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Headword: Ἀσκληπιόδοτος
Adler number: alpha,4174
Translated headword: Asklepiodotos, Asclepiodotus
Vetting Status: high
This man from earliest childhood was agreed to be the keenest and most learned of his age-mates, to the extent that he did not stop busying himself with each of the things which he happened upon, both the marvels which nature produced and the creations which every art provided. For instance, in a short time he came to a complete understanding of all the mixtures of dye colors and of the manifold dyes used in decorating clothing, and furthermore the many differences of woods, how their fibers are disposed concerning straightness and curvature. But still further, the various properties and types of stones and plants, those lying near to hand and those which were rarer, were investigated and discovered by every means. He proved a great nuisance to those who made their living in each of these areas when he would sit down beside them for a long time and question them about each thing in the most minute detail. He held the history of plants in rather high esteem and still more the [history] of animals, and he investigated the local ones by observation and inquired into those which were not possible [to see] by report, up to the ends of the earth, reading over as much as the ancients had recorded about them. He was an Alexandrian by birth. Thus, I know by frequent experience that this man propounded well the goodly sect and did not fall far short of his father at all in his righteous zeal and in the sort of intense and passionate hope that leads to the divine;[1] however, he was more philosophical than that man and was equipped with other preparatory education. Accordingly, the city of Aphrodite ascended in his time toward greater holiness. Already he had expelled abominable practices into the hinterlands, and into Alexandria, which worshipped Osiris and served as high priestess of the East.[2] In addition to his loftiness he was easy-going and the company he provided to those whom he met was very pleasant. He was of a good disposition from childhood up until his old age, and he brought many innovations sprung from his own nature into the rites, for which he managed the adornment of the images and assigned hymns. Though he was a thrifty household manager and a farmer, when his father died he had to pay back many debts.[3] Having established himself on a sound financial footing[4] he nevertheless incurred great expenses, on account of his religious inclination and other political ambition which seemed to be necessary and customary for his family. As a result he himself was later compelled to leave an indebted estate to his daughters. Let these things be recorded by me rendering small favors in return for great.[5]
Look in [the entry on] deisidaimonia ["religious awe"].[6]
Greek Original:
