ΟΜΙΛΙΑ ΚΑΤΑ ΟΡΓΙΖΟΜΕΝΩΝ
Against Those Who Are Prone to Anger
1. Ὥσπερ ἐπὶ τῶν ἰατρικῶν παραγγελμάτων,
As in the case of medical precepts,
ὅταν εὐστόχως
when they succesfully
καὶ κατὰ τὸν λόγον τῆς τέχνης γίγνηται,
are applied and in accordance with the laws of the medical art,
μετὰ τὴν πεῖραν μάλιστα
and indeed through the test of experience
τὸ ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ὠφέλιμον διαδείκνυται,
the benefit to be derived from them is demonstrated,
οὕτως ἐπὶ τῶν πνευματικῶν παραινέσεων,
likewise in the case of spiritual counsels,
ἐπειδὰν μάλιστα τὴν ἔκβασιν μαρτυροῦσαν
when the strong confirmation of end results produced
λάβῃ τὰ παραγγέλματα,
are received for these counsels,
τότε τὸ σοφὸν αὐτῶν καὶ ὠφέλιμον
then their wisdom and their value
πρὸς τὴν ἐπανόρθωσιν τοῦ βίου
for the amendment of our lifes
καὶ τὴν τῶν πειθομένων τελείωσιν
and the attainment of perfection by those who obey them
ἀναφαίνεται.
is manifested.
Ἀκούοντες μὲν γὰρ τῶν Παροιμιῶν
When in Proverbs then we read
διαρρήδην ἀποφαινομένων ὅτι
the explicit declaration that
«Ὀργὴ ἀπόλλυσι καὶ φρονίμους»,
'Wrath destroyeth even the prudent',
ἀκούοντες δὲ καὶ ἀποστολικῶν παραινέσεων·
and also listening to the apostolic exhortations;
«Πᾶσα ὀργὴ καὶ θυμὸς καὶ κραυγὴ
'Let all anger and indignation and clamour
ἀρθήτω ἀφ’ ὑμῶν,
be put away from you,
σὺν πάσῃ κακίᾳ»,
together with all malice',
καὶ τοῦ Κυρίου λέγοντος,
and the Lord saying that,
«Τὸν ὀργιζόμενον εἰκῆ
'whoever gives way lightly to anger
τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ
against his brother
ἔνοχον εἶναι τῇ κρίσει»·
is in danger of the judgment';
νῦν ὅτε εἰς πεῖραν ἤλθομεν τοῦ πάθους,
Now, when we have had experience with the vice of anger,
οὐκ ἐν ἡμῖν γενομένου,
not as arising within ourselves,
ἀλλ’ ἔξωθεν ἡμῖν προσπεσόντος,
but attacking us from without,
ὥσπερ καταιγίδος τινὸς ἀδοκήτου,
like a sudden unexpected tempest,
τότε μάλιστα
then especially
τὸ θαυμαστὸν τῶν θείων παραγγελμάτων
the excellence of the divine precept
ἐπέγνωμεν.
we do perceive.
Δόντες μὲν αὐτοὶ τῇ ὀργῇ τόπον,
If we have ever yielded before such anger,
ὥσπερ ῥεύματι βιαίῳ διέξοδον,
as if giving passage to a strongly flowing stream,
καταμανθάνοντες δὲ ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ
and have studied calmly in silence
τὴν ἀσχήμονα ταραχὴν
the shameful paroxysms
τῶν ὑπὸ τοῦ πάθους κατεχομένων,
which afflict persons who are in the grip of this passion,
ἐπέγνωμεν ἐπὶ τῶν ἔργων
we have also recognized in actual fact
τὴν εὐστοχίαν τοῦ ῥήματος ὅτι
the validity of the saying that
«Ἀνὴρ θυμώδης οὐκ εὐσχήμων».
'A wrathful man is not seemly.'
Ἐπειδὰν γὰρ ἅπαξ
For when it has once succeeded
παρωσάμενον τοὺς λογισμοὺς
in banishing reason
τὸ πάθος αὐτὸ
this vice
τὴν δυναστείαν τὴν ψυχῆς παραλάβῃ,
and itself usurps the dominion over the soul,
ἀποθηριοῖ παντελῶς τὸν ἄνθρωπον
it makes a man wholly bestial
καὶ οὐδὲ ἄνθρωπον εἶναι συγχωρεῖ,
and it does not even allow him to be a man,
οὐκέτι ἔχοντα τὴν ἐκ τοῦ λόγου βοήθειαν.
since he no longer has the aid of his reason.
Ὅπερ γὰρ τοῖς ἰοβόλοις ἐστὶν ὁ ἰός,
Because like that of the poison in animals who carry venom,
τοῦτο τοῖς παροξυνθεῖσιν ὁ θυμὸς γίνεται.
such is the effect of anger upon persons aroused by this passion.
Λυσσῶσιν ὥσπερ οῖ κύνες,
They become rabid like mad dogs,
ᾄττουσιν ὥσπερ οἱ σκορπίοι,
they dart about like scorpions,
δάκνουσιν ὥσπερ οἱ ὄφεις.
they bite like serpents.
Οἶδε καὶ ἡ Γραφὴ
The Scripture also recognizes the truth of this
τοὺς ὑπὸ τοῦ πάθους κεκρατημένους
and to those who are under the power of the vice
ταῖς τῶν θηρίων προσηγορίαις ἀποκαλεῖν,
applies the names of wild animals,
οἷς ἑαυτοὺς διὰ τῆς πονηρίας ᾠκείωσαν.
for they acquire an affinity with them through their wickedness.
«Κύνας γὰρ ἐννεούς»,
'Dumb dogs',
καὶ ὄφεις,
and serpents,
«γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν»,
'generation of vipers',
καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα προσαγορεύει.
and such similar names calls them.
Οἱ γὰρ ἕτοιμοι
For they who are bent
πρὸς τὴν κατ’ ἀλλήλων φθορὰν
upon mutual destruction
καὶ τὴν κατὰ τῶν ὁμοφύλων βλάβην,
and upon doing harm to their fellow men,
εἰκότως ἂν θηρίοις καὶ ἰοβόλοις
appropriately with wild and poisonous beasts
συναριθμοῖντο,
would be numbered,
οἷς ἀδιάλλακτόν ἐκ φύσεως ἐνυπάρχει
who by nature bear an implacable
πρὸς ἀνθρώπους τὸ μῖσος.
enmity toward mankind.
Διὰ θυμόν,
Because of anger,
ἀχάλινοι γλῶσσαι
tongues become unbridled
καὶ ἀπύλωτα στόματα·
and speech unguarded;
χεῖρες ἀκρατεῖς,
arms prone to violence,
ὕβρεις,
acts of contumely,
ὀνείδη,
reviling,
κακηγορίαι,
accusations,
πληγαί,
blows,
τὰ ἄλλα ὅσα οὐδ’ ἂν ἐξαριθμήσαιτό τις,
and other bad effects too numerous to recount,
ὀργῆς καὶ θυμοῦ ἔκγονά ἐστι πάθη.
are passions born of anger and indignation.
Διὰ θυμόν,
By indignation,
καὶ ξίφος ἀκονᾶται.
also the sword is sharpened.
Θάνατος ἀνθρώπου,
The death of a man,
ἐκ χειρὸς ἀνθρωπείας τολμᾶται.
by a human hand is dared.
Διὰ τοῦτον
For this cause
ἀδελφοὶ μὲν ἀλλήλους ἠγνόησαν,
brothers have lost sight of their brotherhood,
γονεῖς δὲ καὶ τέκνα τῆς φύσεως ἐπελάθοντο.
parents and children have forgotten their natural bond.
Ἀγνοοῦσι μὲν γὰρ ἑαυτοὺς
And strangers to themselves become
πρῶτον οἱ ὀργιζόμενοι,
angry men first,
ἔπειτα καὶ πάντας ὁμοῦ τοὺς ἐπιτηδείους.
and then to all their friends as well.
Ὥσπερ γὰρ αἱ χαράδραι
Like mountain torrents
πρὸς τὰ κοῖλα συρρέουσαι,
which converge their streams in the valleys,
τὸ προστυχὸν παρασύρουσιν,
and sweep along with them everything in their path,
οὕτως αἱ τῶν ὀργιζομένων
thus of an angry man
ὁρμαὶ βίαιοι καὶ ἀκάθεκτοι
the violent and uncontrolled onset
διὰ πάντων ὁμοίως χωροῦσιν.
carries all before it.
Οὐ πολιὰ τοῖς θυμουμένοις αἰδέσιμος,
The wrathful have no respect for old age,
οὐκ ἀρετὴ βίου,
nor for a virtuous life,
οὐκ οἰκειότης γένους,
nor ties of kinship,
οὐ προλαβοῦσαι χάριτες,
nor favors received in the past,
οὐκ ἄλλο τι τῶν τιμίων.
nor for anything else worthy of honor.
Μανία τίς ἐστιν ὀλιγοχρόνιος ὁ θυμός.
Anger is a kind of temporary madness.
Οἵ γε καὶ εἰς προῦπτον κακὸν ἑαυτοὺς
Its victims into open peril themselves
πολλάκις ἐμβάλλουσι,
often plunge headlong,
τῇ πρὸς τὴν ἄμυναν σπουδῇ,
in their eagerness for revenge,
τοῦ καθ’ ἑαυτοὺς ἀμελοῦντες.
being so careless of themselves.
