This page is interesting.Quote
Archaeologists have not identified planted courtyards within the palaces of Mycenean culture nor in Greek houses of the Classical period. When the editors of a symposium on Roman gardens included a contribution on the expected Greek precursors, Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway's article prompted a reviewer to observe, "For all practical purposes there appear to have been no gardens of any sort in Greek city homes, beyond perhaps a few pots with plants."Quote
Though Harpalus, Alexander's successor at Babylon, grew some Greek plants in the royal palace and walks, mainland Greece, mother of democracy and Western cultural traditions, was not the mother of European gardens.
This is interesting stuff. It might explain why Greek Historians like Herodotus remarked on the lavish gardens they found in their travels, if the practice was not widespread at home. It also reinforces the power of the pastoral ideal of the Greek countryside, where pasture, vineyard, and grove dominate the poetic landscape.
Here's an image that likely colored my earlier perceptions about Greek life, from a city-building video game my friends and I played extensively in high school.
According to art historian Paul Zanker, the bearded type has long hair from the start, and a relatively long beard (contrasting with the short "classical" beard and hair always given to St Peter, and most other apostles); this depiction is specifically associated with "Charismatic" philosophers like Euphrates the Stoic, Dio of Prusa and Apollonius of Tyana, some of whom were claimed to perform miracles.
-from the Wikipedia article cited by Don above
Yes, Don, that was my response as well. They also show Jesus' hair parting very differently, and long individual strands in place of Epicurus' undifferentiated locks on both head and beard.
But it is interesting to see early portraits of Jesus without a beard. Of the early Emperors, Nero had a beard. This went out of fashion again until Hadrian, who "brought back the beard", you might say. Between Hadrian and the Crisis of the Third Century, the only Emperors portrayed beardless were boys and young men, all murdered by the age of 26.
Under the second heading of Chapter 6, we get an interesting look at the meditative practice of "touring the cosmos" in thought. I've collected several quotations that express the sentiment, and finally a passage from Horace contrasting the limitless ambitions of the mind with the brief span of human life.
A Greek it was who first opposing dared
Raise mortal eyes that terror to withstand,
Whom nor the fame of Gods nor lightning's stroke
Nor threatening thunder of the ominous sky
Abashed; but rather chafed to angry zest
His dauntless heart to be the first to rend
The crossbars at the gates of Nature old.
And thus his will and hardy wisdom won;
And forward thus he fared afar, beyond
The flaming ramparts of the world, until
He wandered the unmeasurable All.
-Lucretius, translated by William Ellery Leonard
Therefore superstition is now in her turn cast down and trampled underfoot, whilst we by the victory are exalted high as heaven.
--Lucretius, from the Loeb Classical Library
Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
- Ulysses, Alfred, Lord Tennyson
"You who measured the sea, the earth, and the numberless sands,
You, Archytas, are now confined in a small mound of dirt
Near the Matine shore, and what good does it do you that you
Attempted the mansions of the skies and that you traversed
The round celestial vault — you with a soul born to die?"
—Horace, Odes I.28; transl. Peter Saint-Andre
This is the Horace who has abandoned his earlier Epicureanism in favor of a piety more palatable to the new Emperor's of Rome. In Ode 1.34 we catch the repudiation by reference to Lucretius, who in book 6 around line 140 maintained that "Jupiter's" thunder was never heard when the skies were clear.
Once I wandered, an expert in crazy wisdom, a scant and infrequent adorer of gods, now I’m forced to set sail and return, to go back to the paths I abandoned. For Jupiter, Father of all of the gods, who generally splits the clouds with his lightning, flashing away, drove thundering horses, and his swift chariot, through the clear sky, till the dull earth, and the wandering rivers, and Styx, and dread Taenarus’ hateful headland, and Atlas’s mountain-summits shook. The god has the power to replace the highest with the lowest, bring down the famous, and raise the obscure to the heights. And greedy Fortune with her shrill whirring, carries away the crown and delights in setting it, there.
