From my diary

I’ve been lying on the sofa, reading Aelian’s Varia Historia.  I’ve just read the anecdote in which Lais boasts to Socrates that she could lure away all of Socrates’ followers if she wished, while Socrates could not possibly induce any of Lais’ admirers to behave philosophically.  Socrates acknowledged the truth of this, and replied that this was because she led men downhill, whereas he led them to improve themselves.

Applications of the saying will occur to us in other contexts.  Indeed I have a dim memory of a worldly Church of England cleric, a century ago, taunting a Roman Catholic priest with the fewness of the latter’s flock, when compared to his own well-filled pews — in those days of official religion — and receiving the same response.  Let us hope that the eager employee of the state recognised the allusion and was ashamed.

The Loeb edition of Horace’s Odes arrived.  But, eheu, the translator decided to render them into Jacobean English.  Maybe I shall be forced to buy the Rudd edition after all.  Curiously the book arrived with damp, but not mouldly, pages.  I have been drying it out under my desk lamp!

I’ve added a couple of entries for monuments to the new Mithras site, which is doing well for traffic.  That is encouraging!


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