Οἱονεὶ γὰρ οἴστρῳ
For as by a gadfly
τῇ μνήμῃ τῶν λελυπηκότων
by the recollection of the authors of their wrongs
περικεντούμενοι,
stung on all sides,
σφαδάζοντος αὐτοῖς τοῦ θυμοῦ καὶ πηδῶντος,
with their wrath struggling and bounding within them,
οὐ πρότερον ἀπολήγουσι,
they do not rest until,
πρὶν ἢ κακόν τι δοῦναι
they have inflicted some hurt
τῷ παροξύναντι,
upon their tormenter,
ἤπου τι καὶ προσλαβεῖν ἐὰν τύχῃ,
or perhaps until they themselves receive an injury,
ὥσπερ που πολλάκις
as very often happens
τὰ βιαίως καταρρηγνύμενα
to objects which are violently shattered against others
ἔπαθέ τι πλέον
and they suffer greater injury
ἢ ἔδρασε
than they inflict
τοῖς ἀντιτύποις
and against the resisting bodies
περιθραυσθέντα.
are broken in pieces.
2. Τίς ἂν ἐφίκοιτο τοῦ κακοῦ;
Who could adequately describe the evil;
ὅπως οἱ ὀξύρροποι πρὸς θυμὸν
how vehement natures inclined to indignation
ὑπὸ τῆς τυχούσης προφάσεως ἐξαπτόμενον,
for some trivial cause their anger firing off,
βοῶντες καὶ ἀγριαίνοντες,
shouting and raging,
καὶ τίνος οὐχὶ ἰοβόλων ἀναιδέστερον ἐφορμῶντες,
and by leaping upon their prey more ruthlessly than a venomous beast,
οὐ πρότερον ἵστανται πρὶν
they do not leave off until
ἢ διὰ μεγάλου καὶ ἀνηκέστου κακοῦ,
after working great and even irremediable harm,
οἷον πομφόλυγος,
like a bubble,
αὐτοῖς τῆς ὀργῆς ἐκραγείσης,
the wrath within them has burst,
διαπνευσθῇ τὸ φλεγμαῖνον.
and the flame has spent itself.
Οὔτε γὰρ ξίφους ἀκμή,
Neither the point of the sword,
οὔτε πῦρ,
nor fire,
οὔτε ἄλλο τι τῶν φοβερῶν,
nor any means of inspiring fear,
ἱκανὸν
is able
τὴν ὑπὸ τῆς ὀργῆς ἐκμανεῖσαν ψυχὴν
the spirit frenzied with wrath
ἐπισχεῖν,
to restrain,
οὐ μᾶλλόν γε,
any more than,
ἢ τοὺς ὑπὸ δαιμόνων κατασχεθέντας,
such threats subdue persons possessed by demons,
ὧν οὐδὲν
from whom in nothing at all
οὔτε κατὰ τὸ σχῆμα,
either in appearance,
οὔτε κατὰ τὴν τῆς ψυχῆς διάθεσιν
or in their state of soul
οἱ ὀργιζόμενοι διαφέρουσιν.
do angry men differ.
Ὀρεγομένοις γὰρ τῆς ἀντιλυπήσεως
In those who are thirsting for revenge
περιζεῖ μὲν τῇ καρδίᾳ τὸ αἷμα,
the blood boils around the heart,
ὥσπερ βίᾳ πυρὸς
as if over a high fire
κυκώμενον καὶ παφλάζον,
it were seething and bubbling,
πρὸς δὲ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν ἐξανθῆσαν,
and when it bursts forth to the surface,
ἐν ἄλλῃ μορφῇ τὸν ὀργιζόμενον ἔδειξε,
his passion reveals the angry man under a different aspect,
τὴν συνήθη πᾶσι καὶ γνωρίμην,
from his habitual one that is well known to all,
ὥσπερ τι προσωπεῖον ἐπὶ σκηνῆς ὑπαλλάξαν.
as if a theatrical mask altered his appearance on scene.
Ὀφθαλμοὶ μὲν γὰρ
And his eyes
ἐκείνοις οἱ οἰκεῖοί τε
which for others are familiar
καὶ συνήθεις
and habitual
ἠγνόηνται·
now become unrecognizable;
παράφορον δὲ τὸ ὄμμα
his glance is wild
καὶ πῦρ ἤδη βλέπει.
and presently darts fire.
Καὶ παραθήγει τὸν ὀδόντα,
And he gnashes his teeth,
κατὰ τῶν συῶν
like boars do
τοὺς ὁμόσε χωροῦντας.
when fighting each other.
Πρόσωπον πελιδνὸν καὶ ὕφαιμον,
His face is livid and suffused with blood,
ὄγκος τοῦ σώματος ἐξοιδαίνων,
his body swells,
φλέβες διαρρηγνύμεναι,
his veins burst,
ὑπὸ τῆς ἔνδοθεν ζάλης
because of the tempest raging within
κλονουμένου τοῦ πνεύματος.
his breathing is labored.
Φωνὴ τραχεῖα καὶ ὑπερτεινομένη
His voice is hoarse and strained
καὶ ὁ λόγος ἄναρθρος
his utterance is thick
καὶ εἰκῆ προεκπίπτων,
and his words without logic,
οὐ κατὰ μέρος,
or sequence,
οὐδὲ εὐτάκτως,
or order,
οὐδὲ εὐσήμως προϊών.
or meaning.
Ἐπειδὰν δὲ εἰς τὸ ἀνήκεστον,
And when to the point of uncontrollable fury,
ὥσπερ φλὸξ ὕλης ἀφθονίᾳ,
like a flame abundantly fed,
τοῖς παροξύνουσιν ἐξαφθῇ,
his anger has reached,
τότε δή, τότε,
then, indeed,
τὰ οὔτε λόγῳ ῥητά,
neither by words can be explained,
οὔτε ἔργῳ φορητὰ
nor by examble can be described
ἐπιδεῖν ἐστι θεάματα·
the spectacles one can witness;
χεῖρας μὲν διηρμένας κατὰ τῶν ὁμοφύλων
his hands are lifted even against his kinsmen
καὶ πᾶσι μέρεσι τοῦ σώματος ἐπιφερομένας,
and no part of the body is safe,
πόδας δὲ ἀφειδῶς τοῖς καιριωτάτοις ἐναλλομένους,
his feet trample ruthlessly upon the most vital organs,
πᾶν δὲ τὸ φανὲν
and every object in sight
ὅπλον τῇ μανίᾳ γινόμενον.
becomes a weapon for his fury.
Ἐὰν δὲ καὶ ἐκ τοῦ ἐναντίου
And if arrayed against them
τὸ ἴσον κακὸν ἀντιστρατευόμενον εὕρωσιν,
they find an adversary who threatens them equally,
ὀργὴν ἄλλην καὶ μανίαν ὁμότιμον,
that is, with another fit of anger and a like frenzy,
οὕτω δὴ συμπεσόντες
and they clash with each other
ἔδρασαν ἀλλήλους καὶ ἔπαθον,
then both sides inflict and suffer,
ὅσα εἰκὸς τοὺς
as many injuries as those who
ὑπὸ τοιούτῳ δαίμονι στρατηγουμένους
with a demon so fierce as their henchmen
παθεῖν.
suffer.
Πηρώσεις γὰρ μελῶν
Mutilated body members
ἢ καὶ θανάτους
and even deaths
πολλάκις ἆθλα τῆς ὀργῆς
not infrequently are prizes for their wrath
οἱ μαχόμενοι ἀπηνέγκαντο.
that the combatants carry off.
Ἦρξε χειρῶν ἀδίκων,
One had unjustly begun rising violent hands,
ὁ δὲ ἠμύνατο,
the other defended himself,
ὁ δὲ ἀντεπήνεγκεν,
the first then returns the blow,
ὁ δὲ οὐχ ὑφίεται.
the latter refuses to give way.
Καὶ τὸ μὲν σῶμα
And while their bodies
ταῖς πληγαῖς διακόπτεται,
get well pummeled with wounds,
ὁ δὲ θυμὸς
the anger however
τοῦ ἀλγεινοῦ τὴν αἴσθησιν παραιρεῖται.
deadens the feeling of pain.
Οὐ γὰρ ἄγουσι σχολὴν
They don't therefore calm
πρὸς τὴν ὧν πεπόνθασιν αἴσθησιν,
by becoming aware of their injuries,
ὅλης αὐτοῖς τῆς ψυχῆς
because their whole attention
πρὸς τὴν ἄμυναν
with wreaking vengeance
τοῦ λελυπηκότος
against their enemy
κεκινημένης.
is taken up.
3. Μὴ δὴ κακῷ
Do not try therefore one evil
τὸ κακὸν ἰᾶσθε,
to cure with another evil,
μηδὲ ἐπιχειρεῖτε
and do not try
ἀλλήλους ὑπερβαίνειν
to outdo one another
ταῖς συμφοραῖς.
in inflicting harm.
Ἐν γὰρ ἁμίλλαις πονηραῖς
Because in unrighteous combats
ἀθλιώτερος ὁ νικήσας,
the victor is the more unhappy,
διότι ἀπέρχεται
for he walks away
τὸ πλεῖον ἔχων τῆς ἁμαρτίας.
bearing the greater share of guilt.
