Category: Ancient Learning > Ethical Maxims > Pythagorean Maxims
The present selection of ethical dicta were widely read by ancient Christians, although there was debate about whether they really belonged to a member of the church; Jerome claimed that their attribution to the Roman martyr, pope Xystus II, was false, and that they really belonged to a Pythagorean philosopher, Sextus (Letter 133.3). But surely both of these attributions are incorrect, and the author was simply some Christian man named Sextus.¹
Jerome’s suspicions were based in an awareness that the Sayings or Sentences of Sextus drew deeply from a well whose waters were non-Christian – and how could it be otherwise, when Christianity of necessity developed in a world that was not yet Christian? In this instance, the greatest debts are owed to the tradition of pagan Greek “wisdom literature”, that is to say, to the realm of Ethical Maxims literature, specifically some Pythagorean (or, if you prefer, Pseudo- or Neo-Pythagorean) collections. Strong parallels exist with the Sayings of Clitarchus, the Sayings of the Pythagoreans, and Porphyry of Tyre’s Letter to Marcella, all of which I hope to translate in the future, Zeus and Hermes willing.
The present translation is owed to the patronage of polyphanes of digitalambler.com, and is based on Wilson’s Greek edition (see fn. 1), which also includes an English version. I direct readers who wish to deepen their understanding of the text to the ample commentary Wilson provides. In addition to Wilson’s text, I also translate the so-called appendices which were edited by Chadwick.² Three maxims of the main text, which survive only in Latin, are also translated from Chadwick’s edition (which includes the ancient Latin version, the Enchiridion Sexti).
The <sub-headings> are my additions, intended to help navigate the bulkiness of the compilation. For the main section, they mostly reflect the subdivisions made by Wilson.
1: This is also the view of Walter T. Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012), p. 11.
2: H. Chadwick, The Sentences of Sextus (1959). I also sometimes follow his edition of the main text.
2 Text and translation
The Sayings of Sextus (Σέξτου Γνῶμαι)
<1–5. the faithful person>
(1) A faithful person is a chosen person.¹
(2) A chosen person is a person of God.
(3) A person of god is someone worthy of God.
(4) Worthy of God is someone who does nothing unworthy of God.
(5) So, if you endeavor to be faithful, do nothing unworthy of God.
1: In the sense that Christians are the ‘elect’.
(1) πιστὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐκλεκτός ἐστιν ἄνθρωπος.
(2) ἐκλεκτὸς ἄνθρωπος ἄνθρωπός ἐστι Θεοῦ.
(3) Θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος ὁ ἄξιος Θεοῦ.
(4) Θεοῦ ἄξιος ὁ μηδὲν ἀνάξιον Θεοῦ πράττων.
(5) ἐπιτηδεύων οὖν πιστὸς εἶναι μηδὲν ἀνάξιον Θεοῦ πράξῃς.
<6–14. faith is avoidance of sin>
(6) In faith, one of little faith is faithless.
(7a) The one who is faithful in a test of faith is a god¹ in the body² of a human.
(7b) The one who is faithless in faith is a dead person in a living body.
(8) The truly faithful is the one who is sinless.
(9) Down to the least things, live scrupulously.
(10) For in your way of life, what is slightly wrong is not slight.
(11) Regard every sin as an impiety.
(12) Neither the eye nor the hand sins, nor anything like them, but the one who is ill using their hand and eye.
(13) Every organ of the body persuading you not to be moderate, tear out; for it would be better to live moderately without the organ than destructively with the organ.
(14) Consider both your rewards and your punishments after the Judgment as undying.³
1: Not to be taken too literally. Christianity does promise deification of the chosen, but in a dependent or analogous sense, and Sextus intends an analogy.
2: Wilson has “living body”, but Chadwick rightly excludes the word “living”, which has crept in from the next line.
3: I.e., as eternal.
(6) ὀλιγόπιστος ἐν πίστει ἄπιστος.
(7a) πιστὸς ἐν δοκιμῇ πίστεως θεὸς ἐν ἀνθρώπου σώματι [ζῶντι].
(7b) ἄπιστος ἐν πίστει νεκρὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐν σώματι ζῶντι.
(8) πιστὸς ἀληθείᾳ ὁ ἀναμάρτητος.
(9) μέχρι καὶ τῶν ἐλαχίστων ἀκριβῶς βίου.
(10) οὐ γὰρ μικρὸν ἐν βίῳ τὸ παρὰ μικρόν.
(11) πᾶν ἁμάρτημα ἀσέβημα ἡγοῦ.
(12) οὐκ ὀφθαλμὸς οὐδὲ χεὶρ ἁμαρτάνει οὐδέ τι τῶν ὁμοίων, ἀλλ’ ὁ κακῶς χρώμενος χειρὶ καὶ ὀφθαλμῷ.
(13) πᾶν μέλος τοῦ σώματος ἀναπεῖθόν σε μὴ σωφρονεῖν ῥῖψον· ἄμεινον γὰρ χωρὶς τοῦ μέλους ζῆν σωφρόνως ἢ μετὰ τοῦ μέλους ὀλεθρίως.
(14) ἀθανάτους σοι νόμιζε παρὰ τῇ κρίσει καὶ τὰς τιμὰς ἔσεσθαι καὶ τὰς τιμωρίας.
<15–21. freedom in the world>
(15) However much you have in the world, do not be vexed if someone takes it from you.
(16) Do not offer yourself up to be apprehended by the world.
(17) Except for your freedom, hand over everything to your neighbor if they want to steal from you.
(18) A wise person without property is alike to God.¹
(19) Use worldly things only for what is absolutely necessary.
(20) Scrupulously give to the world what is of the world, but to God what is of God.
(21) Consider your soul a deposit from God.
1: “Becoming alike to deity” is the goal of Pythagorean and Platonic philosophy, but also consonant with Christianity, which promises deification (a kind of unification with God) to the faithful.
(15) ὁπόσα τοῦ κόσμου ἔχεις, κἂν ἀφέληταί σού τις, μὴ ἀγανάκτει.
(16) σεαυτὸν ἐπιλήψιμον μὴ πάρεχε τῷ κόσμῳ.
(17) χωρὶς τῆς ἐλευθερίας πάντα ἀφαιρουμένῳ σε τῷ πέλας ὕπεικε.
(18) σοφὸς ἀκτήμων ὅμοιος Θεῷ.
(19) τοῖς κοσμικοῖς πράγμασιν εἰς αὐτὰ τὰ ἀναγκαῖα χρῶ.
(20) τὰ μὲν τοῦ κόσμου τῷ κόσμῳ, τὰ δὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ ἀκριβῶς ἀποδίδου.
(21) τὴν ψυχήν σου νόμιζε παραθήκην ἔχειν παρὰ Θεοῦ.
<22–30. proper attitudes towards god>
(22) When you speak about God, you are being judged by God.
(23) Regard it as the best purification to do no one an injustice.¹
(24) The soul is purified by the wise person using the word of God.
(25) Do not be persuaded that substance without perception belongs in any way to God.²
(26) God, being mind, is self-moved, and he subsists in accord with just this.³
(27) You could not discover the greatness of God even by flying on wings.
(28) Do not seek the name of God, for you will not find it; everything that is named is named by someone greater, so that they may call it, and it shall obey; so who could have named God? God is not the name of God, but an opinion about God.
(29) So, do not seek in God something that does not exist.
(30) God is a wise light, which does not admit anything contrary.
1: A transferral of purification from the realm of ritual practice to moral action.
2: An argument against the worship of ‘dumb idols’.
3: The terminology of mind (noûs) being self-moved (autokínētos) is derived from pagan philosophy.
(22) ὅτε λέγεις περὶ Θεοῦ, κρίνῃ ὑπὸ Θεοῦ.
(23) ἄριστον ἡγοῦ καθαρμὸν τὸ μηδένα ἀδικεῖν.
(24) ψυχὴ καθαίρεται λόγῳ Θεοῦ ὑπὸ σοφοῦ.
(25) ἀναίσθητον οὐσίαν μὴ πεισθῇς εἶναί ποτε Θεοῦ.
(26) ὁ Θεὸς καθὸ νοῦς ἐστιν αὐτοκίνητος, κατ’ αὐτὸ τοῦτο καὶ ὑφέστηκεν.
(27) Θεοῦ μέγεθος οὐκ ἂν ἐξεύροις πτεροῖς πετόμενος.
(28) Θεοῦ ὄνομα μὴ ζήτει, οὐ γὰρ εὑρήσεις· πᾶν τὸ ὀνομαζόμενον ὀνομάζεται ὑπὸ τοῦ κρείττονος, ἵνα τὸ μὲν καλῇ, τὸ δὲ ὑπακούῃ· τίς οὖν ὁ ὀνομάσας Θεόν; Θεὸς οὐκ ὄνομα Θεοῦ, ἀλλὰ δόξα περὶ Θεοῦ.
(29) μηθὲν οὖν ἐν Θεῷ ὃ μὴ ἔστι ζήτει.
(30) Θεὸς αὐγὴ σοφὴ τοῦ ἐναντίου ἀνεπίδεκτος.
<31–36. humans second after god>
(31) Everything God created, he created for humanity.
(32) An angel is a servant of God for humanity, since it is not for anyone else; thus, a person is more honored by God than an angel.
(33) First is the benefactor, God, and second is the benefactee, the human.
(34) Consequently, live as one who is next after God.
(35) If you are chosen,¹ you have something in your constitution like God;² so treat your constitution as a temple of God.
(36) God gives the faithful authority in accord with God; so he gives a pure and sinless authority.
1: As a Christian, or as a human (who has the potential to be a Christian).
2: Not “something like God”, but “you have something like God has”.
(31) ὁ Θεὸς ὅσα ἐποίησεν, ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων αὐτὰ ἐποίησεν.
(32) ἄγγελος ὑπηρέτης Θεοῦ πρὸς ἄνθρωπον, οὐ γὰρ δὴ πρὸς οὐδένα ἄλλον· τιμιώτερον οὖν ἄνθρωπος ἀγγέλου παρὰ Θεῷ.
(33) τὸ μὲν πρῶτον εὐεργετοῦν ὁ Θεός, τὸ δὲ δεύτερον εὐεργετούμενον ἄνθρωπος.
(34) βίου τοιγαροῦν ὡς ὢν μετὰ Θεόν.
(35) ἐκλεκτὸς ὢν ἔχεις τι ἐν τῇ συστάσει σου ὁποῖον Θεός· χρῶ οὖν τῇ συστάσει σου ὡς ἱερῷ Θεοῦ.
(36) ἐξουσίαν πιστῷ ὁ Θεὸς δίδωσι τὴν κατὰ Θεόν· καθαρὰν οὖν δίδωσι καὶ ἀναμάρτητον.
(37) Let the world stand in awe of your way of life.¹
(38) Do not give yourself over to be apprehended by anyone.
(39) After the separation from the body, an evil demon calls the one who leads an evil life to account until the last penny² is surrendered.
(40) A blessed man is one whose soul no one may apprehend when it passes to God.
1: Or rather, “let the world be ashamed”, not of you but of itself in comparison to you.
2: Literally, quadrans (gr. kodrántēs), a low-valued Roman coin.
(37) αἰδείσθω σου τὸν βίον ὁ κόσμος.
(38) μηδενὶ σεαυτὸν ἐπιλήψιμον δίδου.
(39) κακῶς ζῶντα μετὰ τὴν ἀπαλλαγὴν τοῦ σώματος εὐθύνει κακὸς δαίμων μέχρις οὗ καὶ τὸν ἔσχατον κοδράντην ἀπολάβῃ.
(40) μακάριος ἀνήρ, οὗ τῆς ψυχῆς οὐδεὶς ἐπιλήψεται εἰς Θεὸν πορευομένης.
<41–62. relation to god>
(41) What you regard higher than everything else, that will rule you.
(42) Honor what is best, so that you will also be ruled by the best.
(43) If you are ruled by the best, you yourself will rule what you wish.
(44) The greatest honor paid to God is the knowledge of God and becoming alike to him.
(45) Nothing is like god, but what is dearest to him is what is becoming alike to him as far as possible.
(46a) The mind of a pious person is a holy temple of God.
(46b) The best sacrifice to God is a pure and sinless heart.
(47) The only suitable offering to God is benefaction to other perople on account of God.
(48) A person does what is pleasing to God if they live in accord with God as far as possible.
(49) God is in need of nothing, and the faithful one only of God.
(50) The one who needs only a few necessary things emulates the one who is in need of nothing.
(51) Practice to be great before God, but unenvied by people.¹
(52) If you are helpful to those in need, you will be great before God.
(53) While a wise man is alive, there is little talk among people, but when he has dyed, his praises are sung.
(54) Consider the time in which you do not think on God as wasted.
(55) Let only your body dwell on the earth, while your soul shall always be with God.
(56) Thing on noble things, so that you may do noble things.²
(57a) A person’s thinking is not hidden from God.
(57b) Let your mind be pure of all evil.
(58) Be worthy of him who deems you worthy to be called his son, and do all like a son of God.³
(59) Call on God the Father and be mindful of him in what you do.
(60) A holy and sinless man has authority before God like a son of God.⁴
(61) A good mind is a place of God.
(62) An evil mind is a place of evils.
τὸ μὲν σῶμά σου μόνον ἐπιδημείτω τῇ γῇ, ἡ δὲ ψυχὴ ἀεὶ ἔστω παρὰ Θεῷ.
(56) νόει τὰ καλά, ἵνα καὶ πράττῃς τὰ καλά.
(57a) ἔννοια ἀνθρώπου Θεὸν οὐ λανθάνει.
(57b) ἔστω σου ἡ διάνοια καθαρὰ κακοῦ παντός.
(58) ἄξιος ἔσο τοῦ ἀξιώσαντός σε εἰπεῖν υἱὸν καὶ πρᾶττε πάντα ὡς υἱὸς Θεοῦ.
(59) Θεὸν πατέρα καλῶν ἐν οἷς πράττεις τούτου μέμνησο.
(60) ἁγνὸς ἀνὴρ καὶ ἀναμάρτητος ἐξουσίαν ἔχει παρὰ Θεῷ ὡς υἱὸς Θεοῦ.
(61) ἀγαθὴ διάνοια χῶρος Θεοῦ.
(62) κακὴ διάνοια χῶρός ἐστιν κακῶν.
1: The great in society are those who naturally arouse envy; those great with God must conduct themselves in a different manner.
2: Elsewhere I translated this as ‘good deeds’.
3: This idea is distinct, if not unrelated, to that of Jesus as the Son of God.
4: This suggests a prayer or invocation before undertaking anything (a common practice), but also mindfulness to conceive of God as one’s father.
(41) ὃ ἂν τιμήσῃς ὑπὲρ πάντα, ἐκεῖνό σου κυριεύσει.
(42) τίμα τὸ ἄριστον, ἵνα καὶ ἄρχῃ ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀρίστου.
(43) ἀρχόμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀρίστου αὐτὸς ἄρξεις ὧν ἂν προαιρῇ.
(44) τιμὴ μεγίστη Θεῷ Θεοῦ γνῶσις καὶ ὁμοίωμα.
(45) ὅμοιον μὲν οὐδὲν Θεῷ, προσφιλέστατον δὲ τὸ εἰς δύναμιν ἐξομοιούμενον.
