Support Aeon Donate now A strange thing is happening in modern philosophy:
Translated by John W. The Loeb Classical Library. Before using any portion of this text in any theme, essay, research paper, thesis, or dissertation, please read the disclaimer. The Latin text, which appears on even-numbered pages, is not included here.
Words or phrases singled out for indexing are marked by plus signs. In the index, numbers in parentheses indicate how many times the item appears. A slash followed by a small letter or a number indicates a footnote at the bottom of the page. Only notes of historical, philosophical, or literary interest to a general reader have been included.
I have allowed Greek passages to stand as the scanner read them, in unintelligible strings of characters. But your strength of mind has been already so tested and your courage, after a severe trial, so approved that they have given me confidence.
How you bore yourself in relation to your father is common knowledge; for you loved him not less dearly than your children, save only that you did not wish him to outlive you. And yet I am not sure that you did not wish even that; for great affection sometimes ventures to break the natural law.
You have done a very great service to Roman scholarship, for a large part of his writings had been burned; a very great service to posterity, for history will come to them as an uncorrupted record whose honesty cost its author dear and a very great service to the man himself, whose memory now lives and will ever live so long as it shall be worth while to learn the facts of Roman history - so long as there shall be anyone who will wish to hark back to the deeds of our ancestors, so long as there shall be anyone who will wish to know what it is to be a Roman hero, what it is to be unconquered when all necks are bowed and forced to bear the yoke of a Sejanus, what it is to be free in thought, in purpose, and in act.
A great loss, in very truth, the state had suffered, had you not rescued this man who had been thrust into oblivion for the sake of two of the noblest things - eloquence and freedom. This evidence of the greatness of your mind forbade me to pay heed to your sex, forbade me to pay heed to your face, which, since sorrow once clouded it, unbroken sadness holds for all these years.
I have recalled to your memory old misfortunes, and, that you may know that even this deep-cut wound will surely heal, I have shown you the scar of an old wound that was not less severe. And so let others deal with you gently and ply soft words.
I myself have determined to battle with your grief, and your eyes that are wearied and worn - weeping now, if I may speak the truth, more from habit than from sorrow - shall be checked by measures that, if so it may be, you welcome, if not, even against your will, even though you hug and embrace the sorrow that you have kept alive in place of your son.
Else what end shall it have? Every means has been tried in vain. The consolations of your friends, the influence of great men who were your relatives have been exhausted. Books, your love for which was a boon bequeathed by your father, now void of comfort and scarcely serving for brief distraction, make their appeal to unheeding ears.
Even time, Nature's great healer, that lays even our most grievous sorrows, in your case only has lost its power. Three whole years have now passed, and yet the first violence of your sorrow has in no way abated.
And so I should have liked to approach your cure in the first stages of your sorrow. While it was still young, a gentler remedy might have been used to check its violence; against inveterate evils the fight must be more vehement.
This is likewise true of wounds - they are easy to heal while they are still fresh and bloody. When they have festered and turned into a wicked sore, then they must be cauterized and, opened up to the very bottom, must submit to probing fingers.
As it is, I cannot possibly be a match for such hardened grief by being considerate and gentle; it must be crushed. I am aware that all those who wish to give anyone admonition commonly begin with precepts, and end with examples.
But it is desirable at times to alter this practice; for different people must be dealt with differently. Some are guided by reason, some must be confronted with famous names and an authority that does not leave a man's mind free, dazzled as he is by showy deeds.
I shall place before your eyes but two examples - the greatest of your sex and century -one, of a woman who allowed herself to be swept away by grief, the other, of a woman who, though she suffered a like misfortune and even greater loss, yet did not permit her ills to have the mastery long, but quickly restored her mind to its accustomed state.
Through all the rest of her life Octavia set no bounds to her tears and moans, and closed her ears to all words that offered wholesome advice; with her whole mind fixed and centred upon one single thing, she did not allow herself even to relax.
Such she remained during her whole life as she was at the funeral - I do not say lacking the courage to rise, but refusing to be uplifted, counting any loss of tears a second bereavement. Not a single portrait would she have of her darling son, not one mention of his name in her hearing. She hated all mothers, and was inflamed nost of all against Livia, because it seemed that the happiness which had once been held out to herself had passed to the other woman's son.
Surrounded by children and grandchildren, she would not lay aside her garb of mourning, and, putting a slight on all her nearest, accounted herself utterly bereft though they still lived.
And Livia lost her son Drusus, who would have made a great emperor, and had already shown himself a great leader. For he had penetrated far into Germany, and had planted the Roman standards in a region where it was scarcely known that any Romans existed.
He had died on the campaign, and his very foes had reverently honoured his sick-bed by maintaining peace along with us; nor did they dare to desire what their interests demanded. And to these circumstances of his death, which he had met in the service of his country, there was added the unbounded sorrow of his fellow-citizens, of the provinces, and of all Italy, through the length of which crowds poured forth from the towns and colonies, and, escorting the funeral train all the way to the city, made it seem more like a triumph.Don't Call Me Princess: Essays on Girls, Women, Sex, and Life [Peggy Orenstein] on timberdesignmag.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
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