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Headword: Θεαγένης
Adler number: theta,78
Translated headword: Theagenes
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
An Athenian archon,[1] a man loving honor and of great natural ability, and especially notable among the Greeks for wealth, which he used at need correcting the many defects of some cities and assisting the needy among men, giving not with one hand but with both, according to the proverb.[2] For he was generous and munificent to excess. He spent much of his money on teachers and physicians and the good order of his homeland generally; these characteristics of Theagenes are worthy of praise. But being hot-tempered and never enduring to be despised, but striving to be idolized by all, and not least by those who practiced philosophy, disdaining and spitting upon all others and especially those who seemed to be in power and to be eager to shine out in the Roman political system, and preferring the new opinions to the old customs of piety, without noticing it he fell into the lifestyle of the many, drawing away from the [lifestyle] of the Greeks and his ancestors even earlier. And he did not realize that he had received his associates not as true friends but as deceptive flatterers. So he did not preserve the ancient respect for philosophy, but while in word he had surrounded himself with philosophers, in deed [he had surrounded himself with] flatterers. This became the first origin of his suspicion of Marinus.[3] For Marinus, persisting in the traditional dignity of philosophers, showed reasonable respect for Theagenes and was not a boaster towards him nor awkward nor pompous in behavior nor unsociable, nor in any other way wanted to be more than a private citizen; but he obviously both accepted and offered the honors due to him and imparted them as one should to a man who is a leader in the city and perhaps also in the Roman political system as a whole. For he was one of the Roman patricians and first in the imperial senatorial council, and in his original nobility and the greatness of his character and his transparent zeal and attention to literature; so that Marinus also was eager to increase the greatness of his prominence in every way.
Greek Original:
Θεαγένης, Ἀθηναῖος ἄρχων, φιλότιμος ἀνὴρ καὶ μεγαλοφυής, Ἑλλήνων τε ὅτι μάλιστα χρήμασι λαμπρυνόμενος, οἷς εἰς δέον ἐχρῆτο τὰ πολλὰ πόλεών τε ἐνίων τὰ πταίσματα ἐπανορθούμενος καὶ τοῖς δεομένοις τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐπικουρῶν, οὐ μιᾷ χειρὶ δωρούμενος ἀλλ' ἀμφοῖν, κατὰ τὴν παροιμίαν. ἦν γὰρ φιλόδωρός τε καὶ μεγαλόδωρος εἰς ὑπερβολήν. ἀναλοῦτο δὲ αὐτῷ πολλὰ τῶν χρημάτων εἴς τε διδασκάλους καὶ ἰατροὺς καὶ τὴν ἄλλην τῆς πατρίδος εὐθημοσύνην. ταῦτα μὲν ἀξιέπαινα τῶν Θεαγένους. ὢν δὲ θυμοειδὴς καὶ οὐδαμοῦ καταφρονεῖσθαι ἀνεχόμενος, ἀλλὰ καὶ θεραπεύεσθαι σπουδάζων ὑπὸ πάντων, καὶ οὐχ ἥκιστα τῶν φιλοσοφούντων, ὑπερορῶν δὲ καὶ διαπτύων τοὺς ἄλλους καὶ μάλιστα τοὺς ἐν δυνάμει δοκοῦντας εἶναι καὶ προθυμουμένους ἐν τῇ Ῥωμαίων πολιτείᾳ λαμπρύνεσθαι, καὶ τὰ νέα ἀξιώματα προτιμῶν τῶν ἀρχαίων ἠθῶν τῆς εὐσεβείας, ἔλαθεν ἑαυτὸν ἐμπεσὼν εἰς τὸν τῶν πολλῶν βίον ἀποσπασθεὶς τῶν Ἑλλήνων καὶ τῶν ἔτι ἄνω προγόνων: ἔλαθε δὲ τοὺς πέλας οὐκ ἔτι φίλους ἀληθινούς, ἀλλὰ κόλακας ἀπατηλοὺς κεκτημένος. οὔκουν ἔτι διέσῳζε τὴν πάλαι αἰδῶ πρὸς φιλοσοφίαν, ἀλλὰ τῷ μὲν λόγῳ τοὺς φιλοσόφους ἐπεποίητο περὶ ἑαυτόν, τῷ δὲ ἔργῳ τοὺς θεραπεύοντας. αὕτη πρώτη ἀρχὴ ἐγεγόνει τῆς πρὸς Μαρῖνον ὑποψίας. ὁ γὰρ Μαρῖνος ἐμμένων τῇ παραδοθείσῃ σεμνότητι τῶν φιλοσόφων ἐθεράπευε μὲν τὰ εἰκότα τὸν Θεαγένη, καὶ οὐκ ἦν τις ἄρα πρὸς αὐτὸν ἀλαζὼν οὐδὲ σκαιὸς οὐδὲ σοβαρὸς τὴν ἔντευξιν οὐδὲ δυσόμιλος οὐδὲ ἄλλως ὑπὲρ τὸν ἰδιώτην εἶναι βουλόμενος, ἀλλὰ προσδεχόμενός τε καὶ προπέμπων ἐγίνετο δῆλος καὶ τὰς ὀφειλομένας αὐτῷ τιμὰς ἀπονέμων, οἵας ὠφείλετο πρωτεύων ἀνὴρ ἐν τῇ πόλει, τάχα δὲ καὶ ἐν τῇ Ῥωμαίων πολιτείᾳ συμπάσῃ. καὶ γὰρ ἦν τῶν Ῥωμαϊκῶν πατέρων εἷς καὶ πρῶτος τῆς περὶ τὰ βασίλεια συγκλήτου βουλῆς, τῇ τε ἐξ ἀρχῆς εὐγενείᾳ καὶ τῇ μεγαλειότητι τῶν τρόπων καὶ τῇ περὶ τοὺς λόγους διαφανεῖ σπουδῇ τε καὶ ἐπιμελείᾳ: ὥστε καὶ ὁ Μαρῖνος ἐσπούδαζεν αὐτῷ συναύξειν τὸ μέγεθος τῆς κατὰ πάντα περιφανείας.
Notes:
Damascius, Life of Isidore fr. 280, 281, 283, 157 Asmus [not in Zintzen]; cf. Photius, Bibliotheca 351b 10-11, 346a 26-29. See also theta 79.
The new and old ways which are contrasted here include imperial vs. municipal government and Christianity vs. paganism.
[1] See generally alpha 4119.
[2] cf. alpha 1792.
[3] Marinus: mu 198, mu 199.
Keywords: biography; Christianity; chronology; constitution; economics; ethics; medicine; philosophy; politics; proverbs; religion
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 2 February 2008@01:41:17.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 3 February 2008@04:46:02.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 30 December 2012@06:56:10.
David Whitehead on 30 December 2012@06:57:39.
Catharine Roth (punctuation) on 10 October 2018@02:11:15.

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