A Lover of Pleasure, A Hater of Toil

Suda entry on Aulus Postumius:

“Aulus Postumius was a man of property and the highest birth, and true to his own birth he was gossipy, loquacious, and notably given to boasting. Having taken an interest from his earliest youth in Greek education and language, he entirely immersed himself in these studies to such a degree that he scandalized the older and more dignified members of the Roman establishment. Finally, he wrote a poem and a history of practical deeds. In the preface to this work, he entreats his chance readers to grant him some pardon, if he as a Roman was not able to fully take command of the Greek language and the judicious use of it. This is a mark of absolute absurdity, and is almost as bad as if someone writing an account of athletic events like boxing or the pancration were to go to the stadium and, when the time to fight arrived, asked the pardon of the spectators in the event that he could not endure the physical exertion or the blows of his opponent. Obviously, this king of man incurs mockery and judgment out of hand. The same thing should happen to other history writers like him, lest they dare things beyond what is good. Aulus Postumius was a lover of pleasure and a hater of toil.”

Αὖλος Ποστόμιος οἰκίας μὲν ἦν καὶ γένους πρώτου, κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν φύσιν στωμύλος καὶ λάλος καὶ πέρπερος διαφερόντως. ἐπιθυμήσας δ’ εὐθέως ἐκ παίδων τῆς ῾Ελληνικῆς ἀγωγῆς καὶ διαλέκτου πολὺς μὲν ἦν ἐν τούτοις καὶ κατακορής, ὥστε δι’ ἐκεῖνον καὶ τὴν αἵρεσιν τὴν ῾Ελληνικὴν προσκόψαι τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις καὶ τοῖς ἀξιολογωτάτοις τῶν ῾Ρωμαίων, τέλος δὲ καὶ ποίημα γράφων καὶ πραγματικὴν ἱστορίαν ἐνεχείρησεν· ἐν ᾗ διὰ τοῦ προοιμίου παρεκάλει τοὺς ἐντυγχάνοντας συγγνώμην ἔχειν, εἰ ῾Ρωμαῖος ὢν μὴ δύνηται κατακρατεῖν τῆς ῾Ελληνικῆς διαλέκτου καὶ τῆς κατὰ χειρισμὸν οἰκονομίας· ὅπερ ἐστὶ πάσης ἀτοπίας σημεῖον, καὶ παραπλήσιον, ὡς ἂν εἴ τις ἐς τοὺς γυμνικοὺς ἀγῶνας ἀπογραψάμενος πυγμὴν ἢ παγκράτιον, παρελθὼν ἐς τὸ στάδιον, ὅτε δέοι μάχεσθαι, παραιτοῖτο τοὺς θεωμένους συγγνώμην ἔχειν, ἐὰν μὴ δύνηται τὸν πόνον ὑπομένειν μήτε τὰς πληγάς. δῆλον γὰρ ὡς εἰκὸς γέλωτα τὸν τοιοῦτον ὀφλεῖν καὶ τὴν δίκην ἐκ χειρὸς λαμβάνειν· ὅπερ ἔδει καὶ τοὺς τοιούτους ἱστοριογράφους, ἵνα μὴ κατετόλμωντοῦ καλῶς ἔχοντος. ἦν δὲ καὶ φιλήδονος καὶ φυγόπονος.

3 thoughts on “A Lover of Pleasure, A Hater of Toil

    1. I’m not brave enough for that! I found it while researching more about the Aulus Postumius mentioned in Macrobius and Gellius.

Leave a Reply