as temperate as if they had been sober


Sextus Empiricus, Adversus Mathematicos 6.8
Thus Pythagoras, when he once observed how youths who had been filled with Bacchic frenzy by alcoholic drink differed not at all from madmen, exhorted the flute-player, who was joining them in the carousal, to play his aulos for them in the spondaic melos. When he thus did what was ordered, they suddenly changed and became as temperate as if they had been sober even at the beginning.

2 thoughts on “as temperate as if they had been sober

  1. I have been wanting to collect all the works of Sextus Empiricus and read them. I have read some, and it changed my view of ancient skepticism. It might work as a good curative for dogmatism.


    1. I bet it would. He is severely underappreciated. And not just for his moral and existential insights – Sextus was an early ethnographer and his work contains fascinating tidbits on barbarian populations and their cultures.


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