Et Tu, Bookworm?

During the campaign, for whatever part of the day [Brutus] was not with Pompey, he busied himself with books and literature, not only the rest of the time, but even before the great battle. It was the height of summer, the heat was great (since they had encamped in marshy regions), and they that carried the tent of Brutus were slow in coming. But though he was thus all worn out, and though it was almost noon before he anointed himself and took a little food, nevertheless, while the rest were either sleeping or occupied with anxious thoughts about the future, he himself was busy until evening in making and writing out a compend of Polybius.

—Plutarch (ca. 46–127 AD), Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans (Brutus 4–6) from A Loeb Classical Library Reader


2 comments on “Et Tu, Bookworm?

  1. Casey says:

    Sometimes I think Plutarch's is really the most interesting life in all of this… Wouldn't it be great if all writers of history could spin a yarn like Plutarch, full of insight and depth, sympathetic but unsentimental? I love how he occasionally editorializes, as he does in my favorite (on Aristides):
    We think that the gods are happy because they are immortal; we fear the gods because they are powerful; but we love the gods because they are just. Nevertheless, we chase after immortality (which is impossible), and power (which depends on luck), but neglect justice — the only attribute of the gods a human being can reasonably hope to attain. Justice together with power gives the life of a god, but power without justice gives the life of a beast.
    (Sorry–couldn't resist!)

  2. Sylvia says:

    Ooo, nice one!

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