Seneca, Moral Epistle 84.9-11
“I believe that it is sometimes not possible to tell if something is the true copy–for this impresses its own form on everything that uses it as an example so they they draw together in unity. Don’t you see how the chorus is made up of many voices? Still, a single voice comes from all of them. One voice is a soprano, another is a bass, and there’s a baritone too. There are women alongside the men; instruments join them. The voices of the individuals are hidden, they contribute to the whole.
I am speaking of a the chorus that the ancient philosophers knew. Our performances today have more singers than there were audience members in the theaters. A line of singers fills every aisle; bronze horns surround the whole theater and every kind of drum and instrument surrounds the stage. Still, a single song emerges from the different sounds.
This is how I want my mind to be: filled with many disciplines, a variety of precepts, and the examples of many ancient people, all balanced together to one end.”
Puto aliquando ne intellegi quidem posse, si imago vera sit; haec enim omnibus, quae ex quo velut exemplari traxit, formam suam inpressit, ut in unitatem illa conpetant. Non vides, quam multorum vocibus chorus constet? Unus tamen ex omnibus redditur; aliqua illic acuta est, aliqua gravis, aliqua media. Accedunt viris feminae, interponuntur tibiae. Singulorum illic latent voces, omnium apparent. De choro dico, quem veteres philosophi noverant; in commissionibus nostris plus cantorum est quam in theatris olim spectatorum fuit. Cum omnes vias ordo canentium inplevit et cavea aenatoribus cincta est et ex pulpito omne tibiarum genus organorumque consonuit, fit concentus ex dissonis. Talem animum nostrum esse volo; multae in illo artes, multa praecepta sint, multarum aetatum exempla, sed in unum conspirata