(46a) ἱερὸν ἅγιον Θεοῦ διάνοια εὐσεβοῦς.
(46b) ἄριστον θυσιαστήριον Θεῷ καρδία καθαρὰ καὶ ἀναμάρτητος.
(47) θυσία Θεῷ μόνη καὶ προσηνὴς ἡ ἀνθρώποις εὐεργεσία διὰ Θεόν.
(48) ἄνθρωπος κεχαρισμένα Θεῷ πράττει ὁ ζῶν εἰς δύναμιν κατὰ Θεόν.
(49) ὁ μὲν Θεὸς οὐδενὸς δεῖται, ὁ δὲ πιστὸς μόνου Θεοῦ.
(50) ζηλοῖ τὸν οὐδενὸς δεόμενον ὁ τῶν ὀλίγων ἀναγκαίως δεόμενος.
(51) ἄσκει μέγας μὲν εἶναι παρὰ Θεῷ, παρὰ δὲ ἀνθρώποις ἀνεπίφθονος.
(52) χρηστὸς ὢν εἰς τοὺς δεομένους μέγας ἂν εἴης παρὰ Θεῷ.
(53) ἀνδρὸς σοφοῦ ζῶντος μὲν ὀλίγος ὁ λόγος παρὰ ἀνθρώποις, τελευτήσαντος δὲ τὸ κλέος ᾄδεται.
(54) τὸν χρόνον ὃν ἂν μὴ νοήσῃς τὸν Θεόν, τοῦτον νόμιζέ σοι ἀπολωλέναι.
(55) τὸ μὲν σῶμά σου μόνον ἐπιδημείτω τῇ γῇ, ἡ δὲ ψυχὴ ἀεὶ ἔστω παρὰ Θεῷ.
(56) νόει τὰ καλά, ἵνα καὶ πράττῃς τὰ καλά.
(57a) ἔννοια ἀνθρώπου Θεὸν οὐ λανθάνει.
(57b) ἔστω σου ἡ διάνοια καθαρὰ κακοῦ παντός.
(58) ἄξιος ἔσο τοῦ ἀξιώσαντός σε εἰπεῖν υἱὸν καὶ πρᾶττε πάντα ὡς υἱὸς Θεοῦ.
(59) Θεὸν πατέρα καλῶν ἐν οἷς πράττεις τούτου μέμνησο.
(60) ἁγνὸς ἀνὴρ καὶ ἀναμάρτητος ἐξουσίαν ἔχει παρὰ Θεῷ ὡς υἱὸς Θεοῦ.
(61) ἀγαθὴ διάνοια χῶρος Θεοῦ.
(62) κακὴ διάνοια χῶρός ἐστιν κακῶν.
<63–64. justice and injustice>
(63) By freeing an unjust person from committing injustice, you would punish him in accord with God.
(64) Practice not to seem but be justice; for seeming always takes away from being.
(65) Honor what is just for its own sake.
(66) You cannot hide it from God if you do injustice, since you cannot even hide if you intend it.
(63) τὸν ἀδικοῦντα τοῦ ἀδικεῖν ἀπαλλάττων κολάζοις ἂν κατὰ Θεόν.
(64) ἄσκει μὴ τὸ δοκεῖν ἀλλὰ τὸ εἶναι δίκαιος· τὸ δοκεῖν γὰρ ἕκαστον τοῦ εἶναι ἀφαιρεῖται.
(65) τίμα τὸ δίκαιον δι’ αὐτό.
(66) οὐκ ἂν λάθοις Θεὸν πράττων ἄδικα, οὐδὲ γὰρ διανοούμενος.
(67) A temperate man is holy before God.
(68) Avoid intemperance.
(69) Practice good reason.
(70) Have self-control over pleasures.
(71a) Conquer the body in everything.
(71b) From love of pleasure,¹ you cannot escape intemperance.
(72) God does not hear those who love pleasure.
(73) The outcome of luxury is destruction.
(74) Let your reason guide your impulses.
(75a) The most terrible thing is to be a slave to your passions.
(75b) As many passions as the soul has, so many are its rulers.
1: I.e., without giving up your love of pleasure.
(67) σώφρων ἀνὴρ ἁγνὸς παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ.
(68) ἀκολασίαν φεῦγε.
(69) εὐλογιστίαν ἄσκει.
(70) κράτει τῶν ἡδονῶν.
(71a) νίκα τὸ σῶμα ἐν παντί.
(71b) ἐκ φιληδονίας ἀκολασίαν οὐκ ἐκφεύξῃ.
(72) φιληδόνου ὁ Θεὸς οὐκ ἀκούει.
(73) τρυφῆς πέρας ὄλεθρος.
(74) ὁ λόγος σου τῶν ὁρμῶν σου προηγείσθω.
(75a) δεινότατόν ἐστιν πάθεσι δουλεύειν.
(75b) ὅσα πάθη ψυχῆς, τοσοῦτοι δεσπόται.
<76–82d. things in the world and before god>
(76) Love of money is a proof of love of the body.
(77) Acquire the things of the soul, because they are safe.
(78) Give up the things of the body to the extent that you can.
(79) Regard the good alone as belonging to you.
(80) Always be what you want to be like when you are praying.
(81) When you deliberately throw the finest of your possessions into the dirt, you are pure; then ask for something from God.
(82a) Be now what you want to be like before God.
(82b) Despise the things of the world, and share them.
(82c) Be mindful that you are next after God.
(82d) The soul of a pious person is a god in the body.¹
1: Not like the incarnated Son of God, but by analogy or participation in God.
(76) φιλοχρηματία φιλοσωματίας ἔλεγχος.
(77) κτῶ τὰ τῆς ψυχῆς ὡς βέβαια.
(78) ἀποτάττου τοῖς τοῦ σώματος, ἐφ’ ὅσον δυνατὸς εἶ.
(79) μόνον οἰκεῖον ἡγοῦ τὸ ἀγαθόν.
(80) ὁποῖος θέλεις εὐχόμενος εἶναι, ἀεὶ ἔσο.
(81) ὅταν τὰ κάλλιστα τῶν κτημάτων εὐλόγως εἰς βόρβορον ῥίψῃς, τότε καθαρὸς ὢν αἰτοῦ τι παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ.
(82a) ὁποῖος θέλεις εἶναι παρὰ Θεῷ, ἤδη ἔσο.
(82b) τῶν τοῦ κόσμου μεταδιδοὺς καταφρόνει.
(82c) μέμνησο ὢν μετὰ Θεόν.
(82d) ψυχὴ ἀνθρώπου θεοσεβοῦς θεὸς ἐν σώματι.
(82e) The one who thinks evil of God defiles God.
(83) A blasphemous tongue is broof of an evil mind.
(84) Acquire a reverent tongue, and especially concerning God.
(85) No one can do evil to God, but the blasphemer is most impious because, if they were able to, they would.
(86a) The foundation of piety is self-control.
(86b) The purpose of piety is love towards God.
(87) Treat a pious person like yourself.
(88) Pray that what happens to you is not what you want, but what is necessary and useful.
(82e) μιαίνει τὸν Θεὸν ὁ κακῶς νοῶν τὸν Θεόν.
(83) γλῶσσα βλάσφημος διανοίας ἔλεγχος κακῆς.
(84) γλῶσσαν εὔφημον κέκτησο, μάλιστα δὲ περὶ Θεοῦ.
(85) κακῶς μὲν ποιῆσαι Θεὸν δυνατὸς οὐδείς, ἀσεβέστατος δὲ ὁ βλασφημῶν· δυνατὸς γὰρ ὢν κἂν ἐποίησεν.
(86a) κρηπὶς εὐσεβείας ἐγκράτεια.
(86b) τέλος εὐσεβείας φιλία πρὸς Θεόν.
(87) χρῶ τῷ εὐσεβεῖ ὡς σαυτῷ.
(88) εὔχου σοι γενέσθαι μὴ ἃ βούλει, ἀλλ’ ἃ δεῖ καὶ συμφέρει.
<89–92. miscellaneous points>
(89) As you wish your neighbors to treat you, so do you also treat them.
(90) Do not do what you criticize.
(91a) Nobody shall persuade you to do something other than the best.
(91b) If someone takes things that were given to you from you, do not be vexed.
(92) What God gives, no one can take away.
(89) ὡς θέλεις χρήσασθαί σοι τοὺς πέλας, καὶ σὺ χρῶ αὐτοῖς.
(90) ἃ ψέγεις, μηδὲ ποίει.
(91a) μηδείς σε πειθέτω ποιεῖν τι παρὰ τὸ βέλτιον.
(91b) ἃ δέδοταί σοι, κἂν ἀφέληταί σού τις, μὴ ἀγανάκτει.
(92) ἃ δίδωσιν ὁ Θεός, οὐδεὶς ἀφαιρεῖται.
<93–97. action guided by thoughts of god>
(93) Before you act, examine your what you are doing, so that you do not do what you should not twice.
(94) Do not do what you would not want God to know you are doing.
(95a) Before everything which you do, think on God.
(95b) Let your light guide your actions.
(96) The greatest impiety against God is the mistreatment of a human being.
(97) A soul is illuminated by thinking of God.
(93) σκέπτου πρὸ τοῦ πράττειν καὶ ἃ πράττεις ἐξέταζε, ἵνα μηδὲν ποιῇς ὃ μὴ δεῖ.
(94) ὃ πράττων οὐκ ἂν θέλοις εἰδέναι τὸν Θεόν, τοῦτο μὴ πράξῃς.
(95a) πρὸ παντὸς οὗ πράττεις νόει τὸν Θεόν.
(95b) φῶς σου τῶν πράξεων προηγείσθω.
(96) μεγίστη ἀσέβεια εἰς Θεὸν ἀνθρώπου κάκωσις.
(97) ψυχὴ φωτίζεται ἐννοίᾳ Θεοῦ.
<98–103. appropriate acts>
(98) Practice self-sufficiency.
(99) Do not yearn for inappropriate things.
(100) Search out the causes of good deeds.
(101) Do not love the things of the body.
(102) A shameful act makes a person impure.
(103) The refutation of an ignorant opinion purifies the soul.
(98) αὐτάρκειαν ἄσκει.
(99) τῶν ἀτόπων μὴ ὀρέγου.
(100) τῶν καλῶν ἐκπόνει τὰ αἴτια.
(101) τὰ τοῦ σώματος μὴ ἀγάπα.
(102) ἀκάθαρτον ἄνθρωπον ποιεῖ πρᾶξις αἰσχρά.
(103) καθαίρει ψυχὴν ἀνοήτου δόξης ἔλεγχος.
<104–107. some ideals>
(104) God is the guide to people’s good deeds.
(105) Regard no one as your enemy.
(106a) Love what is akin.
(106b) Love God, even before your own soul.
(107) It is not difficult for sinners to come together while they are not sinning.¹
1: Wilson suggests the point is that even sinners can act morally within limits, perhaps as a reassurance to the faithful person attempting to live sinlessly.
(104) ὁ Θεὸς ἀνθρώπων καλῶν πράξεων ἡγεμών ἐστιν.
(105) μηδένα ἐχθρὸν ἡγοῦ.
(106a) ἀγάπα τὸ ὁμόφυλον.
(106b) ἀγάπα τὸν Θεὸν καὶ πρὸ τῆς ψυχῆς σου.
(107) οὐ χαλεπὸν ἁμαρτωλοὺς ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ γενέσθαι μὴ ἁμαρτάνοντας.
<108a–111. food and drink>
(108a) Too much food impedes holiness.
(108b) Overindulgence in food makes impure.
(109) The consumption of all animate beings is indifferent, but abstinence is more rational.¹
(110) It is not food and drink coming in through the mouth that defile a person, but things coming forth from an evil character.
(111) Any food you eat defiles you if you are bested by pleasure.
1: Vegetarianism was a debated topic in early Christianity (and pagan philosophy).
(108a) τροφαὶ πολλαὶ ἁγνείαν ἐμποδίζουσιν.
(108b) ἀκρασία σιτίων ἀκάθαρτον ποιεῖ.
(109) ἐμψύχων ἁπάντων χρῆσις μὲν ἀδιάφορον, ἀποχὴ δὲ λογικώτερον.
(110) οὐ τὰ εἰσιόντα διὰ τοῦ στόματος σιτία καὶ ποτὰ μιαίνει τὸν ἄνθρωπον, ἀλλὰ τὰ ἀπὸ κακοῦ ἤθους ἐξιόντα.
(111) ὃ ἂν ‹ἡδονῇ› ἡττώμενος σιτίον προσφέρῃ μιαίνει σε.
<112–121b. moral standards>
(112) Do not strive to please the masses.
(113) Regard God as the cause of every good deed you do.
(114) God is not the cause of evils.
(115) Do not acquire more than your body requires.
(116) Gold cannot rescue the soul from evils.
(117) You were not born to abuse the provisions of God.¹
(118) Acquire that which nobody can take from you.
(119) Bear necessities as necessities.²
(120) Practice highmindedness.
(121a) Do not involve yourself with things your would rightly be praised for despising.
(121b) Acquire those things which you rightly think highly of.
1: I.e., use what God has provided for utility, not to excess.
2: Fulfil your needs, but do not seek enjoyment from them.
(112) πλήθει ἀρέσκειν μὴ ἐπιτήδευε.
(113) παντὸς οὗ καλῶς πράττεις αἴτιον ἡγοῦ τὸν Θεόν.
(114) κακῶν Θεὸς ἀναίτιος.
(115) μὴ πλέον κτῶ ὧν τὸ σῶμα ἐπιζητεῖ.
(116) ψυχὴν χρυσὸς οὐ ῥύεται κακῶν.
(117) οὐ γέγονας ἐντρυφήσων τῇ τοῦ Θεοῦ παρασκευῇ.
(118) κτῶ ἃ μηδείς σου ἀφαιρεῖται.
(119) φέρε τὰ ἀναγκαῖα ὡς ἀναγκαῖα.
(120) μεγαλοψυχίαν ἄσκει.
(121a) ὧν καταφρονῶν ἐπαινῇ εὐλόγως, τούτων μὴ περιέχου.
(121b) ἐφ’ οἷς εὐλόγως μεγαλοφρονεῖς, ταῦτα κέκτησο.
(122) Pray to God for things that are worthy of God.
(123) Make the reason within you the law of your life.
(124) Ask God for that which you cannot receive from another person.
(125) Pray that, after your efforts, you may receive the things to which efforts lead.
(126) The prayer of the careless is idle speech.
(127) Despise those things which you will not require once you have been freed from the body.
(128) What you will not be able to keep after you acquire, do not pray for from God.
(122) εὔχου τῷ Θεῷ τὰ ἄξια τοῦ Θεοῦ.
(123) τὸν ἐν σοὶ λόγον τοῦ βίου σου νόμον ποίει.
(124) αἰτοῦ παρὰ Θεοῦ ἃ μὴ λάβοις ἂν παρὰ ἀνθρώπου.
(125) ὧν ἡγεμόνες οἱ πόνοι, ταῦτά σοι εὔχου γενέσθαι μετὰ τοὺς πόνους.
(126) εὐχὴ ῥᾳθύμου μάταιος λόγος.
(127) ὧν τοῦ σώματος ἀπαλλαγεὶς οὐ δεήσῃ, καταφρόνει.
