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Crates of Thebes | Clement, Stromata Book 2 Chapter 20

Wherefore the divine law appears to me necessarily to menace with fear, that, by caution and attention, the philosopher may acquire and retain absence of anxiety, continuing without fall and without sin in all things. For peace and freedom are not otherwise won, than by ceaseless and unyielding struggles with our lusts. For these stout and Olympic antagonists are keener than wasps, so to speak; and Pleasure especially, not by day only, but by night, is in dreams with witchcraft ensnaringly plotting and biting. How, then, can the Greeks any more be right in running down the law, when they themselves teach that Pleasure is the slave of fear? Socrates accordingly bids “people guard against enticements to eat when they are not hungry, and to drink when not thirsty, and the glances and kisses of the fair, as fitted to inject a deadlier poison than that of scorpions and spiders.” And Antisthenes chose rather “to be demented than delighted.” And the Theban Crates says:—

  "Master these, exulting in the disposition of the soul,
  Vanquished neither by gold nor by languishing love,
  Nor are they any longer attendants to the wanton."

And at length infers:—

  "Those, unenslaved and unbended by servile Pleasure,
  Love the immortal kingdom and freedom."

He writes expressly, in other words, “that the stop to the unbridled propensity to amorousness is hunger or a halter.”
Translated by William Wilson. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.)

crates_of_thebes/clement_stromata_book_2_chapter_20.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/14 23:19 (external edit)