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Letter CLXXXVI. 2605

To Antipater, the governor2606

Philosophy is an excellent thing, if only for this, that it even heals its disciples at small cost; for, in philosophy, the same thing is both dainty and healthy fare.  I am told that you have recovered your failing appetite by pickled cabbage.  Formerly I used to dislike it, both on account of the proverb, 2607 and because it reminded me of the poverty that went with it.  Now, however, I am driven to change my mind.  I laugh at the proverb when I see that cabbage is such a “good nursing mother of men,” 2608 and has restored our governor to the vigour of youth.  For the future I shall think nothing like cabbage, not even Homer’s lotus, 2609 not even that ambrosia, 2610 whatever it was, which fed the Olympians.



Placed in 374.


cf. Letter cxxxvii.


The Greek proverb was δὶς κράμβη θάνατος, vide Politian. Miscel. 33.  cf. “Occidit miseros crambe repetita magistros.”  Juv. vii. 154.


κουροτρόφος.  Ithaca is γαθὴ κουροτρόφος, because it bore and bred hardy men.  Od. ix. 27.


Od. ix. 93.


Od. v. 93.

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