(128) ὃ κτησάμενος οὐ καθέξεις, μὴ αἰτοῦ παρὰ Θεοῦ.
<129–135. what is worthy of honor>
(129) Accustom yourself to think highly of yourself next after God.
(130) Honor nothing which an evil man could take from you.
(131) Regard as god only what is in keeping with God.
(132) What is worthy of God is also worthy of a good man.
(133) What does not contribute to happiness for God, does not do so for a human being either.
(134) Want the same things that God would also want.
(135) A son of God is one who honors only wha God also honors.
(129) ἔθιζε τὴν ψυχήν σου μετὰ Θεὸν ἐφ’ ἑαυτῇ μεγαλοφρονεῖν.
(130) μηθὲν ὧν ἀφαιρήσεταί σε κακὸς ἀνὴρ τίμα.
(131) μόνον ἀγαθὸν ἡγοῦ τὸ πρέπον Θεῷ.
(132) τὸ ἄξιον Θεοῦ καὶ ἀνδρὸς ἀγαθοῦ.
(133) ὃ οὐ συμβάλλεται πρὸς εὐδαιμονίαν Θεῷ, οὐδὲ ἀνθρώπῳ.
(134) ταῦτα θέλε ἃ θέλοι ἂν καὶ ὁ Θεός.
(135) υἱὸς Θεοῦ ὁ ταῦτα μόνα τιμῶν ἃ καὶ ὁ Θεός.
<136–148. bodily pleasures and desires>
(136) To the extant that it loves the body, the soul is in ignorance of God.
(137) A desire for property is the beginning of greed.
(138) From self-love, injustice is born.
(139a) The nature of body is to give little trouble to the soul.
(139b) Love of pleasure makes the body unbearable.¹
(140) Everything excessive is hostile to a human being.
(141) If you love what you should not, you will not love what you should.
(142) Good deeds will escape you if you strive for what is not good.
(143) A wise person’s mind is always with God.
(144) God dwells within a wise person’s mind.
(145) A wise person is recognized by few.
(146) Desire is insatiable, and hence impotent.
(147) What is wise is always like itself.
(148) Knowledge of God and becoming like him are sufficient for happiness in themselves.
1: So it is not the body itself, but the soul’s love of bodily pleasure, that is the problem.
(136) ἐφ’ ὅσον ποθεῖ τὸ σῶμα, ἡ ψυχὴ τὸν Θεὸν ἀγνοεῖ.
(137) ὄρεξις κτήσεως ἀρχὴ πλεονεξίας.
(138) ἐκ φιλαυτίας ἀδικία φύεται.
(139a) ὀλίγα πέφυκεν τῇ ψυχῇ τὸ σῶμα ἐνοχλεῖν.
(139b) φιληδονία ποιεῖ σώμα ἀφόρητον.
(140) πᾶν τὸ πλέον ἀνθρώπῳ πολέμιον.
(141) φιλῶν ἃ μὴ δεῖ οὐ φιλήσεις ἃ δεῖ.
(142) σπουδάζοντά σε περὶ τὰ μὴ καλὰ λήσεται τὰ καλά.
(143) σοφοῦ διάνοια ἀεὶ παρὰ Θεῷ.
(144) σοφοῦ διανοίᾳ Θεὸς ἐνοικεῖ.
(145) σοφὸς ὀλίγοις γινώσκεται.
(146) ἀπλήρωτος ἐπιθυμία, διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἄπορος.
(147) τὸ σοφὸν ἀεὶ ἑαυτῷ ὅμοιον.
(148) αὔταρκες πρὸς εὐδαιμονίαν Θεοῦ γνῶσις καὶ ὁμοίωμα.
(149) When evil people are flattered, they become more evil.
(150) When evil is praised, it becomes intolerable.
(151) Your tongue shall follow your mind.
(152) It is preferable to cast a stone without purpose than a word.
(153) Consider closely before you speak, so that you do not say what you should not.
(154) Words without sense are mere noise.
(155) Loquaciousness does not escape sin.
(156) Wisdom attends laconicism.
(157) Garrulity is a sign of ignorance.
(158) Love the truth.
(159) Treat falsehood like a poison.
(160) Let circumstance guide your words.
(161) Speak when it is not your duty to be silent.
(162a) Be silent about what you do not know.
(162b) Speak about what you do know when you ought to.
(163a) Speech contrary to the ocasion is proof of an evil mind.
(163b) When it is necessary to act, do not use words.
(164a) Do not strive to speak first in a meeting.
(164b) It is the same knowledge to speak and to be silent.
(165a) It is better to be defeated by speaking the truth than to triumph through fraud.
(165b) The one who triumphs through fraud is defeated in morality.
(165c) Lying words are witnesses of evils.
(165d) It is an extreme circumstance in which a lie would be acceptable.
(165e) When you would sin if you spoke the truth, then perforce you would not sin if you said a lie.
(165f) Do not deceive anyone, especially someone who needs advice.
(165g) If you speak with many others, you will better understand what is befitting.
(149) κακοὶ κολακευόμενοι κακίους γίνονται.
(150) ἀφόρητον γίνεται κακία ἐπαινουμένη.
(151) ἡ γλῶσσά σου τῷ νοΐ σου ἑπέσθω.
(152) αἱρετώτερον λίθον εἰκῇ βάλλειν ἢ λόγον.
(153) σκέπτου πρὸ τοῦ λέγειν ἵνα μὴ λέγῃς ἃ μὴ δεῖ.
(154) ῥήματα ἄνευ νοῦ ψόφος.
(155) πολυλογία οὐκ ἐκφεύγει ἁμαρτίαν.
(156) βραχυλογίᾳ σοφία παρακολουθεῖ.
(157) μακρολογία σημεῖον ἀμαθίας.
(158) τὸ ἀληθὲς ἀγάπα.
(159) τῷ ψεύδει χρῶ ὡς φαρμάκῳ.
(160) καιρὸς τῶν λόγων σου προηγείσθω.
(161) λέγε ὅτε σιγᾶν οὐ καθήκει.
(162a) περὶ ὧν οὐκ οἶδας σιώπα.
(162b) περὶ ὧν οἶδας, ὅτε δεῖ λέγε.
(163a) λόγος παρὰ καιρὸν διανοίας ἔλεγχος κακῆς.
(163b) ὁπότε δεῖ πράττειν, λόγῳ μὴ χρῶ.
(164a) ἐν συλλόγῳ πρῶτος λέγειν μὴ ἐπιτήδευε.
(164b) ἡ αὐτὴ ἐπιστήμη ἐστὶ τοῦ λέγειν καὶ τοῦ σιωπᾶν.
(165a) ἄμεινον ἡττᾶσθαι τἀληθῆ λέγοντα τοῦ περιγενέσθαι μετὰ ἀπάτης.
(165b) ὁ νικῶν τῷ ἀπατᾶν νικᾶται ἐν ἤθει.
(165c) μάρτυρες κακῶν γίνονται λόγοι ψευδεῖς.
(165d) μεγάλη περίστασις ᾗ πρέπει ψεῦδος.
(165e) ὁπότε ἁμαρτάνων εἶ τἀληθῆ λέγων, ἀναγκαίως τότε ψευδῆ λέγων οὐχ ἁμαρτήσεις.
(165f) μηδένα ἀπάτα, μάλιστα τὸν συμβουλίας δεόμενον.
(165g) μετὰ πλειόνων λέγων μᾶλλον ὄψει τὰ συμφέροντα.
(166) Faith is a guide to all good deeds.
(167) Wisdom leads the soul on the path to God.
(168) Nothing is more closely related to wisdom than truth.
(169) It is not possible for the same nature to be both faithful and fond of lies.
(170) Faith does not have a part in a cowardly and illiberal nature.
(171a) If you are faithful, do not prefer to say what you should hear.
(171b) If you are among the faithful, listen rather than speak.
(172) A man who loves pleasure is useless in every matter.
(173) If you are not responsible,¹ do not speak about God.
(174) The sins of the ignorant are a disgrace for those who have taught them.
(175) Those on whose account the name of God is despised are dead before God.
(176) A wise man is a benefactor next after God.
(177) Your conduct in life shall strengthen your words on the part of your hearers.
1: This could mean ‘irresponsible’, but just possibly also ‘innocent’ (in which the meaning, I think, is not to swear an oath).
(166) πίστις ἁπασῶν καλῶν πράξεων ἡγεμών ἐστιν.
(167) σοφία ψυχὴν ὁδηγεῖ πρὸς Θεόν.
(168) οὐδὲν οἰκειότερον σοφίᾳ ἀληθείας.
(169) οὐ δυνατὸν τὴν αὐτὴν φύσιν πιστήν τε εἶναι καὶ φιλοψευδῆ.
(170) δειλῇ καὶ ἀνελευθέρῳ φύσει πίστις οὐκ ἂν μετείη.
(171a) τὸ λέγειν ἃ δεῖ τοῦ ἀκούειν πιστὸς ὢν μὴ προτίμα.
(171b) ἐν πιστοῖς ὢν μᾶλλον ἄκουε ἤπερ λέγε.
(172) φιλήδονος ἀνὴρ ἄχρηστος ἐν παντί.
(173) ἀνεύθυνος ὢν λόγοις μὴ χρῶ περὶ Θεοῦ.
(174) τὰ τῶν ἀγνοούντων ἁμαρτήματα τῶν διδαξάντων αὐτοὺς ὀνείδη.
(175) νεκροὶ παρὰ Θεῷ δι’ οὓς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Θεοῦ λοιδορεῖται.
(176) σοφὸς ἀνὴρ εὐεργέτης μετὰ Θεόν.
(177) τοὺς λόγους σου ὁ βίος βεβαιούτω παρὰ τοῖς ἀκούουσιν.
<178–187. moral decisions>
(178) Do not even consider doing what you should not.
(179) What you do not want done to you, do not do yourself.
(180) What is shameful to do is also shameful to order another to do.
(181) Be pure of sins, even up to your mind.
(182) When ruling over people, be mindful that you are ruled by God.
(183) The one who judges another person is judged by God.
(184) The danger of being a judge is greater than that of being judged.¹
(185) Harm another person in anything rather than their reason.
(186) It is possible to deceive another human being through reason, but to deceive God is impossible.
(187) It is not difficult to have knowledge and yet be defeated in discourse.
1: In the sense that giving a morally false decision weighs heavy both in this world and the next.
(178) ὃ μὴ δεῖ ποιεῖν, μηδ’ ὑπονοοῦ ποιεῖν.
(179) ἃ μὴ θέλεις παθεῖν, μηδὲ ποίει.
(180) ἃ ποιεῖν αἰσχρόν, καὶ προστάττειν ἑτέρῳ αἰσχρόν.
(181) μέχρι καὶ τοῦ νοῦ καθάρευε τῶν ἁμαρτημάτων.
(182) ἄρχων ἀνθρώπων μέμνησο ἄρχεσθαι παρὰ Θεοῦ.
(183) ὁ κρίνων ἄνθρωπον κρίνεται ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ.
(184) μείζων ὁ κίνδυνος δικαζομένου δικαστῇ.
(185) ἅπασι μᾶλλον ἢ λόγῳ βλάπτε ἄνθρωπον.
(186) δυνατὸν ἀπατῆσαι λόγῳ ἄνθρωπον, Θεὸν μέντοι ἀδύνατον.
(187) οὐ χαλεπὸν ἐπίστασθαι καὶ ἐν λόγῳ νενικῆσθαι.
<188–203. standing in society>
(188) Desire for good reputation is the greatest cause of a bad reputation in faith.
(189) Honor being faithful by being so.
(190) Revere a wise man as a living image of God.
(191) A wise man shall seem wise to you, even if he were naked.
(192) Do not honor anyone because they have much money.
(193) It is difficult for a rich person to be saved.
(194) It is a sin to criticize the wise man and God alike.
(195) When speaking about God, consider the souls of those who listen as a deposit given to you.
(196) One cannot live a noble life without being truly faithful.
(197) Regard only what is noble as good, and only what is fitting to God as noble.
(198) Do great things without promising great deeds.
(199) You will not become wise by thinking you are before you are.
(200) A serious circumstance shows the faithful man.
(201) Regard it as the purpose of life to live in accord with God.
(202) Regard nothing that is not shameful as evil.
(203) The outcome of satisfaction is indulgence, and that of indulgence is ruin.
(188) κακοδοξίας αἰτιώτατον ἡ ἐν πίστει φιλοδοξία.
(189) τίμα τὸ πιστὸς εἶναι διὰ τοῦ εἶναι.
(190) σέβου σοφὸν ἄνδρα ὡς εἰκόνα Θεοῦ ζῶσαν.
(191) σοφὸς ἀνὴρ καὶ γυμνὸς ὢν δοκείτω σοι σοφὸς εἶναι.
(192) διὰ τὸ πολλὰ ἔχειν χρήματα <μὴ> τιμήσῃς μηδένα.
(193) χαλεπόν ἐστιν πλουτοῦντα σωθῆναι.
(194) ψέγειν ἄνδρα σοφὸν καὶ Θεὸν ἴσον ἁμάρτημα.
(195) λόγον χειρίζων περὶ Θεοῦ παραθήκην σοι δεδόσθαι νόμιζε τὰς ψυχὰς τῶν ἀκουόντων.
(196) οὐκ ἔστιν βιῶναι καλῶς μὴ πεπιστευκότα γνησίως.
(197) μόνον τὸ καλὸν ἀγαθὸν ἡγοῦ καὶ καλὸν μόνον τὸ πρέπον Θεῷ.
(198) ποίει μεγάλα μὴ μεγάλα ὑπισχνούμενος.
(199) οὐ γενήσῃ σοφὸς οἰόμενος εἶναι πρὸ τοῦ εἶναι.
(200) μεγάλη περίστασις πιστὸν ἄνδρα δείκνυσι.
(201) τέλος ἡγοῦ βίου τὸ ζῆν κατὰ Θεόν.
(202) μηδὲν ἡγοῦ κακόν, ὃ μή ἐστιν αἰσχρόν.
(203) κόρου πέρας ὕβρις, ὕβρεως δὲ ὄλεθρος.
(204) Passion¹ will not come over the heart of a faithful person.
(205) Every passion of the of the soul is hostile to reason.
(206) Repent of what you do while you are impassioned.
(207) Passions are the beginnings of diseases.
(208a) Evil² is a sickness of the soul.
(208b) Justice is the death of the soul.
(209) When are free of the passions of the soul, then consider yourself faithful.
1: Emotional affects, in a negative sense, such as desire.
2: Or ‘vice’.
(204) οὐκ ἀναβήσεται πάθος ἐπὶ καρδίαν πιστοῦ.
(205) πᾶν πάθος ψυχῆς λόγῳ πολέμιον.
(206) ὃ ἂν πράξῃς ἐν πάθει ὤν, μετανοήσεις.
(207) πάθη νοσημάτων ἀρχαί.
(208a) κακία νόσος ψυχῆς.
(208b) ἀδικία ψυχῆς θάνατος.
(209) τότε δόκει πιστὸς εἶναι, ὅταν τῶν τῆς ψυχῆς παθῶν ἀπαλλαγῇς.
<210a–214. treatment of others>
(210a) Treat all people like a benefactor of all people alike.¹
(210b) As you wish to be treated by your neighbors, so also do you treat them.
(211) By treating people badly, you will treat yourself badly.
