A lot of this advice concerns one presentation at court, the way one looks as an emperor. With the election coming up, it is interesting to see how an actual emperor thought it right to live. He thanks the gods that he learned from his father:
To be governed by a lord and father, who was able to drive off all my vanity; and who led me to the worthy understanding that one is able to live at court and not need body guards, or stunning clothes, or torches and statutes and such-like — nor any other such boasts. That one was able to live much like a private citizen — while not neglecting nor passing over the obligations of public rule.
Greek Text and Notes Below the Break:
τὸ ἄρχοντι καὶ πατρὶ ὑποταχθῆναι, ὃς ἔμελλε πάντα τὸν τῦφον ἀφαιρήσειν μου καὶ εἰς ἔννοιαν ἄξειν τοῦ ὅτι δυνατόν ἐστιν ἐν αὐλῇ βιοῦντα μήτε δορυφορήσεων χρῄζειν μήτε ἐσθήτων σημειωδῶν μήτε λαμπάδων καὶ ἀνδριάντων τοιῶνδέ τινων καὶ τοῦ ὁμοίου κόμπου, ἀλλ̓ ἔξεστιν ἐγγυτάτω ἰδιώτου συστέλλειν ἑαυτὸν καὶ μὴ διὰ τοῦτο ταπεινότερον ἢ ῥᾳθυμότερον ἔχειν πρὸς τὰ ὑπὲρ τῶν
τὸ ἄρχοντι καὶ πατρὶ ὑποταχθῆναι,
by the ruling and by [my] father to be subjected
ὑποταχθῆναι: aorist passive infinitive to be arranged, to be subjected.
The primary meaning of the verb is “to place or arrange under”, which then takes on various related meanings depending upon context.
To have been ruled and subjected to my father
ὃς ἔμελλε πάντα τὸν τῦφον ἀφαιρήσειν μου
ὃς: he, my father
ἔμελλε: he was doubtless able to. This is matched by the infinitive: to remove. See Goodwin, Greek Grammar, section 1519, “The object infinitive not in indirect discourse follows verbs whose action naturally implies another action as its object.”
πάντα τὸν τῦφον: all delusion, vanity, pride
καὶ εἰς ἔννοιαν
and to a mind [bring me to, ellipsis; it matches the preceding infinitive: to carry off, lead me away from and thus lead me to]
worth of this
ὅτι δυνατόν ἐστιν ἐν αὐλῇ βιοῦντα
that to be able to be in the court to live
μήτε δορυφορήσεων χρῄζειν
and neither spear guard/bodyguard to need/to make use of
μήτε ἐσθήτων σημειωδῶν
neither clothing conspicuous
σημει-ώδης , ες,
A. [select] remarkable, conspicuous, Str.8.1.3 (Sup.); of language, peculiar, singular, “ὀνόματα” D.H.Isoc.2.
II. [select] significant of something to come, “ἅλῳ” Arist.Mete.373a30, cf. Thphr.Vent.35; τὰ ἐνύπνια ἔχει τι ς. Arist. Div.Somn.462b15, cf. Phld.Sign.19, Plu.2.286b. Adv. -δῶς remarkably, Str.16.2.28.
μήτε λαμπάδων καὶ ἀνδριάντων τοιῶνδέ τινων
and neither torches and statutes and such-like, things like this
ἀνδριάς , ὁ, gen. άντος (Att. ᾶντος, acc. to Hdn.Gr.1.51): (ἀνήρ):—
[select] image of a man, statue, Pi.P.5.40, Hdt.1.183, 2.91, Ar.Pax1183, Th. 1.134, etc.; “ἀνδριάντας καὶ ἄλλα ζῷα λίθινά τε καὶ ξύλινα” Pl.R.515a; ἀνδριάντ ας γράφειν paint statues, ib.420c; esp. of portrait-statues, “ἀ. εἰκονικός” Plu.Lys.1; “ἀ. ὁλοσώματος” IG12(7).240 (Amorgos); “ἀ. ἔφιππος” SIG730.26 (Olbia); of female figures, Ath.10.425f, etc.; of men, opp. ἀγάλματα of the gods, Gorg.Hel.18, Plb.21.29.9; rarely of gods, GDI5421 (Delos): prov., “λάλος, οὐκ ἀ.” Luc.Vit.Auct.3; “ἀπαθὴς ὡς ἀ.” Arr.Epict.3.2.4; “ἀνδριάντος γυμνότερος” D.Chr.34.3: ironically, τὸν καλὸν ἀ., a mother’s term of endearment, D.18.129; μακρὸν ἀ. παίζειν, a kind of game, Thphr.Char.27.12.
