Baby Plato and Buzzing Bees

Aelian, Varia Historia 10.21

“Know that Perictione used to carry Plato around in her arms. When Ariston, his father, was sacrificing to the Muses or the Nymphs on Hymêttos, the rest of the family was present for the worship and Perictione placed Plato in the nearby myrtles because they were thick and lush. While he slept, a swarm of bees placed some Hymêttian honey on his lips and buzzed their song around him, thus foretelling Plato’s eventual power of speech.”

  1. Ὅτι τὸν Πλάτωνα ἡ Περικτιόνη ἔφερεν ἐν ταῖς ἀγκάλαις· θύοντος δὲ τοῦ Ἀρίστωνος ἐν Ὑμηττῷ ταῖς Μούσαις ἢ ταῖς Νύμφαις, οἱ μὲν πρὸς τῇ ἱερουργίᾳ ἦσαν, ἡ δὲ κατέκλινε Πλάτωνα ἐν ταῖς πλησίον μυρρίναις δασείαις οὔσαις καὶ πυκναῖς. καθεύδοντι δὲ ἐσμὸς μελιττῶν, Ὑμηττίου μέλιτος ἐν τοῖς χείλεσιν αὐτοῦ καθεῖσαι, ὑπῇδον τὴν τοῦ Πλάτωνος εὐγλωττίαν μαντευόμεναι ἐντεῦθεν.


Perictione (from here)

Lucretius, De Rerum Natura 3.1-15: Epicurus, I’m Your Biggest Fan

“I follow you who first could raise so clear a light
to illuminate in so great a darkness the best parts of life,
the glory of the Greek people; and I place my feet
firmly in the signs you left behind
not for the sake of competition but because of love
I long to imitate you: for how could a swallow compete
with swans or who would think that a kid could match
his shaking limbs in a race with a mighty horse?
You, father, are the investigator of nature, and you give us
a father’s precepts drawn from your papers, famous man,
just as bees live off of everything in the flowery groves
so too we subsist on all your golden words
always most worthy of a life everlasting.”

E tenebris tantis tam clarum extollere lumen
qui primus potuisti inlustrans commoda vitae,
te sequor, o Graiae gentis decus, inque tuis nunc

Epicurus. Epi-cutest, I say.
Epicurus. Epi-cutest, I say.

ficta pedum pono pressis vestigia signis,
non ita certandi cupidus quam propter amorem
quod te imitari aveo; quid enim contendat hirundo
cycnis, aut quid nam tremulis facere artubus haedi
consimile in cursu possint et fortis equi vis?
tu, pater, es rerum inventor, tu patria nobis
suppeditas praecepta, tuisque ex, inclute, chartis,
floriferis ut apes in saltibus omnia libant,
omnia nos itidem depascimur aurea dicta,
aurea, perpetua semper dignissima vita.