“Plato and Aristotle and that whole crew of wise guys who were bound to go different ways learned more from Socrates’ habits than his words. Epicurus’ schoolhouse didn’t make Metrodorus, Hermarchus, and Polyaenus great men, but their living together did. I invite you not only for your own benefit, but for my own too. We can help one another especially.
In the meantime, I owe you some little thing for the day. I’ll tell you what brought me joy today in Hecato’s work: Hecato writes, “What progress have I made, you ask? Well, I have started to be a friend to myself.” This counts for a lot, someone like this will never be alone. Know too that this kind of person is a friend to all. Goodbye.”
Platon et Aristoteles et omnis in diversum itura sapientium turba plus ex moribus quam ex verbis Socratis traxit; Metrodorum et Hermarchum et Polyaenum magnos viros non schola Epicuri sed contubernium fecit. Nec in hoc te accerso tantum, ut proficias, sed ut prosis; plurimum enim alter alteri conferemus.
Interim quoniam diurnam tibi mercedulam debeo, quid me hodie apud Hecatonem delectaverit dicam. “Quaeris,” inquit, “quid profecerim? Amicus esse mihi coepi.” Multum profecit; numquam erit solus. Scito hunc amicum omnibus esse. Vale.
Idiôtai: Private individuals, used in place of citizens [politai]. This is how Thucydides uses it. But in the Frogs, Aristophanes calls idiots the people who are your own—“regarding strangers and idiots. It is derived from the word idios. And so idiôtês is what they call someone who is related to you by clan; but it is also an unlearned person. And in his Wealth, Aristophanes also uses idiôtikon as that which belongs to a person privately or idion as one’s own.
Idiôtês: someone who is illiterate. Damaskios writes about Isidore: “of all the idiots and all the philosophers of his time he was equally tight-lipped generally and he hid his thoughts. But he poured his mind out into the shared increase of virtue and the limit of vice.
ἰδιοποιέω: “to make separately” in the middle: “to appropriate to oneself”
ἰδιόσημος: “peculiar in signification”
ἰδιόστολος: “equipt at private expense”
ἰδιοσύγκριτος: “Peculiarly composed”
ἰδιόφωνος: “with one’s own voice”
ἰδιοφυής: “of peculiar nature”
ἰδιόχειρος: “written by one’s own hand”
ἰδίωμα: “a peculiarity”
Andocides, On His Return 2
“These men must be the dumbest of all people or they are the most inimical to the state. If they believe that it is also better for their private affairs when the state does well, then they are complete fools in pursuing something opposite to their own advantage right now. If they do not believe that they share common interests with you, then they must be enemies of the state”
ἰδιωτικός: “of or for a private person”; 2: “unprofessional, rude”
ἰδιωτισμός: “the way or fashion of a common person”
ἰδιωφελής: “privately profitable”
Epictetus, Encheiridion, 48
“The state and character of an ‘idiot’ is this: he never expects harm or help from himself, but he always looks elsewhere. This is the state and character of a philosopher: he expects all help and harm to come from himself
These are signs of someone making progress: he blames no one; praises no one; criticizes no one; impugns no one; and says nothing about himself as if he were someone or knew something. Whenever he meets an obstacle or is held back, he takes the blame. Whenever anyone praises him, he chuckles to himself while they praise. If someone criticizes him, he offers no defense. He proceeds just like the feeble, taking care not to disturb anything he is developing before it grows firm.
He has banished every desire from himself and he has admitted to disinclination only those aspects of nature which are under our control, He applies a disinterested impulse toward all things. Should he seem to be simple or unlearned, he doesn’t care. In sum, he guards against himself as if he were an enemy conspirator.”
“As much as it is in your power, keep yourself clean regarding sexual activities before marriage. If you sample these things, you must pursue what is lawful. But do not be annoying to people who do engage in sex nor disapproving. And don’t offer up the fact that you don’t have sex [or not].
If someone tells you that some person is saying awful things about you, don’t get defensive about what he’s said. But answer: “Ah, he doesn’t know the rest of my nagging faults—otherwise, he wouldn’t be gossiping about only these!”