“…he is a deluded man trying to delude you.”

From the correspondence of the Emperor Julian, known to himself as the Philosopher, to posterity as the Apostate:

Εὐμενίῳ καὶ Φαριάνῳ

Εἴ τις ὑμᾶς πέπεικεν ὅτι τοῦ φιλοσοφεῖν ἐπὶ σχολῆς ἀπραγμόνως ἐστὶν ἥδιον ἢ λυσιτελέστερόν τι τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, ἠπαγημένος ἐξαπατᾷ… μὴ καταφρονεῖτε τῶν λογιδίων, μηδὲ ἀμελεῖτε ῥητορικῆς μηδὲ τοῦ ποιήμασιν ὁμιλεῖν. ἔστω δὲ τῶν μαθημάτων ἐπιμέλεια πλείων, ὁ δὲ πᾶς πόνος τῶν Ἀριστοτέλους καὶ Πλάτωνος δογμάτων ἐπιστήμη….

To Eumenius and Farianus

If anyone has persuaded you that there is anything sweeter or more profitable for men than philosophizing in leisure without the distraction of business, he is a deluded man trying to delude you… Do not scorn mere words, nor fail to have a care for rhetoric or for intercourse with poetry. But have more diligence in studies, and your whole effort for the knowledge of the teachings of Aristotle and Plato….


As the headsman’s axe looms heavy over my neck—or my bonds; I will not know which it severs until it falls—I have less and less time for things other than fourth century Roman education.

Thanks, dear reader, should you ever find me, for being my gadfly.


About philokalos

Philologist, historian, and lover of great books, I started this blog to keep myself alert to the beauty of what I see amid the demands of my work.
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