restricted access Appendix 1. An Interpretation of the Modest Chariclea from the Lips of Philip the Philosopher
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APPENDIX I An Interpretation of the Modest Chariclea from the Lips of Philip the Philosopher This translation is based on Hercher's text (see "Works Cited: Ancient Authors"), but I have incorporated some of the emendations and remarks of August Brinkmann ("Beitrage zur Kritik und Erklarung des Dialogs Axiochos," p. 443, n. i). The marginal numbers refer to the pages of Hercher's edition. 382 One day I was going out the gate of Rhegium that leads toward the sea, and when I had reached the spring of Aphrodite, I heard a voice shouting and calling me by name. When I turned around to see where it was coming from, I saw Nikolaos the royal scribe running down toward the sea with Andreas, Philetas 's son. They were both very dear friends, and I decided to give up my walk and go to meet them. When we came together, Nikolaos said with a gentle smile, "I'm surprised at you. Are you so indifferent that you allow unbridled tongues to attack the words of wisdom? Around the outer gates of the temple there is a great encampment of lovers of literature reading Chariclea's book, and most of them are treating it scornfully and subjecting it to mockery and ridicule. Lover of Chariclea that I am, I am hurt by this and, by your wisdom, I entreat you not to let the modest girl be insulted, but rather to call to her defense 'your wit and your gentleness' [Od. 11.202-3] and to show these babbling quacks that the story of Chariclea is beyond all reproach!" 383 "That's a strange demand, my friend," I said, "going to winter for spring flowers and to hoary old age for the play- APPENDIX I 307 things of childhood. We left these things behind, the milk, as it were, of our infant education, when we reached the philosophic time of life and went on to live in the temples of divine truth. At this point, we have been drawn away from them to the specific forms and language of the philosophy that fits our time of life. Descriptions and tales of love are in harmony with youth and early manhood. Neither gray old souls nor infant souls experience this divine love, but only those of young men and of men in the prime of life, if we can put our faith in the mystical song that goes, Therefore do the virgins love thee [Song of Sol. 1.3], since this is the only age of man that has room for the arrows of love. Well, since the sage said, 'Even graybeards play, but the games are solemn/ let us play our part in the solemn mode and venture a bit beyond the meditations of the philosopher and turn to the erotic palinode.1 Even Socrates the wise, who was contemplative in every other respect, still, sitting in the shade of the chaste-tree with lovely Phaedrus, amused the young man with talk of love. Let us do it, both for your sakes and for the sake of truth herself!" We went off and found our friends in a throng before the gates ofthe temple, waiting for us. After the appropriate prayers to the virgin goddess, I spoke to them, sitting in a low chair right next to the threshold of the temple gate, and began thus: "This book, my friends, is very much like Circe's brew: those who take it in a profane manner, it transforms into licentious pigs, but those who approach it in a philosophical way, in the manner of Odysseus, it initiates into higher things. The book is educational and teaches ethics by mixing the wine of contemplation into the water of the tale. "Since the human race is divided into male and female and 384 there are independent capacities for good and evil in each, the book shows us both, one beside the other, bearing witness to the virtue and vice of each sex, and displaying serious men in Calasiris, Theagenes, and Hydaspes, and serious women in i. This entire passage refers to Plato's Phaedrus, where Socrates evokes the story of Simonides' palinode to Helen in order to explain the necessity of his delivering a second speech to apologize for slandering love (2426-243)3). 308 APPENDIX I Persina and Chariclea. It presents more women and less men as famed for evil since there is more evil dispersed among the race of women. Calasiris teaches you...


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