Lucian, The Eunuch 13: On the Hidden Dangers of Practicing Philosophy


“For this reason, I pray that my son—for he is still very young—would be fit for philosophy with something more “private” than judgment or tongue.”


ὥστε καὶ τὸν υἱὸν—ἔτι δέ μοι κομιδῇ νέος ἐστίν —εὐξαίμην ἂν οὐ τὴν γνώμην οὐδὲ τὴν γλῶτταν ἀλλὰ τὸ αἰδοῖον ἕτοιμον ἐς φιλοσοφίαν ἔχειν.


In this satirical dialogue, Lucian’s interlocutors discuss how the fierceness of a competition for a chair in philosophy in Athens (essentially an ancient professorship) was affected by a man’s status as a eunuch (who could claim greater independence from corruptible impulses because of his ‘lack’).