Μὴ τοίνυν γένῃ
Do not then become
κακοῦ πληρωτὴς ἐράνου,
a donor in an evil whip-round,
μηδὲ πονηροῦ δανείου
nor of a mischievous loan
πονηρότερος ἐκτιστής.
an even more impish liquidator.
Ὕβρισεν ὀργισθείς;
Someone in a fit of anger has insulted you?
στῆσον τῇ σιωπῇ
Put an end through your silence
τὸ κακόν.
to the evil.
Σὺ δὲ ὥσπερ ῥεῦμα
But you, contrariwise
τὴν ἐκείνου ὀργὴν
your adversary's gust of wrath
εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν καρδίαν ὑποδεξάμενος,
receive into your own heart,
τοὺς ἀνέμους μιμῇ,
and then imitate the winds,
διὰ τῆς ἀντιπνοίας
which by a counter-blast
ἀντιδιδόντας τὸ ἐνεχθέν.
return whatever is flung against their blowing.
Μὴ διδασκάλῳ χρήσῃ τῷ ἐχθρῷ,
Let not your enemy be your teacher,
μηδὲ ὃ μισεῖς,
and what you hate,
τοῦτο ζηλώσῃς.
do not imitate.
Μηδὲ γένῃ
Neither become
ὥσπερ κάτοπτρον τοῦ ὀργίλου,
like a mirror for the angry man,
τὴν ἐκείνου μορφὴν
the image of his
ἐν σεαυτῷ
in yourself
δεικνύς.
reflecting.
Ἐρυθρὸς ἐκεῖνος,
His face is flushed,
σὺ δὲ οὐκ ἐφοινίχθης;
why has not yours turned red?
Ὀφθαλμοὶ ὕφαιμοι,
His eyes are suffused with blood,
οἱ δὲ σοί,
why yours,
εἰπέ μοι,
tell me,
γαλήνην βλέπουσι;
do they keep their placid expression?
Φωνὴ τραχεῖα,
His voice is hoarse,
ἡ δὲ σὴ ἠπία;
is yours gentle?
Οὐδὲ ἡ ἐν ταῖς ἐρημίαις ἠχὼ
Not even an echo in the desert
οὕτως ἀνεκλάσθη ἀκεραία
is not so perfectly returned
πρὸς τὸν φθεγξάμενον,
to the speaker,
ὡς ἐπὶ τὸν λοίδορον
as upon the reviler
αἱ ὕβρεις ἐπαναστρέφουσι.
insults are turned back.
Μᾶλλον δὲ
Or better
ὁ μὲν ἦχος
the sound of an echo
ὁ αὐτὸς ἀπεδόθη,
comes back the same,
ἡ δὲ λοιδορία
the insult however
μετὰ προσθήκης ἐπάνεισιν.
is answered with increase.
Οἷα γὰρ ἀλλήλους ἐφυβρίζοντες ἀντιφθέγγονται;
What sort of taunts are they which revilers utter back and forth?
Ὁ μὲν εἶπεν
One calls the other
ἀφανῆ, καὶ ἐξ ἀφανῶν,
a common fellow of ignoble stock,
ὁ δὲ ἀπεκάλεσεν
the other calls the first
οἰκοτρίβων οἰκότριβα·
a slave of slaves;
οὗτος πένητα,
One says, 'pauper',
ἐκεῖνος ἀλήτην·
the other answers, Vagabond.';
οὗτος ἀμαθῆ,
One cries, 'fool',
ἐκεῖνος παραπλῆγα,
the other shouts, 'madman',
ἕως ἂν αὐτοῖς αἱ ὕβρεις,
until their armory of insults,
ὥσπερ τοξεύματα,
like arrows,
ἐπιλίπωσιν.
is exhausted.
Εἶτα,
Then,
πᾶσαν λοιδορίαν
when their stock of verbal abuse
διὰ τῆς γλώττης ἐκσφενδονήσωσιν,
through their tongues they have used up,
οὕτω λοιπὸν
they proceed
πρὸς τὴν διὰ τῶν ἔργων χωροῦσιν ἄμυναν.
to fighting it out with blows.
Θυμὸς μὲν γὰρ ἐγείρει μάχην,
Thus anger stirs up strife,
μάχη δὲ γεννᾷ λοιδορίας,
strife begets railing,
αἱ δὲ λοιδορίαι πληγάς,
railing leads to blows,
αἱ δὲ πληγαὶ τραύματα,
blows to wounds,
ἐκ δὲ τραυμάτων πολλάκις θάνατοι.
and from wounds, often enough, death results.
Ἀπὸ τῆς πρώτης ἀρχῆς
From its very beginning
τὸ κακὸν ἐπίσχωμεν,
let us check the evil,
τὴν ὀργὴν πάσῃ μηχανῇ τῶν ψυχῶν ἐξελόντες.
by making use of every device for expelling anger from our souls.
Οὕτω γὰρ ἂν δυνηθείημεν
Because by so doing we could
τὰ πλεῖστα τῶν κακῶν,
most of our vices,
ὥσπερ ῥίζῃ τινὶ καὶ ἀρχῇ,
as if anger serves as their root and source,
τῷ πάθει τούτῳ συνεκτεμεῖν.
along with this one exterminate.
Ἐλοιδόρησε;
Has someone insulted you?
σὺ δὲ εὐλόγησον.
You bless him.
Ἐτύπτησε;
Has he struck you?
σὺ δὲ ὑπόμεινον.
You suffer it.
Διαπτύει καὶ τὸ μηδὲν ἡγεῖταί σε;
Has he despised you and set you at naught?
σὺ δὲ ἔννοιαν λάβε σεαυτοῦ,
You reflect of yourself,
ὅτι ἐκ γῆς ὑφέστηκας
that you are made of earth
καὶ εἰς γῆν πάλιν ἀναλυθήσῃ.
and that you will return to the earth.
Ὁ γὰρ τούτοις τοῖς λόγοις ἑαυτὸν προκατασχών,
Whoever arms himself beforehand with these considerations,
πᾶσαν ἀτιμίαν
for every insult
ἐλάττονα εὑρήσει τῆς ἀληθείας.
will find that falls short of the truth.
Οὕτω γὰρ καὶ τῷ ἐχθρῷ
Thus for your enemy
ἀμήχανον κατασκευάσεις τὴν ἄμυναν,
will you make it impossible to avenge himself,
ἄτρωτον σεαυτὸν ταῖς λοιδορίαις δεικνύς,
since you show yourself impervious to his taunts,
καὶ σεαυτῷ μέγαν τῆς ὑπομονῆς προξενήσεις τὸν στέφανον,
and you will secure for yourself the great crown of patience,
τὴν ἑτέρου μανίαν ἀφορμὴν οἰκείας φιλοσοφίας ποιούμενος.
by making the insane fury of another the occasion for practicing your own philosophy.
Ὥστε, ἂν ἐμοὶ πείθῃ,
Therefore, if you listen to me,
καὶ ἐπιδαψιλεύσῃ τῶν ὕβρεων.
you also will add force to the insults cast at you.
Ἀφανῆ σε εἶπεν,
Did he call you common,
καὶ ἄδοξον
and ignoble,
καὶ μηδένα μηδαμόθεν;
and a nobody?
Σὺ δὲ γῆν εἰπὲ καὶ σποδὸν σεαυτόν.
You then call yourself 'earth and ashes'.
Οὐκ εἶ σεμνότερος
You are not more worthy of honor
τοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ἀβραάμ,
than our father, Abraham,
ὃς ἑαυτὸν ταῦτα ἀπεκάλει.
and he used to refer to himself in this way.
Ἀμαθῆ καὶ πτωχὸν καὶ τοῦ μηδενὸς ἄξιον;
Did he call you an ignoramus and worthless fellow?
Σὺ δὲ σκώληκα σεαυτὸν εἰπέ,
You call yourself a worm,
καὶ ἀπὸ κοπρίας ἔχειν τὴν γένεσιν,
and that you are born of a dunghill,
τὰ τοῦ Δαβὶδ λέγων ῥήματα.
repeating the words of David.
Τούτοις πρόσθες
To these add
καὶ τὸ τοῦ Μωυσέως καλόν.
also Moses' noble conduct.
Ἐκεῖνος ὑπὸ Ἀαρὼν καὶ Μαρίας λοιδορηθείς,
When he was reviled by Aaron and Mary,
οὐ κατενέτυχε τῷ Θεῷ,
he did not make accusations against them to God,
ἀλλὰ προσηύχετο ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν.
but prayed for them.
Τίνων βούλει μαθητὴς εἶναι μᾶλλον,
Of whose disciples would you rather be,
τῷν θεοφιλῶν καὶ μακαρίων ἀνδρῶν,
the saints, the friends of God,
ἢ τῶν ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος τῆς πονηρίας πεπληρωμένων;
or men filled with the spirit of iniquity?
Ὅταν σοι κινηθῇ τῆς λοιδορίας ὁ πειρασμός,
Whenever the temptation to revile another assails you,
νόμιζε κρίνεσθαι σεαυτόν,
consider that you are being put to the test,
πότερον διὰ τῆς μακροθυμίας προσχωρεῖς τῷ Θεῷ,
whether you will practice patience and go over to God's side,
ἢ διὰ τῆς ὀργῆς ἀποτρέχεις πρὸς τὸν ἀντίδικον.
or give way to anger and run off to His Adversary.
