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Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Right Arm of a Stoic


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Marcus Aurelius statue discovered in Sagalassos, Turkey

Right arm of 15-foot statue of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor from 161 AD to 180 AD), discovered in ruins of the frigidarium, largest and coldest room in the Roman baths at Sagalossos, Turkey
: photo by SARP, 2008 (via The Telegraph)



It loved to happen
(φιλεῖ τοῦτο γίνεσθαι)

"The earth loveth the shower," and "the holy ether knoweth what love is." The Universe, too, loves to create whatever is destined to be made.

Ἐρᾷ μὲν ὄμβρου γαῖα, ἐρᾷ δὲ ὁ σεμνὸς αἰθήρ, ἐρᾷ δὲ ὁ κόσμος ποιῆσαι ὃ ἂν μέλλῃ γίνεσθαι. λέγω οὖν τῷ κόσμῳ ὅτι σοὶ συνερῶ. μήτι δὲ οὕτω κἀκεῖνο λέγεται, ὅτι˙ φιλεῖ τοῦτο γίνεσθαι.


Marcus Aurelius: Meditations x.21



Marcus Aurelius statue discovered in Sagalassos, Turkey

Head of 15-foot statue of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor from 161 AD to 180 AD), discovered in ruins of the frigidarium, largest and coldest room in the Roman baths at Sagalossos, Turkey: photo by SARP, 2008 (via The Telegraph)

File:Marcus Aurelius Metropolitan Museum.png

Marble portrait bust of Marcus Aurelius:
Antonine period, 161-180 AD (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; image by Steerpike, 2007)
(His military tunic and cloak reflect his active role as commander-in-chief of Roman forces; he spent many years during the latter part of his reign on campaign in central Europe defending the Danube frontier against several different barbarian tribes. It was during these campaigns that he wrote part of the so-called Meditations, a personal diary of his innermost thoughts.)

2 comments:

curtisroberts said...

It's corny and predictable to say, but I love this and it's provided leavening and strength through the day: the words, the images and the Greek letters on the page. It reminded me also of Guy Davenport's translation of Herakleitos' Fragment 17: "Nature loves to hide."

TC said...

Thanks, Curtis; and funny you should say that, because I was looking into the Meditations the way one shops for an Instant Stoicism pill. It was at least easier on the spirit than the previous night's visit to Walgreen's.

(That broken statuary find in Turkey had dropped a lame joke into my head re. the philosopher not quite being able to put his finger on it...)