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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Plutarch, On Being A Busybody, 5

nanWhat escape is there, then, from this vice? By a process of shifting and diverting our inquisitiveness, as has been said, and, if possible, by turning the soul to better and more pleasant objects. Direct your curiosity, to heavenly things and things on earth, in the air, in the sea. Are you by nature fond of small or of great spectacles? If of great ones, apply your curiosity to the sun: where does it set and whence does it rise? Inquire into the changes in the moon, as you would into those of a human being: what becomes of all the light she has spent and from what source did she regain it, how does it happen that When out of darkness first she comes anew, She shows her face increasing fair and full; And when she reaches once her brightest sheen, Again she wastes away and comes to naught? And these are secrets of Nature, yet Nature is not vexed with those who find them out. Or suppose you have renounced great things. Then turn your curiosity to smaller ones: how some plants always blooming and green and rejoicing in the display of their wealth at every season, while others are sometimes like these, but at other times, like a human spendthrift, they squander all at once their abundance and are left bare and beggared? Why, again, do some plants produce elongated fruits, others angular, and still others round and globular? But perhaps you will have no curiosity about these subjects since there is nothing evil in them. Yet if your zest for meddling must by all means be for ever feeding and dwelling on depraved things, like a maggot on dead matter, let us escort it to history and supply it with an unstinted abundance of evils. For there you will find The deaths of men, the shufflings off of life, seductions of women, assaults of slaves, slanders of friends, compounding of poisons, envies, jealousies, shipwrecks of households, overthrow of empires. Glut and enjoy yourself and cause no trouble or pain to any of your associates!

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subject book bibliographic info
curiosity Rohmann (2016) 86
disease,illness Rohmann (2016) 86
gospels Rohmann (2016) 86
inquisition Rohmann (2016) 86
magic Rohmann (2016) 86
movement of the stars Rohmann (2016) 86
natural philosophy,natural philosophers Rohmann (2016) 86
philosophers Rohmann (2016) 86
pride Rohmann (2016) 86
sin Rohmann (2016) 86
tumour,swelling Rohmann (2016) 86
universe' Rohmann (2016) 86