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Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 the Dryden Translation, Edited With Notes and Preface
by Plutarch & Arthur Hugh Clough

Overview -
Cato the elder, speaking to some persons who were praising a man of reckless daring and audacity in war, observed that there is a difference between a man's setting a high value on courage, and setting a low value on his own life-and rightly. For a daring soldier in the army of Antigonus, but of broken and ill health, being asked by the king the reason of his paleness, confessed that he was suffering from some secret disorder. When then the king, anxious for him, charged his physicians to use the greatest care in their treatment, if a cure were possible, at length this brave fellow, being restored to health, was no longer fond of peril and furious in battle, so that Antigonus reproved him, and expressed surprise at the change. The man made no secret of his reason, but answered: "My, king, you have made me less warlike by freeing me from those miseries on account of which I used to hold my life cheap." And the Sybarite seems to have spoken to the same effect about the Spartans, when he said that "they do no great thing by dying in the wars in order to escape from such labours and such a mode of life as theirs." However, no wonder if the Sybarites, effete with luxurious debauchery, thought men mad who despised death for love of honour and noble emulation; whereas the Laced¿¿¿monians were enabled by their valour both to live and to die with pleasure, as the elegy shows, which runs thus: "'Twas not that life or death itself was good, That these heroic spirits shed their blood: This was their aim, and this their latest cry, 'Let us preserve our honour, live or die.'" For neither is avoidance of death blameable, if a man does not cling to his life from dishonourable motives; nor is exposure to peril honourable, if it springs from carelessness of life. For this reason Homer always brings the most daring and warlike heroes into battle well and beautifully armed, and the Greek lawgivers punish the man who throws away his shield, but not him who throws away his sword or spear, showing that it is each man's duty to take more care that he does not receive hurt himself, than to hurt the enemy, especially if he be the chief of an army or city.

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Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 (Modern Library Classics)Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 (Modern Library Classics)
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Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 (Modern Library Classics)Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 (Modern Library Classics)
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    Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 (Modern Library Classics)
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    Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 (Modern Library Classics)
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    Notes: 2001. Paperback. Pap. Slight shelf wear. Very Good. (Subject: Ancient, Roman Literature).

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    Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 (Trade paperback)
    Pub. Date: 2001
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    Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 (Trade paperback)
    Pub. Date: 2001
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More About Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 the Dryden Translation, Edited With Notes and Preface by Plutarch & Arthur Hugh Clough
 
 
 
Overview

Cato the elder, speaking to some persons who were praising a man of reckless daring and audacity in war, observed that there is a difference between a man's setting a high value on courage, and setting a low value on his own life-and rightly. For a daring soldier in the army of Antigonus, but of broken and ill health, being asked by the king the reason of his paleness, confessed that he was suffering from some secret disorder. When then the king, anxious for him, charged his physicians to use the greatest care in their treatment, if a cure were possible, at length this brave fellow, being restored to health, was no longer fond of peril and furious in battle, so that Antigonus reproved him, and expressed surprise at the change. The man made no secret of his reason, but answered: "My, king, you have made me less warlike by freeing me from those miseries on account of which I used to hold my life cheap." And the Sybarite seems to have spoken to the same effect about the Spartans, when he said that "they do no great thing by dying in the wars in order to escape from such labours and such a mode of life as theirs." However, no wonder if the Sybarites, effete with luxurious debauchery, thought men mad who despised death for love of honour and noble emulation; whereas the Laced¿¿¿monians were enabled by their valour both to live and to die with pleasure, as the elegy shows, which runs thus: "'Twas not that life or death itself was good, That these heroic spirits shed their blood: This was their aim, and this their latest cry, 'Let us preserve our honour, live or die.'" For neither is avoidance of death blameable, if a man does not cling to his life from dishonourable motives; nor is exposure to peril honourable, if it springs from carelessness of life. For this reason Homer always brings the most daring and warlike heroes into battle well and beautifully armed, and the Greek lawgivers punish the man who throws away his shield, but not him who throws away his sword or spear, showing that it is each man's duty to take more care that he does not receive hurt himself, than to hurt the enemy, especially if he be the chief of an army or city.

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Details
  • PID: 16863601873
  • ISBN-13: 9780375756771
  • Publisher: Modern Library
  • Seller: Ancient World Books
    Description: 0375756779.
    Condition: Very Good
    Notes: Modern Library Classics; 7.9 X 5.2 X 1.4 inches; 752 pages.