25 November 2013

A new word

Hey, it's always nice to stumble across a new word, and that's happened to me today. It's a really appropriate one too. One which made me smile and say 'aha!' when I read the definition.

It's the word 'sophrosyne' (in Greek, the σωφροσύνη above), which originally comes from the name of a Greek goddess who was 'the spirit of moderation, self-control, temperance, restraint, and discretion' and, so the story goes, one of the good spirits that escaped from Pandora's box when the lid was raised.

Now the word means: healthy-mindedness and from there self-control or moderation guided by knowledge and balance. Does that sound familiar...?

Good old Wikipedia goes on to say that the Roman poet Juvenal later re-interpreted this sentiment in one of his verses as 'mens sana in corpore sano', meaning 'a healthy mind in a healthy body'.

In part, his verse went:

    You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body.
    Ask for a stout heart that has no fear of death,
    and deems length of days the least of Nature's gifts
    that can endure any kind of toil

Nice, eh?


Enz said...

That is more than nice!

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