ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗ ΠΡΟΣ ΜΕΝΟΙΚΕΑ
Ἐπίκουρος Μενοικεῖ χαίρειν.
 Μήτε νέος τις ὢν μελλέτω φιλοσοφεῖν͵ μήτε γέρων ὑπάρχων κοπιάτω φιλοσοφῶν. οὔτε γὰρ ἄωρος οὐδείς ἐστιν οὔτε πάρωρος πρὸς τὸ κατὰ ψυχὴν ὑγιαῖνον. ὁ δὲ λέγων ἢ μήπω τοῦ φιλοσοφεῖν ὑπάρχειν ὥραν ἢ παρεληλυθέναι τὴν ὥραν ὅμοιός ἐστι τῷ λέγοντι πρὸς εὐδαιμονίαν ἢ μὴ παρεῖναι τὴν ὥραν ἢ μηκέτι εἶναι. ὥστε φιλοσοφητέον καὶ νέῳ καὶ γέροντι͵ τῷ μὲν ὅπως γηράσκων νεάζῃ τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς διὰ τὴν χάριν τῶν γεγονότων͵ τῷ δὲ ὅπως νέος ἅμα καὶ παλαιὸς ᾖ διὰ τὴν ἀφοβίαν τῶν μελλόντων· μελετᾶν οὖν χρὴ τὰ ποιοῦντα τὴν εὐδαιμονίαν͵ εἴπερ παρούσης μὲν αὐτῆς πάντα ἔχομεν͵ ἀπούσης δὲ πάντα πράττομεν εἰς τὸ ταύτην ἔχειν.
SINCE I have collected Material for a memorable history of my visit to Eleazar the High priest of the Jews, and because you, Philocrates, as you lose no opportunity of reminding me, have set great store upon receiving an account of the motives and object of my mission, I have attempted to draw up a clear exposition of the matter for you, for I perceive that you possess a natural love of learning, 2 a quality which is the highest possession of man to be constantly attempting ‘to add to his stock of knowledge and acquirements’ whether through the study of history or by actually participating in the events themselves. It is by this means, by taking up into itself the noblest elements, that the soul is established in purity, and having fixed its aim on piety, the noblest goal of all, it uses this as its infallible guide and so acquires a definite purpose.
Κεφάλαια τοῦ πρώτου λόγου
Προοίμιον περὶ τῆς Κωνσταντίνου τελευτῆς.
Περὶ υἱῶν αὐτοῦ βασιλευσάντων.
Περὶ θεοῦ τιμῶντος εὐσεβεῖς βασιλεῖς καὶ ἀπολλύντος τυράννους.
Ὅτι ὁ θεὸς Κωνσταντῖνον ἐτίμησεν.
Ὅτι ἐβασίλευσε μὲν εὐσεβῶς ὑπὲρ τὰ τριάκοντα ἔτη μοναρχήσας, ἔζησε δὲ ὑπὲρ τὰ ἑξήκοντα.
Ὅτι θεοῦ μὲν δοῦλος ἦν ἐθνῶν δὲ νικητής.
Πρὸς Κῦρον τὸν Περσῶν βασιλέα καὶ Ἀλέξανδρον τὸν Μακεδόνων σύγκρισις.
Ὅτι τῆς οἰκουμένης πάσης σχεδὸν ἐκράτησεν.
Hesiod: Works And Days
(ll. 1-10) Muses of Pieria who give glory through song, come hither, tell of Zeus your father and chant his praise. Through him mortal men are famed or un-famed, sung or unsung alike, as great Zeus wills. For easily he makes strong, and easily he brings the strong man low; easily he humbles the proud and raises the obscure, and easily he straightens the crooked and blasts the proud, — Zeus who thunders aloft and has his dwelling most high.
Attend thou with eye and ear, and make judgements straight with righteousness. And I, Perses, would tell of true things.
(ll. 11-24) So, after all, there was not one kind of Strife alone, but all over the earth there are two. As for the one, a man would praise her when he came to understand her; but the other is blameworthy: and they are wholly different in nature. For one fosters evil war and battle, being cruel: her no man loves; but perforce, through the will of the deathless gods, men pay harsh Strife her honour due. But the other is the elder daughter of dark Night, and the son of Cronos who sits above and dwells in the aether, set her in the roots of the earth: and she is far kinder to men. She stirs up even the shiftless to toil; for a man grows eager to work when he considers his neighbour, a rich man who hastens to plough and plant and put his house in good order; and neighbour vies with is neighbour as he hurries after wealth. This Strife is wholesome for men. And potter is angry with potter, and craftsman with craftsman, and beggar is jealous of beggar, and minstrel of minstrel.
The story of Atlantis
This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable; and there was an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Heracles; the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbour, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the surrounding land may be most truly called a boundless continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. This vast power, gathered into one, endeavoured to subdue at a blow our country and yours and the whole of the region within the straits; and then, Solon, your country shone forth, in the excellence of her virtue and strength, among all mankind. She was pre-eminent in courage and military skill, and was the leader of the Hellenes. And when the rest fell off from her, being compelled to stand alone, after having undergone the very extremity of danger, she defeated and triumphed over the invaders, and preserved from slavery those who were not yet subjugated, and generously liberated all the rest of us who dwell within the pillars. But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island. [360 BCE]
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