(212) The faithful person will not treat anyone badly.
(213) Pray that you may be able to benefit your enemies.
(214) To the ignoble, a wise man seems useless.
1: A freer but more intelligible rendering may be, “Treat each person as a benefactor of all persons.”
(210a) ἀνθρώποις χρῶ τοῖς ἅπασιν ὡς κοινὸς ἀνθρώπων εὐεργέτης.
(210b) ὡς θέλεις χρήσασθαί σοι τοὺς πέλας, καὶ σὺ χρῶ αὐτοῖς.
(211) ἀνθρώποις κακῶς χρώμενος σεαυτῷ κακῶς χρήσῃ.
(212) οὐδένα κακῶς ποιήσει ὁ πιστός.
(213) εὔχου τοὺς ἐχθροὺς δύνασθαι εὐεργετεῖν.
(214) φαύλοις φαίνεται ἄχρηστος σοφὸς ἀνήρ.
<215–229. life in accord with god>
(215) You will not be able to live nobly without God.
(216) Abide all things for the sake of living in accord with God.
(217) God does not hear the prayer of someone who does not listen to people when they are in need.
(218) For a philosopher, a philosopher is a gift from God.
(219) If you honor a philosopher, you will be honoring yourself.
(220) Know if you are faithful.
(221) When someone calls you son, be mindful whose son they call you.
(222) Call God the Father in what you do, and be mindful of him.¹
(223) Let your faithful words be filled with much piety.
(224) Hold God before your eyes in what you do.
(225) It is terrible for someone who admits that God is their Father to do something unseeming.
(226) Someone who does not love a wise person, also does not love themselves.
(227) By the philosopher, nothing shall be regarded as their own possession.
(228) It is not pious for those who have God in common, and moreover as their Father, to not also have their possessions in common.
(229) One who has little regard for a philosopher is ungrateful to God.
1: Or “of this”, that he is your father. “Call” may also mean “call upon, invoke”.
(215) οὐκ ἄνευ Θεοῦ καλῶς ζήσεις.
(216) ὑπὲρ τοῦ κατὰ Θεὸν ζῆν πάντα ὑπόμενε.
(217) εὐχῆς οὐκ ἀκούει Θεὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπων δεομένων οὐκ ἀκούοντος.
(218) φιλόσοφος φιλοσόφῳ δῶρον παρὰ Θεοῦ.
(219) τιμῶν φιλόσοφον τιμήσεις σεαυτόν.
(220) πιστὸς ὢν ἴσθι.
(221) ὅταν υἱόν σε λέγῃ τις, μέμνησο τίνος σε λέγει υἱόν.
(222) Θεὸν πατέρα καλῶν ἐν οἷς πράττεις τούτου μέμνησο.
(223) τὰ ῥήματά σου [τὰ πιστὰ] πολλῆς εὐσεβείας μεστὰ ἔστω.
(224) ἐν οἷς πράττεις πρὸ ὀφθαλμῶν ἔχε τὸν Θεόν.
(225) δεινόν ἐστιν Θεὸν πατέρα ὁμολογοῦντα πρᾶξαί τι ἄσχημον.
(226) σοφὸν ὁ μὴ φιλῶν, οὐδὲ ἑαυτόν.
(227) μηθὲν ἴδιον κτῆμα νομιζέσθω φιλοσόφῳ.
(228) ὧν κοινὸς ὁ Θεὸς καὶ ταῦτα ὡς πατήρ, τούτων μὴ κοινὰ εἶναι τὰ κτήματα οὐκ εὐσεβές.
(229) ἀχαριστεῖ Θεῷ ὁ μὴ περὶ πολλοῦ ποιούμενος φιλόσοφον.
(230a) It is open to you to refuse marriage in order to live as a companion of God.¹
(230b) Marry and have children knowing that both are difficult; if you would be courageous, like someone who knows that war is difficult, then marry and have children.
(231) Everyone who is lascivious, even with his own wife, is an adulterer.
(232) Do nothing for the sake of bare pleasure.
(233) Know that you are an adulterer if you even just consider committing adultery; and let there be the same accounting for you concerning every sin.
(234) Someone who has called themselves faithful has agreed not to sin against God.
(235) Let temperance be regarded as the adornment² of a faithful woman.
(236) A husband who sends away his wife admits that he cannot control a woman.³
(237) A temperate⁴ wife is the good repute of her husband.
(238) If you respect your spouse, you will have her respect.
(239) The marriage of faithful persons shall be a contest of self-control.
(240) Control your sexuality as you control your belly.
1: Whether one ought to marry was a conventional topic of philosophical debate.
2: I.e., as the equivalent of make-up, jewelry and beautiful clothes. It is noteworthy that kósmos, literally ‘order, orderliness’, has a positive ethical meaning in relation to men, while its primary meaning with women is negative (in the conception of moralists).
3: One of the clearest indications that Sextus’ Christian philosopher, for all their differences from commonplace morality, is still a chauvinist, invested in the maintenance and perpetuation of (some) conventional social hierarchies.
4: This translation is perhaps better than “modest”.
(230a) γάμον γὰρ δίδωσίν σοι παραιτεῖσθαι ἵνα ζήσῃς ὡς πάρεδρος Θεῷ.
(230b) γάμει καὶ παιδοποιοῦ χαλεπὸν εἰδὼς ἑκάτερον· εἰ δὲ καθάπερ εἰδὼς πόλεμον ὅτι χαλεπὸν ἀνδρίζοιο, καὶ γάμει καὶ παιδοποιοῦ.
(231) μοιχὸς τῆς ἑαυτοῦ γυναικὸς πᾶς ὁ ἀκόλαστος.
(232) μηδὲν ἕνεκα ψιλῆς ἡδονῆς ποίει.
(233) ἴσθι μοιχὸς εἶναι κἂν νοήσῃς μοιχεῦσαι· καὶ περὶ παντὸς ἁμαρτήματος ὁ αὐτὸς ἔστω σοι λόγος.
(234) πιστὸν εἰπὼν σεαυτὸν ὡμολόγησας μηδὲ ἁμαρτεῖν Θεῷ.
(235) πιστῇ γυναικὶ κόσμος σωφροσύνη νομιζέσθω.
(236) ἀνὴρ γυναῖκα ἀποπέμπων ὁμολογεῖ μηδὲ γυναικὸς ἄρχειν δύνασθαι.
(237) γυνὴ σώφρων ἀνδρὸς εὔκλεια.
(238) αἰδούμενος γαμετὴν αἰδουμένην ἕξεις.
(239) ὁ τῶν πιστῶν γάμος ἀγὼν ἔστω περὶ ἐγκρατείας.
(240) ὡς ἂν γαστρὸς ἄρξῃς, καὶ ἀφροδισίων ἄρξεις.
<241–253b. wisdom and learning>
(241) Guard against praise from the faithless.
(242) What you receive as gifts from God, that also give as gifts.
(243) You cannot find a mass of faithful, because the good is rare.
(244) Honor the wise person next after God.
(245) When you are chastened so you may become wise, be grateful to those who chasten you.
(246) Someone who cannot tolerate the wise person cannot tolerate the good.
(247) If you wish to be especially faithful, do not sin, but if you do commit a sin, do not commit it twice.
(248) Do not learn a teaching that is not worthy of God.
(249) Let great learning be regarded as a futile endeavor of the soul.
(250) The one who knows the things of God, as is worthy, is a wise man.
(251) Without learning you will not be dear to God; embrace it as a necessity.
(252) A wise man is thrifty with their time.
(253a) Employ frankness with respect.
(253b) Even the sleep of a wise person is self-control.
(241) φυλάττου τὸν παρὰ τῶν ἀπίστων ἔπαινον.
(242) ἃ προῖκα λαμβάνεις παρὰ Θεοῦ, καὶ δίδου προῖκα.
(243) πλῆθος πιστῶν οὐκ ἂν ἐξεύροις· σπάνιον γὰρ τὸ ἀγαθόν
(244) σοφὸν τίμα μετὰ Θεόν.
(245) ἐλεγχόμενος ἵνα γένῃ σοφὸς χάριν ἴσθι τοῖς ἐλέγχουσιν.
(246) ὁ τὸν σοφὸν οὐ δυνάμενος φέρειν τὸ ἀγαθὸν οὐ δύναται φέρειν.
(247) πιστὸς εἶναι θέλων μάλιστα μὲν μὴ ἁμάρτῃς, εἰ δέ τι, μὴ δισσῶς τὸ αὐτό.
(248) ὃ μή ἐστι μάθημα Θεοῦ ἄξιον, μὴ μάθῃς.
(249) πολυμαθία περιεργία ψυχῆς νομιζέσθω.
(250) ὁ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀξίως εἰδὼς σοφὸς ἀνήρ.
(251) χωρὶς μαθήματος οὐκ ἔσῃ θεοφιλής· ἐκείνου περιέχου ὡς ἀναγκαίου.
(252) φείδεται χρόνου σοφὸς ἀνήρ.
(253a) παρρησίαν ἄγε μετὰ αἰδοῦς.
(253b) ἔστιν σοφοῦ καὶ ὕπνος ἐγκράτεια.
(254) Let it rue you more if your children lead an evil life than if they do not live.
(255) For living is not up to us, but leading a good life is up to us.
(256) Children that are not faithful are not your children.
(257) A faithful man bears the loss of his children gracefully.¹
1: Or “gratefully”, but that seems extreme even for Sextus.
(254) ἀνιάτω σε μᾶλλον τέκνα κακῶς ζῶντα τοῦ μὴ ζῆν.
(255) τὸ γὰρ ζῆν μὲν οὐκ ἐφ’ ἡμῖν, καλῶς δὲ ζῆν καὶ ἐφ’ ἡμῖν.
(256) τέκνα μὴ πιστὰ οὐ τέκνα.
(257) πιστὸς ἀνὴρ εὐχαρίστως φέρει τέκνων ἀποβολήν.
<258–264b. moral attitudes>
(258) Do not judge someone in whom you do not have faith as a philosopher.
(259) Do not tolerate slanderous accusations against a philosopher.
(260) Strive to be a benefactor to all people alike.
(261) Regard it as contemptible to punish anyone, even justly.
(262) If you wish to live contentedly, do not do much; for by engaging in many things, you will engage in evil.
(263) Do not take up what you did not lay down, for you will not be conducting yourself in a self-sufficient manner.
(264a) Let go of your acquisitions and follow right reason.
(264b) You will be free of all if you are a slave to God.
(258) μὴ κρίνῃς φιλόσοφον ᾧ μὴ πάντα πιστεύεις.
(259) διαβολὰς κατὰ φιλοσόφου μὴ παραδέχου.
(260) ἐπιτήδευε κοινὸς ἀνθρώποις εὐεργέτης εἶναι.
(261) ἀπευκτὸν ἡγοῦ καὶ τὸ δικαίως τινὰ κολάζειν.
(262) μετ’ εὐθυμίας εἰ θέλεις ζῆν, μὴ πολλὰ πρᾶττε· πολυπραγμονῶν γὰρ κακοπραγμονῶν ἔσῃ.
(263) ὃ μὴ κατέθου, μηδ’ ἀνέλῃς, οὐ γὰρ κατὰ τὸν αὐτάρκη πολιτεύῃ.
(264a) ἀφεὶς ἃ κέκτησαι ἀκολούθει τῷ ὀρθῷ λόγῳ.
(264b) ἐλεύθερος ἔσῃ ἀπὸ πάντων δουλεύων Θεῷ.
(265) Stop eating while you still want to.
(266) Share your food with everyone.
(267) It is noble even to fast in order to feed a poor man.
(268) Any drink shall be sweet for you.¹
(269) Guard yourself from drunkenness like a madness.
(270) A person bested by the belly is like a beast.
1: Make no preference.
(265) ἀπαλλάττου τροφῆς ἔτι θέλων.
(266) τροφῆς παντὶ κοινώνει.
(267) ὑπὲρ τοῦ πτωχὸν τραφῆναι καὶ νηστεῦσαι καλόν.
(268) ποτόν σοι πᾶν ἡδὺ ἔστω.
(269) μέθην δὲ ὁμοίως μανίᾳ φυλάττου.
(270) ἄνθρωπος γαστρὸς ἡττώμενος ὅμοιος θηρίῳ.
<271–277. philosophical approach to externals>
(271) Nothing good arises from the flesh.
(272) The pleasure of shameful desire quickly leaves, but the disgrace remains.
(273) You may see people cut off and throw away parts of their body to keep the rest in good health; how much better to do so for the sake of temperance.
(274a) Regard the control of the body as a great attainment.
(274b) For the acquisition of property does not end the desire for property.
(275) Nothing which can be deprived of freedom is philosophical.¹
(276) Regard necessary pleasures as necessary.²
(277) All people pray to have good things, but those who genuinely share in the word³ of God attain them.
1: Wilson translates, “There is nothing that deprives a philosopher of his freedom”, taking liberties with the grammar. I take the meaning to be that nothing that can be lost, i.e., nothing that belongs to the world rather than God, is of philosophical value.
2: Cf. maxim 119.
3: Or ‘reason’, lógos.
(271) οὐδὲν φύεται ἐκ σαρκὸς ἀγαθόν.
(272) αἰσχρᾶς ἡδονῆς τὸ μὲν ἡδὺ ταχέως ἄπεισιν, τὸ δὲ ὄνειδος παραμένει.
(273) ἀνθρώπους ἴδοις ἂν ὑπὲρ τοῦ τὸ λοιπὸν τοῦ σώματος ἔχειν ἐρρωμένον ἀποκόπτοντας ἑαυτῶν καὶ ῥίπτοντας μέλη· πόσῳ βέλτιον ὑπὲρ τοῦ σωφρονεῖν;
(274a) μεγάλην νόμιζε παιδείαν τὸ ἄρχειν σώματος·
(274b) οὐ γὰρ παύσει ἐπιθυμίαν κτημάτων ἡ χρημάτων κτῆσις.
(275) φιλόσοφον οὐδέν ἐστιν ὃ τῆς ἐλευθερίας ἀφαιρεῖται.
(276) ἡδονὰς ἡγοῦ τὰς ἀναγκαίας ὡς ἀναγκαίας.
(277) τὰ ἀγαθὰ μὲν ἔχειν πάντες εὔχονται, κτῶνται δὲ οἱ γνησίως τοῦ θείου λόγου μετέχοντες.
(278) If you are a philosopher, be serious rather than flippant.
(279) Let your jokes be rare and appropriate to the moment.
(280a) Excessive laughter is a sign of carelessness.
(280b) Do not allow yourself more amusement than a smile.
(281) Be serious more often than you amuse yourself.
(282) Your life shall be a struggle for seriousness.
(278) φιλόσοφος ὢν σεμνὸς ἔσο μᾶλλον ἢ φιλοσκώπτης.
(279) σπάνιόν σου ἔστω σκῶμμα καὶ τὸ εὔκαιρον.
(280a) ἄμετρος γέλως σημεῖον ἀπροσεξίας.
(280b) σεαυτῷ διαχεῖσθαι πέρα τοῦ μειδιᾶν μὴ ἐπιτρέψῃς.
(281) σπουδῇ πλείονι ἢ διαχύσει χρῶ.
(282) ἀγὼν ὁ βίος ἔστω σοι περὶ τοῦ σεμνοῦ.
