Insults Cannot Hurt the Wise

Seneca, De Constantia 5

“Serenus, if it seems apt to you, we need to distinguish injury from insult. The first is more serious by its nature and the other is lighter and an issue only for the overly sensitive because people are not wounded but offended. Some spirits are nevertheless so fragile and vain that they believe nothing is more bitter. For this reason you will find an enslaved person who would prefer lashes to fists and believes death and beatings more tolerable than insulting words.

The situation has gone to such a point of ridiculousness that we are harmed not just by pain but by opinion about pain like children whom dark shadows and the appearance of masks or changed appearances terrify! We are people moved to tears by somewhat painful words touching our ears, by rude signs with fingers, and other things which the ignorant rush from in panicked error.

Injury means to do someone evil; but wisdom allows no space for evil because the only evil it recognizes is debasement, which is incapable of entering anywhere virtue and truth already live.”

Dividamus, si tibi videtur, Serene, iniuriam a contumelia. Prior illa natura gravior est, haec levior et tantum delicatis gravis, qua non laeduntur homines sed offenduntur. Tanta est tamen animorum dissolutio et vanitas, ut quidam nihil acerbius putent. Sic invenies servum qui flagellis quam colaphis caedi malit et qui mortem ac verbera tolerabiliora credat quam contumeliosa verba. Ad tantas ineptias perventum est, ut non dolore tantum sed doloris opinione vexemur more puerorum, quibus metum incutit umbra et personarum deformitas et depravata facies, lacrimas vero evocant nomina parum grata auribus et digitorum motus et alia quae impetu quodam erroris improvidi refugiunt. Iniuria propositum hoc habet aliquem malo adficere; malo autem sapientia non relinquit locum, unum enim illi malum est turpitudo, quae intrare eo ubi iam virtus honestumque est non potest.

File:Bust of Seneca, Italian c.1700, Albertinum, Dresden.jpg
Bust of Seneca, Italian c.1700, Albertinum, Dresden

Insults Cannot Hurt the Wise

Seneca, De Constantia 5

“Serenus, if it seems apt to you, we need to distinguish injury from insult. The first is more serious by its nature and the other is lighter and an issue only for the overly sensitive because people are not wounded but offended. Some spirits are nevertheless so fragile and vain that they believe nothing is more bitter. For this reason you will find an enslaved person who would prefer lashes to fists and believes death and beatings more tolerable than insulting words.

The situation has gone to such a point of ridiculousness that we are harmed not just by pain but by opinion about pain like children whom dark shadows and the appearance of masks or changed appearances terrify! We are people moved to tears by somewhat painful words touching our ears, by rude signs with fingers, and other things which the ignorant rush from in panicked error.

Injury means to do someone evil; but wisdom allows no space for evil because the only evil it recognizes is debasement, which is incapable of entering anywhere virtue and truth already live.”

Dividamus, si tibi videtur, Serene, iniuriam a contumelia. Prior illa natura gravior est, haec levior et tantum delicatis gravis, qua non laeduntur homines sed offenduntur. Tanta est tamen animorum dissolutio et vanitas, ut quidam nihil acerbius putent. Sic invenies servum qui flagellis quam colaphis caedi malit et qui mortem ac verbera tolerabiliora credat quam contumeliosa verba. Ad tantas ineptias perventum est, ut non dolore tantum sed doloris opinione vexemur more puerorum, quibus metum incutit umbra et personarum deformitas et depravata facies, lacrimas vero evocant nomina parum grata auribus et digitorum motus et alia quae impetu quodam erroris improvidi refugiunt. Iniuria propositum hoc habet aliquem malo adficere; malo autem sapientia non relinquit locum, unum enim illi malum est turpitudo, quae intrare eo ubi iam virtus honestumque est non potest.

File:Bust of Seneca, Italian c.1700, Albertinum, Dresden.jpg
Bust of Seneca, Italian c.1700, Albertinum, Dresden

Boy-Cheaters and Sons-of-Virtue Seekers: Some Crazy Greek Compounds

For your afternoon edification: some crazy Greek compounds:

“Sons of eye-brow raisers, men-with-noses-affixed-to-beards
Coarse-beard-growers, sons-of-casserole-thieves
Face-garment-blockers, barefoot-oil-lamp-lookers,
Nocturnal-secret-eaters, nocturnal-alley-walkers
Boy-cheaters, syllable-question-yakkers,
Stupid-belief-philosophers, sons-of-virtue-seekers

ὀφρυανασπασίδαι, ῥινεγκαταπηξιγένειοι,
σακκογενειοτρόφοι καὶ λοπαδαρπαγίδαι,
εἱματανωπερίβαλλοι, ἀνηλιποκαιβλεπέλαιοι,
νυκτιλαθραιοφάγοι, νυκτιπαταιπλάγιοι,
μειρακιεξαπάται <καὶ> συλλαβοπευσιλαληταί,
δοξοματαιόσοφοι, ζηταρετησιάδαι.

From an epigram quoted in Athenaeus’ Deipnosophists (162a-b)

Greek Anthology 16.112: My Sick Portrait Artist, Another Odysseus

Ep. 16.112

 

“My sculptor is more hateful than all the Dannaans: he’s another Odysseus,
since he made me a memento of a wretched and ruinous sickness.
The stone—rough, dirty, sick and drawn—wasn’t enough
But he has even shaped my pain in bronze.”

 

᾿Εχθρὸς ὑπὲρ Δαναοὺς πλάστης ἐμός, ἄλλος ᾿Οδυσσεύς,
ὅς μ’ ἔμνησε κακῆς οὐλομένης τε νόσου.
οὐκ ἤρκει πέτρη, τρῦχος, λύθρον, ἕλκος, ἀνίη,
ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν χαλκῷ τὸν πόνον εἰργάσατο.