Complete Works of Plutarch — Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies
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Complete Works of Plutarch — Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Essays and Miscellanies, by Plutarch This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Essays and Miscellanies The Complete Works Volume 3 Author: Plutarch Release Date: November 2, 2009 [EBook #3052] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ESSAYS AND MISCELLANIES *** Produced by John Hamm, Barb Grow, Bill Burn, Chris Hall, Chris Brennen, and David Widger ESSAYS and MISCELLANIES The Complete Works Volume 3 By Plutarch Contents PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAYS THAT A PHILOSOPHER OUGHT CHIEFLY TO CONVERSE WITH GREAT MEN. SENTIMENTS CONCERNING NATURE WITH WHICH PHILOSOPHERS WERE DELIGHTED BOOK I. CHAPTER I. WHAT IS NATURE? CHAPTER II. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PRINCIPLE AND AN ELEMENT? CHAPTER III. WHAT ARE PRINCIPLES? CHAPTER IV. HOW WAS THIS WORLD COMPOSED IN THAT ORDER AND AFTER THAT MANNER IT IS? CHAPTER V. WHETHER THE UNIVERSE IS ONE SINGLE THING. CHAPTER VI. WHENCE DID MEN OBTAIN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE EXISTENCE AND ESSENCE OF A DEITY? CHAPTER VII. WHAT IS GOD? CHAPTER VIII. OF THOSE THAT ARE CALLED GENIUSES AND HEROES CHAPTER IX. OF MATTER. CHAPTER X. OF IDEAS. CHAPTER XI. OF CAUSES. CHAPTER XII. OF BODIES. CHAPTER XIII. OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE LEAST IN NATURE. CHAPTER XIV. OF FIGURES.

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Essays and Miscellanies, by Plutarch
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Essays and Miscellanies
The Complete Works Volume 3
Author: Plutarch
Release Date: November 2, 2009 [EBook #3052]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ESSAYS AND MISCELLANIES ***
Produced by John Hamm, Barb Grow, Bill Burn, Chris Hall,
Chris Brennen, and David Widger
ESSAYS
and
MISCELLANIES
The Complete Works Volume 3
By PlutarchContents
PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAYS
THAT A PHILOSOPHER OUGHT CHIEFLY TO
CONVERSE WITH GREAT MEN.
SENTIMENTS CONCERNING NATURE WITH WHICH
PHILOSOPHERS WERE DELIGHTED
BOOK I.
CHAPTER I. WHAT IS NATURE?
CHAPTER II. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
A PRINCIPLE AND AN ELEMENT?
CHAPTER III. WHAT ARE PRINCIPLES?
CHAPTER IV. HOW WAS THIS WORLD COMPOSED
IN THAT ORDER AND AFTER THAT MANNER IT IS?
CHAPTER V. WHETHER THE UNIVERSE IS ONE
SINGLE THING.
CHAPTER VI. WHENCE DID MEN OBTAIN THE
KNOWLEDGE OF THE EXISTENCE AND ESSENCE
OF A DEITY?
CHAPTER VII. WHAT IS GOD?
CHAPTER VIII. OF THOSE THAT ARE CALLED
GENIUSES AND HEROES
CHAPTER IX. OF MATTER.
CHAPTER X. OF IDEAS.
CHAPTER XI. OF CAUSES.
CHAPTER XII. OF BODIES.
CHAPTER XIII. OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE
LEAST IN NATURE.
CHAPTER XIV. OF FIGURES.
CHAPTER XV. OF COLORS.
CHAPTER XVI. OF THE DIVISION OF BODIES.
CHAPTER XVII. HOW BODIES ARE MIXED AND
CONTEMPERATED ONE WITH ANOTHER.
CHAPTER XVIII. OF A VACUUM.
CHAPTER XIX. OF PLACE.
CHAPTER XX. OF SPACE.
CHAPTER XXI. OF TIME.
CHAPTER XXII. OF THE SUBSTANCE AND NATUREOF TIME.
CHAPTER XXIII. OF MOTION.
CHAPTER XXIV. OF GENERATION AND
CORRUPTION.
CHAPTER XXV. OF NECESSITY.
CHAPTER XXVI. OF THE NATURE OF NECESSITY.
CHAPTER XXVII. OF DESTINY OR FATE.
CHAPTER XXVIII. OF THE NATURE OF FATE.
CHAPTER XXIX. OF FORTUNE.
CHAPTER XXX. OF NATURE.
BOOK II.
CHAPTER I. OF THE WORLD.
