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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



53
Aelian, Varia Historia, 4.20


nanIt is reported that Democritus the Abderite was wise, besides other things, in desiring to live unknown, and that he wholly endeavoured it. In pursuit whereof he travelled to many Countries; he went to the Chaldaeans, and to Babylon, and to the Magi, and to the Indian Sophists. When the estate of his father Damasippus was to be divided into three parts amongst the three Brothers, he took only so much as might serve for his travel, and left the rest to his Brethren. For this Theophrastus commends him, that by travelling he had gained better things then Menelaus and Ulysses. For they wandred up and down not otherwise then Phoenician merchants, for they gathered money, which was the occasion of their travel by sea and Land. The Abderites called Democritus, philosophy; but Protagoraas, Discourse. Democritus laughed at all people, and said they were mad; when his countrymen called him Gelasinus. They likewise say, that Hippocrates at his first meeting with Democritus thought him mad: But after they had conversed together, admired the man. They say that Hippocrates, though he were Doric, yet for the sake of Democritus he composed his writings in the Ionic Dialect.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

7 results
1. Cicero, On The Ends of Good And Evil, 5.50 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5.50. quem enim ardorem studii censetis fuisse in Archimede, qui dum in pulvere quaedam describit attentius, ne patriam quidem captam esse add. ed. princ. Roman. ( sec. Mdv. sil. ) senserit? quantum Aristoxeni ingenium consumptum videmus in musicis? quo studio Aristophanem putamus aetatem in litteris duxisse? quid de Pythagora? quid de Platone aut de Democrito aut democrito (de mocrito V) RNV loquar? a quibus propter discendi cupiditatem videmus ultimas terras esse peragratas. quae qui non vident, nihil umquam magnum magnum ac Brem. magna ac cognitione dignum amaverunt. Atque hoc loco, qui propter animi voluptates coli dicunt ea studia, quae dixi, non intellegunt idcirco esse ea propter se expetenda, quod nulla utilitate obiecta delectentur animi atque ipsa scientia, etiamsi incommodatura sit, gaudeant. 5.50.  "What an ardour for study, think you, possessed Archimedes, who was so absorbed in a diagram he was drawing in the dust that he was unaware even of the capture of his native city! What genius do we see expended by Aristoxenus on the theory of music! Imagine the zeal of a lifetime that Aristophanes devoted to literature! Why should I speak of Pythagoras, or of Plato, or Democritus? For they, we are told, in their passion for learning travelled through the remotest parts of the earth! Those who are blind to these facts have never been enamoured of some high and worthy study. And those who in this connexion allege that the studies I have mentioned are pursued for the sake of mental pleasure fail to see that they are proved to be desirable for their own sake by the very fact that the mind feels delight in them when no bait of advantage is held out, and finds enjoyment in the mere possession of knowledge even though it is likely to be a positive disadvantage to its possessor.
2. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 3.79 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3.79. ne ne n onne K ( ss. 2 ) illa quidem firmissima consolatio est, quamquam quamquam quidquam K 1 et usitata est et saepe prodest: non tibi hoc soli. prodest haec quidem, ut dixi, dixi p. 345, 13 sed nec semper nec omnibus; sunt enim qui respuant; sed refert, quo modo adhibeatur. ut enim enim om. G 1 tulerit quisque eorum qui sapienter tulerunt, non quo quisque incommodo adfectus sit, praedicandum est. Chrysippi crys. KR chris. G ad veritatem firmissima est, ad tempus aegritudinis difficilis. magnum opus opus s onus X est probare maerenti illum suo iudicio et, quod se se exp. V 2 ita putet oportere facere, maerere. Nimirum igitur, ut in causis non semper utimur eodem statu—sic enim appellamus controversiarum genera—, sed ad tempus, ad controversiae naturam, ad personam accommodamus, sic in aegritudine lenienda, quam lenienda. nam quam X nam del. s quisque curationem recipere possit, videndum est. nimirum ... 26 est H
3. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 1.96-1.98 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.96. 1.  But now that we have examined these matters, we must enumerate what Greeks, who have won fame for their wisdom and learning, visited Egypt in ancient times, in order to become acquainted with its customs and learning.,2.  For the priests of Egypt recount from the records of their sacred books that they were visited in early times by Orpheus, Musaeus, Melampus, and Daedalus, also by the poet Homer and Lycurgus of Sparta, later by Solon of Athens and the philosopher Plato, and that there also came Pythagoras of Samos and the mathematician Eudoxus, as well as Democritus of Abdera and Oenopides of Chios.,3.  As evidence for the visits of all these men they point in some cases to their statues and in others to places or buildings which bear their names, and they offer proofs from the branch of learning which each one of these men pursued, arguing that all the things for which they were admired among the Greeks were transferred from Egypt.,4.  