Polybius, Histories (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Polyb.].
<<Polyb. 1.34 Polyb. 1.35 (Greek) >>Polyb. 1.36

1.35 Lessons from the Event

This event conveys many useful lessons to a thoughtful observer. Above all, the disaster of Regulus gives the [Note] clearest possible warning that no one should feel too confident of the favours of Fortune, especially in the hour of success. Here we see one, who a short time before refused all pity or consideration to the fallen, brought incontinently to beg them for his own life. Again, we are taught the truth of that saying of Euripides— One wise man's skill is worth a world in arms. For it was one man, one brain, that defeated the numbers which were believed to be invincible and able to accomplish

-- 41 --

anything; and restored to confidence a whole city that was unmistakably and utterly ruined, and the spirits of its army which had sunk to the lowest depths of despair. I record these things in the hope of benefiting my readers. There are two roads to reformation for mankind—one through misfortunes of their own, the other through those of others: the former is the most unmistakable, the latter the less painful. One should never therefore voluntarily choose the former, for it makes reformation a matter of great difficulty and danger; but we should always look out for the latter, for thereby we can without hurt to ourselves gain a clear view of the best course to pursue. It is this which forces us to consider that the knowledge gained from the study of true history is the best of all educations for practical life. For it is history, and history alone, which, without involving us in actual danger, will mature our judgment and prepare us to take right views, whatever may be the crisis or the posture of affairs.



Polybius, Histories (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Polyb.].
<<Polyb. 1.34 Polyb. 1.35 (Greek) >>Polyb. 1.36

Powered by PhiloLogic