--Translated by A. S. Kline
7 Oldest Paintings of Jesus in the World - Oldest.orgDiscover the 7 Oldest Paintings of Jesus in the World here. Prepare to be transported into a rich & fascinating history on the oldest jesus paintings that…www.oldest.org
In Chapter 5 DeWitt notes that many of the earliest images of Jesus portray him beardless, which you can see in some of those in this link. There are others as well which you can find easily by searching. DeWitt then makes the claim that Jesus began to be depicted with a beard at about the time when Epicureanism was declining and Christianity was permeating the culture.
Very good! One of the many reasons I still say that Thoreau is my favorite author, when asked, is because I find in him not an ascetic loneliness, but a solitude of a high aesthetic and intellectual polish. Loneliness is not thrown in greater relief by being alone, but by being in company and feeling yourself apart from it.
Welcome! I think the picture on my profile page might be from Arkansas...but I cannot remember just now.
Edit: Just saw the post you made in the original 1743 thread last month about Guernier.
Ha! I thought I vaguely recalled looking into this recently. I often write up a post or a new thread and then decide to delete it without submitting, so I thought it was that.
One of our favored public domain translations of Lucretius is an anonymous prose translation published by Daniel Brown in London in 1743.
As a matter of idle speculation, I thought there might be some interest in trying to identify the responsible party. The two main approaches that occur to me at the moment are to a.) Locate individuals from that time period who display an interest in Lucretius, and b.) Review other contemporaneous translations of Latin authors for signs of similarity.
This is very much an exercise of throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks, so with that in mind I present my first contender;Christopher Pitt - Wikipediaen.m.wikipedia.org
From wikipedia: His father translated a portion of Lucretius (the plague in Athens) for Thomas Creech¹ in verse, and his brother translated five books of Paradise Lost into Latin. After 1740 when he finished Virgil, no major work is listed. This gives him three years to complete Lucretius, alongside his clergy work and poetry.
¹I had no idea Creech had a contributor!
It's honestly pretty shocking we even have his birth date nearly 24 centuries later. With most people from antiquity we have quite literally only their name. Stephen Greenblatt gives a citation in which an ancient writer runs down a list of Latin authors he thought were worth reading. Of some dozen names, only Lucretius' book survived.
--The God Myth has something parallel, in that how could God keep track of every human being's prayers ( Joshua did you recently say something about this and that some writer or philospher said this?)
There is a reference in DeWitt to a quote from Menander along these lines, but by far the best example of this comes from Giordano Bruno. This is a passage from The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt, and it is rather long:
During his stay in England, Bruno wrote and published a flood of strange works. The extraordinary daring of these works may be gauged by taking in the implications of a single passage from one of them, The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, printed in 1584. The passage—quoted here in Ingrid D. Rowland’s fine translation—is long, but its length is very much part of the point. Mercury, the herald of the gods, is recounting to Sofia all the things Jove has assigned him to bring about. He has ordered
that today at noon19 two of the melons in Father Franzino’s melon patch will be perfectly ripe, but that they won’t be picked until three days from now, when they will no longer be considered good to eat. He requests that at the same moment, on the jujube tree at the base of Monte Cicala in the house of Giovanni Bruno, thirty perfect jujubes will be picked, and he says that several shall fall to earth still green, and that fifteen shall be eaten by worms. That Vasta, wife of Albenzio Savolino, when she means to curl the hair at her temples, shall burn fifty-seven hairs for having let the curling iron get too hot, but she won’t burn her scalp and hence shall not swear when she smells the stench, but shall endure it patiently. That from the dung of her ox two hundred and fifty-two dung beetles shall be born, of which fourteen shall be trampled and killed by Albenzio’s foot, twenty-six shall die upside down, twenty-two shall live in a hole, eighty shall make a pilgrim’s progress around the yard, forty-two shall retire to live under the stone by the door, sixteen shall roll their ball of dung wherever they please, and the rest shall scurry around at random.
This is by no means all that Mercury has to arrange.
Laurenza, when she combs her hair, shall lose seventeen hairs and break thirteen, and of these, ten shall grow back within three days and seven shall never grow back at all. Antonio Savolino’s bitch shall conceive five puppies, of which three shall live out their natural lifespan and two shall be thrown away, and of these three the first shall resemble its mother, the second shall be mongrel, and the third shall partly resemble the father and partly resemble Polidoro’s dog. In that moment a cuckoo shall be heard from La Starza, cuckooing twelve times, no more and no fewer, whereupon it shall leave and fly to the ruins of Castle Cicala for eleven minutes, and then shall fly off to Scarvaita, and as for what happens next, we’ll see to it later.
