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ca 100 __ Congealed words
‣ In Plutarch, “Moralia”, Book I, 5. How a Man May Become Aware of his Progress in Virtue (Πῶς ἂν τις αἴσθοιτο ἑαυτοῦ προκόπτοντος ἐπ᾿ ἀρετῇ - Quomodo quis suos in virtute sentiat profectus)
Plutarch of Delphi (Plutarque) (ca 46-120), Antiphanes of Berge (or of Berga) (ca 4th century BC)
Comment : The Moralia (ancient Greek Ἠθικὰ.loosely translatable as Matters relating to customs and mores) of the first-century Greek priest Plutarch of Delphi (ca 46-120 AD) is an eclectic collection of 78 essays and transcribed speeches. They give an insight into Roman and Greek life, but often are also fascinating timeless observations in their own right. Many generations of Europeans have read or imitated them, including Montaigne and the Renaissance Humanists and Enlightenment philosophers. In the chapter V of Moralia, "How a Man May Become Aware of his Progress in Virtue" (Πώς αν τις αίσθοιτο εαυτού προκόπτοντος επ’ αρετή - Quomodo quis suos in virtute sentiat profectus), Plutarch referenced to Antiphanes about a story of congealed words. Antiphanes of Berge (Greek: Άντιφάνης ὁ Βεργαῖος, 4th century BC) in Thrace, near Amphipolis, was a Greek writer of the book Ἄπιστα (Apista; "unbelievable"). It was due to Antiphanes, who lived in Athens, that the Attic verb βεργαΐζειν (bergaizein) was used in the sense of telling unbelievable stories. (Compiled from various sources)The tall tale of the frozen words is first found in Plutarch’s essay “Progress in Virtue”, where it is credited to a certain Antiphanes. [...] The saying attributed to Antiphanes, at least in the form in which Plutarch reports it, is not strictly a story, since it describes a recurrent phenomenon rather than a particular event. But Antiphanes’ originale words probably did take the form of a story; indeed, if he adopted the pose that many tellers of tall tales employ, he narrated the event in the first person with apparent seriousness as being a true occurrence that he himself had witnessed and could vouch for. We do not have the context of Antiphanes’ original narration. Our own source, Plutarch, gives the utterance a double frame. In the immediate frame, Plutarch reports that one of Plato’s companions cited Antiphanes’ witticism about forzen words, sayin that the same thing was true of the doctrines that Plato taught his youthful listeners, for only much later when they were old men, if even then, did they perceive the point of what Plato had said. In the larger frame, Plutarch employes the witticism and the Platonist’s metaphoric use of it in order to emphasize his point about differences between mature philosophers and beginners in the study of philosophy. (William H. Hansen)
Original excerpt 1 : « .7.[...] To these you may apply that of Antiphanes, which one ingeniously turned to Plato's cholars. This Antiphanes said merrily, that in a certain city the cold was so intense that words were congealed as soon as spoken, but that after some time they thawed and became audible, so that the words spoken in winter were articulated next summer [...] » (Plutarch, “Moralia”, translated by Mr. Tod)
French translated excerpt 2 : « .7.[...] Ici se place à propos une parole d'Antiphane, appliquée par quelqu'un aux auditeurs de Platon. Antiphane avait dit en plaisantant, que dans une certaine ville les mots à l'instant même où ils étaient prononcés se glaçaient par le froid, et que plus tard, quand ils se dégelaient, on entendait en été ce qui avait été dit pendant l'hiver. [...] » (Plutarque, “Oeuvres Morales”, translated by Victor Bétolaud)
French translated excerpt 3 : « [...] Antiphane disait agréablement qu'il y avait une ville où les paroles étaient gelées par le froid aussitôt qu'on les avait prononcées ; qu'ensuite la chaleur venant à les fondre, on entendait l'été ce qui avait été dit pendant l'hiver. Il ajoutait, en appliquant aux disciples de Platon ce badinage ingénieux, que les leçons que ce philosophe leur donnait pendant leur jeunesse n'étaient entendues de la plupart d'entre eux que dans l'âge mûr. » (Transl. by Ricard, 1844)
Source : Plutarch, "Moralia", 1."How a Man May Become Aware in his Progress in Virtue", Translated from the Greek by Mr. Tod, of University College in Oxford. Edition by William W. Goodwin, Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1878.
Source : Plutarque, "Oeuvres morales et œuvres diverses", 1. "Comment l'on reconnaîtra que l'on fait des progrès dans la vertu", traduites en français par Victor Bétolaud, Tome Premier, Paris : Librairie Hachette (1870), edited by Adamant Media Corporation - Elibron Classics, p. 188.
Source : Plutarque, "Oeuvres morales", 1. "Sur les moyens de connaître les progrès qu’on fait dans la vertu", traduites du grec par Ricard, Tome Premier, Paris : Lefèvre Éditeur (1844), pp. 176-177.
Source : Hansen, William F. (2002), “Ariadne’s Thread”, Cornell University Press, pp. 146-147.
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