A Touch of Classical Wisdom IX


Anselm Feuerbach (1829–1880), Das Gastmahl des Platon, 1869 [1] Agathon as depicted in Plato’s Symposium

Art has a love of chance, and chance for art.

-Agathon, Fragment 4. He means to say that the two are inseparable from one another. [2]

Agathon (5th c. BC) was a Greek Tragic Poet (and apparently super smexy, according to ancient sources) whose poems and plays do not survive today. Some of his work is referenced in Aristotle and he is depicted in works of Plato and Aristophanes, the former seeming to have some kind of artistic crush oh him. He was a mainstay at the court of Macedon and was also broskis with Euripides.

Fact Check it, yo!

[1] “14. Some Notable Afterimages of Plato’s Symposium [1].” Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite – SB, chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/6321.14-some-notable-afterimages-of-plato-s-symposium-j-h-lesher.

[2] Aristotle, The Nicomacheon Ethics. Trans. A.K. Thomson, Penguin Classics. 2004 ed.



A Touch of Classical Wisdom VIII

Works and Days

That man is best who sees the truth himself;

Good too is he who listens to wise counsel.

But who is neither wise himself nor willing 

To ponder wisdom is not worth a straw. 

-Hesiod, Works & Days c. 700 BC [1]

Fact Check it, Yo!

[1] Hesiod, ‘Works & Days‘, 700 BC. Whittingham, C., Woodfall, G., Davison, T., Baldwin, R., Payne, T., & Robinson, G. (1810). English translations, from ancient and modern poems,. London