Mercury’s work in this one tiny corner of a tiny corner of the Campagna is still not done.
That the skirt Mastro Danese is cutting on his board shall come out crooked. That twelve bedbugs shall leave the slats of Costantino’s bed and head toward the pillow: seven large ones, four small, and one middlesized, and as for the one who shall survive until this evening’s candlelight, we’ll see to it. That fifteen minutes thereafter, because of the movement of her tongue, which she has passed over her palate four times, the old lady of Fiurulo shall lose the third right molar in her lower jaw, and it shall fall without blood and without pain, because that molar has been loose for seventeen months. That Ambrogio on the one hundred twelfth thrust shall finally have driven home his business with his wife, but shall not impregnate her this time, but rather another, using the sperm into which the cooked leek that he has just eaten with millet and wine sauce shall have been converted. Martinello’s son is beginning to grow hair on his chest, and his voice is beginning to crack. That Paulino, when he bends over to pick up a broken needle, shall snap the red drawstring of his underpants….
Conjuring up in hallucinatory detail the hamlet where he was born, Bruno staged a philosophical farce, designed to show that divine providence, at least as popularly understood, is rubbish. The details were all deliberately trivial but the stakes were extremely high: to mock Jesus’ claim that the hairs on one’s head are all numbered risked provoking an unpleasant visit from the thought police. Religion was not a laughing matter, at least for the officials assigned to enforce orthodoxy. They did not treat even trivial jokes lightly. In France, a villager named Isambard was arrested for having exclaimed, when a friar announced after mass that he would say a few words about God, “The fewer the better.”20 In Spain, a tailor named Garcia Lopez, coming out of church just after the priest had announced the long schedule of services for the coming week, quipped that “When we were Jews,21 we were bored stiff by one Passover each year, and now each day seems to be a Passover and feast-day.” Garcia Lopez was denounced to the Inquisition.
But Bruno was in England. Despite the vigorous efforts that Thomas More made, during his time as chancellor, to establish one, England had no Inquisition. Though it was still quite possible to get into serious trouble for unguarded speech, Bruno may have felt more at liberty to speak his mind, or, in this case, to indulge in raucous, wildly subversive laughter. That laughter had a philosophical point: once you take seriously the claim that God’s providence extends to the fall of a sparrow and the number of hairs on your head, there is virtually no limit, from the agitated dust motes in a beam of sunlight to the planetary conjunctions that are occurring in the heavens above. “O Mercury,” Sofia says pityingly. “You have a lot to do.”
Sofia grasps that it would take billions of tongues to describe all that must happen even in a single moment in a tiny village in the Campagna. At this rate, no one could envy poor Jove. But then Mercury admits that the whole thing does not work that way: there is no artificer god standing outside the universe, barking commands, meting out rewards and punishments, determining everything. The whole idea is absurd. There is an order in the universe, but it is one built into the nature of things, into the matter that composes everything, from stars to men to bedbugs. Nature is not an abstract capacity, but a generative mother, bringing forth everything that exists. We have, in other words, entered the Lucretian universe.
Several variants or alternative statements of the underlying problem are known, including the grandfather's axe and Trigger’s broom, where an old broom or axe has had both its head and its handle replaced, leaving no original components.
Though I cannot remember the source just now, I read recently that the two days set aside for celebrating Epicurus (his birthday and the 20th) were regarded by his detractors as emblematic of his gluttony. Metrodorus was only given one day, the twentieth, which he shared with Epicurus.
It strikes me that there are several passages in Diogenes Laertius beginning with words like "the wise man will....", or "the wise man will not..."
Where does that kind of framing fit in here?
May not be helpful, but always worth a watch. He addresses Cassiu's question of 'framing'.
Reminds of the time George R. R. Martin discovered the word 'leal' and used it in every 4th sentence...in a sequel. Pretty jarring!