Composing Balanced Autobiography

Libanius, On His Own Fortune:

“I must try to correct those who get the wrong impression about my fortune – those who say that I am the most fortunate of people from the crowds flocking to my speeches, and those who think that I am the most hard-pressed from my unremitting pains and toils. I say that I must, by a strict accounting of my earlier and current circumstances, correct each of these opinions, mixed as they are with some measure of truth, so that all can see that the gods have mixed the gifts of fortune for me, and that I am neither the most fortunate nor the most ill-starred person, lest the dart of Nemesis pierce me.”

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Τοὺς δὲ περὶ τῆς ἐμῆς τύχης οὐ τὰ εἰκότα δοξάσαντας, οὔθ’ ὅσοι με ἀνθρώπων εὐδαιμονέστατον εἶναί φασιν ἀπὸ τούτων δὴ τῶν ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις θορύβων οὔθ’ ὅσοι τῶν ὄντων ἀθλιώτατον ἀπὸ τῶν συνεχῶν δὴ ὀδυνῶν καὶ πόνων, τούτοιν τοίνυν ἑκατέραν ταῖν ψήφοιν τῆς ἀληθείας ἀπενηνεγμένην ἐπανορθῶσαι πειρατέον διηγήσει τῶν τε ὑπαρξάντων ἐμοὶ τῶν τε ἔτι νῦν ὄντων, ὡς εἰδεῖεν ἅπαντες, ὅτι μοι τὰ τῆς τύχης ἐκέρασαν οἱ θεοὶ καὶ οὔτε εὐδαιμονέστατος οὔτε ἀθλιώτατος ἐγώ, Νεμέσεως δὲ ἡμᾶς μὴ βάλοι βέλος.

3 thoughts on “Composing Balanced Autobiography

    1. I never read any Libanius, but I found a Loeb at Half Price Books for 10 bucks, and he seems pretty great!

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