Why it is that all who have turned out to be outstanding men of science or politics or literature or the arts are apparently of melancholic temperament. – Seneca, claiming Aristotle said it 300 years before but no corroborating proof from Aristotle’s time remains…
would be more accurate… but that’s not the kind of thing that’s sharable in Meme form… and really, the form we have inherited is close enough. I like the emphasis in the original on “black biled” which means today’s “manic-depressive”. I like that better than “madness”.
Crap. It was Seneca the younger, about 300 years AFTER Aristotle died who said that Aristotle said something similar. Dang it. _so close_… *dang it*. Ben Jonson the playwrite trusted Seneca at his word…. but it was already 1600 years later and 1900 since Aristotle… so it’s forgivable I suppose… but now we’re 2300 years past Aristotle… *sigh*.
No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness (Seneca/”Aristotle”). -> Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit / Πάντες ὅσοι περιττοὶ γεγόνασιν ἄνδρες φαίνονται μελαγχολικοὶ ὄντες.
« Reply #2 on: 02 May, 2007, 05:37:48 »
At long last, harrisimo02, thanks to the kindness of an old friend (Prof. Edwin Floyd at the University of Pittsburg), we’re able to give you the text of “Aristotle” that you requested.
Introducing his 30th “problem,” the author raises the question, Διὰ τί πάντες ὅσοι περιττοὶ γεγόνασιν ἄνδρες ἢ κατὰ φιλοσοφίαν ἢ πολιτικὴν ἢ ποίησιν ἢ τέχνας φαίνονται μελαγχολικοὶ ὄντες “Why it is that all who have turned out to be outstanding men of science or politics or literature or the arts are apparently of melancholic temperament.”
[In those days, “melancholic” (literally, “black-biled”) meant pretty much what we mean by “depressive” or “manic-depressive” today.]
Boiling the sentence down to its core, we have the statement that Seneca focused on, and that you wanted to discover: All who have turned out to be outstanding men are apparently of melancholic temperament which, in Greek, is
πάντες ὅσοι περιττοὶ γεγόνασιν ἄνδρες φαίνονται μελαγχολικοὶ ὄντες, or, in caps,
ΠΑΝΤΕΣ ΟΣΟΙ ΠΕΡΙΤΤΟΙ ΓΕΓΟΝΑΣΙΝ ΑΝΔΡΕΣ ΦΑΙΝΟΝΤΑΙ ΜΕΛΑΓΧΟΛΙΚΟΙ ΟΝΤΕΣ
O_O a _potentially_ accurate meme! #yay
“Ben Jonson: l’homme et l’oeuvre (1572-1637).”
My faith in Memes is slightly restored! After fighting bad Tesla quotes for days… _so nice_ to see a potentially accurate one! smile emoticon