(283) It is best not to sin, but better to know you are sinning than not to know.
(284) A braggart is not a philosopher.¹
(285) Consider that wisdom great through which you can tolerate the ignorance of the unwise.
(286) Regard it as shameful to have a reason to be praised on account of your speech.
(287) The souls of the wise never have their fill of piety.
(288) Whatever you do, do it beginning from God.²
(289) Think on God more often than you breathe.
(290) What you must learn to do, do not undertake without learning.
(291) Do not love the flesh.
(292) Love the good soul next after God.
1: Or, “A philosopher is not a braggart”, as Wilson translates, but that seems like the less interesting construal.
2: That is, pray to God at the outset.
(283) ἄριστον μὲν τὸ μὴ ἁμαρτεῖν, ἁμαρτάνοντα δὲ γινώσκειν ἄμεινον ἢ ἀγνοεῖν.
(284) ἀλαζὼν φιλόσοφος οὐκ ἔστιν.
(285) μεγάλην σοφίαν νόμιζε δι’ ἧς δυνήσῃ φέρειν ἀγνοούντων ἀπαιδευσίαν.
(286) αἰσχρὸν ἡγοῦ λόγον ἔχων διὰ στόμα ἐπαινεῖσθαι.
(287) σοφῶν ψυχαὶ ἀκόρεστοι θεοσεβείας.
(288) ἀρχόμενος ἀπὸ Θεοῦ πρᾶττε ὃ ἂν πράττῃς.
(289) συνεχέστερον νόει τὸν Θεὸν ἢ ἀνάπνει.
(290) ἃ μαθόντα δεῖ ποιεῖν, ἄνευ τοῦ μαθεῖν μὴ ἐπιχείρει.
(291) σαρκὸς μὴ ἔρα.
(292) ψυχῆς ἀγαθῆς ἔρα μετὰ Θεόν.
<293–302. reputation and social life>
(293) It is philosophical to be able to tolerate the anger of those close to them.
(294) The wealth of a faithful person is self-control.
(295) Anything which you will no longer have after you share it with others, do not judge to be good.
(296) Nothing that cannot be shared is good.
(297a) Do not hold one sin to be less than another.
(297b) Regard every sin as impiety.
(298) In the same way that you wish to be honored for your right actions, so also tolerate being criticized for your sins.
(299) Ignore the criticisms of those whose praises you disregard.
(300) To accumulate treasure is contrary to a love of humanity, and even to receive it is unphilosophical.
(301) If you will make as much of an effort for the soul as you to for the body, you will be wise.
(302) Nothing that is harmful is wise.
(293) οἰκείων ὀργὰς δύνασθαι φέρειν κατὰ φιλόσοφον.
(294) πιστοῦ πλοῦτος ἐγκράτεια.
(295) ὅπερ μεταδιδοὺς ἄλλοις αὐτὸς οὐχ ἕξεις, μὴ κρίνῃς ἀγαθὸν εἶναι.
(296) οὐδὲν ἀκοινώνητον ἀγαθόν.
(297b) μὴ νόμιζε μικρότερον ἁμάρτημα ἄλλο ἄλλου.
(297b) [πᾶν ἁμάρτημα ἀσέβημα ἡγοῦ.]
(298) ὡς ἐπὶ τοῖς κατορθώμασιν τιμᾶσθαι θέλεις, καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς ἁμαρτήμασιν ψεγόμενος ἀνέχου.
(299) ὧν τῶν ἐπαίνων καταφρονεῖς, καὶ τῶν ψόγων ὑπερόρα.
(300) θησαυρὸν κατατίθεσθαι μὲν οὐ φιλάνθρωπον, ἀναιρεῖσθαι δὲ οὐ κατὰ φιλόσοφον.
(301) ὅσα πονεῖς διὰ τὸ σῶμα, καὶ διὰ τὴν ψυχὴν πονέσας σοφὸς ἂν εἴης.
(302) σοφὸν οὐδέν ἐστιν ὃ βλάπτει.
<303–311. the wise person and god>
(303) Call on God as witness to what you do.
(304) God steadies the good deads of people.
(305) The guide to evil deeds is an evil demon.
(306) You can no more compel a wise person to do what they do not want than God.
(307) A wise man introduces God to the people.
(308) God looks on the wise person as the greatest of his own works.
(309) After God, nothing is as free as a wise man.
(310) All that belongs to God, also belongs to the wise person.
(311) A wise man has a share in the kingdom of God.
(303) ὧν ἂν πράττῃς Θεὸν ἐπικαλοῦ μάρτυρα.
(304) ὁ Θεὸς ἀνθρώπων βεβαιοῖ καλὰς πράξεις.
(305) κακῶν πράξεων κακὸς δαίμων ἡγεμών ἐστιν.
(306) οὐκ ἀναγκάσεις σοφὸν πρᾶξαι ὃ μὴ βούλεται μᾶλλον ἤπερ Θεόν.
(307) σοφὸς ἀνὴρ Θεὸν ἀνθρώποις συνιστᾷ.
(308) ὁ Θεὸς τῶν ἰδίων ἔργων μέγιστον φρονεῖ ἐπὶ σοφῷ.
(309) οὐδὲν οὕτως ἐλεύθερον μετὰ Θεὸν ὡς σοφὸς ἀνήρ.
(310) ὅσα Θεοῦ κτήματα, καὶ σοφοῦ.
(311) κοινωνεῖ βασιλείας Θεοῦ σοφὸς ἀνήρ.
<312–319. good of the soul>
(312) An evil man does not want the providence of God.
(313) An evil soul flees God.
(314) Everything immoral is hostile to God.
(315) Regard the prudent part within you as the human being.
(316) Where your prudence is, there is the good.
(317) Do not seek for good in the flesh.
(318) What does not harm the soul does not harm the human being.
(319) Honor a philosophical person, as a servant of God, next after God.
(312) κακὸς ἀνὴρ πρόνοιαν Θεοῦ εἶναι οὐ θέλει.
(313) ψυχὴ κακὴ Θεὸν φεύγει.
(314) πᾶν τὸ φαῦλον Θεῷ πολέμιον.
(315) τὸ ἐν σοὶ φρονοῦν τοῦτο νόμιζε εἶναι ἄνθρωπον.
(316) ὅπου σου τὸ φρονοῦν, ἐκεῖ σου τὸ ἀγαθόν.
(317) ἀγαθὸν ἐν σαρκὶ μὴ ἐπιζήτει.
(318) ὃ μὴ βλάπτει ψυχήν, οὐδὲ ἄνθρωπον.
(319) φιλόσοφον ἄνθρωπον ὡς ὑπηρέτην Θεοῦ τίμα μετὰ Θεόν.
<320–324. relationship to death>
(320) The be oppressed by the tent of the soul is insolent, and to lay it off easily when one must is blessed.
(321) Do not contribute to your own death, but do not be vexed at the one who deprives you of your body.
(322) The one who deprives a wise person of their body does them a kindness by their own vice, for they free them of their bonds.
(323) Fear of death grieves a person because through ignorance of the soul.
(324) It would have been best for there to be no man-slaying iron,¹ but since there is, hold the opinion that you should not have one.
1: A roundabout way of saying ‘sword’ or ‘weapon’.
(320) τὸ σκήνωμα τῆς ψυχῆς σου βαρύνεσθαι μὲν ὑπερήφανον, ἀποθέσθαι δὲ πραέως ὁπότε χρὴ δύνασθαι μακάριον.
(321) θανάτου μὲν σαυτῷ παραίτιος μὴ γένῃ, τῷ δὲ ἀφαιρουμένῳ σε τοῦ σώματος μὴ ἀγανάκτει.
(322) σοφὸν ὁ τοῦ σώματος ἀφαιρούμενος τῇ ἑαυτοῦ κακίᾳ εὐεργετεῖ, λύεται γὰρ ὡς ἐκ δεσμῶν.
(323) ἄνθρωπον θανάτου φόβος λυπεῖ ἀπειρίᾳ ψυχῆς.
(324) σίδηρον ἀνδροφόνον ἄριστον μὲν ἦν μὴ γενέσθαι, γενόμενον δὲ σοὶ μὴ νόμιζε εἶναι.
<325–338. advice on behavior>
(325) No pretension remains hidden for a long time, especially in faith.
(326a) As your character¹ is, so will your conduct in life be.
(326b) A pious character makes a blessed life.
(327) The one who wishes evil on another comes to suffer evil themselves.
(328) Do not let an ungrateful person stop you from doing good.
(329) Do not judge anything which you readily give to those in need more highly than the one who receives it from you does.
(330) You will make the best use of your property by freely giving it to those in need.
(331) Persuade a brother who acts imprudently not to be imprudent, and if he remains incorrigible, protect him.
(332) Strive to outdo all people in considerateness.
(333) You will not have intelligence before you first understand that you do not have it.
(334) Practice self-sufficiency.
(335) The organs of the body are a burden to those who do not use them.²
(336) To help others is greater than to be helped by them.
(337) Let the body not weigh down the one whom God does not release from it.
(338) Regard it as grievous not only to hold an opinion that must not be shared, but even to hear it.
1: Not an unchangeable attribute, but simply your moral habit.
2: An exhortation not to be inactive, if I understand correctly.
(325) οὐδεμία προσποίησις ἐπὶ πολὺν χρόνον λανθάνει, μάλιστα δὲ ἐν πίστει.
(326a) οἷον ἂν ᾖ σου τὸ ἦθος, τοιοῦτος ἔσται σου καὶ ὁ βίος.
(326b) ἦθος θεοσεβὲς ποιεῖ βίον μακάριον.
(327) ὁ βουλευόμενος κατ’ ἄλλου κακῶς, φθάνει κακῶς πάσχων.
(328) μή σε παύσῃ τοῦ εὐεργετεῖν ἀχάριστος ἄνθρωπος.
(329) μηθὲν ὧν παραχρῆμα αἰτούμενος δῷς, πλείονος ἄξιον κρίνῃς τοῦ λαμβάνοντος.
(330) κάλλιστα οὐσίᾳ χρήσῃ τοῖς δεομένοις προθύμως μεταδιδούς.
(331) ἀδελφὸν ἀγνωμονοῦντα πεῖθε μὴ ἀγνωμονεῖν καὶ ἀνιάτως ἔχοντα συντήρει.
(332) εὐγνωμοσύνῃ πάντας ἀνθρώπους νικᾶν ἀγωνίζου.
(333) νοῦν οὐ πρότερον ἕξεις πρὶν ἢ γνῷς οὐκ ἔχων.
(334) αὐτάρκειαν ἄσκει.
(335) τὰ μέλη τοῦ σώματος τοῖς οὐ χρωμένοις φορτία.
(336) ὑπηρετεῖν κρεῖττον ἑτέροις ἢ πρὸς ἄλλων ὑπηρετεῖσθαι.
(337) ὃν οὐκ ἀπαλλάττει ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ σώματος μὴ βαρυνέσθω.
(338) δόγμα ἀκοινώνητον οὐ μόνον ἔχειν ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀκούειν χαλεπὸν ἡγοῦ.
(339) The one who gives anything with reproach is insolent.¹
(340) If someone cares for orphans, he will be a father to many children and loved by God.
(341) Someone you assist for the sake of glory, you are assisting for pay.²
(342) If you give something so that it will be known, you gave it not for the person, but for your own pleasure.
(343) Do not incite the anger of the masses.
(344) Now learn what someone who would be happy must do.
(345) It is better to die of starvation than to weaken the soul by not controlling the belly.
(346) Hold your body to be a towel for your soul; so, keep it clean.³
(347) Whatever a soul may strive for while inhabiting the body, those things it will also have as witnesses when it goes away to Judgement.
(348) To an impure soul, impure demons lay claim.
(349) A faithful and good soul, evil demons do not impede on its path to God.
1: Do not grumble at people who you decided to give something.
2: Even if it is not literally for money, one may still be doing one’s service for gain.
3: Polluting the body (so to speak) means only to wipe stains of the souls onto it; it is better to have a pure soul.
(339) ὁ διδοὺς ὁτιοῦν μετ’ ὀνείδους ὑβρίζει.
(340) κηδόμενος ὀρφανῶν πατὴρ ἔσῃ πλειόνων τέκνων θεοφιλής.
(341) ᾧ ἂν ὑπουργήσῃς ἕνεκα δόξης, μισθοῦ ὑπούργησας.
(342) ἐάν τι δῷς ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ γνωσθῆναι, οὐκ ἀνθρώπῳ δέδωκας, ἰδίᾳ δὲ ἡδονῇ.
(343) ὀργὴν πλήθους μὴ παρόξυνε.
(344) μάθε τοίνυν τί δεῖ ποιεῖν τὸν εὐδαιμονήσοντα.
(345) κρεῖττον ἀποθανεῖν λιμῷ ἢ διὰ γαστρὸς ἀκρασίαν ψυχὴν ἀμαυρῶσαι.
(346) ἐκμαγεῖον τὸ σῶμά σου νόμιζε τῆς ψυχῆς· καθαρὸν οὖν τήρει.
(347) ὁποῖα δ’ ἂν ἐπιτηδεύσῃ ψυχὴ ἐνοικοῦσα τῷ σώματι, τοιαῦτα μαρτύρια ἔχουσα ἄπεισιν ἐπὶ τὴν κρίσιν.
(348) ἀκαθάρτου ψυχῆς ἀκάθαρτοι δαίμονες ἀντιποιοῦνται.
(349) πιστὴν ψυχὴν καὶ ἀγαθὴν ἐν ὁδῷ Θεοῦ κακοὶ δαίμονες οὐκ ἐμποδίζουσιν.
<350–368. speaking¹ about god>
(350) Do not share the word about God with just everyone.
(351) It is not safe for those seduced by fame to hear about God.
(352) It is no small risk to speak about God, even if it is the truth.
(353) Say nothing about God if you have not learned it from God.
(354) Say nothing about God to a godless person.
(355) Honor the true word about God as God.²
(356) If you not purify yourself of unholy works, do not speak a word about God.
(357) A true word about God is the word of God.
(358) First be persuaded that you are loved by God before you speak about God to those whom you would persuade.
(359) Let your works loved by God preceed every word about God.
(360) Do not strive to speak about God to the masses.
(361) Be more sparing in speaking about God than about the soul.
(362) It is preferable to give up a soul than a word about God in vain.
(363a) You will be able to control the body of a man loved by God, but you will not rule his reason.
(363b) Even a lion can control the body of a wise man, and a tyrant too only that.
(364) When a threat is made by a tyrant, then especially be mendful to whom you belong.
(365) If someone speaks a word about God to those for whom it is not licit, let them be regarded as betraying God.
(366) It is better to keep the word about God silent than to discuss it rashly.
(367) The one who speaks falsely about God lies against God.
(368) If a person has nothing true to say about God, they are without God.
1: What I translate as “a word” or “the word” (as well as words like “speak” and “say”) all refers to the lógos, which is ‘speech’ but also ‘account, teaching, doctrine’, that is to say Christianity.
2: On the surface, “like God”, but perhaps the reference is also to the Word, i.e., Christ.
(350) λόγου περὶ Θεοῦ μὴ παντὶ κοινώνει.
(351) οὐκ ἀσφαλὲς ἀκούειν περὶ Θεοῦ τοῖς ὑπὸ δόξης διεφθαρμένοις.
