Te/knon, h@ tau/tan h@ e)pi\ tau/tav

 Child, either this or upon this.

A Spartan mother as quoted by Plutarch




  In this quote, from Plutarch's Moralia, a Spartan mother is sending her son off to war. When she gives him his shield, she tells him that she wants him to come back either with the shield, if he survives, or upon the shield if he is killed. You will notice alphas where you might expect etas. These reflect the Spartan's Doric dialect.

Plutarch was one of the most famous of the classical writers, composing numerous manuscripts and essays. His insights on human life and thought were renowned throughout the known world and were popular up to the early 1900s, until the advent of television and other forms of entertainment. By his writings and lectures Plutarch became a celebrity in the Roman empire, yet he returned to reside in Boeotia where he had been born in 50 CE. He participated actively in local affairs, even serving as mayor. At his country estate, guests from all over the empire congregated for serious conversation, presided over by Plutarch in his marble chair. Many of these dialogues were recorded and published, and the78 essays and other works which have survived are now known collectively as the Moralia. Plutarch's essays and his lectures established him as a leading thinker in the Roman empire's golden age. Plutarch went on to write Parallel Lives, intended to be pairs of biographies of two different people. It became a monumental study on humanity in general.


  The image http://www.richmond.edu/~wstevens/History221/images/hoplite.jpg cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 Images and information from : 

Greek Philosophers
Plutarch:Priest of the Delphic Oracle

C. Bondoc St. Paul's School 2004