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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



4458
Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 32.26-32.29


nan Among these over-lords, then, are included kings, who have been deified for the general safety of their realm, real guardians and good and righteous leaders of the people, gladly dispensing the benefits, but dealing out hardship among their subjects rarely and only as necessity demands, rejoicing when their cities observe order and decorum. But others, on the contrary, are harsh and savage tyrants, unpleasant to listen to and unpleasant to meet; their rage is prompt to rise at anything, like the rage of savage beasts, and their ears are stopped, affording no entrance to words of fairness, but with them flattery and deception prevail. <


nan In like manner democracy is of two kinds: the one is reasonable and gentle and truly mild, disposed to accept frankness of speech and not to care to be pampered in everything, fair, magnanimous, showing respect for good men and good advice, grateful to those who admonish and instruct; this is the democracy which I regard as partaking of the divine and royal nature, and I deem it fitting that one should approach and address it, just as one directs with gentleness a noble steed by means of simple reins, since it does not need the curb. <


nan But the more prevalent kind of democracy is both bold and arrogant, difficult to please in anything, fastidious, resembling tyrants or much worse than they, seeing that its vice is not that of one individual or of one kind but a jumble of the vices of thousands; and so it is a multifarious and dreadful beast, like those which poets and artists invent, Centaurs and Sphinxes and Chimaeras, combining in a single shape of unreal existence attributes borrowed from manifold natures. And to engage at close quarters with that sort of monster is the act of a man who is truly mad or else exceedingly brave and equipped with wings, a Perseus or a Bellerophon. <


nan So, applying our analysis to the populace of Alexandria, the 'unnumbered multitude,' to use the current phrase, in which class shall we put it? I for my part offered you my services on the assumption that you were of the better sort; and perhaps someone else, one of my superiors, will decide to do likewise. And assuredly you Alexandrians could present no more beautiful and surprising spectacle than by being yourselves sober and attentive. For indeed it is a supernatural and truly solemn and impressive sight when the countenance of the assembly is gentle and composed, and neither convulsed with violent and unrestrained laughter nor distorted by continuous and disorderly clamour, but, on the contrary, listening as with a single pair of ears, though so vast a multitude. <


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1. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 32.27-32.29, 33.44, 36.22, 36.26-36.27, 36.29-36.32, 36.36-36.37, 36.42, 36.55, 36.59-36.60 (1st cent. CE

