποιήσας εἴπερ μὴ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν χρησίμην καὶ διὰ τοῦτο τὴν γραμματικὴν ἀναγκαίαν, ὁ δὲ ᾿Επίκουρος φωρᾶται τὰ κράτιστα τῶν δογμάτων παρὰ ποιητῶν ἀνηρπακώς• τόν τε γὰρ ὅρον τοῦ μεγέθους τῶν


“But anyone who investigates it will find that the ideas of poets are much worse than common sense of regular men.”

ἂν δὲ καὶ ἐξετάσῃ τις, πολλῷ χείρονα τῆς τῶν ἰδιωτῶν ὑπολήψεως εὑρήσει τὰ
τῶν ποιητῶν.

Sextus who?

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