Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: There is besides a story, that Hannibal,
Mispogon (beard-haters) by Julian
Translated by Wilmer Cave Wright
Chapter 30
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
And as for my uncle [Note 1] and namesake, did he not govern you most justly, so long as the gods allowed him to remain with me and to assist me in my work? Did he not with utmost foresight administer all the business of the city? For my part I [Note 2] thought these were admirable things, I mean mildness and moderation in those who govern, and I supposed that by practising these I should appear admirable in your eyes. But since the length of my beard is displeasing to you, and my unkempt locks, and the fact that I do not put in an appearance at the theatres and that I require men to be reverent in the temples; and since more than all these things my constant attendance at trials displeases you and the fact that I try to banish greed from the market-place, I willingly go away and leave your city to you. For when a man changes his habits in his old age it is not easy, I think, for him to escape the fate that is described in the legend about the kite. The story goes that the kite once had a note like that of other birds, but it aimed at neighing like a high-spirited horse; then since it forgot its former note and could not quite attain to the other sound, it was deprived of both, and hence the note it now utters is less musical than that of any other bird. This then is the fate that I am trying to avoid, I mean failing to be either really boorish or really accomplished. For already, as you can see for yourselves, I am, since Heaven so wills, near the age "When on my head white hairs mingle with black," as the poet of Teos [Note 3] said. Enough of that. But now, in the name of Zeus, God of the Market-place and Guardian of the City, render me account of your ingratitude. Were you ever wronged by me in any way, either all in common or as individuals, and is it because you were unable to avenge yourselves openly that you now assail me with abuse in your market-places in anapaestic verse, just as comedians drag Heracles and Dionysus on the stage and make a public show of them? Or can you say that, though I refrained from any harsh conduct towards you, I did not refrain from speaking ill of you, so that you, in your turn, are defending yourselves by the same methods? What, I ask, is the reason of your antagonism and your hatred of me? For I am very sure that I had done no terrible or incurable injury to any one of you, either separately, as individuals, or to your city as a whole; nor had I uttered any disparaging word, but I had even praised you, as I though I was bound to do, and had bestowed on you certain advantages, as was natural for one who desires, as far as he can, to benefit many men. But it is impossible, as you know well, both to remit all their taxes to the tax-payers and to give everything to those who are accustomed to receive gifts. Therefore when it is seen that I have diminished none of the public subscriptions which the imperial purse is accustomed to contribute, but have remitted not a few of your taxes, does not this business seem like a riddle?

Note 1: uncle = Delmatius
Note 2: I = Julian
Note 3: poet of Teos = Anacreon

Event: Dalmatius in Antioch