Pride and Proportionality

Erasmus, Adagia 1.36:


As we recently related, this phrase seems to pertain equally to the reciprocation of both duty and of injury, but it should refer even more to the recompense for some favor, because Hesiod says:

Αὐτῷ τῷ μέτρῳ, καὶ λώϊον, αἴ κε δύνηαι,

that is, Either in the same proportion, or even better, if it is possible. With this phrase, he teaches that some duty is to be repaid either in the same measure or in an even greater degree, if the opportunity allows, and that in this respect especially we should imitate the fertile fields, which customarily return the seed deposited in them with much interest.

A passage from Lucian’s Imagines is cited in turn:

Αὐτῷ μέτρῳ φασὶ <ἢ> και λώϊον,

that is, In the same proportion, as they say, or better. Cicero, in his thirteenth book of Letters to Atticus, writes:

‘I was preparing myself for that which he had send me so that αὐτῷ τῷ μέτρω καὶ λώϊον [in the same proportion or better], if only I could. For Hesiod even adds this phrase, αἴ κε δύνηαι [if only you are able].

He was not weighed down by this adage, just like our instructor Christ in the Gospel, when he says that some day, with whatever proportion we have measured out to others, it will be with that same proportion that others measure out to us. He speaks thus in Matthew:

Ἐν ᾧ γὰρ κρίματι κρίνετε, κριθήσεσθε, καὶ ἐν ᾧ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε, μετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν,

that is, In whatever judgment you judge, in that you will be judged, and in whatever proportion you measure out to others, in that proportion they will measure out to you.

Erasmus - Wikipedia


Quod modo retulimus, videtur pariter et ad officii et ad iniuriae retaliationem pertinere, verum ad beneficii pensationem magis referendum, quod ait Hesiodus:

Αὐτῷ τῷ μέτρῳ, καὶ λώϊον, αἴ κε δύνηαι,

id est

Aut mensura eadem, aut melius quoque, si qua facultas.

Quo docet officium remetiendum esse eadem mensura aut etiam copiosiore, si suppetat facultas, prorsumque hac parte imitandos esse foecundos agros, qui sementem depositam multo cum foenore reddere consueuerunt.

Citatur a Luciano prouerbii vice in Imaginibus:

Αὐτῷ μέτρῳ φασὶ <ἢ> και λώϊον,

id est Eadem mensura, quod aiunt, aut melius. M. Tullius Epistolarum ad Atticum libro decimotertio:

Ego autem me parabam ad id, quod ille mihi misisset, vt αὐτῷ τῷ μέτρω καὶ λώϊον, si modo potuissem. Nam hoc etiam Hesiodus asscribit, αἴ κε δύνηαι.

Hoc adagio non grauatus est vti praeceptor noster Christus in Euangelio, cum ait futurum, vt qua mensura fuerimus aliis emensi, eadem nobis alii remetiantur. Sic enim loquitur apud Matthaeum:

Ἐν ᾧ γὰρ κρίματι κρίνετε, κριθήσεσθε, καὶ ἐν ᾧ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε, μετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν,

id est In quo iudicio iudicatis, in eo iudicabimini, et qua mensura metimini aliis, illa remetientur vobis).

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