Δὸς καιρὸν τοῖς λογισμοῖς σεαυτοῦ
Give your reason the opportunity
τὴν ἀγαθὴν ἐκλέξασθαι μερίδα.
of choosing the best part.
Ἢ γὰρ ὠφέλησάς τι κἀκεῖνον
For, either you will confer a kind of favor upon your enemy
τῷ ὑποδείγματι τῆς πραότητος,
by giving him an example of mildness,
ἢ χαλεπώτερον ἠμύνω
or you will exact a crueler vengeance
διὰ τῆς ὑπεροψίας.
through arrogance.
Τί γὰρ ἂν γένοιτο
Because, what could be
ὀδυνηρότερον τῷ ἐχθρῷ,
more painful to a hostile man,
ἢ τὸν ἐχθρὸν ἑαυτοῦ ὁρῶν
than to see an enemy
ὕβρεων ὑψηλότερον;
showing contempt for his insults?
Μὴ καταβάλῃς σεαυτοῦ τὴν γνώμην,
Retain your self-possession,
μηδὲ ἀνάσχῃ γενέσθαι
and do not bear become
ἐφικτὸς τοῖς ὑβρίζουσιν.
vulnerable to affronts.
Ἔασον αὐτὸν
Let your enemy
ἄπρακτά σου καθυλακτεῖν·
bark at you to no avail;
ἐφ’ ἑαυτῷ διαρρηγνύσθω.
let his rage burst upon himself.
Ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ τύπτων
As the man who strikes
τὸν μὴ ἀλγοῦντα,
a person who feels no pain,
ἑαυτὸν τιμωρεῖται
takes vengeance upon himself
(οὔτε γὰρ τὸν ἐχθρὸν ἠμύνατο,
(for he did not succeed in exacting it from his enemy,
καὶ τὸν θυμὸν οὐκ ἀνέπαυσεν),
and he found no outlet for his wrath),
οὕτως ὁ τὸν ἀλοιδόρητον ὀνειδίζων,
In the same way, a person who showers abuse upon one who is insensible to his taunts,
παραμυθίαν εὑρεῖν τοῦ πάθους οὐ δύναται.
finds himelf powerless to relieve his feelings.
Τοὐναντίον μὲν οὖν,
On the contrary,
ὅπερ ἔφην,
as I have said,
καὶ διαπρίεται.
he quite tears himself asunder.
Εὐθὺς γὰρ ἐκ τῶν παρόντων
To each of you under such circumstances
οἷα ἑκάτερος ὑμῶν προσαγορεύεται;
what are the epithets that are applied?
Ὁ μὲν λοίδορος,
He is called an abusive fellow,
σὺ δὲ μεγαλόψυχος·
you, a magnanimous one;
ὁ μὲν ὀργίλος καὶ χαλεπός,
he is dubbed irritable and rude,
σὺ δὲ μακρόθυμος καὶ πρᾶος·
you, long-suffering and mild;
ὁ μὲν μεταγνώσεται
He will suffer remorse
ἐφ’ οἷς ἐφθέγξατο,
for the words he said,
σὺ δὲ οὐδέποτε μεταμελήσῃ
you will never regret
τῆς ἀρετῆς.
practicing virtue.
4. Τί δεῖ τὰ πολλὰ λέγειν;
4. But, why should I go on at great length?
Τῷ μὲν ἀπέκλεισε τὴν τῶν οὐρανῶν βασιλείαν ἡ λοιδορία·
His railing keeps your enemy from entering the kingdom of heaven;
«Λοίδοροι γὰρ βασιλείαν Θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσι»,
for, 'railers shall not possess the kingdom of God',
σοὶ δὲ ἡτοίμασε τὴν βασιλείαν ἡ σιωπή.
Your silent endurance, on the other hand, entitles you to the kingdom.
«Ὁ γὰρ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος,
for 'he that shall persevere unto the end,
οὗτος σωθήσεται».
he shall be saved'.
Ἀμυνόμενος δὲ
But, if you defend yourself
καὶ εἰς ἴσον ἀντικαθιστάμενος τῷ λοιδόρῳ,
and bandy insults with him,
τί καὶ ἀπολογήσῃ;
what excuse will you offer?
Ὅτι παρώξυνε κατάρξας;
That he provoked you?
Καὶ ποίας τοῦτο συγγνώμης ἄξιον;
How do you deserve pardon on this ground?
Οὐδὲ γὰρ ὁ πόρνος
Because an adulterer
ἐπὶ τὴν ἑταίραν τὴν αἰτίαν μετατιθεὶς
who passes on the blame to his mistress
ὡς πρὸς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν διερεθίσασαν,
alleging that she led him into sin,
ἧττον τῆς κατακρίσεως ἀξιοῦται.
is not regarded as less deserving of condemnation.
Οὔτε στέφανοι χωρὶς ἀνταγωνιστῶν,
There are no crowns where there are no antagonists,
οὔτε πτώματα χωρὶς ἀντιπάλων.
nor defeats without adversaries.
Ἄκουε τοῦ Δαβὶδ λέγοντος·
Hear the words of David;
«Ἐν τῷ συστῆναι τὸν ἁμαρτωλὸν ἐναντίον μου,
'When the sinner stood against me,
οὐχὶ παρωξύνθην,
I didn't get angry,
οὐδὲ ἠμυνάμην»,
and I didn't defend myself',
ἀλλ’ «Ἐκωφώθην
but: 'I have set a guard to my mouth
καὶ ἐταπεινώθην,
and I was humbled,
καὶ ἐσίγησα ἐξ ἀγαθῶν».
and kept silence from good things.'
Σὺ δὲ παροξύνῃ μὲν
You are angered by reviling
ὡς ἐπὶ φαύλῃ τῇ λοιδορίᾳ,
because you consider such an action wicked,
μιμῇ δὲ πάλιν ὡς ἀγαθόν.
yet you, in turn, imitate it as if it were something good.
Ἰδοὺ γὰρ ἔπαθες
You are entertaining
ἃ ἐγκαλεῖς.
that which you consider reprehensible.
Ἢ τὸ μὲν ἀλλότριον κακὸν
Or is it that the wrongdoing of another
ἐπιμελῶς καταβλέπεις;
you scrupulously analyze;
τὸ δὲ σεαυτοῦ αἰσχρὸν
and your own shameful action
οὐδαμοῦ τιθεῖς;
regard as of no consequence?
Πονηρὸν ἡ ὕβρις;
Contumely is an evil, is it not?
Φεῦγε τὴν μίμησιν.
Do not imitate it, then.
Οὐ γὰρ δὴ
Because it is not sufficient
τὸ ἕτερον κατάρξαι,
the fact that another took the initiative in the quarrel,
ἱκανὸν εἰς παραίτησιν.
to constitute an excuse.
Δικαιότερον μὲν οὖν,
It is therefore more justly,
ὡς ἐμαυτὸν πείθω,
in my opinion,
καὶ ἐπιτεῖναι τὴν ἀγανάκτησιν,
that you become an object of displeasure, XXX
διότι ὁ μὲν οὐκ εἶχε τὸ σωφρονίζον ὑπόδειγμα·
because your enemy was not given an example of self-control;
σὺ δὲ βλέπων ἀσχημονοῦντα τὸν ὀργιζόμενον,
Upon beholding your angry foe behaving in a disgraceful manner,
οὐκ ἐφυλάξω αὐτοῦ τὴν ὁμοίωσιν,
you did not refrain from reproducing his image in yourself,
ἀλλ’ ἀγανακτεῖς
but you took offense
καὶ χαλεπαίνεις
and you became annoyed
καὶ ἀντοργίζῃ
and gave way to anger
καὶ γίνεταί σου τὸ πάθος
and your own passion becomes
ἀπολογία τοῦ προλαβόντος.
an excuse for the one who first offended.
Αὐτοῖς γὰρ οἷς ποιεῖς,
For by your response,
κἀκεῖνον αἰτίας ἀφίης
you release him from blame
καὶ σεαυτὸν κατακρίνεις.
and you condemn yourself.
Εἰ μὲν γὰρ πονηρὸν ὁ θυμός,
If anger is wicked,
τί οὐκ ἐξέκλινας τὸ κακόν;
why did you not 'decline from evil'?
Εἰ δὲ συγγνώμης ἄξιον,
If it deserves pardon,
τί χαλεπαίνεις τῷ θυμουμένῳ;
why were you offended with your opponent for losing his temper?
Ὥστε εἰ δεύτερος ἦλθες
Therefore being second
πρὸς τὴν ἀντίδοσιν,
in responding to provocation,
οὐδέν σε τοῦτο ὀνήσει.
you are in no better situation.
Οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐν τοῖς στεφανίταις ἀγῶσιν,
Because in the contests where crowns are the prize,
ὁ κατάρξας τῶν παλαισμάτων,
it's not the first entrant,
ἀλλ’ ὁ ὑπερβαλλόμενος στεφανοῦται.
but the victor who is crowned.
