Philo, On Husbandry

LCL 247: 108-109

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I. “Καὶ ἤρξατο Νῶε ἄνθρωπος γεωργὸς γῆς [300]εἶναι, καὶ ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα, καὶ ἔπιε | τοῦ οἴνου, καὶ ἐμεθύσθη ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ αὐτοῦ.”

Οἱ μὲν πολλοὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων τὰς φύσεις τῶν πραγμάτων οὐκ εἰδότες καὶ περὶ τὴν τῶν ὀνομάτων θέσιν ἐξ ἀνάγκης ἁμαρτάνουσι· τοῖς μὲν γὰρ ὥσπερ ἐξ ἀνατομῆς περινοηθεῖσι κύριαι προσρήσεις ἕπoνται, τοῖς δ᾿ ὑποσυγκεχυμένοις οὐ σφόδρα 2ἠκριβωμέναι. Μωυσῆς δὲ κατὰ πολλὴν περιουσίαν τῆς ἐν τοῖς πράγμασιν ἐπιστήμης ὀνόμασιν εὐθυβολωτάτοις καὶ ἐμφαντικωτάτοις εἴωθε χρῆσθαι. πολλαχοῦ μὲν οὖν τῆς νομοθεσίας τὴν ὑπόσχεσιν ἐπαληθεύουσαν εὑρήσομεν, οὐχ ἥκιστα δὲ κἀν τῷ προτεθέντι κεφαλαίῳ, καθ᾿ ὃ γεωργὸς ὁ δίκαιος 3Νῶε εἰσάγεται. τίνι γὰρ τῶν προχειροτέρων οὐκ ἂν δόξειε τὰ αὐτὰ εἶναι γεωργία τε καὶ γῆς ἐργασία, καίτοι πρὸς ἀλήθειαν οὐ μόνον οὐκ ὄντα τὰ αὐτά, ἀλλὰ καὶ λίαν ἀπηρτημένα, ὡς ἀντιστατεῖν καὶ 4διαμάχεσθαι; δύναται μὲν γάρ τις καὶ ἄνευ ἐπιστήμης περὶ τὴν γῆς ἐπιμέλειαν πονεῖσθαι, γεωργὸς δὲ τὸ μὴ ἰδιώτης ἀλλ᾿ ἔμπειρος εἶναι καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι πεπίστωται, ὅπερ ἐκ τῆς γεωργικῆς τέχνης, ἧς 5φερώνυμός ἐστιν, εὕρηται. πρὸς δὲ τούτῳ κἀκεῖνο


On Husbandry

On Husbandry

I. “And Noah began to be a husbandman, and he 1 planted a vineyard, and drank of the wine, and became drunken within his housea” (Gen. ix. 20 f.).

Most men, not knowing the nature of things, necessarily go wrong also in giving them names. For things which are well considered and subjected as it were to dissection have appropriate designations attached to them in consequence; while others having been presented in a confused state receive names that are not thoroughly accurate. Moses, being abundantly2 equipped with the knowledge that has to do with things, is in the habit of using names that are perfectly apt and expressive. We shall find the assurance just given made good in many parts of the Lawgiving, and not least in the section before us in which the righteous Noah is introduced as a husbandman. Would not anyone who answers questions offhand3 think that husbandry and working on the soil were the same things, although in reality they not only are not the same things, but are ideas utterly at variance with each other and mutually repugnant? For a man is able even without knowledge to labour4 at the care of the soil, but a husbandman is guaranteed to be no unprofessional, but a skilled worker by his very name, which he has gained from the science of husbandry, the science whose title he bears. In5

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-husbandry.1930