Plutarch, on why it does matter what they read

“Moreover, as it is my advice to parents that they make the breeding up of their children to learning their chief care, so I here add, that the learning they ought to train them up unto should be sound and wholesome, and such as is most remote from those trifles which suit the popular humor. For to please the many is to displease the wise.

“To this saying of mine Euripides himself bears witness: 

I’m better skilled to treat a few, my peers,
Than in a crowd to tickle vulgar ears;
Though others have the luck on’t, when they babble
Most to the wise, then most to please the rabble.

“…It is a fine thing to sail around and visit many cities, but it is profitable to fix our dwelling in the best.”

Plutarch, “The Training of Chldren,” from The Ancient History Sourcebook at Fordham University  © Paul Halsall, June 1998


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