Καὶ κατακρίνεται τοίνυν,
Consequently, worthy of condemnation is,
οὐχὶ μόνον
not only
ὁ καθηγησάμενος τοῦ δεινοῦ,
the inaugurator of a wicked action,
ἀλλ’ ὁ καὶ πονηρῷ ἡγεμόνι
but also the one who a wicked leader
πρὸς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἐξακολουθήσας.
follows into sin.
Ἐὰν πένητά σε προσείπῃ,
If he calls you a poor man,
εἰ μὲν ἀληθῆ λέγει,
and this is true,
κατάδεξαι τὴν ἀλήθειαν,
accept the truth,
εἰ δὲ ψεύδεται,
but if he lies,
τί πρὸς σὲ τὸ λεγόμενον;
what does it matter to you?
Μήτε πρὸς ἐπαίνους χαυνωθῇς
You should not exult in praise
τοὺς ὑπὲρ τὴν ἀλήθειαν,
which oversteps the limits of truth,
μήτε πρὸς ὕβρεις ἀγριανῇς
and you should not be angered by insults
τὰς οὐχ ἁπτομένας σου.
that do not apply to you.
Οὐχ ὁρᾷς τὰ τοξεύματα,
Do you not observe arrows,
πῶς τῶν μὲν στερρῶν καὶ ἀντιτύπων
how with hard resistant substances
πέφυκε διεκπίπτειν,
are wont to pierce,
ἐν δὲ τοῖς ἁπαλοῖς καὶ ὑπείκουσι
while by a soft yielding surface
τὴν ὁρμὴν ὑπεκλύειν;
their force is weakened;
Τοιοῦτον δή τι νόμιζε
Reflect that the same thing
εἶναι καὶ τὸ τῆς λοιδορίας.
is true of reviling.
Ὁ μὲν ἀντιβαίνων
Because he who resists
εἰς ἑαυτὸν καταδέχεται,
he is pierced by it,
ὁ δὲ ἐνδιδοὺς καὶ ὑπείκων
but he who yields and gives way
ἐν τῇ ἁπαλότητι τοῦ τρόπου
by the gentleness of his manner
τὴν ἐπ’ αὐτὸν φερομένην πονηρίαν διέλυσε.
dissipates the evil directed against him.
Τί δέ σε ταράσσει
And why does it disturb you
ἡ προσηγορία τοῦ πένητος;
the 'poor man' appellation?
Μνήσθητι τῆς φύσεως σεαυτοῦ ὅτι
Remember your nature that
«Γυμνὸς εἰς τὸν κόσμον εἰσῆλθες,
'you came into the world naked,
γυμνὸς καὶ ἀπελεύσῃ».
and naked will leave it again'.
Τί δὲ γυμνοῦ πενιχρότερον;
What is more destitute than a naked man?
Οὐδὲν ἤκουσας δεινόν,
You have been called nothing that is derogatory,
ἐὰν μὴ σεαυτῷ οἰκειώσῃς
unless you make really applicable to yourself
τὰ εἰρημένα.
the terms used.
Τίς ποτε ἀπήχθη
Who was ever haled
διὰ πενίαν
because he was poor
εἰς δεσμωτήριον;
to prison?
Οὐ τὸ πένεσθαι ἐπονείδιστον,
It is not being poor that is reprehensible,
ἀλλὰ τὸ μὴ φέρειν εὐγενῶς
but failing to bear with nobility
τὴν πενίαν.
the poverty.
Μνήσθητι τοῦ Δεσπότου
Recall the Lord
«Ὅτι πλούσιος ὢν
that 'being rich
ἐπτώχευσε δι’ ἡμᾶς».
became poor for our sakes.'
Ἐὰν ἄφρονά σε καὶ ἀμαθῆ προσαγορεύσῃ,
If you are called foolish and ignorant,
ὑπομνήσθητι τῶν ἰουδαϊκῶν ὕβρεων,
think of the insults with which the Jews,
αἷς τὴν ἀληθινὴν σοφίαν ἐλοιδορήσαντο·
reviled the true Wisdom;
«Σαμαρείτης εἶ,
'Thou art a Samaritan,
καὶ δαιμόνιον ἔχεις».
and hast a devil'.
Ἐὰν μὲν οὖν ὀργισθῇς,
If you are moved to anger,
ἐβεβαίωσας τὰ ὀνείδη.
you make good the opprobrious names.
Τί γὰρ ὀργῆς ἀφρονέστερον;
What is more foolish than anger?
Ἐὰν δὲ μείνῃς ἀόργητος,
If you remain unruffled,
ᾔσχυνας τὸν ὑβρίσαντα,
you silence your insolent assailant,
ἔργῳ τὴν σωφροσύνην ἐπιδειξάμενος.
by giving him a practical illustration of self-control.
Ἐρραπίσθης;
Were you struck?
Καὶ γὰρ καὶ ὁ Κύριος.
So also was the Lord.
Ἐνεπτύσθης;
Were you spit upon?
Ἀλλὰ καὶ ὁ Δεσπότης ἡμῶν.
The Lord also suffered this.
«Οὐ γὰρ ἀπέστρεψε τὸ πρόσωπον
'He did not turn his face
ἀπὸ αἰσχύνης ἐμπτυσμάτων».
from the shame of the spittle.'
Ἐσυκοφαντήθης;
Were you falsely accused?
Καὶ γὰρ καὶ ὁ κριτής.
So also was your Judge.
Περιέρρηξάν σου τὸν χιτωνίσκον;
Did they tear your garment?
Ἀπέδυσάν μου καὶ τὸν Κύριον,
They stripped my Lord of His,
«καὶ διεμερίσαντο τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἑαυτοῖς».
'and parted His vesture among them'.
Οὔπω κατεκρίθης,
You have not been condemned to death,
οὔπω ἐσταυρώθης.
nor crucified.
Πολλά σοι λείπει,
Much is being taken from you,
ἵνα φθάσῃς αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὴν μίμησιν.
that you may the sooner be like Him.
5. Τούτων ἕκαστον
5. Let each of these considerations
ὑποτρεχέτω σου τὴν διάνοιαν
find entrance into your mind
καὶ καταστελλέτω τὴν φλεγμονήν.
and check the tumid growth of wrath.
Αἱ γὰρ τοιαῦται προπαρασκευαὶ καὶ διαθέσεις,
By such preparations and by acquiring such dispositions,
οἷον πηδήματα τῆς καρδίας
we quiet the leaping
καὶ σφυγμοὺς ἀφαιροῦσαι,
and throbbing of the heart,
εἰς εὐστάθειαν καὶ γαλήνην
to tranquil steadiness
τοὺς λογισμοὺς ἐπανάγουσι.
restore our minds.
Καὶ τοῦτό ἐστιν ἄρα
This, indeed, is the implication
τὸ ὑπὸ τοῦ Δαβὶδ εἰρημένον,
in the words of David,
ὅτι «Ἡτοιμάσθην καὶ οὐκ ἐταράχθην».
that 'I am ready and am not troubled'.
Δεῖ τοίνυν
You must, therefore
τὸ μανικὸν
the violent
καὶ ἔκπληκτον κίνημα τῆς ψυχῆς
and frenzied movement of the soul
καταστέλλειν
repress
τῇ μνήμῃ
by recalling
τῶν μακαρίων ἀνδρῶν
of the holy men
ὑποδειγμάτων·
the example;
πῶς ὁ μέγας Δαβὶδ
How the mighty David
πράως ἠνείχετο
gently bore
τῆς παροινίας τοῦ Σεμεεί.
the fury of Semei.
Οὐ γὰρ ἐδίδου καιρὸν
He did not allow himself
τῇ ὀργῇ κινηθῆναι,
to grow angry,
πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν
but to God
μεταφέρων τὴν ἔννοιαν,
he turned his thoughts saying,
ὅτι «Κύριος εἶπε, φησί, τῷ Σεμεεὶ
that 'The Lord hath bid Semei
καταρᾶσθαι τὸν Δαβίδ».
to curse David'.
Διόπερ ἀκούων
Therefore, when he was called
αἱμάτων ἀνὴρ
a man of blood
καὶ ἀνὴρ παράνομος,
and a wicked man,
οὐκ ἐκείνῳ ἐχαλέπαινεν,
he did not become angry,
ἀλλ’ ἑαυτὸν ἐταπείνου,
but humbled himself,
ὡς κατὰ τὴν ἀξίαν αὐτῷ τῆς ὕβρεως ἀπαντώσης.
as if he had met with deserved reproach.
Δύο δὴ ταῦτα
Of these two faults then
περίελε σεαυτοῦ,
rid yourself,
μήτε σεαυτὸν μεγάλων ἄξιον κρίνῃς,
that you should judge yourself as meriting great rewards,
μήτε ἀνθρώπων τινὰ
or that any man
παρὰ πολὺ ἐλαττοῦσθαί σου
is much below you
κατὰ τὴν ἀξίαν
in worth
νομίσῃς.
you think.
Οὕτω γὰρ
Thus
οὐδέποτε ὁ θυμὸς
anger will never
ἐν ταῖς ἐπαγομέναις ἡμῖν ἀτιμίαις
even when we are suffering indignities
ἐπαναστήσεται.
be aroused in us.
Δεινὸν μὲν
It is indeed shameful
τὸν εὐεργετηθέντα
for a man upon whom benefits have been conferred
καὶ ταῖς μεγίσταις ὑπόχρεων χάρισι,
and who is under obligation for the greatest favors that,
πρὸς τῷ ἀχαρίστῳ ἔτι
besides being guilty of ingratitude
καὶ ὕβρεως καὶ ἀτιμίας κατάρξαι.
he should be the first to resort to abuse and vituperation.