32.27.  In like manner democracy is of two kinds: the one is reasonable and gentle and truly mild, disposed to accept frankness of speech and not to care to be pampered in everything, fair, magimous, showing respect for good men and good advice, grateful to those who admonish and instruct; this is the democracy which I regard as partaking of the divine and royal nature, and I deem it fitting that one should approach and address it, just as one directs with gentleness a noble steed by means of simple reins, since it does not need the curb. 32.28.  But the more prevalent kind of democracy is both bold and arrogant, difficult to please in anything, fastidious, resembling tyrants or much worse than they, seeing that its vice is not that of one individual or of one kind but a jumble of the vices of thousands; and so it is a multifarious and dreadful beast, like those which poets and artists invent, Centaurs and Sphinxes and Chimaeras, combining in a single shape of unreal existence attributes borrowed from manifold natures. And to engage at close quarters with that sort of monster is the act of a man who is truly mad or else exceedingly brave and equipped with wings, a Perseus or a Bellerophon. 33.44.  Well, I understand perfectly that you are vexed with me for what I have been saying, and indeed I told you beforehand that you would not receive my words with any pleasure. However, you may have supposed that I was going to discourse on astronomy and geology. And though some of you are angry and claim that I am insulting your city, still they do not blame those who guilty of the things I mention; on the other hand, others may be laughing at me because I could find nothing better to talk about. However, I find that physicians too sometimes handle things they would rather not, parts of the body that are not the most beautiful, and many of their patients, I know, are irritated when the physician touches the sore spot. But he often scarifies and lances it despite the outcry. I, therefore, shall not cease to talk upon this theme until I make you smart indeed. And yet, after all, it is a very mild medicine you are getting in this speech of mine, much less severe than your case calls for. 36.22.  For no one knows of a good city made wholly of good elements as having existed in the past, that is, a city of mortal men, nor is it worth while to conceive of such a city as possibly arising in the future, unless it be a city of the blessed gods in heaven, by no means motionless or inactive, but vigorous and progressive, its guides and leaders being gods, exempt from strife and defeat. For it is impious to suppose that gods indulge in strife or are subject to defeat, either by one another, friends as they are, or by more power­ful beings; on the contrary, we must think of them as performing their several functions without let or hindrance and with unvarying friendship of all toward all in common, the most conspicuous among them each pursuing an independent course — I don't mean wandering aimlessly and senselessly, but rather dancing a dance of happiness coupled with wisdom and supreme intelligence — while the rest of the celestial host are swept along by the general movement, the entire heaven having one single purpose and impulse. 36.26.  Now therefore, since in your remarks you have touched upon the divine form of government, I myself am tremendously excited, and I see that my friends here also are all worked up in anticipation of that theme. The fact is that in our opinion everything you have said has been magnificently expressed, in a manner not unworthy of your theme, and precisely as we should most desire to hear. For although we are unacquainted with this more refined form of philosophy, yet we are, as you know, lovers of Homer, and some, not many, lovers of Plato too. To this latter group I myself belong, for I always read his writings as best I can; and yet it may perhaps seem odd that one who speaks the poorest Greek of all the people of Borysthenes should delight in the man who is most Greek and most wise and should cultivate that man's society, quite as if a person almost wholly blind were to shun every other light but turn his gaze upward to the sun itself. 36.27.  "This, then, is our situation; and if you wish to do us all a favour, postpone your discussion of the mortal city — possibly our neighbours may after all grant us leisure tomorrow, and not compel us to exert ourselves against them as is generally our wont — and tell us instead about that divine city or government, whichever you prefer to call it, stating where it is and what it is like, aiming as closely as possible at Plato's nobility of expression, just as but now you seemed to us to do. For if we understand nothing else, we do at least understand his language because of our long familiarity with it, for it has a lofty sound, not far removed from the voice of Homer. 36.29.  Yet, despite my brave words to Hieroson, I was moved and heaved a sigh, as it were, when I bethought me of Homer and Plato."Well then," said I, "the term 'city' must be taken on the understanding that our sect is not literally defining the universe as a city; for that would be in direct conflict with our doctrine of the city, which, as I have said, the Stoics define as an organization of human beings; and at the same time it would possibly not be suitable or convincing, if, after stating in the strict sense of the term that the universe is a living creature, they should then call it a city 36.30.  for that the same thing is both a city and a living being is a proposition that, I imagine, no one would readily consent to entertain. Yet the present orderly constitution of the universe ever since the whole has been separated and divided into a considerable number of forms of plants and animals, mortal and immortal, yes, and into air and earth and water and fire, being nevertheless by nature in all these forms one thing and governed by one spirit and force — this orderly constitution, I say, the Stoics do in one way or another liken to a city because of the multitude of the creatures that are constantly either being born or else ending their existence in it, and, furthermore, because of the arrangement and orderliness of its administration. 36.31.  "This doctrine, in brief, aims to harmonize the human race with the divine, and to embrace in a single term everything endowed with reason, finding in reason the only sure and indissoluble foundation for fellowship and justice. For in keeping with that concept the term 'city' would be applied, not, of course, to an organization that has chanced to get mean or petty leaders nor to one which through tyranny or democracy or, in fact, through decarchy or oligarchy or any other similar product of imperfection, is being torn to pieces and made the victim of constant party faction. Nay, term would be applied rather to an organization that is governed by the sanest and noblest form of kingship, to one that is actually under royal goverce in accordance with law, in complete friendship and concord. 