(352) περὶ Θεοῦ καὶ τἀληθῆ λέγειν κίνδυνος οὐ μικρός.
(353) περὶ Θεοῦ μηδὲν εἴπῃς μὴ μαθὼν παρὰ Θεοῦ.
(354) ἀθέῳ δὲ περὶ Θεοῦ μηδὲν εἴπῃς.
(355) περὶ Θεοῦ λόγον ἀληθῆ ὡς Θεὸν τίμα.
(356) μὴ καθαρεύων ἀνοσίων ἔργων μὴ φθέγξῃ περὶ Θεοῦ λόγον.
(357) λόγος ἀληθὴς περὶ Θεοῦ λόγος ἐστὶν Θεοῦ.
(358) πεισθεὶς πρότερον θεοφιλὴς εἶναι πρὸς οὓς ἂν πεισθῇς λέγε περὶ Θεοῦ.
(359) τὰ ἔργα σου θεοφιλῆ προηγείσθω παντὸς λόγου περὶ Θεοῦ.
(360) ἐπὶ πλήθους λέγειν περὶ Θεοῦ μὴ ἐπιτήδευε.
(361) λόγου περὶ Θεοῦ φείδου μᾶλλον ἢ ψυχῆς.
(362) ψυχὴν αἱρετώτερον ἢ λόγον εἰκῆ προέσθαι περὶ Θεοῦ
(363a) θεοφιλοῦς ἀνδρὸς σώματος μὲν ἄρξεις, λόγου δὲ οὐ κυριεύσεις.
(363b) σοφοῦ σώματος καὶ λέων ἄρχει, τούτου δὴ μόνου καὶ τύραννος.
(364) ὑπὸ τυράννου γινομένης ἀπειλῆς τίνος εἶ τότε μάλιστα μέμνησο.
(365) λόγον οἶς οὐ θέμις ὁ λέγων περὶ Θεοῦ προδότης Θεοῦ νομιζέσθω.
(366) λόγον περὶ Θεοῦ σιγᾶν ἄμεινον ἢ προπετῶς διαλέγεσθαι.
(367) ὁ λέγων ψευδῆ περὶ Θεοῦ καταψεύδεται Θεοῦ.
(368) ἄνθρωπος μηδὲν ἔχων λέγειν περὶ Θεοῦ ἀληθὲς ἔρημός ἐστιν Θεοῦ.
<369–376b. god’s prerogatives>
(369) One cannot know God without revering him.
(370) One cannot revere God if one does injustice to a person in any way.
(371) Love of humanity is the foundation of piety to God.
(372) Let the one who prays in forethought for all people be considered to truly belong to God.
(373) It belongs to God to save whom he chooses;
(374) And it is the part of the pious person to pray God to save them.
(375) When something you prayed for is brought about by God, then consider yourself to have authority before God.
(376a) A person worthy of God is a god among human beings.
(376b) God and the Son of God, one is best and the other is nearest to best.
(369) Θεὸν οὐκ ἔστιν γινώσκειν μὴ σεβόμενον.
(370) οὐκ ἔστιν ὅπως ἀδικῶν τις ἄνθρωπον σέβοι τὸν Θεόν.
(371) κρηπὶς θεοσεβείας φιλανθρωπία.
(372) ὁ προνοῶν ἀνθρώπων εὐχόμενός τε ὑπὲρ πάντων οὗτος ἀληθείᾳ Θεοῦ νομιζέσθω.
(373) Θεοῦ μὲν ἴδιον τὸ σώζειν οὓς ἂν προαιρῆται.
(374) εὐσεβοῦς δὲ τὸ εὔχεσθαι Θεῷ σώζειν.
(375) ὁπόταν εὐξαμένῳ σοι γένηται ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ, τότε ἐξουσίαν ἔχειν ἡγοῦ παρὰ Θεῷ.
(376a) ἄξιος ἄνθρωπος Θεοῦ θεὸς ἐν ἀνθρώποις.
(376b) Θεὸς καὶ υἱὸς Θεοῦ τὸ μὲν ἄριστον, τὸ δὲ ἐγγυτάτω τοῦ ἀρίστου.
<377–382. alms and needs>
(377) It is better to have nothing than to have much without sharing.
(378) If you do not give to those in need when you are able, you will receive nothing from God when you are in need.
(379) The gift of someone who shares food with someone in need whole-heartedly, but their intention is great before God.
(380) The one who believes in God but also that nothing has to do with him is no less godless than the one who does not believe at all.
(381) The one who makes their mind alike to God as much as possible honors God best.
(382) God is in need of nothing whatsoever, but he takes joy in those who share with those in need.
(377) ἀκτήμονα κρεῖττον ἢ ἀκοινώνητον εἶναι πολυκτήμονα.
(378) μὴ διδοὺς δεομένοις δυνατὸς ὢν οὐ λήψῃ δεόμενος παρὰ Θεοῦ.
(379) τροφῆς δεομένῳ μεταδιδόντος ἐξ ὅλης ψυχῆς δόμα μέν τι βραχύ, προθυμία δὲ μεγάλη παρὰ Θεῷ.
(380) Θεὸν οὐ νομίζοντος ὁ νομίζων καὶ οὐδὲν εἶναι πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡγούμενος οὐχ ἧττον ἄθεος.
(381) τιμᾷ Θεὸν ἄριστα ὁ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ διάνοιαν ἐξομοιώσας Θεῷ εἰς δύναμιν.
(382) Θεὸς δεῖται μὲν οὐδαμῇ οὐδενός, χαίρει δὲ τοῖς μεταδιδοῦσι τοῖς δεομένοις.
<383–392. how the faithful act>
(383) The words of the faithful are few, but the works are many.
(384) A faithful person strives for the truth with a love of learning.
(385) Attune ourself to your surroundings, so you may be of good cheer.
(386) One who does not act unjustly to anyone will be afraid of no one.
(387) A tyrant cannot take away your happiness.
(388) What you must do, do willingly.
(389a) What you must not do, do in no way.
(389b) Do anything rather than claim you are wise.
(390) Attribute the cause of anything you do well to God.
(391) No one is a wise man who looks downwards to the earth and tables.¹
(392) The philosopher must be free not in name but in their soul.
1: I.e., pleasure in food.
(383) πιστῶν ὀλίγοι μὲν ἔστωσαν οἱ λόγοι, ἔργα δὲ πολλά.
(384) πιστὸς φιλομαθὴς ἐργάτης ἀληθείας.
(385) ἁρμόζου πρὸς τὰς περιστάσεις ἵνα εὐθυμῇς.
(386) μηδένα ἀδικῶν οὐδένα φοβηθήσῃ.
(387) τύραννος εὐδαιμονίαν οὐκ ἀφαιρεῖται.
(388) ὃ δεῖ ποιεῖν, ἑκὼν ποίει.
(389a) ὃ μὴ δεῖ ποιεῖν, μηδενὶ τρόπῳ ποίει.
(389b) πάντα μᾶλλον ἢ τὸ σοφὸς εἶναι ὑπισχνοῦ.
(390) οὗ καλῶς πράττεις τὴν αἰτίαν ἀνάφερε εἰς Θεόν.
(391) οὐδεὶς σοφὸς ἀνὴρ κάτω που βλέπων εἰς γῆν καὶ τραπέζας.
(392) τὸν φιλόσοφον οὐ τὸν χρηματισμὸν ἐλευθεροῦν δεῖ, ἀλλὰ τὴν ψυχήν.
<393–399. virtuous life>
(393) Guard yourself from lying; for it is deception and being deceived.
(394) Know what God is; acquaint yourself with the rational faculty in yourself.
(395) A good person is a noble work of God.
(396) Wretched are those through whom reason is in bad repute.
(397) Not death, but an evil life destroys the soul.
(398) If you have understood what you were created for, you will know yourself.
(399) One cannot live in accord with God except by acting moderately, nobly and justly.
(393) ψεύδεσθαι φυλάττου· ἔστιν γὰρ ἀπατᾶν καὶ ἀπατᾶσθαι.
(394) τίς Θεὸς γνῶθι· μάθε τὸ νοοῦν ἐν σοί.
(395) Θεοῦ καλὸν ἔργον ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος.
(396) ἄθλιοι δι’ οὓς ὁ λόγος ἀκούει κακῶς.
(397) ψυχὴν θάνατος οὐκ ἀπόλλυσιν ἀλλὰ κακὸς βίος.
(398) πρὸς ὃ γέγονας εἰδὼς γνώσῃ σαυτόν.
(399) οὐκ ἔστιν κατὰ Θεὸν ζῆν ἄνευ τοῦ σωφρόνως καὶ καλῶς καὶ δικαίως πράττειν.
<400–410. faith and knowledge of god>
(400) The life of faithless people is a disgrace.
(401) Never carelessly share the word of God with someone of ignoble nature.
(402) Faith leads the soul from the earth up to God.
(403) You will no more discover the greatness of a wise person’s soul than that of God.
(404) What God grants, no one can take away.
(405) What the world offers, it cannot keep safe.
(406) Divine wisdom is the knowledge of God.
(407) Do not dare to speak about God to an impure soul.
(408) Make a test of a man’s deeds before his words.
(409) Do not believe your ears everything.
(410) To have an opinion about God is easy, but to speak truth is the province of the just person alone.
(400) ἀνθρώπων ἀπίστων βίος ὄνειδος.
(401) μήποτε λάθῃς σαυτὸν ἀγενεῖ φύσει μεταδιδοὺς λόγου Θεοῦ.
(402) ψυχὴν ἀπὸ γῆς πίστις ἀνάγει παρὰ Θεόν.
(403) σοφοῦ ψυχῆς μέγεθος οὐκ ἂν ἐξεύροις μᾶλλον ἤπερ καὶ Θεοῦ.
(404) ὅσα δίδωσιν ὁ Θεὸς οὐδεὶς ἀφαιρεῖται.
(405) ὃ παρέχει κόσμος βεβαίως οὐ τηρεῖ.
(406) θεία σοφία ἡ τοῦ Θεοῦ γνῶσις.
(407) ἀκαθάρτῳ ψυχῇ μὴ τόλμα λέγειν περὶ Θεοῦ.
(408) ἀνδρὸς πεῖραν πρότερον ἔργων ἢ λόγων ποίει.
(409) τὰ ὦτά σου μὴ παντὶ πίστευε.
(410) οἴεσθαι μὲν περὶ Θεοῦ εὐμαρές, λέγειν δὲ ἀληθὲς μόνῳ τῷ δικαίῳ συγκεχώρηται.
<411–425. mutual relationship between the wise person and god>
(411) Do not torture your body with the soul, nor torture your soul with the pleasures of the body.
(412) Accustom yourself to offer the body the things of the body moderately, but to offer the soul piously.
(413) Nourish your soul with divine reason, but your body with simple fare.
(414) Accustom your soul to delight in what it is good to delight in.
(415a) The soul that delights in lesser things is without honor before God.
(415b) The soul of a wise person obeys God.
(416) The soul of a wise person is attuned to God by God.
(417) The soul of a wise person always sees God.
(418) The soul of a wise person is always with God.
(419) The heart of one who loves God is placed in the hand of God.
(420) The ascent of the soul towards God is through the word¹ of God.
(421) A wise person attends God, and God attends the soul of the wise person.
(422) What rules delights in what it rules, and so, God delights in the wise person.
(423) What rules is inseparable from what it rules, and so, God provides and cares for the wise person.
(424) A wise man is guarded by God, and on that account, he is blessed.
(425) The soul of a wise person is tested by God through means of the body.
1: Or reason, i.e., divine reason as in 413.
(411) μὴ βασανίσῃς σου τῇ ψυχῇ τὸ σῶμα μηδὲ τὴν ψυχήν σου βασανίσῃς ταῖς τοῦ σώματος ἡδοναῖς.
(412) ἔθιζε σεαυτὸν τῷ μὲν σώματι παρέχειν τὰ τοῦ σώματος σωφρόνως, τῇ δὲ ψυχῇ θεοσεβῶς.
(413) τρέφε σου τὴν μὲν ψυχὴν λόγῳ θείῳ, τὸ δὲ σῶμα σιτίοις λιτοῖς.
(414) χαίρειν ἔθιζέ σου τὴν ψυχὴν ἐφ’ οἷς καλὸν χαίρειν.
(415a) ψυχὴ χαίρουσα ἐπὶ μικροῖς ἄτιμος παρὰ Θεῷ.
(415b) σοφοῦ ψυχὴ ἀκούει Θεοῦ.
(416) σοφοῦ ψυχὴ ἁρμόζεται πρὸς Θεὸν ὑπὸ Θεοῦ.
(417) σοφοῦ ψυχὴ ἀεὶ Θεὸν ὁρᾷ.
(418) ψυχὴ σοφοῦ σύνεστιν ἀεὶ Θεῷ.
(419) καρδία θεοφιλοῦς ἐν χειρὶ Θεοῦ ἵδρυται.
(420) ψυχῆς ἄνοδος πρὸς Θεὸν διὰ λόγου Θεοῦ.
(421) σοφὸς ἕπεται Θεῷ καὶ ὁ Θεὸς ψυχῇ σοφοῦ.
(422) χαίρει τῷ ἀρχομένῳ τὸ ἄρχον, καὶ ὁ Θεὸς οὖν σοφῷ χαίρει.
(423) ἀχώριστόν ἐστιν τοῦ ἀρχομένου τὸ ἄρχον, καὶ Θεὸς οὖν τοῦ σοφοῦ προνοεῖ καὶ κήδεται.
(424) ἐπιτροπεύεται σοφὸς ἀνὴρ ὑπὸ Θεοῦ, διὰ τοῦτο καὶ μακάριος.
(425) ψυχὴ σοφοῦ δοκιμάζεται διὰ σώματος ὑπὸ Θεοῦ.
<426–434. the godly person>
(426) It is not the tongue of the wise person that is honored by God, but their prudence.
(427) A wise man is honoring God even when he is silent.
(428) No one who cannot control their belly or what is below the belly is faithful.
(429) An immoderate person defiles God.
(430) Knowledge of God makes a person laconic.
(431) Ignorance produces many words.
(432) A person who knows God does not boast much.
(433) A chosen person does all things in accord with God, profess to be chosen.
(434) A faithful person is always in fear, until they go to God.
(426) οὐχ ἡ γλῶττα τοῦ σοφοῦ τιμία παρὰ Θεῷ, ἀλλ’ ἡ φρόνησις.
(427) σοφὸς ἀνὴρ καὶ σιγῶν τὸν Θεὸν τιμᾷ.
(428) γαστρὸς καὶ τῶν ὑπὸ γαστέρα [ὁ] μὴ κρατῶν οὐδεὶς πιστός.
(429) ἄνθρωπος ἀκρατὴς μιαίνει τὸν Θεόν.
(430) ἄνθρωπον Θεοῦ γνῶσις βραχύλογον ποιεῖ.
(431) πολλοὺς λόγους περὶ Θεοῦ ἀπειρία ποιεῖ.
(432) Θεὸν ἄνθρωπος εἰδὼς οὐ πολλὰ κομπάζει.
(433) ἐκλεκτὸς ἄνθρωπος ποιεῖ μὲν πάντα κατὰ Θεόν, εἶναι δὲ οὐχ ὑπισχνεῖται.
