Philostratus of Athens, Gymnasticus

LCL 521: 398-399




1. Σοφίαν ἡγώμεθα καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα μὲν οἷον φιλοσοφῆσαι καὶ εἰπεῖν ξὺν τέχνῃ ποιητικῆς τε ἅψασθαι καὶ μουσικῆς καὶ γεωμετρίας καὶ νὴ Δί’ ἀστρονομίας, ὁπόση μὴ περιττή, σοφία δὲ καὶ τὸ κοσμῆσαι στρατιὰν καὶ ἔτι τὰ τοιαῦτα· ἰατρικὴ πᾶσα καὶ ζωγραφία καὶ πλάσται καὶ ἀγαλμάτων εἴδη καὶ κοῖλοι λίθοι καὶ κοῖλος σίδηρος. βάναυσοι δὲ ὁπόσαι, δεδόσθω μὲν αὐταῖς τέχνη, καθ’ ἣν ὄργανόν τι καὶ σκεῦος ὀρθῶς ἀποτελεσθήσεται, σοφία δὲ ἐς ἐκείνας ἀποκείσθω μόνας, ἃς εἶπον. ἐξαιρῶ κυβερνητικὴν τῶν βαναύσων, ἐπειδὴ ἄστρων τε συνίησιν1 καὶ ἀνέμων καὶ τῶν ἀδήλων ἅπτεται. ταῦτα μὲν ὧν ἕνεκά μοι εἴρηται, δειχθήσεται. περὶ δὲ γυμναστικῆς σοφίαν λέγομεν οὐδεμιᾶς ἐλάττω τέχνης, ὥστε εἰς ὑπομνήματα ξυνθεῖναι τοῖς βουλομένοις γυμνάζειν. ἡ μὲν γὰρ πάλαι γυμναστικὴ Μίλωνας ἐποίει καὶ Ἱπποσθένας, Πουλυδάμαντάς τε




1. Let us regard as types of wisdom, on the one hand, things like philosophy and skillful speech and engaging in poetry and music and geometry, and by Zeus astronomy, so long as it is not carried to excess. On the other hand, the organization of an army is a form of wisdom, and in addition things like the following: the whole of medicine and painting and modeling, and the various types of sculpting and gem cutting and metal engraving. As for the activities of craftsmen, let us accept that they require skill, by which tools and equipment can be correctly built, but let the label of wisdom be reserved only for those activities I have mentioned. I exempt the piloting of ships from the category of craftsmen’s activities, since it requires understanding of the stars and the winds and concerns itself with things that are not evident to the senses. My reasons for saying all of this will become clear. As for athletic training, we assert that it is a form of wisdom, and one that is inferior to none of the other skills, which means that it can be summed up in treatise form for the benefit of those who wish to undertake training. For the old system of athletic training produced men like Milo1 and Hipposthenes2

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philostratus_athens-gymnasticus.2014