Δεινὸν μέν,
This is a shameful act,
ἀλλὰ τῷ ποιοῦντι
but for the person who is guilty of it
μεῖζόν ἐστι κακὸν
is more so
ἢ τῷ πάσχοντι.
than for him who suffers it.
Ἐκεῖνος ὑβριζέτω,
Let that foe of yours upbraid you,
σὺ δὲ μὴ ὑβρίζου.
but do you not upbraid him.
Γυμνάσιόν σοι πρὸς φιλοσοφίαν
As a training ground in which to exercise philosophy
ἔστω τὰ ῥήματα.
regard his words.
Ἐὰν μὴ δηχθῇς,
If you have not been pierced,
ἄτρωτος εἶ.
you are still unwounded.
Ἐὰν δὲ καὶ πάθῃς
But if you suffer
τι τὴν ψυχήν,
some injury in your spirit,
ἐν σεαυτῷ
inside youself
κάτασχε τὸ λυπηρόν.
confine the hurt within.
«Ἐν ἐμοὶ γάρ, φησίν,
'Because within me' says the Psalmist,
ἐταράχθη ἡ καρδία μου»·
'my heart is troubled'·
τουτέστιν,
that is,
οὐ διεδόθη πρὸς τὸ ἔξω
he gave no outward expression
τὸ πάθος,
of his feelings,
ἀλλ’ οἷόν τι κῦμα
but as if a wave
εἴσω τῶν αἰγιαλῶν κατακλασθὲν
that breaks within the confines of the shore and subsides
ἐστορέσθη.
he repressed them.
Καθησύχασόν μοι τὴν καρδίαν
Quiet your heart, I beg you
ὑλακτοῦσαν καὶ ἀγριαίνουσαν.
when it howls and rages.
Αἰδείσθω τὰ πάθη
Make your passions honor
τοῦ ἐν σοὶ λόγου
on the scene of your reason
τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν,
the appearance,
ὥσπερ τὸ ἐν παισὶν ἄτακτον
as an unruly boy respects
ἀνδρὸς αἰδεσίμου παρουσίαν.
the presence of a venerable man.
Πῶς ἂν οὖν ἐκφύγοιμεν
How then might we avoid
τὴν ἐκ τοῦ ὀργίζεσθαι βλάβην;
the harm that comes from yielding to anger?
Ἐὰν πείσωμεν τὸν θυμὸν
By persuading our wrath
μὴ προλαμβάνειν τοὺς λογισμούς,
to await the guidance of our reason,
ἀλλὰ τούτου
but on this
πρῶτον ἐπιμελώμεθα,
to concentrate our efforts above all,
ὡς μηδέποτε
upon not ever allowing
αὐτὸν προεκτρέχειν
it to outstrip
τῆς διανοίας·
our reason·
ἔχωμεν δὲ
we should keep it
ὥσπερ ἵππον
as we would with a horse
ὑπεζευγμένον ἡμῖν,
curbed and obedient to us,
καὶ οἷον χαλινῷ τινι
as if controlling it through a bridle
τῷ λόγῳ καταπειθῆ,
obedient to our reason,
μηδαμοῦ
so that it may never
τῆς τάξεως ἐκβαίνοντα τῆς οἰκείας,
leave its proper place,
ἀγόμενον δὲ
but allow itself to be led
ὑπὸ τοῦ λόγου,
by the reason,
ἐφ’ ὅπερ ἂν καθηγῆται.
whithersoever it may direct it.
Ἔτι γὰρ
For it is
πρὸς πολλὰ τῶν τῆς ἀρετῆς ἔργων ἐπιτήδειον
in many acts of virtue serviceable to us
ἡμῶν τῆς ψυχῆς τὸ θυμοειδές,
the irascible part of the soul,
ὅταν, ὥσπερ τις στρατιώτης
when, for example, like a soldier
παρὰ τῷ στρατηγῷ τὰ ὅπλα θέμενος,
who has left his arms in the keeping of his general,
ἑτοίμως ἐπὶ τὰ παραγγελλόμενα
wherever he is ordered to go
τὰς βοηθείας παρέχηται,
he promptly brings aid,
καὶ σύμμαχος ᾖ τῷ λόγῳ
and is an ally for the reason
κατὰ τῆς ἁμαρτίας.
against sin.
Νεῦρον γάρ ἐστι
Because like a sinew it serves
τῆς ψυχῆς ὁ θυμός,
the anger to the soul,
τόνον αὐτῇ πρὸς τὴν τῶν καλῶν ἔνστασιν ἐμποιῶν.
which provides it with vigor for the accomplishment of good works.
Εἰ γάρ ποτε λάβοι αὐτὴν
For if the soul should ever become
ὑφ’ ἡδονῆς ἐκλυθεῖσαν,
enervated from pleasure,
οἱονεὶ βαφῇ
similarly as bathing iron in water
σιδήρου στομώσας,
hardens the iron,
αὐστηρὰν αὐτὴν καὶ ἀνδρείαν
to strictness and vigor
ἐκ μαλακῆς ἄγαν καὶ ἀνειμένης ἐποίησεν.
from a most weak and flaccid state, anger restores it.
Οὐ γάρ, εἰ μὴ θυμωθείης
Unless your anger has been aroused
κατὰ τοῦ πονηροῦ,
against the evil one,
δυνατόν σοι μισῆσαι αὐτὸν
it is impossible for you to hate him
ὅσον ἄξιον.
as fiercely as he deserves.
Δεῖ γάρ, οἶμαι,
For we should, I believe,
τὴν ἴσην σπουδὴν ἔχειν
demonstrate an equal diligence
περί τε τὴν ἀγάπην τῆς ἀρετῆς,
in our love of virtue,
καὶ περὶ τὸ μῖσος τῆς ἁμαρτίας.
as our hatred of sin.
Πρὸς ὅπερ μάλιστα
And for bringing this about
χρήσιμος ὁ θυμός·
anger is very useful·
ἐπειδὰν οἷον κύων ποιμένι,
if, as a dog the shepherd,
οὕτως ὁ θυμὸς
likewise anger
τῷ λογισμῷ παρεπόμενος,
follows closely the guidance of the reason,
πρᾶος μένῃ καὶ χειροήθης
and remains quiet and docile
τοῖς ὠφελοῦσι,
to those who are helping it,
καὶ εὐανάκλητος
and readily obedient
τῷ λογισμῷ,
to the call of reason,
πρὸς μὲν τὴν ἀλλοτρίαν καὶ φωνὴν καὶ ὄψιν
by a strange face and voice
ἐξαγριούμενος,
it should be aroused to savagery,
κἂν θεραπείαν ἔχειν δοκῇ,
although the stranger may seem to be offering a service,
τοῦ δὲ συνήθους αὐτῷ καὶ φίλου ἐμβοήσαντος,
and at the summons of a friend and familiar,
ὑποπτήσσων.
it should become servile and subdued.
Αὕτη ἀρίστη ἐστὶ καὶ ἔμμετρος
This is the most excellent and appropriate
τῷ φρονίμῳ τῆς ψυχῆς μέρει
for the rational part of the soul
παρὰ τοῦ θυμοειδοῦς ἡ συνεργασία.
co-operation with the irascible part.
Ὁ γὰρ τοιοῦτος
Because a person who lives in this manner
ἀδιάλλακτος ἔσται
will never compromise
τοῖς ἐπιβούλοις καὶ ἄσπονδος,
and will be hostile to the treacherous,
μηδέποτε τὴν πρὸς τὸ βλάπτον φιλίαν καταδεχόμενος,
nor ever ally himself with anything harmful,
ἀλλὰ τὴν ἐπίβουλον ἡδονήν,
but as for the deceitful pleasure,
ὥσπερ τινὰ λύκον
as if it were a wolf
ὑλακτῶν ἀεὶ καὶ σπαράσσων.
he always will raise the cry and fall upon.
Τοιοῦτον μὲν δὴ
Such, then, is
τὸ ἀπὸ θυμοῦ ὠφέλιμον
the advantage to be derived from anger
τοῖς εἰδόσι
if one knows
μεταχειρίζεσθαι.
how to handle it.
Ἐπεὶ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων δυνάμεων ἑκάστη
In the case of other powers also
παρὰ τὸν τρόπον τῆς χρήσεως
according to the use made of it
ἢ κακὸν ἢ ἀγαθὸν
a good or an evil
τῷ κεκτημένῳ γίνεται.
each becomes for its possessoor.
Οἷον,
For example,
τῷ ἐπιθυμητικῷ τῆς ψυχῆς,
the concupiscible part of the soul,
ὁ μὲν εἰς ἀπόλαυσιν σαρκὸς
a man who for the carnal enjoyment
καὶ τῶν ἀκαθάρτων ἡδονῶν ἀποχρησάμενος,
and for the impure pleasures abuses it,
βδελυκτὸς καὶ ἀκόλαστος,
becomes licentious and abominable,
ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ Θεοῦ τρέψας
but one who directs this faculty toward the love of God
καὶ τὴν ὄρεξιν τῶν αἰωνίων ἀγαθῶν,
and the desire for eternal goods,
ζηλωτὸς καὶ μακάριος.
is blessed and worthy of emulation.
