Eunapius, Lives of Philosophers

LCL 134: 342-343

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Ξενοφῶν ὁ φιλόσοφος, ἀνὴρ μόνος ἐξ ἁπάντων φιλοσόφων ἐν λόγοις τε καὶ ἔργοις φιλοσοφίαν 453κοσμήσας (τὰ μὲν ἐς λόγους ἔστι τε ἐν γράμμασι καὶ τὴν ἠθικὴν ἀρετὴν γράφει, τὰ δὲ ἐν πράξεσί τε ἦν ἄριστος, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐγέννα στρατηγοὺς τοῖς ὑποδείγμασιν· ὁ γοῦν μέγας Ἀλέξανδρος οὐκ ἂν ἐγένετο μέγας, εἰ μὴ Ξενοφῶν1), καὶ τὰ πάρεργά φησι δεῖν τῶν σπουδαίων ἀνδρῶν ἀναγράφειν. ἐμοὶ δὲ οὐκ εἰς τὰ πάρεργα τῶν σπουδαίων ὁ λόγος φέρει τὴν γραφήν, ἀλλ᾿ εἰς τὰ ἔργα. εἰ γὰρ τὸ παίγνιον τῆς ἀρετῆς ἄξιον λόγου, ἀσεβοῖτο ἂν πάντως τὸ σπουδαζόμενον σιωπώμενον. διαλεχθήσεται δὲ ὁ λόγος τοῖς ἐντυγχάνειν βουλομένοις, οὔτε περὶ πάντων ἀσφαλῶς (οὐ γὰρ πάντα ἀκριβῶς ἦν ἀναλέγεσθαι), οὔτε ἀποκρίνων ἀλλήλων φιλοσόφους ἀρίστους καὶ ῥήτορας, ἀλλὰ παρατιθεὶς


Lives of the Philosophers


Lives of the Philosophers and Sophists


Xenophon the philosopher, who is unique among all philosophers in that he adorned philosophy not only with words but with deeds as well (as regards words he still lives in letters and writes of the moral virtues, and as for deeds he excelled in them, and more, by means of the examples that he gave, he begat leaders of armies; for instance great Alexander never would have become great had Xenophon never been)—he, I say, asserts that we ought to record even the casual doings of distinguished men. But the aim of my narrative is not to write of the casual doings of distinguished men, but their main achievements. For if even the playful moods of virtue are worth recording, then it would be absolutely impious to be silent about her serious aims. To those who desire to read this narrative it will tell its tale, not indeed with complete certainty as to all matters—for it was impossible to collect all the evidence with accuracy—nor shall I separate out from the rest the most illustrious philosophers and orators, but I shall

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.eunapius-lives_philosophers.1921