CHAPTER II. OF THE FIGURE OF THE WORLD.
CHAPTER III. WHETHER THE WORLD BE AN
ANIMAL.
CHAPTER IV. WHETHER THE WORLD IS ETERNAL
AND INCORRUPTIBLE.
CHAPTER V. WHENCE DOES THE WORLD
RECEIVE ITS NUTRIMENT?
CHAPTER VI. FROM WHAT ELEMENT GOD DID
BEGIN TO RAISE THE FABRIC OF THE WORLD.
CHAPTER VII. IN WHAT FORM AND ORDER THE
WORLD WAS COMPOSED.
CHAPTER VIII. WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF THE
WORLD'S INCLINATION.
CHAPTER IX. OF THAT THING WHICH IS BEYOND
THE WORLD, AND WHETHER IT BE A VACUUM OR
NOT.
CHAPTER X. WHAT PARTS OF THE WORLD ARE
ON THE RIGHT HAND, AND WHAT ON THE LEFT.
CHAPTER XI. OF HEAVEN, WHAT IS ITS NATURE
AND ESSENCE.
CHAPTER XII. INTO HOW MANY CIRCLES IS THE
HEAVEN DISTINGUISHED; OR, OF THE DIVISION
OF HEAVEN.
CHAPTER XIII. WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF THE
STARS, AND HOW THEY ARE COMPOSED.
CHAPTER XIV. OF WHAT FIGURE THE STARS ARE.
CHAPTER XV. OF THE ORDER AND PLACE OF THE
STARS.
CHAPTER XVI. OF THE MOTION AND
CIRCULATION OF THE STARS.CHAPTER XVII. WHENCE DO THE STARS RECEIVE
THEIR LIGHT?
CHAPTER XVIII. WHAT ARE THOSE STARS WHICH
ARE CALLED THE DIOSCURI, THE TWINS, OR
CASTOR AND POLLUX?
CHAPTER XIX. HOW STARS PROGNOSTICATE,
AND WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF WINTER AND
SUMMER.
CHAPTER XX. OF THE ESSENCE OF THE SUN.
CHAPTER XXI. OF THE MAGNITUDE OF THE SUN.
CHAPTER XXII. WHAT IS THE FIGURE OR SHAPE
OF THE SUN.
CHAPTER XXIII. OF THE TURNING AND
RETURNING OF THE STARS, OR THE SUMMER
AND WINTER SOLSTICE.
CHAPTER XXIV. OF THE ECLIPSE OF THE SUN.
CHAPTER XXV. OF THE ESSENCE OF THE MOON.
CHAPTER XXVI. OF THE SIZE OF THE MOON.
CHAPTER XXVII. OF THE FIGURE OF THE MOON.
CHAPTER XXVIII. FROM WHENCE IS IT THAT THE
MOON RECEIVES HER LIGHT?
CHAPTER XXIX. OF THE ECLIPSE OF THE MOON.
CHAPTER XXX. OF THE PHASES OF THE MOON,
OR THE LUNAR ASPECTS; OR HOW IT COMES TO
PASS THAT THE MOON APPEARS TO US
TERRESTRIAL.
CHAPTER XXXI. HOW FAR THE MOON IS
REMOVED FROM THE SUN.
CHAPTER XXXII. OF THE YEAR, AND HOW MANY
CIRCULATIONS MAKE UP THE GREAT YEAR OF
EVERY PLANET.
BOOK III.
CHAPTER I. OF THE GALAXY, OR THE MILKY WAY.
CHAPTER II. OF COMETS AND SHOOTING FIRES,
AND THOSE WHICH RESEMBLE BEAMS.
CHAPTER III. OF VIOLENT ERUPTION OF FIRE OUT
OF THE CLOUDS. OF LIGHTNING. OF THUNDER.
OF HURRICANES. OF WHIRLWINDS.
CHAPTER IV. OF CLOUDS, RAIN, SNOW, AND HAIL.
CHAPTER V. OF THE RAINBOW.
CHAPTER VI. OF METEORS WHICH RESEMBLE
RODS, OR OF RODS.
CHAPTER VII. OF WINDS.CHAPTER VIII. OF WINTER AND SUMMER.
CHAPTER IX. OF THE EARTH, WHAT IS ITS
NATURE AND MAGNITUDE.
CHAPTER X. OF THE FIGURE OF THE EARTH.
CHAPTER XI. OF THE SITE AND POSITION OF THE
EARTH.
CHAPTER XII. OF THE INCLINATION OF THE
EARTH.
CHAPTER XIII. OF THE MOTION OF THE EARTH.
