Don’t Let Questions Ruin Your Conference

Plato, Protagoras 338d-e

“But am willing to do this in such a way that you are eager for the conference and you will have some conversations. If Protagoras does not want to respond to questions, let him ask them instead, and I will answer and I will at the same time try to show him how I believe that someone should answer when he is asked something.

Whenever I answer however many questions he wants to ask, then let him promise to give me the same courtesy in return. If he does not seem enthusiastic about answering what he has been asked, then you and I can ask him in common—the very thing which you asked—that he not ruin our conference. It is not necessary to put one person in charge of this, but you can all watch over this together.”

ἀλλ᾿ οὑτωσὶ ἐθέλω ποιῆσαι, ἵν᾿ ὃ προθυμεῖσθε συνουσία τε καὶ διάλογοι ἡμῖν γίγνωνται· εἰ μὴ βούλεται Πρωταγόρας ἀποκρίνεσθαι, οὗτος μὲν ἐρωτάτω, ἐγὼ δὲ ἀποκρινοῦμαι, καὶ ἅμα πειράσομαι αὐτῷ δεῖξαι, ὡς ἐγώ φημι χρῆναι τὸν ἀποκρινόμενον ἀποκρίνεσθαι· ἐπειδὰν δὲ ἐγὼ ἀποκρίνωμαι ὁπόσ᾿ ἂν οὗτος βούληται ἐρωτᾷν, πάλιν οὗτος ἐμοὶ λόγον ὑποσχέτω ὁμοίως. ἐὰν οὖν μὴ δοκῇ πρόθυμος εἶναι πρὸς αὐτὸ τὸ ἐρωτώμενον ἀποκρίνεσθαι, καὶ ἐγὼ καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινῇ δεησόμεθα αὐτοῦ ἅπερ ὑμεῖς ἐμοῦ, μὴ διαφθείρειν τὴν συνουσίαν· καὶ οὐδὲν δεῖ τούτου ἕνεκα ἕνα ἐπιστάτην γενέσθαι, ἀλλὰ πάντες κοινῇ ἐπιστατήσετε.

 

Ammianus Marcellinus, History 21.4

“After Aquileia was surrounded by a double line of shields, when leaders conferred, it seemed best to try to persuade the defenders to surrender with a variety of threats and promises. Even though many words were intensively exchanged, their reluctance actually grew stronger and the conference was ended without a thing accomplished.”

Ordine itaque scutorum gemino Aquileia circumsaepta, concinentibus sententiis ducum, conveniens visum est ad deditionem allicere defensores, minacium blandorumque varietate sermonum: et multis ultro citroque dictitatis, in immensum obstinatione gliscente, ex colloquio re infecta disceditur.

One of the tapestries in the series The Hunt of the Unicorn: The Unicorn is Found, circa 1495-1505, The CloistersMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

On Kindness and Need: Please Support the SCS-WCC COVID-19 Relief Fund

Cicero, De Legibus 1.18

“What about generosity? Is it for free or with a view towards some benefit? If someone is kind without payment, then it is freely done. If it is for payment, it is contractual. There is no doubt that a person who is called generous or kind responds to duty not to benefit. Therefore, equity seeks no reward or purchase price but it is pursued for its own worth. This is the same cause and claim for every virtue.”

quid? liberalitas gratuitane est an mercennaria? si sine praemio benignus est, gratuita, si cum mercede, conducta; nec est dubium, quin is, qui liberalis benignusve dicitur, officium, non fructum sequatur; ergo item iustitia nihil expetit praemii, nihil pretii; per se igitur expetitur. eademque omnium virtutum causa atque sententia est.

The Women’s Classical Caucus and the Society for Classical Studies have been working together since April on the COVID-19 Relief Fund. During that time, they have given out over $70,000 to classicists, mainly graduate students and contingent faculty, who are facing precarity because of our pandemic.  (See the SCS Announcement here.)

Like the Sportula (an organization you can support in the US and Europe), this initiative brings microgrants to people who really need it at a time when it can make the greatest difference. As two leading organizations in our field, the WCC and SCS are setting a new standard for stewardship and care.

Dicta Catonis 15

“Remember to tell the tale of another’s kindness many times
But whatever kind deed you do for others, keep quiet.”

Officium alterius multis narrare memento;
at quaecumque aliis benefeceris ipse, sileto.

Today, is the first day of an auction to support this important fund. There are signed books, professional support, masks, arts, crafts, and more. You can also enter a raffle for memberships to either organization. There are also many pledges to match bids and money raised, so we can do something pretty special here.

Even if you can’t spare anything to bid on these offers, please take a minute to check them out and to let your friends on social media know about it.

Demosthenes, On the Crown 268-9

“This was my behavior in my actions for the city. In private matters, if any of you do not know that I have been generous and kind and solicitous of those in need, I am silent and I say nothing and present no witness of these things, not the war prisoners I have ransomed, nor the money I have provided for daughters, nor anything like that at all.