(434) fidelis homo semper in metu est, usquequo eat ad Deum.*
*survives only in Latin.
(435) A person who gorges themselves on food twice, and never sleeps alone at night, is not avoiding sexual encounters.¹
(436a) Fate does not make someone faithful.
(436b) Fate does not govern the grace of God; for otherwise, it would rule even God.
(437) A faithful man does not easily admit the desires of the body.
(438) A faithful man eats with self-control.
(439) Know the words and creations of God, and honor God accordingly.
(440) Regard nothing that is evil as belonging to God.
1: The point is not clear to me.
(435) ἄνθρωπος δὶς ἐμπιπλώμενος τροφῇ καὶ μηδέποτε μόνος κοιμώμενος νύκτωρ συνουσίας οὐ φεύγει.
(436a) εἱμαρμένη πιστὸν οὐ ποιεῖ.
(436b) εἱμαρμένη Θεοῦ χάριτος οὐκ ἄρχει· εἰ δὲ μή, καὶ Θεοῦ.
(437) graviter accipit libidines corporis vir fidelis.*
(438) πιστὸς ἀνὴρ τρέφεται ἐγκρατείᾳ.
(439) γνῶθι ῥήματα καὶ κτίσματα Θεοῦ καὶ τίμα κατ’ ἀξίαν τὸν Θεόν.
(440) nihil proprium Dei ducas quod malum est.*
*survives only in Latin.
<441–451. relationship to god>
(441) The faithful soul is holy and wise, and a prophet of God’s truth.
(442) You will not love the Lord God if you do not have within you what God wills.
(443) Regard like as friendly¹ to like.
(444) If you do not love God, you will not be with God.
(445) Accustom yourself to always look towards God.
(446) If you look to God you will see yourself.
(447) If you look to Good, you will make what is within you think like God.
(448) Revere what is within you, and do not violate it with the desires of the body.
(449) Preserve your body untained, as a cover of the soul from God, as much as you keep your coat untainted, which is a cover of the flesh.
(450) The mind of a wise person is a mirror of God.
(451) Do not dare to speak about God to an undisciplined soul.
1: Or ‘beloved, dear’.
(441) ψυχὴ πιστὴ ἁγνὴ καὶ σοφὴ καὶ προφῆτις ἀληθείας Θεοῦ.
(442) οὐκ ἀγαπήσεις κύριον τὸν Θεὸν οὐκ ἔχων ἐν ἑαυτῷ οἷον ὁ Θεὸς θέλει.
(443) φίλον ἡγοῦ τὸ ὅμοιον τῷ ὁμοίῳ.
(444) οὐκ ἀγαπῶν τὸν Θεὸν οὐκ ἔσῃ παρὰ Θεῷ.
(445) ἔθιζε σεαυτὸν ἀεὶ ἀφορᾶν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν.
(446) ὁρῶν τὸν Θεὸν ὄψῃ σεαυτόν.
(447) ὁρῶν τὸν Θεὸν ποιήσεις τὸ ἐν σοὶ φρονοῦν ὁποῖον ὁ Θεός.
(448) σέβου τὸ ἐν σοὶ καὶ ταῖς τοῦ σώματος ἐπιθυμίαις μὴ καθυβρίσῃς.
(449) ἀσπίλωτόν σου τὸ σῶμα τήρει ὡς ἔνδυμα τῆς ψυχῆς παρὰ Θεοῦ, ὡς καὶ τὸν χιτῶνά σου τηρεῖς ἀσπίλωτον ἔνδυμα ὄντα τῆς σαρκός.
(450) σοφοῦ διάνοια Θεοῦ ἔνοπτρον.
(451) ἀκολάστῳ ψυχῇ μὴ τόλμα λέγειν περὶ Θεοῦ.
3 Appendix I
<452. fighting about injustice>
(452) If you fight about an injustice you committed, you will commit two injustices.
(452) ἀγωνιζόμενος ὑπὲρ οὗ ἀδίκως ἔπραξας δὶς ἀδικήσεις.
(453) Take care to be mild when you rule, high-minded when you are ruled.
(454) Advise a king of what benefits his domain.
(455) Do not attempt to converse with a king if you are not able to chastise a king.
(456) If you advise a king well, you will rule the king.
(457) Prudence, not a crown, makes the king.
(458) Mind is what rules.
(459) The one who rules humans well is ruled by God.
(460) If you are faithful to a king, you will be a king.
1: This section reflects the role of (pagan) philosophers as advisors to rulers, but also their self-conception as superior to the rulers.
(453) ἄρχων μὲν ἐπιτήδευε πραῢς εἶναι, ἀρχόμενος δὲ μεγαλόφρων.
(454) βασιλεῖ συμβούλευε τὰ συμφέροντα τῇ ἀρχῇ.
(455) βασιλεῖ μὴ ἐπιχείρει συγγίνεσθαι μὴ δυνάμενος δυσωπεῖν βασιλέα.
(456) βασιλεῖ καλῶς χρώμενος ἄρξεις βασιλέως.
(457) βασιλέα φρόνησις οὐ διάδημα ποιεῖ.
(458) νοῦς ἐστι τὸ ἄρχον.
(459) ὁ βασιλεύων ἀνθρώπων καλῶς βασιλεύεται ὑπὸ Θεοῦ.
(460) βασιλεῖ πιστὸς ὢν βασιλεὺς ἔσῃ.
<461–464. the cynic philosopher>¹
(461) The Cynic man’s practice is good, but his life is not eminent.
(462) Do not take on the appearance of a Cynic, but strive for their magnanimity.
(463) A true Cynic is an ungrudging king.
(464) A true Cynic regards the cosmos as their home.
1: Not cynical, but Cynic: a (pagan) philosopher following an ascetic ideal.
(461) Κυνικοῦ ἀνδρὸς ἄσκησις μὲν ἀγαθή, βίος δὲ οὐ προηγούμενος.
(462) Κυνικοῦ μὴ τὸ σχῆμα ἀποδέχου ἀλλὰ τὴν μεγαλοψυχίαν ζήλου.
(463) Κυνικὸς ἀληθὴς βασιλεὺς ἀνεπίφθονος.
(464) Κυνικὸς ἀληθὴς τὸν κόσμον οἶκον ἡγεῖται.
<465–477. virtue and vice>
(465) Whatever life you get, do what is in accordance with it.
(466) Virtue is sufficient for the highest happiness.
(467) Consider only the wise to be wealthy.
(468) An evil act does not contribute to anything whose cause is virtue.
(469) A wise man purifies himself of the things whose cause is vice.
(470) It is noble to do noble deeds, but obstinate to promise them.
(471) What you must do under compulsion, do not do willingly.
(472) What you want to live for, also die for.
(473) Not death, but not being able to die nobly, is an evil.
(474) Regard nothing that is in between virtue and vice as good.
(475) Nothing is evil which is not shameful.
(476) Anger drives away reason.
(477) Someone who is jealous deprives themselves.
(465) ᾧ ἂν ἕλῃ βίῳ πρᾶττε τὰ ἀκόλουθα.
(466) πρὸς τὴν ἄκραν εὐδαιμονίαν αὐτάρκης ἀρετή.
(467) πλούσιον μόνον νόμιζε τὸν σοφόν.
(468) ὧν ἀρετὴ αἰτία, τούτων οὐδενὶ φαῦλον πρόσεστιν.
(469) ὧν κακία αἰτία, τούτων καθαρεύσει σοφὸς ἀνήρ.
(470) τὰ καλὰ ποιεῖν μὲν καλόν, ὑπισχνεῖσθαι δὲ αὔθαδες.
(471) ἃ δεῖ πράττειν ἐν περιστάσει, μὴ πράξῃς προηγουμένως.
(472) ὑπὲρ ὧν θέλεις ζῆν, ὑπὲρ τούτων καὶ ἀπόθανε.
(473) οὐχ ὁ θάνατος κακόν, ἀλλὰ τὸ μὴ δύνασθαι γενναίως ἀποθανεῖν.
(474) μηδὲν τῶν μεταξὺ ἀρετῆς καὶ κακίας ἀγαθὸν ἡγοῦ.
(475) οὐδὲν κακόν, ὃ μὴ αἰσχρόν.
(476) ὀργὴ λογισμὸν ἐκπλήττει.
(477) ὁ φθονῶν ἑαυτὸν ζημιοῖ.
<478–523. community and relationships>
(478) Engage with people as with fellow citizens¹ of God.
(479) Be especially gracious to those who cannot repay you.
(480) No one may be reasonable when the reasoning is to do something shameful.
(481) The best beginning of care for your country is care for yourself.
(482) The one who endeavors to be a good citizen provides a great benefit to their country.
(483) The best ornament in a city is the bravery of its citizens.
(484) A wise man is a benefactor of their country.
(485) A part is not saved without the whole.
(486) The one who takes the greatest care of their parents best honors their parents.
(487) Someone grateful to their parents is a god-loving person.
(488) The one who serves their parents serves God.
(489) No expenditure is more pious than that for your parents.
(490) As you think children should be to you, so be to your parents.
(491) Someone ungrateful to their parents is an impious person.
(492) God does not hear the prayer of someone who does not listen to their parents.
(493) To bear with the anger of your parents is pious.
(494) Of your parents, rather obey your father, but serve your mother.
(495) It is noble to yield to parents when they let out their anger.
(496) Regard love for your siblings as the most needful thing.
(497) Other friendships bear grudges, but sibling gives guidance to sibling even if they do not love them.
(498) It is noble to take an equal share of both life and death with a sibling.
(499) Nothing is more proper to a marriage than temperance.
(500) See your wife as a part of your self.
(501) Have a sense of shame and keep your spouse in mind.
(502) Husband and wife are parts of one complete living being.
(503) Let a husband honor his wife as ruler, a wife her husband as patron.
(504) Let there be no possession of the husband which does not also belong to the wife.
(505) Sins of wives are husbands’ failures of education.
(506) Let a husband rule his wife, but not tyrannize her.
(507) A husband’s lack of self-control destroys a wife.
(508) Only a moderate husband is able to rule his wife.
(509) Those who procreate for the sake of pleasure violate procreation.
(510) Wantonness is a superfluity of surfeit.
(511) Many gifts do not make children better.
(512) You will rule the more wealthy with more difficulty.
(513) A woman who loves ornaments is not faithful.
(514) Let a wife regard her own husband as the law of her life.
(515) Let a husband make his own wife obey him.
(516) Let someone who marries after having children not be of good repute.
(517) When there are enough children, let it also be enough with sex.
(518) Someone who cuts off children who have done no injustice is nothing but a cruel child-killer.
(519) Raise your children as future servants of God.
(520) Pray that you may have no children at all rather than having ones that are evil.
(521) As your wife is, such will your household be.
(522) Since you do not have children for yourself alone, remember that you are creating mortal beings.
(523) If you could not bear the loss of your children, do not have children.
1: Bold text indicates a new subsection, although the divisions are not entirely clean.
(478) ἀνθρώποις χρῶ ὡς κοινωνοῖς καὶ πολίταις Θεοῦ.
(479) μᾶλλον τοῖς μὴ δυναμένοις σε ἀμείβεσθαι χαρίζου.
(480) οὐδεὶς ἂν γένοιτο εὔλογος, ὅπου λογισμὸς τοῦ ποιῆσαι αἰσχρόν.
(481) ἀρχὴ πατρίδος ἐπιμελείας ἀρίστη ἡ ἑαυτοῦ ἐπιμέλεια.
(482) μεγάλως εὐεργετεῖ πατρίδα ὁ σπουδάσας ἀγαθὸς εἶναι πολίτης.
(483) ἀναθημάτων ἄριστον ἐν πόλει πολιτῶν ἀνδραγαθία.
(484) πατρίδος εὐεργέτης ἀνὴρ σοφός.
(485) οὐ σῴζεται μέρος ἄνευ τοῦ ὅλου.
(486) ἄριστα τιμᾷ γονεῖς ὁ μάλιστα γονέων ἐπιμελούμενος.
(487) εὐχάριστος γονεῦσιν ἄνθρωπος θεοφιλής.
(488) θεραπεύει Θεὸν ὁ θεραπεύων γονεῖς.
(489) οὐκ ἔστιν εὐσεβέστερον ἀνάλωμα τοῦ εἰς γονεῖς.
(490) ὁποίους ἂν ἀξιοῖς σοι παῖδας εἶναι, τοιοῦτος ἔσο τοῖς γονεῦσι.
(491) ἀχάριστος γονεῦσιν ἄνθρωπος ἀσεβής.
(492) εὐχῆς οὐκ ἀκούει Θεὸς γονέων οὐκ ἀκούοντος.
(493) γονέων ὀργὰς φέρειν εὐσεβές.
(494) γονέων πείθου μὲν μᾶλλον τῷ πατρί, θεράπευε δὲ τὴν μητέρα.
(495) γονεῦσιν ἀποπιμπλᾶσι τὸν θυμὸν καλὸν ὑπείκειν.
(496) ἀναγκαιότατον τὸ φιλάδελφον ἡγοῦ.
(497) αἱ μὲν ἄλλαι φιλίαι φθονοῦνται, ἀδελφὸς δὲ ἀδελφὸν εὐθύνεται μὴ φιλῶν.
(498) καλὸν ἀδελφῷ καὶ ζωῆς καὶ θανάτου ἰσομοιρεῖν.
(499) οὐδὲν οἰκειότερον σωφροσύνης γάμῳ.
(500) ὅρα τὴν γυναῖκα ὡς μέρος σεαυτοῦ.
(501) αἰδούμενος τὴν γαμετὴν σῴζεις [ἀνήρ].
(502) ἀνὴρ καὶ γυνὴ ἑνὸς ζῴου τελείου μέρη.
(503) τιμάτω μὲν ὁ ἀνὴρ τὴν γυναῖκα ὡς προστάτιν, ἡ γυνὴ δὲ τὸν ἄνδρα ὡς κηδεμόνα.
(504) μηδὲν κτῆμα ἔστω τοῦ ἀνδρός, ὃ μὴ καὶ τῆς γυναικός ἐστιν.
(505) ἁμαρτήματα γυναικῶν ἀνδρῶν ἀπαιδευσίαι.
(506) ἀνὴρ ἀρχέτω γυναικός, ἀλλὰ μὴ τυραννείτω.
(507) ἀνδρὸς ἀκρασία γυναῖκα ἀπόλλυσιν.
(508) γυναικὸς ἄρχειν ἱκανὸς ὁ σώφρων ἀνήρ.
(509) οἱ δι’ ἡδονὴν παιδοποιούμενοι ὑβρίζουσι τὰς παιδοποιΐας.
(510) λαγνεία κόρου περίσσευμα.
(511) προὶξ πολλὴ τέκνα βελτίονα οὐ ποιεῖ.
(512) χαλεπώτερον πλουσιωτέρας ἄρξεις.
(513) γυνὴ φιλόκοσμος οὐ πιστή.
(514) γυνὴ τὸν ἑαυτῆς ἄνδρα νόμον ἡγείσθω τοῦ βίου.
(515) ὁ ἀνὴρ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα πείθεσθαι αὑτῷ ποιείτω.
(516) ὁ ἐπιγαμῶν τέκνοις μὴ εὐδοκιμείτω.
(517) ὅταν ἀρκῇ τέκνοις, ἀρκοῦ καὶ ἀφροδισίοις.