Καὶ πάλιν τὸ λογιστικὸν
And again for the rational faculty
ὁ μὲν καλῶς μεταχειριζόμενος
the man who administers it well
φρόνιμός ἐστι καὶ συνετός,
is reasonable and intelligent,
ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ βλάβῃ τῶν πλησίον
but he who for the purpose of wronging his neighbor
ἠκονημένος τὸν νοῦν
has sharpened his wits
κακεντρεχής ἐστι
is a mischief maker
καὶ κακοῦργος.
and a villain.
6. Μὴ δὴ οὖν
6. Now therefore
τὰ πρὸς σωτηρίαν
the faculties for our salvation
ἡμῖν δεδομένα
which were given us
παρὰ τοῦ κτίσαντος
by the Creator
ἀφορμὴν ἑαυτοῖς ἁμαρτίας
an occasion of sin for ourselves
ποιήσωμεν.
let us not make.
Οὕτω δὴ καὶ ὁ θυμός,
The same goes with anger,
ὅτε δεῖ καὶ ὡς δεῖ κινούμενος,
aroused at the proper time and in the proper manner,
ἀνδρίαν ποιεῖ καὶ ὑπομονὴν καὶ ἐγκράτειαν,
produces courage, endurance, and continency,
παρὰ δὲ τὸν ὀρθὸν λόγον ἐνεργῶν,
while acting contrary to right reason,
μανία γίνεται.
it becomes a madness.
Διὰ τοῦτο
For this reason
καὶ ἡμᾶς ὁ ψαλμὸς νουθετεῖ·
the Psalmist admonishes us·
«Ὀργίζεσθε
'Be ye angry
καὶ μὴ ἁμαρτάνετε».
and sin not'.
Καὶ ὁ Κύριος
And The Lord
τῷ μὲν ὀργιζομένῳ εἰκῆ
the man who lightly gives way to anger
τὴν κρίσιν ἐπανατείνεται,
threatens with condemnation,
τὸ δὲ ἐφ’ ἃ δεῖ
but when it is necessary
κεχρῆσθαι τῇ ὀργῇ,
that anger to be used,
ὡς ἐν φαρμάκου εἴδει
as a medicinal device
οὐ παραιτεῖται.
He does not forbid.
Τὸ γάρ, «Ἔχθραν θήσω
His words, 'I will put enmity
ἀνὰ μέσον σου καὶ τοῦ ὄφεως»·
between thee and the serpent';
καὶ τὸ, «Ἐχθραίνετε τοῖς Μαδιηναίοις»,
and 'Let the Madianites find you their enemies',
διδάσκοντός ἐστι
teach us
κεχρῆσθαι τῷ θυμῷ
to use anger
ὥσπερ ὅπλῳ.
as a weapon.
Διὰ τοῦτο Μωυσῆς
Therefore did Moses
ὁ πάντων ἀνθρώπων πραότατος,
the meekest of all men,
ἐκδικῶν τὴν εἰδωλολατρίαν,
demand retribution for the practice of idolatry,
τὰς τῶν Λευϊτῶν χεῖρας
and to the hands of the Levites
πρὸς τὸν τῶν ἀδελφῶν φόνον
for the slaying of their brethren
ἐξώπλισε.
gave them arms.
«Θέσθω, φησί,
'Put,' he said,
τὴν ῥομφαίαν ἕκαστος
'his sword every man
ἐπὶ τὸν μηρὸν αὐτοῦ,
upon his thigh,
καὶ διέλθετε ἀπὸ πύλης εἰς πύλην
and go from gate to gate
καὶ ἀνακάμψατε διὰ τῆς παρεμβολῆς·
and return through the midst of the camp;
καὶ ἀποκτείνατε ἕκαστος τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ,
and let every man kill his brother,
καὶ ἕκαστος τὸν πλησίον αὐτοῦ,
and every man kill his friend,
καὶ ἕκαστος τὸν ἔγγιστα αὐτοῦ».
and every man kill neighbor'.
Καὶ μετ’ ὀλίγα·
Then, a little farther on;
«Καὶ εἶπε, φησί, Μωυσῆς·
'and Moses said;
ἐπληρώσατε τὰς χεῖρας ὑμῶν σήμερον τῷ Κυρίῳ,
You have consecrated your hands this day to the Lord,
ἕκαστος ἐν τῷ υἱῷ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ,
every man in his son and in his brother,
δοθῆναι ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς εὐλογίαν».
that a blessing may be given to you'.
Τί δὲ τὸν Φινεὲς ἐδικαίωσεν;
What justified Phinees?
Οὐχ ἡ δικαία ὀργὴ
Was not his a just anger
κατὰ τῶν πορνευσάντων;
against the fornicators?
ὃς τὰ πολλὰ ἐπιεικὴς ὢν καὶ πρᾶος,
He, otherwise a mild and gentle man,
ἐπειδὴ εἶδε τὴν πορνείαν
upon beholding the fornication
τοῦ Ζαμβρὶ καὶ τῆς Μαδιανίτιδος
of Zambri and the Madianite woman
ἀναφανδὸν καὶ ἀπηρυθριασμένως γινομένην,
taking place shamelessly and in public,
οὐδὲ συγκαλυπτόντων αὐτῶν
who did not even veil with secrecy
τῆς αἰσχύνης τὴν ἀσχήμονα θέαν,
the disgraceful spectacle of their shameful act,
οὐκ ἀνασχόμενος,
he refused to tolerate it,
εἰς δέον ἐχρήσατο τῷ θυμῷ,
and, making a right use of anger,
δι’ ἀμφοῖν ἐλάσας τὸν σειρομάστην.
he pierced both of them through with his lance.
Σαμουὴλ δὲ τὸν Ἀγὰγ
Again Samuel to Agag
τὸν βασιλέα τοῦ Ἀμαλὴκ
the king of Amalec
ὑπὸ τοῦ Σαοὺλ
who by Saul
παρὰ τὸ πρόσταγμα τοῦ Θεοῦ περισωθέντα
against the divine decree his life had been spared
οὐχ ὑπὸ δικαίας ὀργῆς
did not Samuel, in just wrath
εἰς μέσον ἀγαγὼν κατεφόνευσεν;
publicly slayed?
Οὕτω γίνεται πολλάκις
Frequently in this way
ὁ θυμὸς ἀγαθῶν πράξεων ὑπηρέτης.
anger ministers to good actions.
Ἠλίας δὲ ὁ ζηλωτής,
Elias also the zealot,
πεντήκοντα καὶ τετρακοσίους ἄνδρας ἱερεῖς τῆς αἰσχύνης,
the four hundred and fifty men, priests of shame,
καὶ τετρακοσίους ἄνδρας ἱερεῖς τῶν ἀλσῶν,
and the four hundred men, priests of the groves,
ἐσθίοντας τράπεζαν Ἰεζάβελ,
who ate at Jezabel's table,
λελογισμένῳ θυμῷ καὶ σώφρονι,
in deliberate and reasonable anger,
εἰς ὄφελος παντὸς τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ ἐθανάτωσε.
he put to death for the good of all Israel.
Σὺ δὲ ὀργίζῃ
But you become angry
τῷ ἀδελφῷ σου εἰκῆ.
with your brother for trivial reasons.
Πῶς γὰρ οὐκ εἰκῆ,
How then for trivial reasons,
ἄλλου ἐνεργοῦντος,
when the true actor is another,
ἄλλῳ χαλεπαίνων αὐτός;
you don't fume against that other?
Καὶ ποιεῖς τὸ τῶν κυνῶν,
By acting thus, you imitate the behavior of dogs,
οἳ τοὺς λίθους δάκνουσι,
which bite the stones,
τοῦ βάλλοντος οὐ προσαπτόμενοι.
when they cannot get hold of the person who is throwing them.
Ὁ ἐνεργούμενος ἐλεεινός,
The object of the provocation is deserving of pity,
ὁ δὲ ἐνεργῶν μισητός.
but the one who is the author of it merits hatred.
Ἐκεῖ τὸν θυμὸν μετάθες
Transfer your anger to him
ἐπὶ τὸν ἀνθρωποκτόνον,
the murderer of men,
τὸν τοῦ ψεύδους πατέρα,
the father of lies,
τὸν ἐργάτην τῆς ἁμαρτίας,
the worker of sin,
τῷ δὲ ἀδελφῷ καὶ συμπάθησον,
and sympathize rather with your brother,
ὅτι ἐὰν ἐπιμείνῃ τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ,
because, if he remains in sin,
μετὰ τοῦ διαβόλου παραδοθήσεται
he will be consigned along with the Devil
τῷ αἰωνίῳ πυρί.
to everlasting fire.
Ὥσπερ δὲ τὰ ὀνόματα διάφορα
Now, as the words are different
θυμοῦ καὶ ὀργῆς,
for indignation (thimos) and anger (orge),
οὕτω καὶ τὰ ὑπ’ αὐτῶν σημαινόμενα
so also are the significations which they bear
πλεῖστον ἀλλήλων διαφέρει.
is very different between them.