Orpheus, for instance, brought from Egypt most of his mystic ceremonies, the orgiastic rites that accompanied his wanderings, and his fabulous account of his experiences in Hades.,5.  For the rite of Osiris is the same as that of Dionysus and that of Isis very similar to that of Demeter, the names alone having been interchanged; and the punishments in Hades of the unrighteous, the Fields of the Righteous, and the fantastic conceptions, current among the many, which are figments of the imagination — all these were introduced by Orpheus in imitation of the Egyptian funeral customs.,6.  Hermes, for instance, the Conductor of Souls, according to the ancient Egyptian custom, brings up the body of the Apis to a certain point and then gives it over to one who wears the mask of Cerberus. And after Orpheus had introduced this notion among the Greeks, Homer followed it when he wrote: Cyllenian Hermes then did summon forth The suitors's souls, holding his wand in hand. And again a little further on he says: They passed Oceanus' streams, the Gleaming Rock, The Portals of the Sun, the Land of Dreams; And now they reached the Meadow of Asphodel, Where dwell the Souls, the shades of men outworn.,7.  Now he calls the river "Oceanus" because in their language the Egyptians speak of the Nile as Oceanus; the "Portals of the Sun" (Heliopulai) is his name for the city of Heliopolis; and "Meadows," the mythical dwelling of the dead, is his term for the place near the lake which is called Acherousia, which is near Memphis, and around it are fairest meadows, of a marsh-land and lotus and reeds. The same explanation also serves for the statement that the dwelling of the dead is in these regions, since the most and the largest tombs of the Egyptians are situated there, the dead being ferried across both the river and Lake Acherousia and their bodies laid in the vaults situated there.,8.  The other myths about Hades, current among the Greeks, also agree with the customs which are practised even now in Egypt. For the boat which receives the bodies is called baris, and the passenger's fee is given to the boatman, who in the Egyptian tongue is called charon.,9.  And near these regions, they say, are also the "Shades," which is a temple of Hecate, and "portals" of Cocytus and Lethe, which are covered at intervals with bands of bronze. There are, moreover, other portals, namely, those of Truth, and near them stands a headless statue of Justice. 1.97. 1.  Many other things as well, of which mythology tells, are still to be found among the Egyptians, the name being still preserved and the customs actually being practised.,2.  In the city of Acanthi, for instance, across the Nile in the direction of Libya one hundred and twenty stades from Memphis, there is a perforated jar to which three hundred and sixty priests, one each day, bring water from the Nile;,3.  and not far from there the actual performance of the myth of Ocnus is to be seen in one of their festivals, where a single man is weaving at one end of a long rope and many others beyond him are unravelling it.,4.  Melampus also, they say, brought from Egypt the rites which the Greeks celebrate in the name of Dionysus, the myths about Cronus and the War with the Titans, and, in a word, the account of the things which happened to the gods.,5.  Daedalus, they relate, copied the maze of the Labyrinth which stands to our day and was built, according to some, by Mendes, but according to others, by king Marrus, many years before the reign of Minos.,6.  And the proportions of the ancient statues of Egypt are the same as in those made by Daedalus among the Greeks. The very beautiful propylon of the temple of Hephaestus in Memphis was also built by Daedalus, who became an object of admiration and was granted a statue of himself in wood, which was made by his own hands and set up in this temple; furthermore, he was accorded great fame because of his genius and, after making many discoveries, was granted divine honours; for on one of the islands off Memphis there stands even to this day a temple of Daedalus, which is honoured by the people of that region.,7.  And as proof of the presence of Homer in Egypt they adduce various pieces of evidence, and especially the healing drink which brings forgetfulness of all past evils, which was given by Helen to Telemachus in the home of Menelaüs. For it is manifest that the poet had acquired exact knowledge of the "nepenthic" drug which he says Helen brought from Egyptian Thebes, given her by Polydamna the wife of Thon; for, they allege, even to this day the women of this city use this powerful remedy, and in ancient times, they say, a drug to cure anger and sorrow was discovered exclusively among the women of Diospolis; but Thebes and Diospolis, they add, are the same city.,8.  Again, Aphroditê is called "golden" by the natives in accordance with an old tradition, and near the city which is called Momemphis there is a plain "of golden Aphroditê.",9.  Likewise, the myths which are related about the dalliance of Zeus and Hera and of their journey to Ethiopia he also got from Egypt; for each year among the Egyptians the shrine of Zeus is carried across the river into Libya and then brought back some days later, as if the god were arriving from Ethiopia; and as for the dalliance of these deities, in their festal gatherings the priests carry the shrines of both to an elevation that has been strewn with flowers of every description. 