(518) ὠμότατος τεκνοκτόνος ὁ τὰ μηδὲν ἠδικηκότα τέκνα ἀναιρῶν.
(519) τοῦς παῖδας τρέφε ὡς ὑπηρέτας Θεοῦ ἐσομένους.
(520) εὔχου σοι μὴ γίνεσθαι τέκνα ἢ κακὰ γίνεσθαι.
(521) ὁποία ἂν ᾖ σου ἡ γυνή, τοιοῦτος ἔσται σου καὶ ὁ οἶκος.
(522) οὐ σεαυτῷ μόνῳ τέκνα γεννήσας μέμνησο ὅτι θνητὰ γεννᾷς.
(523) μὴ δυνάμενος φέρειν τέκνων ἀποβολὴν μὴ παιδοποιοῦ.
<524–529. the potential of different natures>
(524) A great nature (or ‘birth’) that is cared for becomes especially good, one uncared for especially bad.
(525) A great nature also requires great care.
(526) A great nature is one well inclined towards virtue.
(527) A noble nature is especially uncertain.
(528) Let someone who makes evil use of their noble nature be considered ungrateful to Nature.
(529) A cautious nature is the cause neither of great goods nor great evils.
(524) φύσις μεγάλη ἐπιμελουμένη βελτίων γίνεται, ἀμελουμένη δὲ χείρων.
(525) μεγάλη φύσις μεγάλης δεῖται καὶ τῆς ἐπιμελείας.
(526) μεγάλη φύσις ἡ πρὸς ἀρετὴν εὖ πεφυκυῖα.
(527) ἡ ἐπ’ ἄκρον εὐφυΐα σφαλερά.
(528) ὁ κακῶς εὐφυΐᾳ χρησάμενος ἀχάριστος τῇ φύσει νομιζέσθω.
(529) ἀσφαλὴς φύσις μεγάλων οὔτε ἀγαθῶν οὔτε κακῶν αἰτία.
(530) For the corruption of a youth’s soul, the praise of a crowd is more harmful than a sophist.
(531) Guard yourself against the praises of the immoral.
(532) Nothing commercial is a great ornament.
(533) Correct reason is similar to God, and on that account cannot be bought.
(534) Someone who attempts to please the masses is like the masses.
(535) You cannot find a multitude of philosophers.
(536) Teachers are greater benefactors than parents.
(537) In all things, being is more profitable than seeming.
(538) Never dare to call someone happy if you do not know what kind of education they have.
(539) It is impossible to philosophize nobly if one is not indifferent to labor.
(540) Educate yourself, and only then others.
(541) If you are not open to correction, do not attempt to rule youths.
(542) A man who is an educator, he is a benefactor next after God.
(543) If you criticize yourself, you will not be criticized by others.
(544) An unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.
(545) If you wish to be an educator, exercise gentleness.
(546) Let your life be an illustration of your words for those you teach.
(547) Let your deeds be a demonstration of your beliefs.
(530) χαλεπώτερον σοφιστοῦ εἰς τὸ διαφθεῖραι νέου ψυχὴν ὄχλος ἐπαινῶν.
(531) φυλάττου φαύλων ἐπαίνους.
(532) οὐδὲν ὤνιον μέγα ἀνάθημα.
(533) λόγος ὀρθὸς ὅμοιος Θεῷ, διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἄπρατος.
(534) ὁ τοῖς πολλοῖς πειρώμενος ἀρέσκειν πολλοῖς ὅμοιος.
(535) πλῆθος φιλοσόφων οὐκ ἂν ἐξεύροις.
(536) γονέων διδάσκαλοι μείζους εὐεργέται.
(537) ἐν παντὶ τοῦ δοκεῖν τὸ εἶναι λυσιτελέστερον.
(538) ὃν οὐκ οἶδας πῶς ποτ’ ἔχει παιδείας, τοῦτον μήποτε τολμήσῃς λέγειν εὐδαίμονα.
(539) οὐκ ἔστιν εὐγενῶς φιλοσοφεῖν πόνων μὴ καταφρονήσαντα.
(540) παίδευε σαυτόν, εἶτα τοὺς ἄλλους.
(541) ἀνεύθυνος ὢν μὴ ἐπιχείρει νέων ἄρχειν.
(542) παιδευτικὸς ἀνὴρ οὗτος εὐεργέτης μετὰ θεόν.
(543) ἐλέγχων σεαυτὸν ὑπ’ ἄλλων οὐκ ἐλεγχθήσῃ.
(544) ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ.
(545) παιδευτικὸς θέλων εἶναι ἄσκει πραΰτητα.
(546) ὁ βίος σου τοῖς παιδευομένοις ὑπόθεσις τῶν λόγων σου ἔστω.
(547) τῶν δογμάτων σου τὰ ἔργα ἀπόδειξις ἔστω.
<548–555. rule and self-rule>
(548) In all labors, claim a larger share than those you rule.
(549) It is shameful to command what you would not do yourself.
(550) If you cannot control yourself, do not desire you control others.
(551) The noblest assistance towards ruling is to rule yourself.
(552) Rule over the willing.
(553) It is more difficult to rule noble-born youths than lions.
(554) If you know how to rule, you will rule even if you are naked.
(555) The most powerful in everything is the most prudent.
(548) πλεονέκτει τῶν ἀρχομένων ἐν ἅπασι τοῖς πόνοις.
(549) αἰσχρὸν προστάττειν ἃ μὴ ποιεῖς.
(550) σαυτοῦ μὴ κρατῶν ἄλλων μὴ θέλε κρατεῖν.
(551) κάλλιστον ἐφόδιον πρὸς ἀρχὴν τὸ ἄρχειν ἑαυτοῦ.
(552) ἄρχε ἑκόντων.
(553) χαλεπώτερον εὐγενῶν νέων ἄρχειν ἢ λεόντων.
(554) ἐπιστάμενος ἄρχειν καὶ γυμνὸς ὢν ἄρξεις.
(555) ἐν παντὶ ἀρχικώτατος ὁ φρονιμώτατος.
4 Appendix IIa
<556–577. on god>
(556) One is the wisest and best among beings; so God is also one.
(557) What rules alone cannot be second.
(558) God is of unity itself alone.
(559) The intellect of God is self-moved and ever-moving.
(560) God is an eternal essence, God is blessed, and what is before all time and origination is blessed.
(561) The source of all noble things is God.
(562) God, insofar as he is intellect, is self-moved, and indeed he exists according to this.
(563) The intellect of God is wise beyond all.
(564) Do not dare call that which requires blood and smoke a god.
(565) All things are saved by knowledge of God, all things are possible through the power of God.
(566) The essence of God is a power over all beings that does not admit of being affected.
(567) Ignorance of God creates a multitude of gods.
(568) Stupid is the person who does not know God and worships pieces of wood and stone.
(569) It is possible to do injustice unnoticed, but it is impossible to have trust in being unnoticed.
(570) Guard yourself against the praise of the faithless.
(571) All who were praised have come to ruin.
(572) Judge yourself so that you may not transgress, not in order not to be judged.
(573) Let your life be a contest for holiness.
(574) It is impossible to serve both pleasure and God at once.
(575) If you serve according to honor, you will rule the affairs of God.
(576) Of whatever kind is that which rules you, be of the same kind.
(577) Know God, so that you may also know yourself.
(556) ἓν τὸ σοφώτατον ἐν τοῖς οὖσι καὶ ἄριστον· εἷς οὖν καὶ Θεός.
(557) τὸ μοναρχοῦν δεύτερον εἶναι οὐ πέφυκε.
(558) μόνον αὐτῆς μονάδος ἐστὶν ὁ Θεός.
(559) ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ νοῦς αὐτοκίνητος καὶ ἀεικίνητος.
(560) Θεός ἐστιν οὐσία ἀΐδιος, μακάριος Θεός, ἔστι τε πρὸ παντὸς χρόνου καὶ πάσης γενέσεως μακάριον.
(561) πηγὴ πάντων καλῶν ὁ Θεός ἐστιν.
(562) ὁ Θεὸς καθὸ νοῦς ἐστιν αὐτοκίνητος, κατ’ αὐτὸ δὴ τοῦτο καὶ ὑφέστηκεν.
(563) ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ νοῦς ὁ πρὸ πάντων σοφός.
(564) τὸν αἵματος καὶ κνίσσης δεόμενον μὴ τόλμα λέγειν Θεόν.
(565) Θεοῦ γνώμῃ σῴζεται τὰ σύμπαντα, Θεοῦ δυνάμει δυνατὰ πάντα.
(566) οὐσία Θεοῦ δύναμις τῶν ὄντων τοῦ παθεῖν ἀνεπίδεκτος.
(567) ἀπειρία Θεοῦ πλῆθος ἐποίησε Θεῶν.
(568) βλὰξ ἄνθρωπος Θεὸν ἀγνοῶν ξύλα καὶ λίθους τιμᾷ.
(569) ἀδικοῦντα μὲν λαθεῖν δυνατόν, πίστιν δὲ λαβεῖν ὑπὲρ τοῦ λαθεῖν ἀδύνατον.
(570) φυλάττου τὸν παρὰ τῶν ἀπίστων ἔπαινον.
(571) ἐπαινεθέντες πόσοι ἀπώλοντο.
(572) κρῖνε σεαυτὸν ὡς μηδὲν ἁμαρτεῖν καὶ οὐ μὴ κριθῇς.
(573) ἀγὼν ὁ βίος ἔστω σοι περὶ τοῦ σεμνοῦ.
(574) οὐκ ἔστιν ἅμα δουλεύειν ἡδονῇ καὶ Θεῷ.
(575) κατ’ ἀξίαν δουλεύων ἄρξεις τῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ.
(576) ὁποῖον ἂν ᾖ σου τὸ ἄρχον, τοιοῦτος ἔσῃ.
(577) γνῶθι Θεόν, ἵνα γνῷς καὶ σαυτόν.
5 Appendix IIb
<578–587. honoring god>
(578) The greatest honor to God is knowledge of God in silence.
(579) Assimilation to God is flight from everything contrary to him.
(580) Honor yourself after God.
(581) Devote yourself to God.
(582) God is the ruler of just intention.
(583) If you honor God, honor the same things as God.
(584) God does not quickly hear the prayer of someone who does not hear those in need.
(585) After God, you must have faith in the Word of God.
(586) Speak about God as is appropriate.
(587) A faithful man serves the one who is above all.
(578) τιμὴ μεγίστη Θεῷ Θεοῦ γνῶσις ἐν σιγῇ.
(579) ὁμοίωσις Θεοῦ παντὸς τοὐναντίου ἀποφυγή.
(580) ἑαυτὸν αἰδοῦ μετὰ Θεόν.
(581) εὐκαίρει τῷ Θεῷ.
(582) δικαίου διανοίας Θεὸς ἡγεμών ἐστιν.
(583) τιμῶν τὸν Θεὸν τίμα ἃ καὶ ὁ Θεός.
(584) εὐχῆς οὐκ ἀκούει Θεὸς σπουδαίως δεομένων οὐκ ἀκούοντος.
(585) σεαυτῷ δεῖ πίστιν ἐπιφέρειν μετὰ θεὸν λόγον Θεοῦ.
(586) ὡς πρέπει λέγε περὶ Θεοῦ.
(587) πιστὸς ἀνὴρ ἑνὶ λατρεύει τῷ ἐπὶ πᾶσι.
6 Appendix III
<588–610. on sin and injustice>
(588) If you cannot rule your belly and the parts below the belly, you are not faithful.
(589) A wise man honors God even in silence.
(590) Keep your soul pure of impious deeds when you speak or hear about God.
(591) Evil demons have no hold over a soul that is good and faithful in its conceptions of God.
(592) Regard like as dear to like.
(593) Regard only the good as your own.
(594) Consider nothing to be a philosopher’s own possession.
(595) It is best not to sin, but better to disclose than to hide your sin.
(596) Consider even the intention to sin a sin.
(597) Everything you have intended to do, you have already done with your soul.
(598) You will not escape sin through money.
(599) A person with many gods is godless.
(600) Consider yourself the slave of the things you desire.
(601) Consider it shameful to intend what is shameful.
(602) Do not acquire more than the body demands.
(603) You did not come into being to abuse what the cosmos provides.
(604) A person who serves desire serves an evil demon.
(605) All the things that they do not expect await evil people.
(606) Exercise justice in deed more than in word.
(607) Act justly even towards those who have attempted to treat you unjustly.
(608) If you treat no one unjustly, you will be afraid of no one.
(609) If you are cheated by your neighbors, bear it.
(610) The endeavors of the majority are worthy of condemnation.
(588) γαστρὸς καὶ τῶν ὑπὸ γαστέρα μὴ κρατῶν οὐδὲ εἷς πιστός.
(589) σοφὸς ἀνὴρ καὶ σιγῶν Θεὸν τιμᾷ.
(590) καθαρὰν τὴν ψυχὴν ἔχων ἀνοσίων ἔργων λέγε περὶ Θεοῦ καὶ ἄκουε.
(591) ψυχὴν ἀγαθὴν καὶ πιστὴν ἐν ἐννοίαις Θεοῦ οὖσαν κακοὶ δαίμονες οὐκ ἐμποδίζουσιν.
(592) φίλον ἡγοῦ τὸ ὅμοιον τῷ ὁμοίῳ.
(593) μόνον οἰκεῖον ἡγοῦ τὸ ἀγαθόν.
(594) μηδὲν ἴδιον κτῆμα νομιζέσθω φιλοσόφου.
(595) ἄριστον μὲν τὸ μὴ ἁμαρτάνειν, ἁμαρτόντα δὲ ἄμεινον μηνύειν ἢ κρύπτειν.
(596) νομιζέσθω σοι ἁμάρτημα εἶναι καὶ τὸ διανοηθῆναι ἁμαρτεῖν.
(597) πᾶν ὃ ἂν διανοηθῇς ὥστε ποιῆσαι, πεποίηκας αὐτὸ τῇ ψυχῇ.
(598) οὐκ ἐκφεύξῃ ἁμαρτίαν ἀναλώμασι.
(599) πολύθεος ἄνθρωπος ἄθεος.
(600) ὧν ἂν ἐπιθυμήσῃς, τούτων νόμιζε δοῦλος εἶναι.
(601) αἰσχρὸν νόμιζε τὸ διανοηθῆναι τὸ αἰσχρόν.
(602) μὴ πλείονα κτῶ ὧν τὸ σῶμα ἐπιζητεῖ.
(603) οὐ γέγονας ἐντρυφήσων τῇ τοῦ κόσμου παρασκευῇ.
(604) ἄνθρωπος δουλεύων ἡδονῇ δουλεύει κακῷ δαίμονι.
(605) κακοὺς ἀνθρώπους μένει ὁπόσα οὐ προσδοκήσουσι.
(606) δικαιοσύνην ἔργῳ μᾶλλον ἢ λόγῳ ἄσκει.
(607) τὰ δίκαια ποίει καὶ πρὸς τοὺς ἀδικεῖν σε πειρωμένους.
(608) μηδένα ἀδικῶν οὐδένα φοβηθήσῃ.
(609) ὑπὸ τῶν πλησίον ἀνέχου ψευδόμενος.
(610) σπουδὴ πλειόνων ἐπιμεμφὴς γίνεται.