Ἀσκληπιόδοτος: οὗτος ἐκ παίδων εὐθὺς ὡμολογεῖτο ὀξύτατος καὶ πολυμαθέστατος εἶναι τῶν ἡλικιωτῶν, ὥστε καὶ πολυπραγμονῶν οὐδὲν ἐπαύετο περὶ ἑκάστου τῶν παραπιπτόντων, ὧν ἥ τε ἡ φύσις ἀπεργάζεται θαυμασίων καὶ τέχνη ἑκάστη παρέχεται δημιουργημάτων. ἐν γοῦν ὀλίγῳ χρόνῳ παντάπασι κατανενοήκει τῶν τε βαφικῶν χρωμάτων τὰς μίξεις ἁπάσας καὶ τῶν περὶ ἐσθῆτα κοσμουμένων βαμμάτων παντοδαπῶν, ἔτι δὲ τῶν ξύλων τὰς μυρίας διαφορότητας, ὅπως αὐτῶν αἱ ἶνες ἔχουσιν εὐθύτητος πέρι καὶ διαπλοκῆς. ἀλλὰ μέντοι λίθων καὶ βοτανῶν αἱ ποικίλαι δυνάμεις τε καὶ ἰδέαι, τῶν τε ἐν ποσὶ κειμένων καὶ τῶν σπανιωτάτων, ἀνεζητοῦντο καὶ εὑρίσκοντο πάσῃ μηχανῇ. ὄχλον δὲ παρείχετο πολὺν τοῖς περὶ ἕκαστα διατρίβουσι παρακαθήμενός τε συχνὰ καὶ περὶ ἑκάστου ἀνερωτῶν ἐς τὸ ἀκριβέστατον. τὴν δὲ περὶ φυτῶν ἱστορίαν ἐπὶ μείζονος ἠγάπα τιμῆς, καὶ ἔτι μᾶλλον τὴν περὶ ζῴων, τά τε ἐνόντα διὰ τῆς ὄψεως ἀνακρίνων καὶ τὰ μὴ δυνατὰ διὰ τῆς ἀκοῆς ἐξετάζων ἐπὶ τὸ μακρότατον, ὅσα τε τοῖς πρεσβύταις ἀναγέγραπται περὶ τούτων ἀναλεγόμενος. ἦν δὲ Ἀλεξανδρεὺς τὸ γένος. τοῦτον οὖν ἐπίσταμαι διὰ πείρας συχνῆς εὖ μάλα τήν τε ἀγαθοειδῆ προαίρεσιν προβεβλημένον καὶ τοῦ πατρὸς οὐ πολύ τι λειπόμενον κατὰ τὴν εὐσεβῆ προθυμίαν καὶ τὴν πρὸς τὸ θεῖον ἀναγομένην ἐλπίδα σύντονόν τε καὶ ἐρωτικήν: φιλοσοφοῦντα μέντοι ὑπὲρ ἐκεῖνον καὶ τῇ ἄλλῃ προπαιδείᾳ κεκοσμημένον. τοιγαροῦν ἀνέθηλεν ἐπ' αὐτοῦ ἡ πόλις τῆς Ἀφροδίτης εἰς τὸ ἱερώτερον. ἤδη δὲ καὶ ἐς τὰς ὑπερορίους ἀπῴκισε τὴν ἀπόρρητον θέμιν, ἔς τε Ἀλεξάνδρειαν τὴν Ὀσιράζουσαν καὶ τῆς ἕω πολλαχῇ τὴν μαγεύουσαν. γενόμενος δὲ πρὸς τῷ σεμνῷ καὶ εὐτράπελος ἡδίστην παρείχετο τοῖς ἐντυγχάνουσι τὴν αὐτοῦ συνδιαίτησιν. εὐφυὴς δὲ ἐκ παίδων γεγονὼς ἄχρι γήρως πολλὰ συνεισήνεγκεν εἰς τὰ ἱερὰ τῆς οἰκείας φύσεως ἔκγονα μηχανήματα, ἀγάλματά τε διακοσμῶν καὶ ὕμνους προστιθεὶς ἔστιν οἷς. οἰκονομικὸς δὲ ὢν καὶ γεωργικὸς, ἀποθανόντος αὐτῷ τοῦ πατρὸς, ἀπέτισε χρέα πολλά. ἐν χρηματισμῷ δὲ δικαίῳ καταστὰς ὅμως ἐν δαπανήμασι μεγάλοις ἐγένετο, τῆς τε ἱερᾶς εἵνεκα προαιρέσεως καὶ τῆς ἄλλης πολιτικῆς φιλοτιμίας ἀναγκαίας εἶναι δοκούσης καὶ τῷ οἴκῳ συνήθους. ὥστε ἠναγκάσθη καὶ αὐτὸς ὕστερον ὑπόχρεων τὴν οὐσίαν καταλιπεῖν ταῖς θυγατράσι. ταῦτα ἀναγεγράφθω μοι χαρίσια ὀλίγα ἀντὶ πολλῶν ἀποδιδόντι. ζήτει ἐν τῷ δεισιδαιμονία.
From Damascius, Life of Isidore frr. 183, 185, 204, 219, 349 Zintzen (114, 119, 129, 135, 216 Asmus). For other entries relating to Asklepiodotos (aside from those mentioned below), cf. delta 954, delta 1335, kappa 1537.
[1] Again at delta 695.
[2] Again at omicron 694.
[3] Already at alpha 3312.
[4] Again at chi 486.
[5] Again at chi 121.
[6] delta 368.
Keywords: agriculture; art history; biography; botany; children; clothing; daily life; economics; ethics; geography; history; law; meter and music; philosophy; religion; science and technology; women; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 9 June 2002@12:36:31.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 10 June 2002@04:12:03.
William Hutton (modified translation, augmented note, added keywords, cosmetics) on 21 October 2003@10:04:51.
David Whitehead (typo) on 21 October 2003@10:57:18.
David Whitehead (typo; another keyword) on 2 October 2005@11:12:34.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 4 December 2005@08:28:01.
Catharine Roth (added cross-references and keyword) on 16 September 2010@00:26:39.
David Whitehead on 24 April 2012@09:52:38.


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