CHAPTER XIV. INTO HOW MANY ZONES IS THE
EARTH DIVIDED?
CHAPTER XV. OF EARTHQUAKES.
CHAPTER XVI. OF THE SEA, AND HOW IT IS
COMPOSED, AND HOW IT BECOMES TO THE
TASTE BITTER.
CHAPTER XVII. OF TIDES, OR OF THE EBBING
AND FLOWING OF THE SEA.
CHAPTER XVIII. OF THE AUREA, OR A CIRCLE
ABOUT A STAR.
BOOK IV.
CHAPTER I. OF THE OVERFLOWING OF THE NILE.
CHAPTER II. OF THE SOUL.
CHAPTER III. WHETHER THE SOUL BE A BODY,
AND WHAT IS THE NATURE AND ESSENCE OF IT.
CHAPTER IV. OF THE PARTS OF THE SOUL.
CHAPTER V. WHAT IS THE PRINCIPAL PART OF
THE SOUL, AND IN WHAT PART OF THE BODY IT
RESIDES.
CHAPTER VI. OF THE MOTION OF THE SOUL.
CHAPTER VII. OF THE SOUL'S IMMORTALITY.
CHAPTER VIII. OF THE SENSES, AND OF THOSE
THINGS WHICH ARE OBJECTS OF THE SENSES,
CHAPTER IX. WHETHER WHAT APPEARS TO OUR
SENSES AND IMAGINATIONS BE TRUE OR NOT.
CHAPTER X. HOW MANY SENSES ARE THERE?
CHAPTER XI. HOW THE ACTIONS OF THE
SENSES, THE CONCEPTIONS OF OUR MINDS,
AND THE HABIT OF OUR REASON ARE FORMED.
CHAPTER XII. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN IMAGINATION [GREEK OMITTED], THE
IMAGINABLE [GREEK OMITTED], FANCY [GREEK
OMITTED], AND PHANTOM [GREEK
CHAPTER XIII. OF OUR SIGHT, AND BY WHATMEANS WE SEE.
CHAPTER XIV. OF THOSE IMAGES WHICH ARE
PRESENTED TO OUR EYES IN MIRRORS.
CHAPTER XV. WHETHER DARKNESS CAN BE
VISIBLE TO US.
CHAPTER XVI. OF HEARING.
CHAPTER XVII. OF SMELLING.
CHAPTER XVIII. OF TASTE.
CHAPTER XIX. OF THE VOICE.
CHAPTER XX. WHETHER THE VOICE IS
INCORPOREAL. WHAT IS IT THAT THE GIVES
ECHO?
CHAPTER XXI. BY WHAT MEANS THE SOUL IS
SENSIBLE, AND WHAT IS THE PRINCIPAL AND
COMMANDING PART OF IT.
CHAPTER XXII. OF RESPIRATION OR BREATHING.
CHAPTER XXIII. OF THE PASSIONS OF THE BODY,
AND WHETHER THE SOUL HATH A
SYMPATHETICAL CONDOLENCY WITH IT.
BOOK V
CHAPTER I. OF DIVINATION.
CHAPTER II. WHENCE DREAMS DO ARISE.
CHAPTER III. OF THE NATURE OF GENERATIVE
SEED.
CHAPTER IV. WHETHER THE SPERM BE A BODY.
CHAPTER V. WHETHER WOMEN DO GIVE A
SPERMATIC EMISSION AS MEN DO.
CHAPTER VI. HOW IT IS THAT CONCEPTIONS ARE
MADE.
CHAPTER VII. AFTER WHAT MANNER MALES AND
FEMALES ARE GENERATED.
CHAPTER VIII. BY WHAT MEANS IT IS THAT
MONSTROUS BIRTHS ARE EFFECTED.
CHAPTER IX. HOW IT COMES TO PASS THAT A
WOMAN'S TOO FREQUENT CONVERSATION WITH
A MAN HINDERS CONCEPTION.
CHAPTER X. WHENCE IT IS THAT ONE BIRTH
GIVES TWO OR THREE CHILDREN.
CHAPTER XI. WHENCE IT IS THAT CHILDREN
REPRESENT THEIR PARENTS AND
PROGENITORS.
CHAPTER XII. HOW IT COMES TO PASS THAT
CHILDREN HAVE A GREATER SIMILITUDE WITH
STRANGERS THAN WITH THEIR PARENTS.CHAPTER XIII. WHENCE ARISETH BARRENNESS
IN WOMEN, AND IMPOTENCY IN MEN?
