Aelian, Historical Miscellany

LCL 486: 212-213

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εἰπεῖν καὶ δὴ καὶ τοῦτο, μηδενὶ τῶν θεῶν θῦσαι, καὶ ὅμως οὐδὲν ἧττον ἡδέως βεβιωκέναι καὶ ἀλύπως, οὐ μεῖον τῶν ἑκατόμβας καταθυόντων. ὑπὲρ ταύτης οὖν τῆς κουφολογίας βαρυτάτην ζημίαν ἐξέτισεν.

29. Οὐ γὰρ δὴ δύναμαι πείθειν ἐμαυτὸν μὴ γελᾶν ἐπ᾿ Ἀλεξάνδρῳ τῷ Φιλίππου, εἴ γε, ἀπείρους ἀκούων εἶναί τινας κόσμους λέγοντος Δημοκρίτου ἐν τοῖς συγγράμμασιν, ὁ δὲ ἠνιᾶτο μηδὲ τοῦ ἑνὸς καὶ κοινοῦ κρατῶν. πόσον δὲ ἐπ᾿ αὐτῷ Δημόκριτος ἐγέλασεν <ἂν>46 αὐτός, τί δεῖ καὶ λέγειν, ᾧ ἔργον τοῦτο ἦν;

  • 46suppl. Kor.

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so far as to say that he sacrificed to no god, but still had lived no less agreeably and painlessly than men who had sacrificed hecatombs. For this light-headed talk he paid the heaviest penalty.

29. I cannot persuade myself not to laugh at Alexander the son of Philip, if it is true that when he heard there were an infinite number of worlds—Democritus says this in his writings—he was pained at the thought of not even being the master of the one we all know. Need one say how much Democritus would have laughed at him, laughter being his stock-in-trade?49

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aelian-historical_miscellany.1997