Monday, November 09, 2009

I think you've got the wrong "wise ruler" there

Picked up Frank McLynn's biography of Marcus Aurelius at the library over lunch, and the introduction is not inspiring me with confidence. McLynn begins with the rather modest goal of persuading the reader that Marcus Aurelius is worth reading about, for instance as the author of the Meditations, citing
... the example of Cecil Rhodes, multimillionaire, politician and would-be empire builder. As his biographer writes: "He carried a well-thumbed, personally marked-up copy of this last book with him everywhere, favouring such aphorisms as 'Can any man think he lives for pleasure, and not for action or execution?' 'Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise.'"
Apparently neither Rhodes's biographer nor McLynn was familiar with Proverbs 6:6?

(McLynn's source, Rotberg, was chastised for the quoted error in a book review, one which McLynn evidently did not have the leisure to consult.)

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