CHAPTER XIV. HOW IT ARISES THAT MULES ARE
BARREN.
CHAPTER XV. WHETHER THE INFANT IN THE
MOTHER'S WOMB BE AN ANIMAL.
CHAPTER XVI. HOW EMBRYOS ARE NOURISHED,
OR HOW THE INFANT IN THE BELLY RECEIVES ITS
ALIMENT.
CHAPTER XVII. WHAT PART OF THE BODY IS
FIRST FORMED IN THE WOMB.
CHAPTER XVIII. WHENCE IS IT THAT INFANTS
BORN IN THE SEVENTH MONTH ARE BORN ALIVE.
CHAPTER XIX. OF THE GENERATION OF ANIMALS,
HOW ANIMALS ARE BEGOTTEN, AND WHETHER
THEY ARE OBNOXIOUS TO CORRUPTION.
CHAPTER XX. HOW MANY SPECIES OF ANIMALS
THERE ARE, AND WHETHER ALL ANIMALS HAVE
THE ENDOWMENTS OF SENSE AND REASON.
CHAPTER XXI. WHAT TIME IS REQUIRED TO
SHAPE THE PARTS OF ANIMALS IN THE WOMB.
CHAPTER XXII. OF WHAT ELEMENTS EACH OF
THE MEMBERS OF US MEN IS COMPOSED.
CHAPTER XXIII. WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF
SLEEP AND DEATH?
CHAPTER XXIV. WHEN AND FROM WHENCE THE
PERFECTION OF A MAN COMMENCES.
CHAPTER XXV. WHETHER SLEEP OR DEATH
APPERTAINS TO THE SOUL OR BODY.
CHAPTER XXVI. HOW PLANTS INCREASE.
CHAPTER XXVII. OF NUTRITION AND GROWTH.
CHAPTER XXVIII. WHENCE IT IS THAT IN ANIMALS
THERE ARE APPETITES AND PLEASURES.
CHAPTER XXIX. WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF A
FEVER, OR WHETHER IT IS AN AFFECTION OF
THE BODY ANNEXED TO A PRIMARY PASSION
CHAPTER XXX. OF HEALTH, SICKNESS, AND OLD
AGE.
ABSTRACT OF A DISCOURSE SHOWING THAT THE
STOICS SPEAK GREATER IMPROBABILITIES THAN
THE POETS.
SYMPOSIACS.
BOOK 1.BOOK II.
BOOK III
BOOK IV.
BOOK V.
BOOK VI.
BOOK VII.
BOOK VIII.
BOOK IX
COMMON CONCEPTIONS AGAINST THE STOICS.
CONTRADICTIONS OF THE STOICS.
THE EATING OF FLESH.
CONCERNING FATE.
AGAINST COLOTES, THE DISCIPLE AND FAVORITE
OF EPICURUS.
PLATONIC QUESTIONS.
LITERARY ESSAYS.
THE BANQUET OF THE SEVEN WISE MEN.
ABSTRACT OF A COMPARISON BETWEEN
ARISTOPHANE AND MENANDER
THE MALICE OF HERODOTUS.
INDEX.
PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAYS
That It Is Not Possible To Live Pleasurably According To The
Doctrine Of Epicurus
That A Philosopher Ought Chiefly To Converse With Great Men
Sentiments Concerning Nature, With Which Philosophers Were
Delighted
Abstract Of A Discourse Showing That The Stoics Speak Greater
Improbabilities Than The Poets
Symposiacs
Common Conceptions Against The Stoics Contradictions Of The Stoics
The Eating Of Flesh
Concerning Fate
Against Colotes, The Disciple And Favorite Of Epicurus
Platonic Questions
LITERARY ESSAYS
The Life And Poetry Of Homer
The Banquet Of The Seven Wise Men
How A Young Man Ought To Hear Poems
Abstract Of A Comparison Between Aristophanes And Menander
The Malice Of Herodotus
PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAYS
THAT IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO LIVE PLEASURABLY
ACCORDING TO THE DOCTRINE OF EPICURUS.
PLUTARCH, ZEUXIPPUS, THEON, ARISTODEMUS.
Epicurus's great confidant and familiar, Colotes, set forth a book with
this title to it, that according to the tenets of the other philosophers it is
impossible to live. Now what occurred to me then to say against him,
in the defence of those philosophers, hath been already put into
writing by me. But since upon breaking up of our lecture several
things have happened to be spoken afterwards in the walks in further
opposition to his party, I thought it not amiss to recollect them also, if
for no other reason, yet for this one, that those who will needs be
contradicting other men may see that they ought not to run cursorily
over the discourses and writings of those they would disprove, nor by
tearing out one word here and another there, or by falling foul upon
particular passages without the books, to impose upon the ignorant
and unlearned.