τοιόσδε , άδε (Ion. ήδε), όνδε, a form of τοῖος, bearing the same relation to τοιοῦτος as ὅδε to οὗτος,
A. [select] such as this, in Hom. not so common as τοῖος, but in Hdt. and Att. much more so; sts. anteced. to οἷος, as “ἀοιδοῦ τοιοῦδ᾽ οἷος ὅδ᾽ ἐστί” Od.1.371, cf. 17.313, Il.24.375: but more freq. abs., ἀλλ᾽ ὅδ᾽ ἐγὼ τ. here am I such as you see, Od. 16.205, cf. 15.330; freq. with implications, so great, so bad, etc.; “οὔ κε κακοὶ τοιούσδε τέκοιεν” 4.64; “τοιόσδε τοσόσδε τε λαός” Il.2.120, 799; τοιάδε λαίφεα such clothes, i. e. so bad, Od.20.206; “τοσόσδε καὶ τοιόσδε” Hdt.2.73: after Hom. anteced. to οἷος, S.Fr.576.2, Pl.Men. 75e, etc.; to ὅς, Hdt.7.158; rarely to a Conj., as ὡς, A.Pers.179: with a qualifying word, “τοιόσδ᾽ ἠμὲν δέμας ἠδὲ καὶ ἔργα” Od.17.313; “τοιόσδ᾽ ἐστὶ πόδας” 19.359: with the Art., ὁ τ. ἀνήρ, αἱ τ. πράξεις, A. Th.547, S.OT895 (lyr.); “ἐν τῇ τ. ἀνάγκῃ” Th.4.10; “οἱ τοιοίδε” S.Aj. 330; “τὸ τ.” Pl.Prt.358b; ἐν τῷ τοιῷδε in such circumstances, Hdt. 9.27, Th.2.36, etc.: without Art., κατὰ τοιόνδε in such wise, Hdt. 4.48, 7.10.“έ; ἕτεροι τ.” Id.1.207; “φωνῆς ἐνεχθείσης τοιᾶσδε” 2 Ep.Pet. 1.17: the sense is made more indef. by τοιόσδε τις, such a one, Hdt. 3.139, 4.50, freq. in Att., Pl.Smp.173e, al.: in prose narrative τοιάδε is, prop., as follows, “τοιαῦτα” as aforesaid, Hdt.1.8, al. (cf. ὅδε, οὗτος); but this distn. is not strictly observed. Adv. “τοιῶσδε” Adam.Vent. 37,39, Eust. ad D.P.Prooem.p.82 B., etc. [τοι^- in A.Pr.239, Ag. 1400, S.OT435, Aj.453; but not so freq. as in τοιοῦτος.]
καὶ τοῦ ὁμοίου κόμπου,
and similar boasts
But that it is lawful/fitting
ἐγγυτάτω ἰδιώτου συστέλλειν ἑαυτὸν
to be most nearly of a private [person] to stand oneself
The infinitive completes the concept begun by it is proper/fitting
καὶ μὴ διὰ τοῦτο ταπεινότερον
and not on account of this to be humiliate [oneself]
ἢ ῥᾳθυμότερον ἔχειν πρὸς τὰ ὑπὲρ τῶν
nor to be most lazy to be
nor to be lazy concerning those things of
I. [select] taking things easy, indifferent, lazy, sluggish, Lat. socors, Soph., etc.
II. [select] of things, easy, Lat. securus, Isocr., Plat.:—adv. -μως, Plat.
2. [select] adv. also, like ῥᾳδίως, lightly, with equanimity, id=Plat.; comp. -ότερον, Isocr.; -οτέρως, Arist.
κοινῶν ἡγεμονικῶς πραχθῆναι δέοντα.
of common governing to have passed over those things needful
τὸ ἀδελφοῦ τοιούτου τυχεῖν, δυναμένου μὲν διὰ ἤθους ἐπεγεῖραί με πρὸς ἐπιμέλειαν ἐμαυτοῦ, ἅμα δὲ καὶ τιμῇ καὶ στοργῇ εὐφραίνοντός με: τὸ παιδία μοι ἀφυῆ μὴ γενέσθαι μηδὲ κατὰ τὸ σωμάτιον διάστροφα. τὸ μὴ ἐπὶ πλέον με προκόψαι ἐν ῥητορικῇ καὶ ποιητικῇ καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἐπιτηδεύμασιν, ἐν οἷς ἴσως ἂν κατεσχέθην, εἰ ᾐσθόμην ἐμαυτὸν εὐόδως προιόντα.