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NPNF2-08. Basil: Letters and Select Works
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Letter CLXXXVI.26052605    Placed in 374.

To Antipater, the governor.26062606    cf. Letter cxxxvii.

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,26072607    The Greek proverb was δὶς κράμβη θάνατος, vide Politian. Miscel. 33.  cf. “Occidit miseros crambe repetita magistros.”  Juv. vii. 154. 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,”26082608    κουροτρόφος.  Ithaca is ἀγαθὴ κουροτρόφος, because it bore and bred hardy men.  Od. ix. 27. and has restored our governor to the vigour of youth.  For the future I shall think nothing like cabbage, not even Homer’s lotus,26092609    Od. ix. 93. not even that ambrosia,26102610    Od. v. 93. whatever it was, which fed the Olympians.


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