Philosophandum est, paucis; nam omnino haud placet

Reported by Aulus Gellius (5.15.9) and from an unidentified tragedy of Ennius – though speculation seems to lean toward Andromache.

When we heard or read these and other similar stimuli to clever and delightful inactivity and did not see in these philosophical problems either some genuine advantage referring to the conduct of life or any purpose to the inquiry, we approved of the Ennian Neoptolemus, who indeed spoke thus:

one must do philosophy, but in moderation; for it does not please completely


hos aliosque talis argutae delectabilisque desidiae aculeos cum audiremus vel lectitaremus neque in his scrupulis aut emolumentum aliquod solidum ad rationem vitae pertinens aut finem ullum quaerendi videremus, Ennianum Neoptolemum probabamus, qui profecto ita ait:

philosophandum est, paucis; nam omnino haud placet

Reminded me of the Proustian Often but a little at a time.

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