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Headword: Σουπηριανός
Adler number: sigma,799
Translated headword: Superianus, Souperianos
Vetting Status: high
Sophist. An Isaurian by birth;[1] a member of Lachares'[2] school. This Superianus was rather a late learner and somewhat dull by nature; but he was so painstaking and serious-minded that, beginning when he was more than 30 years old, he read the books of the orators and (put simply) applied his mind to liberal pursuits, and compelled himself - not sparing rebukes and beatings -- to learn at such an age what is demanded of everyone else in their youth, when they are still boys with pedagogues and teachers.[3] Superianus was often seen in the baths after a self-administered beating. And he did not fail in what he hoped for, but shortly after in gleaming and much-sung Athens he was proclaimed a sophist, and scarcely fell short of Lachares' fame. For I know that Lachares too became a sophist through diligence more than natural ability; for I have come upon his speeches, and he seems to me (judging from his style) to be very diligent, but lacking nobility of nature. I have seen an image of the man, which plainly declares what Lachares was like by nature: he was rather slow of speech, but handsome and fine in appearance; as to virtue, he deserves to be called a philosopher rather than a sophist. He was an especially pious man, and having lost his sight he regained it.
Greek Original:
Σουπηριανός, σοφιστής, τὸ γένος Ἴσαυρος, τῆς Λαχάρου διατριβῆς. ἐγένετο δὲ οὗτος ὁ Σουπηριανὸς ὀψιμαθὴς μὲν ἱκανῶς καὶ τὴν φύσιν ὑπονωθέστερος, οὕτω δὲ ἐπίπονος καὶ σπουδαῖος, ὥστε πλειόνων ἢ λ# ἐτῶν ἀρξάμενον ἀναγινώσκειν τὰ τῶν ῥητόρων βιβλία, καὶ ἁπλῶς φάναι, λόγοις ἐλευθέροις προσέχειν τὴν διάνοιαν, ἑαυτὸν ἀπαιτεῖν πρὸς ἀνάγκης, οὐδὲ ἐπιτιμήσεων οὐδὲ μαστίγων φειδόμενον, ἐκμανθάνειν ἐν τῷ τηλικούτῳ τῆς ἡλικίας, ἅπερ οἱ ἄλλοι πάντες ἐν τῇ νεότητι ἀπαιτοῦνται παῖδες ἔτι ὄντες ὑπὸ παιδαγωγῶν τε καὶ διδασκάλων. ἀλλ' ὅγε Σουπηριανὸς αὐτὸς ὑφ' ἑαυτοῦ μεμαστιγωμένος ἑωρᾶτο πολλάκις ἐν τοῖς βαλανείοις. οὔκουν οὐδὲ διήμαρτεν ἐλπίδος: ἀλλὰ μικρὸν ὕστερον ἐν ταῖς λιπαραῖς καὶ ἀοιδίμοις Ἀθήναις ἀνηγορεύετο σοφιστής, οὐ πάνυ τῆς Λαχάρου δόξης ἀπολειπόμενος. οἶδα γὰρ καὶ Λαχάρην γεγονότα σοφιστὴν ἐξ ἐπιμελείας τὸ πλέον ἢ φύσεως: ἐνέτυχον γὰρ αὐτοῦ λόγοις. καί μοι ἔδοξεν ἀπὸ τοῦ λόγου εἰκάζοντί μοι τὴν πρώτην ἐπιμελὴς μὲν εἶναι σφόδρα, τὴν δὲ φύσιν ἀγεννέστερος. εἶδον δὲ καὶ εἰκόνα τοῦ ἀνδρός, ἄντικρυς ἀπαγγέλλουσαν οἷος ἦν Λαχάρης τὴν φύσιν: ὅτι βραδύτερος μὲν πρὸς τοὺς λόγους, καλὸς δὲ καὶ ἀγαθὸς τὴν ὄψιν πρὸς ἀρετήν, φιλόσοφος ἄξιος καλεῖσθαι μᾶλλον ἢ σοφιστής. ἐπεὶ καὶ ἄλλως θεοφιλὴς ἀνὴρ ἦν ὁ Λαχάρης, ὅσγε τὰς ὄψεις ἀποβαλὼν πάλιν ἀνεκτήσατο.
RE Superianos; PLRE II Superianus. The present material is Damascius, Life of Isidore fr. 140 Zintzen.
[1] Isauria was 'an ill-defined region of the Taurus mountains sandwiched between Pisidia to the west, Lycaonia to the north, and Rugged Cilicia' (OCD4 s.v.).
[2] [lambda 165] Lachares.
[3] The study of rhetoric normally begin in one's early- or mid-teens; cf. [omicron 1079] opsimathes.
Keywords: art history; biography; daily life; ethics; geography; medicine; philosophy; rhetoric
Translated by: Malcolm Heath on 23 March 1999@16:39:35.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 13 September 2002@09:04:51.
David Whitehead (another note; more keywords) on 30 December 2013@07:00:47.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 9 August 2014@11:38:43.
David Whitehead (coding) on 26 May 2016@05:46:59.


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