This is a rule I live by. I believe that the person who receives a favor should remember it for the rest of time but that the person who does it should forget it immediately for the former to act rightly and the latter not to play the part of a cheap-minded person. To remind someone of a favor you have provided in private and to speak so cheaply is just like reproaching them. I will not do anything like this but however I am considered about these things will be enough for me.”

Ἐν μὲν τοίνυν τοῖς πρὸς τὴν πόλιν τοιοῦτος· ἐν δὲ τοῖς ἰδίοις εἰ μὴ πάντες ἴσθ᾿ ὅτι κοινὸς καὶ φιλάνθρωπος καὶ τοῖς δεομένοις ἐπαρκῶν, σιωπῶ καὶ οὐδὲν ἂν εἴποιμ᾿ οὐδὲ παρασχοίμην περὶ τούτων οὐδεμίαν μαρτυρίαν, οὔτ᾿ εἴ τινας ἐκ τῶν πολεμίων ἐλυσάμην, οὔτ᾿ εἴ τισιν θυγατέρας συνεξέδωκα, οὔτε τῶν τοιούτων οὐδέν. καὶ γὰρ οὕτω πως ὑπείληφα ἐγὼ νομίζω τὸν μὲν εὖ παθόντα δεῖν μεμνῆσθαι πάντα τὸν χρόνον, τὸν δὲ ποιήσαντ᾿ εὐθὺς ἐπιλελῆσθαι, εἰ δεῖ τὸν μὲν χρηστοῦ, τὸν δὲ μὴ μικροψύχου ποιεῖν ἔργον ἀνθρώπου. τὸ δὲ τὰς ἰδίας εὐεργεσίας ὑπομιμνῄσκειν καὶ λέγειν μικροῦ δεῖν ὅμοιόν ἐστιν τῷ ὀνειδίζειν. οὐ δὴ ποιήσω τοιοῦτον οὐδέν, οὐδὲ προαχθήσομαι, ἀλλ᾿ ὅπως ποθ᾿ ὑπείλημμαι περὶ τούτων, ἀρκεῖ μοι.

Don’t Let Questions Ruin Your Conference

In solidarity with friends traveling to the capitol this week….

Plato, Protagoras 338d-e

“But am willing to do this in such a way that you are eager for the conference and you will have some conversations. If Protagoras does not want to respond to questions, let him ask them instead, and I will answer and I will at the same time try to show him how I believe that someone should answer when he is asked something.

Whenever I answer however many questions he wants to ask, then let him promise to give me the same courtesy in return. If he does not seem enthusiastic about answering what he has been asked, then you and I can ask him in common—the very thing which you asked—that he not ruin our conference. It is not necessary to put one person in charge of this, but you can all watch over this together.”

ἀλλ᾿ οὑτωσὶ ἐθέλω ποιῆσαι, ἵν᾿ ὃ προθυμεῖσθε συνουσία τε καὶ διάλογοι ἡμῖν γίγνωνται· εἰ μὴ βούλεται Πρωταγόρας ἀποκρίνεσθαι, οὗτος μὲν ἐρωτάτω, ἐγὼ δὲ ἀποκρινοῦμαι, καὶ ἅμα πειράσομαι αὐτῷ δεῖξαι, ὡς ἐγώ φημι χρῆναι τὸν ἀποκρινόμενον ἀποκρίνεσθαι· ἐπειδὰν δὲ ἐγὼ ἀποκρίνωμαι ὁπόσ᾿ ἂν οὗτος βούληται ἐρωτᾷν, πάλιν οὗτος ἐμοὶ λόγον ὑποσχέτω ὁμοίως. ἐὰν οὖν μὴ δοκῇ πρόθυμος εἶναι πρὸς αὐτὸ τὸ ἐρωτώμενον ἀποκρίνεσθαι, καὶ ἐγὼ καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινῇ δεησόμεθα αὐτοῦ ἅπερ ὑμεῖς ἐμοῦ, μὴ διαφθείρειν τὴν συνουσίαν· καὶ οὐδὲν δεῖ τούτου ἕνεκα ἕνα ἐπιστάτην γενέσθαι, ἀλλὰ πάντες κοινῇ ἐπιστατήσετε.

 

Ammianus Marcellinus, History 21.4

“After Aquileia was surrounded by a double line of shields, when leaders conferred, it seemed best to try to persuade the defenders to surrender with a variety of threats and promises. Even though many words were intensively exchanged, their reluctance actually grew stronger and the conference was ended without a thing accomplished.”

Ordine itaque scutorum gemino Aquileia circumsaepta, concinentibus sententiis ducum, conveniens visum est ad deditionem allicere defensores, minacium blandorumque varietate sermonum: et multis ultro citroque dictitatis, in immensum obstinatione gliscente, ex colloquio re infecta disceditur.

One of the tapestries in the series The Hunt of the Unicorn: The Unicorn is Found, circa 1495-1505, The CloistersMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York City