Now as we were leaving the school to take a walk (as our manner is)
in the gymnasium, Zeuxippus began to us: In my opinion, said he, the
debate was managed on our side with more softness and less
freedom than was fitting. I am sure, Heraclides went away disgusted
with us, for handling Epicurus and Aletrodorus more roughly than
they deserved. Yet you may remember, replied Theon, how you told
them that Colotes himself, compared with the rhetoric of those two
gentlemen, would appear the complaisantest man alive; for when
they have raked together the lewdest terms of ignominy the tongue of
man ever used, as buffooneries, trollings, arrogancies, whorings,
assassinations, whining counterfeits, black-guards, and blockheads,
they faintly throw them in the faces of Aristotle, Socrates, Pythagoras,
Protagoras, Theophrastus, Heraclides, Hipparchus, and which not,
even of the best and most celebrated authorities. So that, should they
pass for very knowing men upon all other accounts, yet their very
calumnies and reviling language would bespeak them at the greatest
distance from philosophy imaginable. For emulation can never enter
that godlike consort, nor such fretfulness as wants resolution toconceal its own resentments. Aristodemus then subjoined:
Heraclides, you know, is a great philologist; and that may be the
reason why he made Epicurus those amends for the poetic din (so,
that party style poetry) and for the fooleries of Homer; or else, it may
be, it was because Metrodorus had libelled that poet in so many
books. But let us let these gentlemen pass at present, Zeuxippus, and
rather return to what was charged upon the philosophers in the
beginning of our discourse, that it is impossible to live according to
their tenets. And I see not why we two may not despatch this affair
betwixt us, with the good assistance of Theon; for I find this
gentleman (meaning me) is already tired. Then Theon said to him,
Our fellows have that garland from us won;
therefore, if you please,
Let's fix another goal, and at that run.
("Odyssey," xxii, 6)
We will even prosecute them at the suit of the philosophers, in the
following form: We'll prove, if we can, that it is impossible to live a
pleasurable life according to their tenets. Bless me! said I to him,
smiling, you seem to me to level your foot at the very bellies of the
men, and to design to enter the list with them for their lives, whilst you
go about to rob them thus of their pleasure, and they cry out to you,
"Forbear, we're no good boxers, sir;
no, nor good pleaders, nor good senators, nor good magistrates
either;
"Our proper talent is to eat and drink."
("Odyssey," viii, 246, 248)
and to excite such tender and delicate motions in our bodies as may
chafe our imaginations to some jolly delight or gayety." And therefore
you seem to me not so much to take off (as I may say) the pleasurable
part, as to deprive the men of their very lives, while you will not leave
them to live pleasurably. Nay then, said Theon, if you approve so
highly of this subject, why do you not set in hand to it? By all means,
said I, I am for this, and shall not only hear but answer you too, if you
shall insist. But I must leave it to you to take the lead.
Then, after Theon had spoken something to excuse himself,
Aristodemus said: When we had so short and fair a cut to our design,
how have you blocked up the way before us, by preventing us from
joining issue with the faction at the very first upon the single point of
propriety! For you must grant, it can be no easy matter to drive men
already possessed that pleasure is their utmost good yet to believe a
life of pleasure impossible to be attained. But now the truth is, that
when they failed of living becomingly they failed also of living
pleasurably; for to live pleasurably without living becomingly is even
by themselves allowed inconsistent.
Theon then said: We may probably resume the consideration of that
in the process of our discourse; in the interim we will make use of
their concessions. Now they suppose their last good to lie about the
belly and such other conveyances of the body as let in pleasure and
not pain; and are of opinion, that all the brave and ingenious
inventions that ever have been were contrived at first for the pleasure
of the belly, or the good hope of compassing such pleasure,—as the
sage Metrodorus informs us. By which, my good friend, it is very
plain, they found their pleasure in a poor, rotten, and unsure thing,
and one that is equally perforated for pains, by the very passages
they receive their pleasures by; or rather indeed, that admits pleasure
but by a few, but pain by all its parts. For the whole of pleasure is in a
manner in the joints, nerves, feet, and hands; and these are oft the
seats of very grievous and lamentable distempers, as gouts,
corroding rheums, gangrenes, and putrid ulcers. And if you apply to
yourself the exquisitest of perfumes or gusts, you will find but some