Anonymous of Iamblichus, The Anonymous of Iamblichus

LCL 532: 142-143

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EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY IX

THE ANONYMOUS OF IAMBLICHUS [89 DK]

(> DK) Anon. in Iambl. Protr.

[Excellence derives from a combination of natural disposition and training] p. 95.13–24 Pistelli

(1.) [. . .] [1] ὅ τι ἄν τις ἐθέλῃ ἐξεργάσασθαι εἰς τέλος τὸ βέλτιστον, ἐάν τε σοφίαν ἐάν τε ἀνδρείαν ἐάν τε εὐγλωσσίαν ἐάν τε ἀρετὴν ἢ τὴν σύμπασαν ἢ μέρος τι αὐτῆς, ἐκ τῶνδε οἷόν τε εἶναι κατεργάσασθαι. [2] φῦναι μὲν πρῶτον δεῖν, καὶ τοῦτο μὲν τῇ τύχῃ ἀποδεδόσθαι, τὰ δὲ ἐπ’ αὐτῷ ἤδη τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ τάδε εἶναι, ἐπιθυμητὴν γενέσθαι τῶν καλῶν καὶ ἀγαθῶν φιλόπονόν τε καὶ πρωιαίτατα μανθάνοντα καὶ πολὺν χρόνον αὐτοῖς συνδιατελοῦντα. [3] εἰ δέ τι ἀπέσται τούτων καὶ ἕν, οὐχ οἷόν τέ ἐστιν οὐδὲ1 ἐς τέλος τὸ ἄκρον ἐξεργάσασθαι, ἔχοντος δὲ ἅπαντα ταῦτα, ἀνυπέρβλητον γίγνεται τοῦτο, ὅ τι ἂν ἀσκῇ τις τῶν ἀνθρώπων. [. . .]

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THE ANONYMOUS OF IAMBLICHUS

THE ANONYMOUS OF IAMBLICHUS

(> DK) Anonymous, in Iamblichus, Protreptic

[Excellence derives from a combination of natural disposition and training]

(1.) [. . .] [1] whatever one wishes to bring to perfection in the finest terms possible—whether wisdom, manly valor, eloquence, or virtue, either as a whole or in some part of it—one can achieve this in the following way. [2] First one must have a certain natural disposition, and while this has been assigned by chance, the following things are already within a person’s own power: to become desirous of fine and good things and to become industrious, learning these things as early as possible and also continuing to spend a long time with them. [3] If any of these [scil. factors] is absent, even if only one of them, it is not possible to bring to perfection what is highest either; but if one possesses all of these, then whatever a person works at turns out to be unsurpassable. [. . .]

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.anonymous_iamblichus.2016