1.98. 1.  Lycurgus also and Plato and Solon, they say, incorporated many Egyptian customs into their own legislation.,2.  And Pythagoras learned from Egyptians his teachings about the gods, his geometrical propositions and theory of numbers, as well as the transmigration of the soul into every living thing.,3.  Democritus also, as they assert, spent five years among them and was instructed in many matters relating to astrology. Oenopides likewise passed some time with the priests and astrologers and learned among other things about the orbit of the sun, that it has an oblique course and moves in a direction opposite to that of the other stars.,4.  Like the others, Eudoxus studied astrology with them and acquired a notable fame for the great amount of useful knowledge which he disseminated among the Greeks.,5.  Also of the ancient sculptors the most renowned sojourned among them, namely, Telecles and Theodorus, the sons of Rhoecus, who executed for the people of Samos the wooden statue of the Pythian Apollo.,6.  For one half of the statue, as the account is given, was worked by Telecles in Samos, and the other half was finished by his brother Theodorus at Ephesus; and when the two parts were brought together they fitted so perfectly that the whole work had the appearance of having been done by one man. This method of working is practised nowhere among the Greeks, but is followed generally among the Egyptians.,7.  For with them the symmetrical proportions of the statues are not fixed in accordance with the appearance they present to the artist's eye, as is done among the Greeks, but as soon as they lay out the stones and, after apportioning them, are ready to work on them, at that stage they take the proportions, from the smallest parts to the largest;,8.  for, dividing the structure of the entire body into twenty-one parts and one-fourth in addition, they express in this way the complete figure in its symmetrical proportions. Consequently, so soon as the artisans agree as to the size of the statue, they separate and proceed to turn out the various sizes assigned to them, in the same way that they correspond, and they do it so accurately that the peculiarity of their system excites amazement.,9.  And the wooden statue in Samos, in conformity with the ingenious method of the Egyptians, was cut into two parts from the top of the head down to the private parts and the statue was divided in the middle, each part exactly matching the other at every point. And they say that this statue is for the most part rather similar to those of Egypt, as having the arms stretched stiffly down the sides and the legs separated in a stride.,10.  Now regarding Egypt, the events which history records and the things that deserve to be mentioned, this account is sufficient; and we shall present in the next Book, in keeping with our profession at the beginning of this Book, the events and legendary accounts next in order, beginning with the part played by the Assyrians in Asia.
4. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 24.156, 24.160, 30.9-30.10 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

5. Seneca The Younger, On Anger, 2.10.5 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6. Seneca The Younger, On Leisure, 15.2 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

7. Stobaeus, Anthology, 3.20.53 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alchemy Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
anaxilaus of larisa Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
bolos of mendes Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
consolation writings, lot of others Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 18
democritus, presocratic, appeal to the lot of others Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 18
democritus, presocratic, cognitive therapy Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 18
democritus, presocratic, euthumia, cheerfulness Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 18
demokritos Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
egypt Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
gorgias, presocratic Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 18
hellenistic period Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
heraclitus, presocratic Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 18
india Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
magi Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
magos Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
neopythagoreanism Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
nigidius figulus Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
persia Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
pliny Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
pseudepigraphy Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
pythagoras Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
pythagorean Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
rome Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272
therapy, metabolism from physical medicine' Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 18
women Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 272