Excerpt: ...of himself, but Trismegistus adds, Maximum miraculum homo sapiens, a wise man is a wonder: multi Thirsigeri, pauci Bacchi . Alexander when he was presented with that rich and costly casket of king Darius, and every man advised him what to put in it, he reserved it to keep Homer's works, as the most precious jewel of human wit, and yet ...
Excerpt: ...of himself, but Trismegistus adds, Maximum miraculum homo sapiens, a wise man is a wonder: multi Thirsigeri, pauci Bacchi . Alexander when he was presented with that rich and costly casket of king Darius, and every man advised him what to put in it, he reserved it to keep Homer's works, as the most precious jewel of human wit, and yet 452 Scaliger upbraids Homer's muse, Nutricem insanae sapientiae, a nursery of madness, 453 impudent as a court lady, that blushes at nothing. Jacobus Mycillus, Gilbertus Cognatus, Erasmus, and almost all posterity admire Lucian's luxuriant wit, yet Scaliger rejects him in his censure, and calls him the Cerberus of the muses. Socrates, whom all the world so much magnified, is by Lactantius and Theodoret condemned for a fool. Plutarch extols Seneca's wit beyond all the Greeks, nulli secundus, yet 454 Seneca saith of himself, when I would solace myself with a fool, I reflect upon myself, and there I have him. Cardan, in his Sixteenth Book of Subtleties, reckons up twelve supereminent, acute philosophers, for worth, subtlety, and wisdom: Archimedes, Galen, Vitruvius, Architas Tarentinus, Euclid, Geber, that first inventor of Algebra, Alkindus the Mathematician, both Arabians, with others. But his triumviri terrarum far beyond the rest, are Ptolomaeus, Plotinus, Hippocrates. Scaliger exercitat. 224, scoffs at this censure of his, calls some of them carpenters and mechanicians, he makes Galen fimbriam Hippocratis, a skirt of Hippocrates: and the said 455 Cardan himself elsewhere condemns both Galen and Hippocrates for tediousness, obscurity, confusion. Paracelsus will have them both mere idiots, infants in physic and philosophy. Scaliger and Cardan admire Suisset the Calculator, qui pene modum excessit humani ingenii, and yet 456 Lod. Vives calls them nugas Suisseticas: and Cardan, opposite to himself in another place, contemns those ancients in respect of times present, 457 Majoresque nostros ad presentes collatos...
i ordered the anatomy of melancholy and instead received what appeared to be a summary with incomprehensible breaks and typos. i am not sure what the point of printing that is.
Aug 11, 2009
Cure for Prozak
We all inhabit our own little world, peering out of it, wondering if others feel the same joys or pains. Readers probably tend to be a introverted group, and I suspect many somtimes feel suffering in their own inward eye. What a palliative then to hear a sister voice discoursing on how to avoid or tolerate these melancholy wanderings.
This brilliant author pulls sources from thousands of ancient and midddle ages books from the library that surrounded him as he starts off on a medical treatis and turns to philosophical and phychological reflections. He fills his mind and pages with quotations and musings as we can imagine him displacing his own melancholy. One idea that struck me was that our discontents are not just the product of our industrial age.
This would not be for the casual reader; but if you love Plutarch and greek philosophy you may enjoy this little gem from the past and spend a few hours smiling while a beautiful soul from the past seeks a bit of solace.
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