Tools

Book VIII

To the voracious craving of a king and a young man I shall append Aristotle’s similar thirsty grasping at credit. He had given his books on the art of oratory to his pupil Theodectes to publish as his own. Later he was irked that their title should have thus passed to another and so in a volume of his own, dwelling on certain matters, he added that he had spoken of them more fully in Theodectes’ books. If I were not held back by my respect for knowledge so great and wide-ranging, I should say that here was a philosopher whose character should have been handed over to a higher-minded philosopher to be stabilized.11

Glory is not neglected even by such as attempt to inculcate contempt for it, since they are careful to add their names to those very volumes, in order to attain by use of remembrance what they belittle in their professions. But whatever may be thought of their dissimulation, it is far more tolerable than the design of those who in their desire to be remembered forever did not scruple to gain notoriety even by crimes.

Of their number perhaps Pausanias should be given first mention. For when he asked Hermocles how he could suddenly become famous and was told in reply that if he killed an illustrious man that man’s glory would redound to himself, he went and slew Philip, and indeed he achieved his purpose. For he made himself as well known to posterity by the murder as Philip by his achievements.12

Here is appetite for glory involving sacrilege. A man was found to plan the burning of the temple of Ephesian

277
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.valerius_maximus-memorable_doings_sayings.2000