36.32.  And this, indeed, is precisely what the wisest and eldest ruler and law-giver ordains for all, both mortals and immortals, he who is the leader of all the heaven and lord of all being, himself thus expounding the term and offering his own administration as a pattern of the happy and blessed condition, he whom the divine bards, instructed by the Muses, praise in song and call the 'father of gods and men.' 36.36.  And trusting to these poets men erect altars to Zeus the King and, what is more, some do not hesitate even to call him Father in their prayers, believing that there exists some such government and organization of the universe as that. Therefore, from that standpoint at least, it seems to me, they would not hesitate to apply the term 'home of Zeus' to the entire universe — if indeed he is father of all who live in it — yes, by Zeus, and his 'city' too, our Stoic similitude, to suggest the greater office of the god. 36.37.  For kingship is a word more appropriate to a city than to a home. For surely men would not apply the term King to him who is over all and then refuse to admit that the whole is governed by a king, nor would they admit that they are governed by a king and then deny that they are members of a state or that there is a kingly administration of the universe. And again, conceding 'administration,' they would not balk at accepting 'city,' or something very like it, as descriptive of that which is administered. 36.42.  "These Magi narrate their myth, not in the manner of our prophets of the Muses, who merely present each detail with much plausibility, but rather with stubborn insistence upon its truthfulness. For they assert that the universe is constantly being propelled and driven along a single path, as by a charioteer endowed with highest skill and power, and that this movement goes on unceasingly in unceasing cycles of time. And the coursing of Helius and Selenê, according to their account, is the movement of portions of the whole, and for that reason it is more clearly perceived by mankind. And they add that the movement and revolution of the universe as a whole is not perceptible to the majority of mankind, but that, on the contrary, they are ignorant of the magnitude of this contest. 36.55.  For indeed, when the mind alone had been left and had filled with itself immeasurable space, since it had poured itself evenly in all directions and nothing in it remained dense but complete porosity prevailed — at which time it becomes most beautiful — having obtained the purest nature of unadulterated light, it immediately longed for the existence that it had at first. Accordingly, becoming enamoured of that control and goverce and concord which it once maintained not only over the three natures of sun and moon and the other stars, but also over absolutely all animals and plants, it became eager to generate and distribute everything and to make the orderly universe then existent once more far better and more resplendent because newer. 36.60.  At that time, therefore, the Creator and Father of the World, beholding the work of his hands, was not by any means merely pleased, for that is a lowly experience of lowly beings; nay, he rejoiced and was delighted exceedingly, As on Olympus he sat, and his heart did laugh For joy, beholding the gods who were now all created and present before him." But the form of the universe at that moment — I mean both the bloom and the beauty of that which is for ever ineffably beauteous — no man could conceive and fitly express, neither among men of our time nor among those of former days, but only the Muses and Apollo with the divine rhythm of their pure and consummate harmony.
2. Epictetus, Discourses, 1.18.3, 1.18.7 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

3. Musonius Rufus, Fragments, 2 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
cautery Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
charlatans Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 61
crates Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
cynics/cynicism, mild Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
cynics/cynicism Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 61, 127
demonax Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
dion of prousa Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 162
epictetus Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 61
epiktetos Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 162
epistle, pastorals Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
exhortation Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
frankness Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
gentleness Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 61, 127
homonoia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 162
human condition Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
ignorance, vice of Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
ignorance Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
lucian Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
magoi, myth of the Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 162
maximus of tyre Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 61
metaphor Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
nurse Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 61
pastoral epistles Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
pastorals Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
pessimismistic Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
philia, philoi Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 162
philosopher, as physician Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
physical description, thesslanonians Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 61
physician, philosopher as Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
polis (greek city) Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 162
preaching Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
severity Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
shepherd, philosopher as Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 61
stoic thought Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 162
stoicism Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
sumpatheia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 162
surgery Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
teaching, sound Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
universe, harmony of the Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 162
virtue' Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 127
zeus Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 162