Happy I was Born Here with Her

Πλάτων μὲν οὖν, ἤδη πρὸς τῷ τελευτᾶν γενόμενος, ὕμνει τὸν αὑτοῦ δαίμονα καὶ τὴν τύχην, ὅτι πρῶτον μὲν ἄνθρωπος, οὐκ ἄλογον τῇ φύσει θηρίον, εἶθ’ Ἕλλην, οὐ βάρβαρος γένοιτο, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις ὅτι τοῖς Σωκράτους χρόνοις ἀπήντησεν ἡ γένεσις αὐτοῦ.

Plutarch, Vita Marii 46.1

Plutarch of Chaeronea (AD 46–120), author of the Lives of Noble Greeks and Romans, together with comparisons of some pairs. One of the most accessible authors of all classical antiquity.

Plutarch of Chaeronea (AD 46–120), author of the Lives of Noble Greeks and Romans, together with comparisons of some pairs. One of the most accessible authors of all classical antiquity. This bust can be found at the Museum of Delphi.

Plato then, now come to his end, blessed his good fortune,* because in the first place he was born a man, not a beast irrational by nature, and then a Greek, not a barbarian, and in addition to these because his generation‡ met with the time of Socrates.

Plutarch, Life of Marius 46.1

*good fortune: really his δαίμων (dæmon) and his τύχη (týchē), his tutelary deity and his fortune.

‡generation: his γένεσις (génesis), becoming, generation; a charged word for Plato. His (imperfect) life as opposed to a perfect or eternal life.

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Why, or where, or in whose days, dear reader, were you blessed to be born? Or do you know yet?

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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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