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From Alexander the Platonist

Rarely — and never without real need — tell anyone — or write a letter saying — that you are too busy; don’t make it a habit to beg off from obligations for those with whom we live, just throwing out the words, “the press of business”.


The prior entry in this translation is here

Greek Text and Notes:

Παρὰ Ἀλεξάνδρου τοῦ Πλατωνικοῦ τὸ μὴ πολλάκις μηδὲ χωρὶς ἀνάγκης λέγειν πρός τινα ἢ ἐν ἐπιστολῇ γράφειν ὅτι ἄσχολός εἰμι, μηδὲ διὰ τούτου τοῦ τρόπου συνεχῶς παραιτεῖσθαι τὰ κατὰ τὰς πρὸς τοὺς συμβιοῦντας σχέσεις καθήκοντα, προβαλλόμενον τὰ περιεστῶτα πράγματα.

Παρὰ Ἀλεξάνδρου τοῦ Πλατωνικοῦ
From Alexander the Platonist

τὸ μὴ πολλάκις μηδὲ χωρὶς ἀνάγκης λέγειν

The article and the infinitive mark the boundaries of the clause.

μὴ πολλάκις
not often

μηδὲ χωρὶς ἀνάγκης
neither without compulsion [to say/speak]

anagkes means compulsion or force.

πρός τινα
to anyone. Tis is indefinite.
ἢ ἐν ἐπιστολῇ γράφειν
or by means of an letter to write

ὅτι ἄσχολός εἰμι,
That I am without leisure, free time

scholos: means free time (school). Therefore, without free time means “busy”.
μηδὲ διὰ τούτου τοῦ τρόπου
neither through such a manner of action
i.e., don’t make it a habit

The basic idea is to “hold things together”; when used of time it means continuously.

The verb means to beg, but it also means “beg off”, thus, decline.


κατὰ τὰς
against those

πρὸς τοὺς συμβιοῦντας
With whom one lives

state or condition

having come; setting out the state or condition.
something fitting or proper
sending forth
cast out — whether positive or negative

τὰ περιεστῶτα πράγματα.
The perfect participle is an adjective indicating a state and modifying the noun: deeds, actions.
Having standing/stood around, placed all about, pressing

Throwing it out there “the constant press of business”