Ἔστι γὰρ θυμὸς μὲν οἷον
Because indignation
ἔξαψίς τις
is a kind of flaring
καὶ ἀναθυμίασις ὀξεῖα τοῦ πάθους,
and sudden ebullition of passion,
ὀργὴ δὲ ἔμμονος λύπη
while anger nurses a persistent grievance
καὶ ὁρμὴ διαρκὴς
and incessant itching
πρὸς τὴν τῶν ἠδικηκότων ἀντίδοσιν,
for vengeance towards the wrongdoers,
ὥσπερ ὀργώσης τῆς ψυχῆς
as if the soul constantly urges
πρὸς τὴν ἄμυναν.
towards revenge.
Εἰδέναι οὖν χρή,
Accordingly, it is important to bear in mind,
ὅτι κατ’ ἀμφοτέρας τὰς διαθέσεις
that in both directions
πλημμελοῦσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι·
men err;
ἢ μανικῶς καὶ ἐμπλήκτως
either by becoming furiously and swiftly
κατὰ τῶν παροξυνόντων κινούμενοι,
aroused against those who provoke them to anger,
ἢ δολερῶς καὶ ἐπιβούλως
or by craftily and treacherously
τοὺς λυπήσαντας ἐνεδρεύοντες,
laying snares for their enemies,
ἅπερ ἀμφότερα φυλακτέον ἡμῖν.
both of these errors we are obliged to shun.
7. Πῶς ἂν οὖν μὴ κινοῖτο
7. How, then, could it be brought about
πρὸς ἃ μὴ δεῖ τὸ πάθος;
that our passions would not be aroused against improper objects?
Πῶς;
How?
Εἰ προπαιδευθείης
First, by being grounded
τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνην,
in the humility,
ἣν ὁ Κύριος
which the Lord
καὶ λόγῳ διετάξατο καὶ ἔργῳ ὑπέδειξε,
taught in word and illustrated in act,
νῦν μὲν λέγων,
when, on one occasion, He said,
«Ὁ θέλων ἐν ὑμῖν εἶναι πρῶτος,
'If any among you desire to be first,
ἔστω πάντων ἔσχατος»,
he shall be the last of all',
νῦν δὲ πράως
and when, at another time He gently
καὶ ἀκινήτως
and calmly
τοῦ τύπτοντος ἀνεχόμενος.
bore with the man who struck Him.
Ὁ γὰρ οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς
Of heaven and earth
ποιητὴς καὶ Δεσπότης,
the Maker and Lord,
ὁ παρὰ πάσης τῆς νοητῆς καὶ αἰσθητῆς κτίσεως προσκυνούμενος,
He who is adored by every creature having sensation and reason,
ὁ «Φέρων τὰ σύμπαντα
He, 'upholding all things
τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ»,
by the word of his power',
οὐχὶ ζῶντα ἔπεμψεν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν ᾅδην,
did not cast that man living into hell,
τῆς γῆς ὑπορραγείσης τῷ δυσσεβεῖ,
the earth would have opened of itself to receive the impious wretch,
ἀλλὰ νουθετεῖ
but He admonished
καὶ διδάσκει·
and instructed him;
«Εἰ κακῶς ἐλάλησα,
'If I have spoken evil,
μαρτύρησον περὶ τοῦ κακοῦ,
give testimony of the evil,
εἰ δὲ καλῶς,
but if well,
τί με δέρεις;».
why strikest thou me?'.
Ἐὰν γὰρ ἐθισθῇς
If you have formed the practice
πάντων ἔσχατος εἶναι
of making yourself the last of all
κατὰ τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Κυρίου,
according to the Lord's command,
πότε ἀγανακτήσεις
when would you ever experience displeasure
ὡς παρὰ τὴν ἀξίαν καθυβρισμένος;
on the ground of suffering an affront to your dignity?
Ὅταν σε παιδίον νήπιον λοιδορήσῃ,
If a little child revile you,
γέλωτος ἀφορμὴν ποιῇ τὰ λοιδορήματα·
you make his taunts a subject for jest·
καὶ ὅταν ὑπὸ φρενίτιδος ἐξεστηκὼς τὴν διάνοιαν
and, if by an insane person
φθέγγηται ῥήματα ἀτιμίας,
you are insulted,
ἐλεεινὸν ἡγῇ μᾶλλον
you regard him as more worthy of pity
ἢ μίσους ἄξιον.
than worthy of hatred.
Οὐ τοίνυν τὰ ῥήματα πέφυκε
It is not, therefore, the words themselves
τὰς λύπας κινεῖν,
that are wont to arouse vexation,
ἀλλὰ ἡ κατὰ τοῦ λοιδορήσαντος ἡμᾶς ὑπεροψία
but it is our pride, stung by the person who reviled us
καὶ ἡ ἑκάστου περὶ ἑαυτὸν φαντασία.
and also the unrealistic opinion every man has about himself.
Ὥστε ἂν ἀφέλῃς
Therefore if you banish
τῆς ἑαυτοῦ διανοίας τούτων ἑκάτερον,
both of these from your mind,
ψόφος ἐστὶν ἄλλως διακενῆς ἠχῶν τὰ φερόμενα.
the insults shall have no more significance than the hollow ring of an echo.
Παῦσαι οὖν ἀπὸ ὀργῆς
'Cease from anger therefore
καὶ ἐγκατάλιπε θυμόν,
and leave rage',
ἵνα φύγῃς τῆς ὀργῆς τὴν πεῖραν,
that you may escape the trial of wrath,
τῆς ἀποκαλυπτομένης
which is revealed
«Ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ
'from heaven
ἐπὶ πᾶσαν ἀσέβειαν
against all ungodliness
καὶ ἀδικίαν ἀνθρώπων».
and injustice of men'.
Ἐὰν γὰρ λογισμῷ σώφρονι
If, by the prudent use of reason
ἐκτεμεῖν δυνηθῇς τὴν πικρὰν ῥίζαν τοῦ θυμοῦ,
you could cut away the bitter root of indignation,
πολλὰ τῶν παθῶν τῇ ἀρχῇ ταύτῃ συναναιρήσεις.
you would remove many other vices along with this, their source.
Καὶ γὰρ τὸ δολερὸν
Because indeed deceit
καὶ ὕποπτον
and suspicion
καὶ ἄπιστον
and faithlessness
καὶ κακόηθες
and malice
καὶ ἐπίβουλον
and treachery
καὶ θρασὺ
and rashness
καὶ πᾶν τὸ τῶν τοιούτων πονηρῶν σμῆνος,
and a whole thicket of evils like these,
ταύτης τῆς κακίας
of this one vice
ἐστὶν ἀποβλαστήματα.
are offshoots.
Μὴ δὴ οὖν ἐπεισάγωμεν ἑαυτοῖς
Let us not, then, bring upon ourselves
κακὸν τοσοῦτον·
a misfortune so great;
ἀρρωστίαν ψυχῆς,
it is a malady upon the soul,
σκότωσιν λογισμῶν,
a dark mist over the reason,
ἀπὸ Θεοῦ ἀλλοτρίωσιν,
it brings estrangement from God,
οἰκειότητος ἄγνοιαν,
forgetfulness of the ties of kindred,
ἀρχὴν πολέμου,
cause for strife,
συμφορῶν πλήρωμα,
a full measure of disaster,
δαίμονα πονηρὸν
it is a wicked demon
αὐταῖς ὑμῶν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ἐντικτόμενον,
coming to birth in our very souls,
καὶ ὥσπερ τινὰ ἔνοικον ἀναιδῆ
and like a shameless tenant
προκατέχοντα ἡμῶν τὰ ἔνδον
taking prior possession of our interior
καὶ τῷ ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι τὴν πάροδον ἀποκλείοντα.
and barring entrance to the Holy Spirit.
Ὅπου γὰρ ἔχθραι,
Whenever there are enmities,
ἔρεις,
strifes,
θυμοί,
bursts of anger,
ἐριθεῖαι,
intrigues,
φιλονικίαι,
rivalries,
θορύβους ἀσιγήτους ταῖς ψυχαῖς ἐμποιοῦντα,
causing restless agitation in the soul,
ἐκεῖ τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς πραΰτητος οὐκ ἀναπαύεται.
there the Spirit of Meekness does not take His rest.
Πεισθέντες δὲ
Accordingly, in obedience
τῇ παραινέσει τοῦ μακαρίου Παύλου,
to the admonition of the blessed Paul,
«πᾶσαν ὀργὴν
'all anger
καὶ θυμὸν
and indignation
καὶ κραυγὴν
and clamor
ἄρωμεν ἀφ’ ἡμῶν
let us put away from ourselves
σὺν πάσῃ κακίᾳ,
together with all malice,
καὶ γενώμεθα
and let us become
εἰς ἀλλήλους χρηστοὶ
kind to one another
καὶ εὔσπλαγχνοι»,
and compassionate',
ἀναμένοντες τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα
awaiting the blessed hope
τὴν τοῖς πραέσιν ἐπηγγελμένην
promised to the meek
(«Μακάριοι γὰρ οἱ πραεῖς,
('for, Blessed are the meek,
ὅτι αὐτοὶ κληρονομήσουσι τὴν γῆν»),
for they shall possess the land'),
ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ Κυρίῳ ἡμῶν,
in Christ Jesus our Lord,
ᾧ ἡ δόξα
to whom be glory
καὶ τὸ κράτος
and empire
εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας.
for ever and ever.
Ἀμήν.
Amen.