aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus 8.8.14

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Things aren’t what they used to be in Persia, according to Xenophon. To give one example – nowadays children are taught about poisons and medicines for nothing but nefarious reasons!

ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν φυομένων ἐκ τῆς γῆς τὰς δυνάμεις οἱ παῖδες πρόσθεν μὲν ἐμάνθανον, ὅπως τοῖς μὲν ὠφελίμοις χρῷντο, τῶν δὲ βλαβερῶν ἀπέχοιντο· νῦν δὲ ἐοίκασι ταῦτα διδασκόμενοι, ὅπως ὅτι πλεῖστα κακοποιῶσιν· οὐδαμοῦ γοῦν πλείους, ἢ ἐκεῖ, οὔτε ἀποθνήσκουσιν, οὐτε διαφθείρονται ὑπὸ φαρμάκων.

But in former times boys would also learn the properties of things grown from the earth, so that they could make use of the beneficial ones and keep away from the harmful ones. But now they seem to learn these things so they can do the most possible harm; at any rate, nowhere are more people killed or crippled by poisons than there.

Written by aleatorclassicus

July 31, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Xenophon

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